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.
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.
This 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.
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.
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.)