26 March, 2014

A Swartland garden in March with a string of hearts Ceropegia woodii

- gardening for biodiversity

The string of hearts is Ceropegia woodii a tiny succulent creeper I grow in pots. Before blogs and the internet when I still read gardening magazines, I once asked if anyone had a bit of this plant for me. They came from all over South Africa. By post, and even a young woman on holiday from Durban who brought me a tiny pot from her granny in Kloof near Durban. Now my pots are tucked in the hanging gardens of Babylon around the Folie de MIIX and I forget to look at them. The plant family is Apocynaceae (with frangipani and Carissa), formerly Asclepiadaceae (with Hoodia, Hoya and Stapelia). Found across South Africa, and to Tanzania and Madagascar. The bushman's pipe flowers are to catch insects, but only for pollination, not lunch.

Ceropegia woodii

19 March, 2014

March lilies Amaryllis belladonna

- gardening for biodiversity

For Alice, and all my readers with March birthdays

Our garden year for South Africa begins in March. As the summer heat fades, and the autumn equinox approaches, the March lilies Amaryllis belladonna burst into an exuberant cancan. The days are shorter, the evenings at least are cool and kind to soft green leaves. In March Western Cape gardens heave a deep sigh of relief.

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Jurg's March lilies in 2013

06 March, 2014

Fire on our mountain in March 2009

- gardening for biodiversity

If you live, as we do, and did in Camps Bay where mountain / wild / forest fires are a part of life. Then you will recognise that rising sense of unease. It was March 2009 and I could smell smoke – not a farmer burning the stubble (sadly they still do, despite global weirding), nor an insane neighbour burning garden waste or autumn leaves. The light was strange, hazy to the sun, because there was so much smoke in the air. Where was the fire? People shared what they knew, from the farmer up on the mountain and nature conservation officials to TV and newspapers.

Where's the fire?

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.