17 September, 2014

Postberg and Darling for spring flowers

- gardening for biodiversity

This September we did get to Postberg Flower Reserve in the West Coast National Park for the spring flowers. Free entry with our Wild Card. There are stern notices to Stay In Your Car, except at the picnic and parking spots. In 2010 we enjoyed walking the Bakoor Trail. Next year we will hike the trail again! Disconcertingly we are no longer allowed to walk into that view beyond the cars parked along the road to the right.

Didelta at Plankiesbaai

Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa leaves covered in white hairs, this daisy shrublet grows very close to the sea at Plankiesbaai.

Saldanha ships, vygie
angulate tortoise

From Postberg Flower Reserve you look across Langebaan Lagoon (nature conservation) to Saldanha Bay with ships taking iron ore brought from Sishen by train. Daisies, bulbs and succulents (electric pink vygie). An angulate tortoise kept me company. Since we couldn't walk down to the rocky bay, and didn't want the sandy one again, we climbed up the hill with the flowers.

Pelargonium fulgidum, Moraea tripetala, Diogon lignosus
Salvia africana-lutea, Sutherlandia frutescens

Scarlet Pelargonium fulgidum with lush silver fur on its green leaves, also grows at Cape Columbine. Blue and yellow Moraea tripetala an iris in tiny feathered perfection. Purple and pink pea flowers of Dipogon lignosus. Five distinctively forked petals, common name drumsticks, is Zaluzianskya sp. (can't ID a pink one?) Strandsalie here living up to its name; Salvia africana-lutea grows in my garden. Metallic pods and leaves on Sutherlandia frutescens.

Gazania, Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa, ?
Gazania, Dimorphotheca pluvialis 

Gazania peacock marked with chocolate and cream at the base of its petals. Didelta carnosa var. tomentosa. Two nameless yellow daisies. Dimorphotheca pluvialis rain daisies are white with a purple heart.

Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve

Since we went that way home, we stopped at Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve outside Darling. Swartland Renosterveld grows on fertile clay soils, almost covered with wheat fields today. 4% survives; this reserve is part of 1.6% which is conserved.

Romulea tabularis, Sparaxis bulbifera

Romulea tabularis blue stars with a golden heart (now I have a name for one of my potted treasures!) Soft yellow Sparaxis bulbifera grows with wet feet.

Pelargonium triste, Wachendorfia brachyandra
Lachenalia pallida, Babiana angustifolia

Pelargonium triste clove scented at night. 'John Tradescant took Pelargonium triste to England in 1632. It was one of the first pelargoniums that was collected and grown from the Cape' - PlantZAfrica. Wachendorfia brachyandra has red roots and golden flowers. Lachenalia pallida cream with green tips like a snowdrop. Babiana angustifolia blue with violet details on the upper petals.

Monsonia speciosa

We have so many different flowers that at the end of the day, I slide into SEEN those, but what is THAT large lonely white flower whose petals were neatly edged with pinking shears? Monsonia speciosa is one of our few true geraniums to set against a wide spectrum of pelargoniums.

Geissorhiza darlingensis

Late afternoon in Darling, setting out Geissorhiza darlingensis was open, but as we returned to our car half an hour later, the flowers were tucked up for a cool evening. In the iris family, yellow wine cup is only found at Tinie Versfeld, on damp granite soil. We did walk carefully, appreciating the boardwalks!

Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer of  Elephant's Eye
(in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa)

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.
To read or leave comments, either click the word Comments below,
or click this post's title)


  1. This is the 3rd time I am trying to comment so I will just say thank you so much for sharing you life with us.
    Hope I am successful this time.

    1. Zola, no blog for you?

      I moderate comments, so you may have to wait up to 24 hours to see your comment published. but you will know that I did read your comment.

      The Company Gardens we'll get to when we are based in False Bay. I have read news around the Tearoom. But not about the bluegum?

  2. By the way, I am just wondering if you know that the 200yr old Bluegum and the Tea Room in the Company gardens no longer exists.

  3. That opening photograph just makes my heart sing! To see all that color flowing down to the sea is wonderful. I hope you are enjoying your new home.

    1. getting very close. Counting down the weeks!

  4. So many beautiful wildflowers! I wonder why they won't let you walk the trail? Is it to protect the preserve? Are they all native wildflowers? The rainge of colors is incredible. Thanks for sharing scenes from your beautiful part of the world!

    1. yes, they are all native/indigenous wildflowers, and I cherish that!

    2. The "lessons learned" post is up. Thanks, again, Diana, for participating. :)

  5. How frustrating not to be able to walk among the petals...but I can totally understand.


  6. Incredible... so colorful. Why must people stay in the car? To protect the flowers?

  7. stay in your car?
    Yes to protect the flowers. People are weird, they have a strange compulsion to stomp INTO the flowers to take pictures! Also the dirt road is often one way, and when there are lots of visitors, pulling over to take photos, and allowing others to pass - takes a heavy toll on flowers which have such a short season.
    That 'walk into the view' is now part of a two day hiking trail, so you could ...

  8. Eendag is eendag....
    I saw the flowers in about 1990. That is nearly 25 years ago. But I'll get back there again...
    Which makes me think. A recent conversation with overlanding friends a little older than I am ( and less beset with bad backs etc.) made me realise that I must stop thinking caravan and start thinking campervan. Then discovered our local VW dealer can covert a 4x4 Kombi Crew Bus to a campervan, complete with raised suspension (its Achilles' heel) and the pull out veld kitchen in the rear with bed over as I would like, and everything carrying a VW warranty. What's more consumption is such that I won't need a 2nd more economical car. Now to sell the farm...

    1. the Ungardener's dream ... but I like my creature comforts. Space. A bath. We are vegetarian and don't braai. Not for me.
      My niece and her husband are enjoying fulltiming in South Africa in their caravan!

  9. Diana, I can never get over how fabulous your indigenous plants are and how different they are from what grows here. Your photos are stunning.

  10. Amazing that such a rich and beautiful natural garden was plowed under. Incredible only 1.6% of it is on a preserve. That first image is frame worthy.

  11. Wow, this makes me want to go there ASAP!

  12. A view of the bay and the ocean while climbing up the hill with the flowers -- perfection! P. x

  13. Diana, If you can't find a mini bicycle let me know your address and I'll send you one. My email is pamsgardenATmac.com
    I have another blogger question -- how do you get the 'Reply' link under each comment? Thanks for all the help you give me with my technical problems! P. x

    1. My bonsai pots are packed and must wait, but thank you for your kindness!

      I enabled Reply in April 2012

      Where I'm relieved that I included a link

    2. You are welcome! Let me know when you are unpacked in your new home and it will be a 'little' housewarming gift. Thanks for the link -- it worked for me! P. x

  14. I really love spring in your part of the world Diana...such beautiful views like the first one with the sea and the wildflowers.

  15. What a beautiful place you have to explore! I love seeing your amazing native wildflowers. That Ganzania detail is exquisite. -Jean

  16. Oh those gorgeous flowers and the idea of spring itself - I believe this blog shall be my refuge in the months to come! Just lovely as usual xx


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.