"Wow! Look at the Scadoxus, Pammy, such an amazing orange colour." Well, something along those lines was what I cheerfully blurted out this morning. The Scadoxus blooms, which slowly unfurl over the course of a whole week, have almost fully opened now, but not quite. And that orange colour is already dazzling.
That's when Pam, the artist, quite correctly pointed out that, if you get up close, the flowers comprise red stems with yellow tips, and together the red and yellow create the illusion that you're looking at an orange flower. "It's pointillism," my lovely teacher helpfully added.
What a striking sight to greet the day. The Scadoxus are down the far end of the garden, but you can see them from the kitchen. In fact you can see them as you walk down the hallway towards the kitchen. Though in the distance they catch your eye, as torches would at night. These are day torches, I guess. They certainly do look like orange fire.
Stand back and it's orange again. Who would have thunk we'd have pointillism happening right here in my backyard? The common name for Scadoxus is the Natal paintbrush. The Natal part of the name is perfectly apt, as that's where it comes from – South Africa. Now that Pammy has clued me up on how the illusion of colour can be created, the second part of that common name is even more appropriate.