27 July, 2012

Karoo wildflowers

Gathering up July’s wildflowers we will begin in the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden. Mid-month we went in hopes of aloe flowers.

Last December’s issue of Veld & Flora (journal of the Botanical Society of South Africa) has an article by Werner Voigt on the history of the Karoo NBG. The garden was established in 1921. In 1945 Swiss curator Jacques Thudichum worked with Louis Pieterse to move the plant collection from near Matjiesfontein to Worcester. The garden was opened in 1948 when Jan Smuts said – ‘The human spirit craves for something more. It requires spiritual nourishment and here it is in the Karoo Garden.’ In 2001 the word Desert was added to the formal name, to explain the word Karoo (place of great thirst) to international visitors. 

Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
looking towards the Hex River Mountains


13 July, 2012

Gardening for wildlife in a Cape winter

We garden for wildlife. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Between RL and gardening, rediscover your sense of wonder. Take time out, see what wildlife makes its home, or pauses, in your garden.

In Paradise and Roses both of our strelitzias have a flower open. I know our strelitzias are grown in California, I wonder if the hummingbirds use them as a nectar source? Strong stem and a bowl overflowing with nectar brings an impatient queue of  masked weavers and  Cape weavers.

Strelitzia reginae occurs naturally only in South Africa: eastern coast, from Humansdorp to northern KwaZulu-Natal in coastal bush and thicket. It grows along river banks in full sun, however sometimes it occurs and flowers on margins of forest in shade – from PlantZAfrica.

Weaver on Strelitzia

07 July, 2012

July garden catch up


I was. I was going to prune the figs this afternoon. He was. He was planning to work on his current Ungardening project, which is stuck at the nasty muddy chaos stage. But the next cold front rolled in from Antarctica direction, and it’s bucketing down. He is tucked up with TV and cat.

from Dasklip Pass to Witkranskop
with Leucadendron


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.


Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.