How to end the year, other than with yet another hydrangea? Perhaps a dense mass of varied leaves? “mebalabala ya botala” is the phrase I learnt this week in Sepedi, the local vernacular: ‘many colours of green’. But thinking back to the days when December was the time I came to the farm on holiday, and the gardens weren’t nearly what they are now, I set out this afternoon to photograph a little wilding that grows in the cool shade of the forests and pine plantations and demurely displays its soft blue flowers at this time of year. It is called Thunbergia natalensis and is related to the Black-eyed Susan, a well-known little creeper with a black centre and an orange or yellow face. This one is an upright herb with a prominent calyx, which, together with the bottom of the leaves, is covered with soft hairs. Yet when you compare the flowers you can see that they are related.