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!

Acknowleging Kirsten Frost who posted this image on the forums of http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za

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:


8 thoughts on “A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

    • The more I see of ferns, the more they amaze me. My most surprising discovery was of tiny blue-grey ferns growing in rock crevices in deep shade in the hot, arid Namibian countryside.

  1. It is so interesting when you take us on walks through the different areas of your huge garden. I love the little plants that thrive in the wetter areas of your garden.

    The bird is beautiful with it’s vibrant colors.

    • Thanks Noelle! When I started the blog, I intended doing more of that. I must go into my archives and put together a few more ‘walks around my garden’!

  2. Hi Jack, what a wild and wonderful spot! I loved the sea of ferns, thinking that is the way ferns were meant to be grown. The little dog is a sweetie too!

    You asked about my camera at my blog. I have two cameras, the old one is used mostly for macro shots, Canon Powershot A720 IS. I bought this camera not because I had a clue about cameras, I don’t, but because it was on sale for $179 at Target in March of 2008. It just happened to have the most amazing macro feature. I am strictly point and shoot on auto, always. The newer camera is the Canon Powershot SX1 IS. It’s macro is nothing like the old camera but it has a 20x zoom that I am learning to use to get better distance shots. I sometimes will push the hues by one notch, but that is very rare. These pictures don’t need any help if the lighting is right. That is the secret of my shots, reading the sky and time of day to get the best shots. I take hundreds of shots at a time to get a couple of better ones. On my blog, I bought the upgrade to change the stylesheet on Chaotic Soul. I enlarged the font, changed the colors and widened the screen. I shrink my photos to 760 pixels wide to save the space wordpress allows before charging money and drastically speeding up the upload time. I think that should answer your questions. Oh and one more thing, the magic of my photos is the garden itself, nothing that I can do with a camera. I don’t know anything about photography except what looks good to me, but I have been gardening for over 50 years. 🙂


    • Thanks for your response Francis, which I’ve answered elsewhere. I love your statement “the magic of my photos is the garden itself”; I’ve so often felt exactly the same about my really good shots! Fact is you DO know plenty about photography, even if it is instinctive rather than rational information!

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