All is not doom and gloom in our drought-stricken garden for we have been blessed with several aloes blooming, of which this is one:
Then there are the lovely blooms of the Crassula ovata or, as many overseas readers know it, the Jade plant:
Both of these indigenous plants provide important sustenance for bees, butterflies, ants and other insects. I also have a minute patch of ground close to where I sit in the mornings in which I nurture petunias and pansies. These cannot be watered very often so are doing their best under trying circumstances to provide daily cheer:
They too attract an insect or two:
Crassula ovata is one of about 150 species of Crassula native to South Africa. These compact evergreen shrubs grow up to 3 m tall and are looking especially beautiful at this time of the year when they are in full bloom. These ones are growing next to our swimming pool.
These bushes are currently bearing masses of sweetly scented, pale-pink, star-shaped flowers in tight ball-shaped clusters – another winter beauty we are blessed with.
A Crassula now in full bloom, one of many aloes coming into bloom and two indigenous daisies are providing some colour in the front garden.
All good reasons for planting indigenous beauties that can handle the drought and – now – the cold weather.
The veld has been tinder dry for weeks as the relentless drought continues. A grass fire, fanned by hot wind, raced through the mountains around our town at the weekend, engulfing us in a blanket of smoke and ash. Today the Mountain Drive area looks bleak and black. Yet, Earth Day is one that encourages us to look at our environment more closely; to get to know it better; to consider what we can do to protect and nurture it better; as well as being thankful for what we have.
How extremely thankful I am for the 4mm of soft rain that we were blessed with during the night!
This has encouraged the canary creeper buds to open – these are the first of what should become a waterfall of bright blooms.
The Crassula ovata is also covered with buds waiting to open.
Meanwhile, the Cape honeysuckle flowers are already providing swathes of bright colour and a useful source of nectar.
The Virginia creeper is showing off its autumn colours.
In keeping with these autumnal colours, it is fortuitous that an Olive Thrush was the first bird to greet me this morning.
Happy Earth Day!