Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just a little bit obsessive ...

What can I say? Guilty as charged, just a little bit obsessive about my scadoxus, the flowering bulbs from South Africa. 

Every year around late August, early September, our garden is bedazzled for a few weeks by these glowing golden-orange Scadoxus flowers. I know I posted something about the baby plants like, well ... two postings ago, and here I am at it again, now that the adult flowers are open and the 2016 spring show is underway, bigger and better than ever. And the pots of baby scadoxus are growing up rapidly, too. So instead of saying any more, here's the photo show, folks.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Springing open

It is nice having a full set of senses – you know, smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing – but when it's spring if you were a poor unfortunate down to just one sense or two, you'd definitely know that spring has arrived.

Take smell, for example. It's the worst one to start with because your sense of smell would tell you that this keen gardener has sprinkled far too much chicken poo under his citrus trees, and it is taking days for the farmyard stench to die down. I know this might seem a tad unsympathetic, but bad luck! The limes and lemons need a feed ...

So let's move on that far more delightful sense of sight, and I'll show you some nice photos of spring flowers doing their thing in our garden at the moment.

Now, this one is an official "Pammy plant". It's her potted Pieris japonica, and it seems like the position we have for it in morning sun, with afternoon shade, is just what the Zen master ordered. Though it's Pam's plant it is of course my sacred duty to keep it happy, and so far it hasn't been too onerous a task, even if it remains a heavy responsibility.

A much lighter and cheerier story is the rebirth of our potted New Zealand Christmas bush (Metrosideros), which always flowers months ahead of the baby Jesus' birthday. A year ago this pot plant looked like it was gone for all money, so I cut off the top three-quarters of it, repotted the stump into fresh mix, plied it with Seasol and soothing vibes, and like Lazarus, it's back!

And it's not just a couple of flowers, either. The whole thing is covered in buds, and we're back in the Kiwi flower business.

And yes, my favourite flowering plant in the whole garden is doing its thing again. Last time I did a blog, which was a month ago, it was about this Scadoxus and its little clump of babies, so I thought I'd slip it down here to Page Five of this blog, just so I don't seem too obsessive about them. But the flowers are all about 90% open right now, and the show is on again.

You can always rely on our succulent patch to have something interesting or weird (or both) happening, and right now the yellow blooms of our Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' are the star attraction. 

Finally, good old Geranium 'Big Red' is in bloom not quite "again" ... it's more like Big Red never stops blooming, and so it's "still" in bloom. Every now and then it has a pause-ette for a breather but then it's back in action pumping out the red highlights in no time. What a wonderfully healthy, fuss-free, colourful and happy thing it is. 

And so that's an update on the beginning of spring here. I know that I won't be able to resist showing you more of the Scadoxus once the whole tribe has opened up, and the Pieris japonica deserves a posting, too. I'm hoping to lift my current sluggish rate of one post per month back up to a more respectable one per week, but no promises, mind you. I kind of like this "monthly" pace, it suits my semi-retired lifestyle.