When I hear "Hey, Jamie, come and check this," I know that old eagle-eyes has done it again. Pam has spotted something in the garden, and it's always well worth stopping whatever I am doing to go and have a look. So many blog postings here start with Pammy noticing something interesting going on.
Sometimes it can be something so tiny that only she could spot it (she really must have been an eagle in a previous life) but today her find was so big and bleedin' obvious that even I might have spotted it (except I did actually walk past it half an hour earlier…)
So, what's all the excitement about? This person, pictured below.
The website and books say the flowers of Stapelia variegata have an unpleasant smell, but out in the fresh air it's nigh-on unnoticeable. The icky pong (so I'm told) is reminiscent of rotting meat, and its purpose is to attract flies and blowflies, which do the pollinating job normally done by bees. This is how stapelias survive in the wild in the harsh, bee-less, arid zones of Southern Africa, where they come from.
Just behind the flower is what appears to be another flower bud, so we are having a blaze of stapeliary glory to see in the New Year, folks.
So 2015 is off to a very good start here in Garden Amateurland, and we hope that 2015 turns out to be an excellent, flower-filled, delicious and productive, healthy and happy year for you all.