Several overseas readers have commented on the lovely aloe blooms I feature now and then and some remark that while they have seen aloes, they have not seen them in bloom. With this is mind I want to show some of the flowers in my garden. The first shows an early stage of the flowering spikes pushing upward.
Here is the same aloe a few weeks later. The actual flowers haven’t opened yet.
We have several of these aloes growing all over the garden.
They will look really beautiful once their flowers have opened to welcome birds, bees and ants. Then there is this very tall aloe which is almost past its prime.
The air is dry; leaves are curling up, turning yellow or brown, and some are carpeting the ground; pot plants have shrivelled in the summer-like temperatures that have scorched us over the past few days; water in the bird baths evaporate almost before my back is turned; wasps and butterflies regularly dip onto the surface of the swimming pool to drink. Everything is crying out for water … April is not a rainy month.
All is not lost though. Canary creeper blossoms are beginning to cover the trees with a bright yellow carpet.
The blue plumbago flowers continue to provide cheer.
The sea lavender also puts on a brave show.
There is plenty of natural food for the birds too. These small Natal figs are already attracting African Green Pigeons, Red-winged Starlings and Black-headed Orioles.
These (so far) unidentified indigenous berries that hang in heavy bunches are eaten by Cape White-eyes, weavers and Speckled Mousebirds.
Ants abound both indoors and out. They are clearly on a quest for water in this hot, dry weather. I watched these ones moving up and down a stone wall outside our kitchen this afternoon.
We need some cheering up after yesterday’s book review and what better than to look at the delightful pink flowers of the Dais cotinifolia or Pompon tree – of which you will be seeing a lot more of come November.
In bloom right now are the attractive pale blue flowers of the plumbago.
Many readers have expressed surprise at the sight of flowering aloes – you will get more of them as autumn segues into winter – but here is an aloe in bud.
The veld is already being brightened up by the small daisy-like flowers of the bitou.
I have several clivias growing in my garden – these were photographed after a shower of rain.
The large Natal fig tree often features in my blog for it dominates part of the garden. Below is a Cape fig (Ficus sur), beloved by many birds and insects – as well as fruit bats.