June 23, 2011
The Forest Drive runs down a valley in the Woodbush Reserve, starting high in the mountain and ending in the Lowveld. I remember riding it 50 years ago sitting on the roof-rack of my father’s Opel Record Caravan – my first memory of my mother’s vertigo where her children were concerned.
But Flea, my father’s caretaker and my adopted sister who helped me nurse my mother, had never been there. And as it is only a few kilometers from Sequoia, that is a shame. So at the end of February – high summer – we rectified that.
I think she enjoyed the trip…
||Tall trees tower over one – but one also looks down on them due to the steepness of the terrain. And the verges are rich with plant life. Above is a plant which also grows on Sequoia, Scadoxus puniceus, in seed. It is also known as a Blood Lily and impressive enough to be on the cover of Elsa Pooley’s authoritive ‘A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Region’. It stands among white Begonia dregei which feature again in the photo below. I’ve written before of Eve Palmer and her wonderful identification guide to the Plectranthus clan. If I studied it I might be able to tell you the name of the beauty on the left… Another of the beautiful begonias is the bright orange B. sutherlandii which I intend growing in my new greenhouse – about which more soon – where I will be able to give it the frost-free conditions it demands. It is a beauty!
The delicate beauty of the white form of Bergenia dregei, which tends to hide in the deepest shadows against near vertical cuttings contrasts with the extrovert orange of the Sutherland Begonia.
Our old friend Crocosmia aurea, which I’ve posted about in a previous Wild Flower Wednesday post, was there, as was the ubiquitous but ever lovely local Bizzy Lizzy, Impatiens sylvicola.
All of these come to you courtesy of Wild Flower Wednesday, the fourth Wednesday of every month, and started by Gail of Clay and Limestone.
April 4, 2011
Hurry, this will be a quick walk, almost a jog. Little time. And no books on hand to confirm niceties of names. We went to check on the cutting that was happening.
Crocosmias love the pines. So do the dogs.
In late summer plectranthus with white or pale blue flowers grow in abundance in the shade. The most attractive have a blotch, caused by an air bubble under the outer ‘skin’
They are gently hairy and the tiny flowers in long spikes are worth a closer look.
Eve Palmer rather fancifully maintains that from the right angle the flowers look like little mice. (Note to self: A post on her book Under the Olive which I’ve just reread.)
Another note to self. Try propagating this silver-leaved helichrysum which unlike most grey leaved plants which are that colour to protect against heat, seem to be mirrored in order to catch as much light as possible in the shade which they love.
We call it the forest hibiscus, a herby shrub with coin-sized flowers in late summer. Usually they are apple-blossom pink. This white one caught my eye. It too needs to be propagated!
On the home stretch. The dogs always love a walk in the pine forests.