WILD FLOWER WEDNESDAY OCT 2010

Scilla natalensis first came into our garden as something gleaned from the veldt (or the neighbours?) by old Phineas in his early days with us. He told us it was a wild plant – and he’d known the area all his life. He planted the first large bulbs in the top corner of what is today Trudie’s Garden – the closest plant in fact to our original trailer ‘cottage’. They are still, nearly 30 years later, our proudest stand. Here they are, photographed on the 12th of this month.

Scillas in Trudie's Rose Garden 12 Oct 2010 When the pine trees across the dam were cut down, the arboretum was planted. In the first spring – or to be quite truthful: in that first year it was ‘first summer’ – scillas that had lain dormant, or at least unseen, beneath the pines for 25 years flowered tentatively. Over the next few years more and more appeared in the arboretum, soon developing to full strength.

Blue Moon and  Scilla natalensis 13 Oct 2006This picture was taken one day less than four years before the above shot, and of the exact same plants. These dates are important, because moisture makes a huge difference to the flowering time and the size of the leaves at flowering (and the size they grow to later in the season). Being in the cultivated garden, and more specifically amongst roses, these scillas are watered copiously. The next photo, taken in the arboretum in a dry year more than two weeks later shows that the flower is as impressive, but the leaves have hardly sprouted.

Scilla natalensis when water-stressed 29 Oct 2006 The photo below was taken in our local Haenertsburg Grasslands, a totally wild area, in late September of 2007; there had been rain in late summer and also some welcome winter rain.

scilla in the veldt 22 Sep 07 Lastly a close-up to show the delicate colouring of this beautiful flower. This post is inspired by Gail of Clay and Limestone who started the tradition of Wild Flower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of every month. (Clicking on coloured script  on my blog will always take you through to the relevant links.)

Scilla natalensis close-up

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