I was drawn into the wilder part of the garden along the stream this morning by the call of the Knysna Turaco, which had earlier woken me. I wanted to see where this most beautiful of birds was feeding and hopefully even catch a glimpse of its red wings in flight. The walk inspired this post. For the beauty of these parts, where often the only intervention has been the cutting of a path, really struck me on this summer-after-rain morning!
Below my favourite dog, Taubie, a x-Bull Terrier, but the gentlest and most obliging dog in the world, stands at the bottom end of Quercus Corner, the collection of different oak species my father has planted over the years in the furthest corner of the garden. Hawkweed grows thick and beautiful in the road that has not been cut for a several weeks – I love it!
A little behind the spot I took the above photo from, the stream passes beneath the road and this little composition is entirely self-sown – both Impatiens hochstetteri, the Wild Buzy Lizzie and Zantedeschia aethiopica, the Calla or Arum Lily grow wild in our part of the world.
Nearby, in a damp meadow with rich soil, there are more ferns than grasses in the green carpet. The dark tree framing the shot is Leucosidea sericea, known as Ouhout (Old wood) because the trunks look ancient when they are still quite young – few of our trees are over 30 years old.
In a slightly drier spot higher up, our best clump of Ouhout trees have a lovely grass growing beneath them – it only grows in the shade and remains green through winter, but is very choosy about where it grows – attempts at introducing it under the oak below my house have not been successful.
And nearby the only gardening that has happened is the cutting of paths through the lush vegetation. Different flowers then colonise these areas, so that it pays to make a slow progression down these paths. I’ve had visitors who’ve been more excited here than in the parts where I spent a fortune and slaved over the details of construction and planting!
Here is a little wild buttercup growing in the path – a few weeks back they were very plentiful, now they are isolated.
And here is a little “in the path” composition: