Monday, August 24, 2015

Early Spring.

What greater delight is there than to behold the earth apparelled with plants, as with a robe of embroidered worke, set with Orient pearles and garnished with great diversitie of rare and costly jewels? - John Gerard, Herbal, 1597.

In her fantastic South African tome, Indigenous Plant Palettes, Marijke Honig talks about the exceptional diversity of bulbs, evergreen and deciduous - my own favourite. Jewellery for the garden, she says. I love her idea of planting them under a spiral of gravel.

I have been drawn to Lachenalias since I saw them blooming a year ago in the wild, on a mountain pass near Ceres. I had forgotten about them. Also known as the Cape Cowslip, Afrikaans people call them Laggienaggies - small laughs in the nighttime. 

My friend the botanist has pointed out that this is in fact an orchid. Which is even more wonderful - as it was growing very close to snow!

We have some of the hybrids now - they are large, loud and flashy compared to their wild cousins - although I find them rather wonderful.

In the hotter front garden, the pincushion bushes are exploding with buds and flowers. They are airy and filled with light. In the golden hour at the end of the day, they become setting suns.


Rosie said...


Will you forgive me if I point out that your third pic (the pink one) is an orchid, not a lachenalia? :)

the sourcerer said...

AAAh, thank you! I was a bit uncertain about the leaves.... X