Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Babiana Beauties

Christine introduced me to the indigenous flower called Babiana last year, but it never flowered because the chickens scratched it up a few times. Now that the garden is protected from the roaming marauders, I have had the pleasure of watching the Babiana grow and flower. I was so excited to see these in my new corner of the back garden.

[one_half]Babiana Stricta[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Blues and purples – so beautiful[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Love the flowers bunched together[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Babiana between yarrow & carnations[/one_half_last]

Babiana is a genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae composed of about 80 species. Most of these species (about 49) are found in the southwestern Cape of Africa, with the remainder distributed in Namaqualand and Northern Cape Province. The native range of the genus is from southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape to southern Zimbabwe, with one species from Socotra off the coast of Somalia (although this may not be a species of Babiana). The genus name is derived from the Dutch word baviaan, referring to the African monkey that consumes the corms of plants in the genus.(Ref: Wikipaedia)

After doing this research, it was interesting to find so many different species.

To my excitement, I found a new Babiana at a local market.

This is a Babiana ringens – “Rat’s Tail Babiana”

 Native to the Fynbos of South Africa, this unusually showy plant bears its bright red, tubular flowers on side branches close to the ground. The main stalk is sterile & the foliage is long and erect. One of the hardiest bulbs of the cape, it grows naturally in sandy soil. The Sunbird loves this flower and will find it under the most secluded rocks.

Unfortunately, this Babiana has finished flowering, so I have to wait for early Spring next year. In the meantime, I will enjoy the ones flowering now. I will look out for more bulbs of different species.
Happy Gardening xxxxx
Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

A look around

I’m really tired of the cold weather. Where is Spring? It’s almost mid October and my barometer tells me its 10°C or 50°F (I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it sure feels that cold). Yesterday was a lovely sunny day (sunny but not warm) and I took a walk around the garden and was surprised at how much is looking pretty despite the weird weather. I’m loving the Lilies again this year and the Clivias are quite magnificent. They are flowering all over Cape Town and are a wonderful sight. Even mine are looking great. There’s lots of orange and yellow which makes a change from my usual white and pink colour scheme (which will follow on again in Summer).

I’ll take you on a tour and show you some pretty …

The Clivias are planted along the back wall under a deep shade of trees where they brighten up some of the darkest spaces when they flower. It’s a wonderful sight when you walk through around and spot a bright splash of orange tucked behind a tree, or in some places, they are grouped and flowering all together. I think this is the first year I’ve had such a great show from them – this being their third spring in my garden.

Here is a Clivia tucked away under lots of foliage plants

Clivia tucked in a corner

[one_half]A group of Clivias against a wallA group of Clivias against a wall[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Up close and personal with a CliviaUp close and personal with a Clivia[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The gorgeous Babianas are floweringThe gorgeous Babianas are flowering[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Tucked in between the flowering SalviasTucked in between the flowering Salvias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]In a pot outside my bedroomIn a pot outside my bedroom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Happy fish in their cleaned up homeHappy fish in their cleaned up home[/one_half_last]

[one_half]And the Lilies have started to flowerAnd the Lilies have started to flower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Yellow, orange and white this yearYellow, orange and white this year[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lilies bending to the sunLilies bending to the sun[/one_third]

[one_third]Star Jasmine growing up a treeStar Jasmine growing up a tree[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lots of colour in the alleyLots of colour in the alley[/one_third_last]

[one_half]About to burst into bloomAbout to burst into bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]New planted petunias for summer colourNew planted petunias for summer colour[/one_half_last]

Aren’t the colours of the Crabapple magnificent? A day or two and the whole shrub will be flowering.

Happy gardening

Annuals Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Spring is on its way

It was a public holiday here in South Africa today (Women’s Day*), AND the sun was shining for a change, so I managed to get out into the garden. Several urgent tasks required my attention and thanks to the sunny weather, I was able to get quite a bit done. The new Jasminum polyanthum which I bought as a replacement for the Bougainvillea (that became overgrown, crashed and was removed) were finally planted and unravelled from their stakes and then tied and trained onto the bare trellis. It looks very sparse right now but in a few months it will be lush and full like the others I have. I love them … they are extremely easy to grow if planted in the right space, require hardly any attention and my birds love them as much as I do.

[one_half]The newly planted Jasminum polyanthumThe newly planted Jasminum polyanthum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Which will soon look like the othersWhich will soon look like the others [/one_half_last]

[one_third]Jasminum polyanthumJasminum polyanthum[/one_third]

[one_third]The birds are back in force!The birds are back![/one_third]

[one_third_last]Azaleas flowering in the alleyAzaleas flowering in the alley[/one_third_last]

Talking about birds … the Starlings seem to have disappeared for winter and its been very quiet in the garden. Finally about two weeks ago we started hearing the witoogies and sunbirds making a racket again. Rooibeksysies were seen getting water from the pond so we filled up their water bottles and boy are the birds thirsty! We are having to refill the bottles every second day (usually once or twice a week) and we’ve seen birds fighting each other to get to the water. So we’ve filled up all their water bowls and baths again and are enjoying their antics. It is such a joy to have them in the front garden and be able to see them while I work. Once the starlings come back they will again chase the sunbirds and witoogies to the back garden when they take over the front and side gardens from Spring onwards.

[one_half]Dutch Irises growing in a pot this yearDutch Irises growing in a pot this year[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lilium emerging two weeks agoLiliums emerging about three weeks ago[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lots of new annuals plantedLots of new annuals planted[/one_third]

[one_third]New herb and lettuce seedlingsNew herb and lettuce seedlings[/one_third]

[one_third_last]These make me smile every dayThese make me smile every day[/one_third_last]

I’ve spent quite a bit on filling in “holes” in my back garden. I’ve bought new Agapanthus, Azaleas and Clivias to fill in a few gaps. In the front garden I’ve replaced overgrown, out of control lavender, bought new Gaura to plant with the lavender and I’ve started planting new annual seedlings in the two beds I reserve for annuals. My Irises are looking good and have been composted, fertilised and mulched in preparation for their Spring show. After my initial, small success with the few I bought to experiment with, I then bought a whole lot more and have been watching them grow. My Lilium bulbs are coming up again from last year and I bought a few more of these because I loved them so much. A few gorgeous new Chasmanthe (Barbie’s influence!) found their way home with me – I love the bright, beautiful flowers … as do the birds! Other bulbs are growing well (Dutch Irises, Babianas and Ixias) and the first Hellebore buds are visible. I think Spring might be on its way …


[one_third]The flowers and foliageThe flowers and foliage[/one_third]

[one_third]A closer view of the plantA closer view of the plant[/one_third]

[one_third_last]The Chasmanthe flowerThe gorgeous Chasmanthe flower[/one_third_last]

I’d forgotten how lovely my garden can be. Spending a few hours today with my hands in the dirt, lugging around compost, digging, planting and mulching gave me time to look around and see how much things have grown and filled in. In particular I’m loving my Alley-way garden … the Azaleas have started to flower and seeing last years Liliums coming back again is such a delight! Some of them are almost a foot tall already. I’m really looking forward to the sea of lilies again … as well as the Freesias, Ixias, Babianas … and so the cycle continues. Spring is on its way!

That’s all for today!
Happy Gardening

* Woman’s Day commemorates 9 August 1956 when women participating in a national march petitioned against pass laws (legislation that required African persons to carry a document on them to ‘prove’ that they were allowed to enter a ‘white area’). More about Woman’s Day.