The loudest lesson my South African garden has taught me, is in February ahead of Beth’s March meme Lessons Learned. As the seasons turn, the garden goes from hanging in there, even the succulents turning red and furling their leaves away from the 'Texas Death Star'. When I see the first March lily bud nosing thru, it is time to prune. I love pruning, but I HATE the plants to look as if someone with no sense or sensibility has been at them with an electric hedge trimmer. I nibble away carefully, somewhere between topiary and green sculpture, lost in thought. I chop the pieces and return them as mulch for the plant they came from.
Edible. Grows wild along the Eastern shore of South Africa
|Australian brush cherry|
Commonorgarden apples come from?
The lesson is, prune hard. 'Cut back down to the ground' makes me shriek silently. But I do the lavender and roses style, remove one third, the oldest woodiest stuff. Then pile the trimmings up, run them thru the shredder, and apply as a well-groomed mulch carpet. Focus on COMPLETING one section at a time. I worked my way along the path outside the garage to the front door, where I began planting this garden in 2007. Now I can stroll, head tall - I don’t need to duck overarching branches, arms flung wide – I don’t have to zig zag along evading intruders, seeing my plants go to autumn – instead of tripping over sprawlers. Garden lessons are never learnt once and for all. That path – the Plumbago still grows too near my shoulders.
|Royal Cape Plumbago|
|Clerodendron blue cat's whiskers, Plumbago sky blue|
Blue sage, Royal Cape Plumbago
|Anna's Red, Perfume Passion|
Karoo Rose, Burning Sky
commonorgarden roses from China?
with lavender from the Mediterranean
|Tecoma capensis (thanks Janneke), Ruttyruspolia|
Streptocarpus, wild jasmine
|Pride of India, comes from (India and) China|
Gail at Clay and Limestone hosts Wildflower Wednesday. In my captions today, any flower that doesn’t bear a country tag, is Proudly South African!
|March lily bud in just 3 days|
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa
(If you mouse over brown text,
it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.)