Category Archives: Flowers

I Have Nothing to Say!

Nasturtium

Haiku 258

A week of Admin

Feeling drained and exhausted

Taking the day off!

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Having nothing to say and no decent post in my drafts won’t stop me posting today!

Normally, I would ask the other person how they are.

So, how are you?

 

Cascade!

Camellia

Haiku 257

Blooms cascading down

Like a tumbling waterfall

Camellia bush

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My camellia bush is in full bloom.

Year after year it increases in size and “bloomage”; having started out as a mere tiny stick thing, a few decades ago.

This year it has excelled itself.

 

Pretty Garden

Bronze Pot Flowers 1

Haiku 255

A fun art project

Passing the time in Lockdown

Brighten up the stoep

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In my recent post A Little Potty, I describe how I decided to brighten up my garden pots. The two plant pots shown below were the first to get a make-over.

Bronze Pots Before Prep 2

I’d bought them many years ago from a supermarket and originally they were painted a lovely blue-green. You can still see some of the colour.

One pot still had a plant in, a Japanese Sacred Palm, as I was busy preparing a place in the garden to transplant it.

To clean the pots, I scrubbed them with sugar soap, rinsed and left them to dry in the sun.

Bronze Pots Primer 3

The paint has been chipping off these pots for a long time. I could see that underneath they had not been primed, but simply painted directly on to the clay. I bought a spray can of primer and applied two coats.

Even with just the primer, the pots were already looking better.

Bronze Pots Second Coat 4

This was my fun project, and I was using spray paint for the first time. I chose a metallic bronze for these pots. Not really sure what I was doing, I just sprayed on a thin coat, deciding that it would be better to build up the layers rather than spray on too thickly.

I applied three coats over a few days and was really happy with the result. They now looked like brand new pots.

Bronze Pots Final Coat 5

Time to plant something in them!

I transplanted out the Japanese Scared Palm from the one pot, and chose orange pansies to complement the bronze. Eventually I planned to plant daffodils bulbs too, but that is another story.

After a week or two, the pansies grew nicely and spread over the pots.

Bronze Pots Flowers 6

Here is the finished result, with the blue pots full of violas and freesias in the background.

Now I have a pretty garden!

 

Sunbird in my Window

Sunbird 1

Haiku 254

Morning visitor

The smallest of wild creatures

Come to say hello

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Early one morning I heard a very high-pitched twittering coming from outside the window.

Although I couldn’t see him from my position in the room, I knew he was a male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird proclaiming his territory.

He was in the honeysuckle planted right underneath the window, but if I stepped closer to try to see him, he would instantly fly away.

Sunbird 2

So I grabbed camera phone and keeping well back out of sight, I very carefully sneaked my hand past the curtains. Shooting blind, I clicked.

This is what I got.

A beautiful Sunbird drinking nectar from the honeysuckle.

What a treat.

 

A Last Fling

Kirstenbosch 1 – Flower

Haiku 253

Wander through Nature

Renew your soul with fresh air

Beauty and birdsong

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Here is another beautiful flower from my visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town a few months ago.

At the entrance to the gardens, they check you are wearing your face mask and take your temperature, before allowing you to proceed. You then use the foot-operated hand sanitiser provided and go to the window to pay.

Kirstenbosch 2 – Bird Bath

Everyone has to wear a face mask when outside of your own property; whether in a shop or on the street, driving alone in your car, strolling on a deserted beach, or walking round the vast expanse of a botanical garden.

However, I still saw people not wearing a mask once inside the gardens. I wonder if they were aware that it is illegal and if caught, you face being arrested and having a criminal record!

Kirstenbosch 3 – Stream

I had been sitting alone on the stone steps by the Bird Bath. It’s a wonderful place to renew your soul, by watching the clear mountain stream trickle by and listening to all the birds singing in the canopy above.

When two people arrived at the Bird Bath, one wearing a mask (SA by his accent) and another with no mask in sight, not even dangling round her neck (foreigner by her accent) it was time to leave.

I gave them a very wide berth and headed back to the entrance.

Kirstenbosch 4 – Mountain

There is a lovely restaurant there, where you can sit outside and enjoy the view, while socially distancing. I walked past it at a distance, looking longingly at the tables, desperate for a cup of tea and toasted cheese sandwich. I stopped and studied the numbers, but decided it was too crowded and just not worth the risk. I headed back to my car and consoled myself with my bottle of water and energy bar.

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Now South Africa is bang in the middle of a third wave, driven by the highly contagious Delta Covid Variant. Lockdown is back up to Level 4. Restaurants are closed again.

