There used to be a broken down wooden fence between my property and the neighbours. This old fence became overgrown with their creeping ivy, bulging out on both sides, till nothing remained of the fence.
Underneath the ivy, in a few places, some of the neighbour’s plants grew through on my side.
Variegated Plant 3
Two and a half years ago we replaced the mass of overgrown ivy with a vibracrete wall on the property line. I planted four honeysuckle bushes along my side and carefully tended them. I noticed a few straggly bits of plant had survived from the neighbour’s side, even after the wall was built. Well, as Nature knows no boundaries, it’s Finders Keepers and all the more for me!
Variegated Plant 4
I also carefully tended these stolen plants; weeding and watering along with the honeysuckle. The plants have variegated leaves of green and white and are pretty to look at, even without any flowers. In fact, I didn’t know they were supposed to bloom.
However, they have finally rewarded all my gardening by producing a few purple flowers. Now they are even prettier.
Although it isn’t really Spring till next month, I am certainly not complaining. I’m always happy to see the plant is surviving and even growing a little each year. You can see just how small it is by the bricks.
Sitting in the garden with my morning cuppa, I listen to all the birdsong. Occasionally I see little feathered things in the tops of the trees.
This morning, I could see a tiny bird flying around the top branches of the syringa tree in the front garden. He perched for a moment, silhouetted against the sky, then flitted off elsewhere. A male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird.
While clicking away with my camera I just happened to catch that first lucky shot; “Look Ma, No wings!”
Early morning sunlight is caught by my solitary freesia in a pot on the stoep. Such a cheerful bright spectacle.
I’ve mentioned recently that the garden centres were shut due to Lockdown earlier in the year, when I wanted to replenish my dwindling supply of bulbs. For once I had remembered at the right time of year! Coming from England I still think Spring is in April and you plant your bulbs in September.
Yellow Freesia 3
But of course, that is topsy-turvy down here, like everything else. You have to plant in April for your Spring bulbs to pop up in September. Year after year I only remember in September, that I should have planted them in April. Oops!
What can I say? I have found my formative years to have a huge impact on my life.
Oh well, this, along with so many other things, will have to wait until 2021 – which is going to be the Best Year Ever!
The evening sun illuminates my few Dianthus flowers with its last rays.
I usually plant Pansies as my winter flowers in this bed. However, the garden centres were closed earlier in the year, due to Lockdown, so I had to make do with these Dianthus that, luckily, I’d bought just before.
They sat there very quietly to start with, all green leaves, with barely a glimmer of colourful flowers. Now they are blooming merrily away, in various shades of red and pink, and cheering my winter days.
While I was sitting outside under the Eugenia tree late one afternoon having a cup of tea, I heard a commotion going on in the yellow honeysuckle. There was a lot of twittering and the branches were shaking as birds flitted about. I grabbed my camera to take a few shots.
My little Canon camera does not do too well in low light, which explains the lack of clarity, but you can still distinguish the birds.
I could see a male Sunbird sipping nectar from the flowers and assumed the bird with him was the female. The Sunbird’s iridescent colours were not showing in this light and he appeared dark, until sunlight caught his feathers.
It was only later, on looking at the photos, that I realised the bird keeping watch above him from the grape vines was this little Cape White Eye.
Cape White Eye 2
The tiles on the roof are actually a brick red (or they were at one time!) but appear yellow, because the lengthening rays of the early evening sun cast this gorgeous glow.
You can see this effect, as well as both birds, in the photo below.
Cape White Eye and Sunbird
Well, nothing earth-shattering. Just a moment captured in time and a glimpse into the wonderful nature here in my own back garden.
I’ve been putting food out for the doves and squirrels regularly this winter. I place a small pile of seed on top of an upturned tub and the birds happily peck away there.
When Sparky the squirrel comes, he chases the birds away and eats whatever he wants, undisturbed.
Sparky the Squirrel
He’d just chased these two Cape Turtle Doves off their food and I felt sorry for them, so scattered some seed on the ground by my garden chair. They quickly came to peck up the seeds, hence the reasonable close ups!
Two Turtle Doves 3
Cape Turtle Doves are quite large, grey and have that distinctive black neck band. We also get the smaller Laughing Doves; more colorfully pink and without the neck band. I like that there are so many different birds that choose to frequent my little garden. It makes for very entertaining coffee breaks!