OCTOBER 2018 GARDEN

Come for a walk around our garden that is coming alive after the first spring rain. Firstly, there is the plum blossom on an offshoot of the already very old plum tree when we arrived thirty years ago. It eventually collapsed, became overgrown and we forgot about it until off shoots like these began poking through the ‘jungle’ a couple of years ago. If we are lucky, we may get a handful of plums that the birds have not devoured first!

The indigenous Cape Honeysuckle grows unchecked all over the garden. This plant is partially covering the homemade canoe we used for a trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana long before our children were born!

A previous occupant planted this clambering rose on the bottom terrace of the garden. It was tiny and completely overgrown so that I only discovered it about two years after our arrival. During the intervening years of drought I was sure it had died – until it began clambering all over the Dais cotinifolia last year, covering it with white blossoms.

Having cut back a section of the encroaching jungle during winter, I purchased two varieties of Osteospermum to provide some colour in the bare spot.

Two plants with a long family history are blooming now too. Both originally come from slips taken from my mother’s garden on our family farm in Mpumalanga to be planted in our fledgling garden in Mafikeng in the North West Province and were replanted here in the Eastern Cape! The first is the indigenous Van Stadens River Daisy.

The second is a Marguerite Daisy.

Last summer I scattered a packet of mixed flower seeds in my sunniest spot – not much came up – but since our first spring rain two self-sown varieties delight my soul. One are the Californian Poppies, which are robust and seem to have multiplied.

The other is a single Cosmos plant – the flower of which I do not recall seeing before. Last summer the flowers were all pink!

Encouraged by all this brightness, I purchased these scarlet petunias from the nursery.

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12 thoughts on “OCTOBER 2018 GARDEN

  1. Your post is a good expression of the way every springtime is like a whole new offering of discoveries and surprises, and yet, enough like the others that we recognize it as spring 🙂

    I never knew Cosmos could bear any colors other than pink, purple and white. Those river daisies are all new to me, too, and seem more elegant and delicate than the typical. I hope you get some plums!! I’ve had to make do with the blossoms for several years to the point I am halfway forgetting that I planted them for the fruit.

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    • The bronze coloured cosmos is new to me too – I have not seen such a one growing in the wild. However, it may have come from the packet of mixed seeds I planted last summer – horticulturalists continuously come up with new varieties of the familiar. As for the plums, the birds generally get in first, long before we consider the fruit ripe enough to enjoy.

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  2. So lovely to see spring in your garden, Anne. It does my heart good as we head down the autumn path to winter.
    Your ‘cosmos’ intrigues me. The bud and foliage do look like cosmos, but the flower looks like it is crossed with osteospermum or gazania. Is that even possible, I wonder. They are all composite family, so perhaps a one in a million chance a bee-cross took. Pretty amazing!

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    • I too have been taken aback by this cosmos and have compared it closely with a pink one growing nearby: the foliage is exactly the same. I agree it looks like a cross with a gazania – that dark centre especially – which may be an interesting quirk of nature, or it may simply have come from the packet of mixed seeds I planted last summer and be a new varietal brought out by the seed company. I will leave it to go to seed in the hope of getting more of them.

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    • Thank you, I am pleased you enjoyed my indulgence. I have a number of plants collected from the gardens of friends and family – all bear lasting memories for me.

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