LEAF PATTERNS

Two exotic plants:

Delicious Monster

Frangipani

Two indigenous plants:

Vachellia karroo

Pride-of-de-Kaap

 

FEBRUARY 2021 GARDEN

The drought continues. In fact, yesterday morning we woke to not a single drop of water in our taps! So far the rain forecast either comes to nothing or it might yield 5mm – that does little more than settle the dust for a little while. This is the second summer in a row that I have not been able to grow vegetables or much in the way of flowers. Yet, there continues to be some colour and things of interest in our garden. The ever faithful frangipani (also known as Plumeria) is blooming beautifully and exudes the most delightful scent once the sun sets and the garden settles down for the night.

No matter how hot and dry it gets, we can always rely on the Plumbago to provide colour – and such pleasing colour too.

The hibiscus shrubs were already mature when we moved here three decades ago. Their long-lasting blooms too never disappoint.

I am very pleased that the variety of petunias I planted in containers in December continue to provide happy splashes of colour.

Then there are insects, such as this bee foraging on the tiny flowers of a tall weed.

I come across a spider-hunting wasp (Pompilidae) outside the kitchen door.

It is under the lip of an outside windowsill that I see a potential danger lurking in the form of two South African Paper Wasps in the throes of building their intricate nest.

End note: The water supply is trickling back in our pipes.

FRANGIPANI

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) are popular, especially in older gardens in this country and have been here for so long that it is easy to think they belong here. However, like a number of ornamental trees here they are exotic, apparently originating from Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. They are fairly innocuous as alien vegetation goes.

Their popularity in tropical and sub-tropical gardens probably stems from the sweet fragrance of their flowers which last throughout the summer.  Here you can see a cluster of buds about to open.

These ones open to a pale creamy pink.

While others are a dark pink.

The attractive trees are covered with long leaves.