21 October, 2014

King Arthur’s Slippers and wild Corycium orchid

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

When I was at school my mother grew Cymbidium orchids. Her friend Sheila started her off. When I was a girl … an orchid was something Exotic (not South African. Then our passports were stamped not valid in … with a list of countries from A to Z, and your passport might have said, valid everywhere, except South Africa). Tretchikoff’s painting of an orchid discarded on the step. Decades later potted cymbidiums and friends are sold in the supermarket, along with bunches of chrysanthemums.

Flirtation miniature Cymbidium

14 October, 2014

Veltheimia capensis to a Woodland Walk

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

I favour flowers with off-key colours. Burgundy honey flower. Burnt orange wild sage. Mermaid Lachenalia. Dusky pink sand lily is from Darling to Nieuwoudtville region where we had a garden in Porterville. Today's pictures were taken in that garden.

In the winter a rosette of gorgeous glossy deep green leaves appears. A glorious focal point before the flowers. The wavy margins ripple like a couture designed collar, worn once, and a nightmare to ever get it to lie right again.

Veltheimia leaves October 2009

07 October, 2014

Reach for Recovery

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

Winter chill

The shock of hearing my surgeon say – the Treatment of Choice is a mastectomy. Of choice? Mastectomy is a “treatment”. George Sand in Paris appreciated the expertise of surgeons who had just honed their skills in the Napoleonic wars. Fanny Burney wrote in 1812 about her mastectomy, TWO hundred years ago, pre-anaesthetic New Jacksonian blog 2010.  

Winter Chill
Pruning tools, follow the path, Great North
Plectranthus madagascariensis
Blue sage, Dusty Miller

women who were alone, teaching them to join together,
for there is hope in two women,
help in three women,
strength in four,
joy in five
From Sheri S. Tepper in Gibbon’s Decline and Fall