I won’t be going out anywhere for a while yet.

 

A Host of Golden –

Golden Apple Leaves 1

Haiku 251

Carpeting the lawn

Autumn hues of yellow-gold

Winter wonderland!

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Following on from my Lonely Cloud post, I present:

A Host of Golden Apple Leaves,

An adaptation of the line A host of golden daffodils, from William Wordsworth’s poem;

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Golden Apple Leaves – Tree 2

With all the colourful blossoming going on, as seen in my last post, Winter Solstice, my winter garden could pass for summer, except for a few tell-tale signs that it is, in fact, mid-winter.

The ancient apple tree, with its winter carpet of golden leaves, is one of those signs.

 

post script: Yes, I know it is confusing! It is mid-Winter here in Cape Town; today anyhow. The temperatures have plummeted, gales are howling and icy rain falls intermittently. Yet the apple tree is shedding its leaves as though it were Autumn, while next to it, the large Camellia bush is covered in buds waiting to burst forth as in Spring, and most days a Summer sun beats down, while Sunbirds sip nectar from the honeysuckle! Cape Town is beautiful!

 

The Winter Solstice 2021

Winter Flowers 1 – Plumbago

Haiku 250

A bleak mid-winter

While seasons keep on turning

Another solstice

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Winter Flowers 2 – Poinsettia

Today, Monday 21 June 2021, is the winter solstice down here in South Africa. It is the shortest day, the longest night, of the year. For most of my readers however, it is quite the reverse, as you reach mid-summer in the northern hemisphere.

Winter Flowers 3 – Lavender

For us, the sun will now start returning; though to be honest, I can’t say it’s ever been far away!

Winter Flowers 4 – Honeysuckle

However, winter proper has yet to come. July and August are the coldest, wettest months in Cape Town. Actually, I hope we do get some decent rain, as once again, our “rainy” season has been fairly dry so far.

Winter Flowers 5 – Viola

Dotted among the text in this post, are photos from my garden.

You would hardly know it is winter!

 

post script: A bleak mid-winter refers to one of my favourite Christmas carols; In the bleak mid-winter. 

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For those interested: Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate; warm wet winters and dry hot summers. However, South Africa is very big and other parts of the country have completely different climates. Some places north of the Western Cape have snowfalls in winter and many places are much colder. Johannesburg, 1400km to the north of CT, has hot wet summers, but cold dry winters. When we lived there the temperatures dropped to minus 8C one winter, and the fountains froze in town!

 

A Little Potty!

Blue Pot Flowers 1

Haiku 247

Day by day by day

Keeping busy in Lockdown

By going potty!

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During our endless Lockdown, apart from the usual chores, I have kept busy by reading many books, watching far too much Netflix than is good for me and spending the rest of the time on YouTube clips!

It was while surfing YouTube that I came across a short clip on brightening up your garden pots, with a little spray paint. I thought this was a great idea! All the plant pots on my stoep are years old, and the ones that came with the house, decades! These have lost their original paint over the years and were looking very sorry for themselves.

So I trundled down to the local hardware store and selected a few cans of spray paint. I’ve never painted anything with spray paint before, having used paintbrushes or rollers to paint the house in the past. I thought it would be a lot of fun, and as the plant pots are small, not too expensive.

Blue Pot Clean 2

The two pots above are the ancient ones that came with the house. Although looking very sorry for themselves now, they are painted, so wouldn’t need a primer.

Not sure how to go about cleaning them, I scrubbed them very well with a solution of sugar soap, rinsed them and left them to dry.

Then came the fun part!

Blue Pot First Coat 3

Wearing a proper, well-fitting face mask, to avoid breathing in paint fumes, I placed the pots on newspaper and sprayed away.

Blue Pot Second Coat 4

Again, not really sure what I was doing, I just laid down a thin layer of paint, thinking it would be better to build up a few layers than try to spray thickly.

Blue Pot Third Coat and Soil 5

This colour is Electric Blue and I wondered if it might be too bright. However, once I’d placed the pots on the corner of the stoep and filled them with a red dianthus and some lilac violas, it was just right.

Blue Pot Flowers 6

I also planted many new freesia bulbs and have been watching these sprout over the weeks. They should start flowering in August.

Blue Pot Flowers 7

So a hobby started to pass the time has provided many hours of enjoyment and I still feel cheered when I see my bright Electric Blue pots on the stoep.

 

post script: I realise some countries will immediately assume potty refers to a child going to the toilet! Where I grew up in the north of England, it meant silly, daft or slightly crazy.