Today I am grateful for the opportunity to “play in the dirt” and be a child again. Who would have thought that I’d transform from “perfectly groomed” to “I don’t give a …”? Had you told me ten years ago I would get such satisfaction from getting dirt under my nails, mud streaked across my face and standing in doggie-do, I would have laughed at you and said “Not me, never!”. But gardening has re-introduced me to my inner-child – the child that loved playing outdoors and getting dirty. It’s fun, its therapeutic and immensely rewarding when it produces a garden to delight in.

And the dirt? It washes off silly! Just as it did when I was a kid …

Babiana stricta

Photo: Babiana, or “baboon flower”, another gorgeous South African native that I tried for the first time this year. This one really surprised me – none of the photographs quite prepared me for the beauty of the actual bloom. I would describe it as an “unassuming plant” – the leaves are quite ordinary, nothing special but when it flowers … well it knocked my socks off! The little blooms seen through the lens of a camera were something special to behold!

Babiana stricta or baboon flower comes from the Western Cape, South Africa, and is among the best-known species of Babiana, the one used most often as an ornamental plant. It is included in the Iridaceae family, Crocoideae subfamily. There are many hybrids and forms with different colored flowers, usually blue or pink with white additions. In mid to late spring, each flowering stem produces six or more blooms, each to 2 inches across. They are collected in an inflorescence and have a pleasant scent similar to lemon.

About the 30 Day Challenge

Cat of The Whimsical Gardener, has invited Garden Bloggers the world over to join her in the 30 day challenge of posting a photograph and sentiment that you are thankful for – every day for 30 days. Find something you are thankful for every day, for 30 days, can’t be too difficult, can it? See all my posts filed under “30 Day Challenge“.