Tag Archives: seasons

Summer in a Cape Winter. Part Three

Pretty Flower

African Daisy

Growing up in England, it never ceases to amaze me how mild a Cape Winter is. Yes I know, we have had storms and gales, but through it all, even when it has hailed, the temperatures have not dropped below freezing; or even approached it.

There is always something bright and cheery blooming away in the middle of winter; such as the poinsettia:-

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

the camellia:-

Camellia

Camellia

And not forgetting the little plant that could, then would, and still is! The debut of the azalea:-

Azalea

Azalea

These blooms lead right into true Spring. Today, September 1st, is actually the first day of Spring here in the Cape; and with the temperature at 28C, it looks like Summer is on the way. Already there are buds on the oak and apple trees, and the hydrangea. The hibiscus and camellia are still in flower, the frangipani has new shoots, and the bougainvillea is about to burst forth.

Pretty soon, the loquat tree will be covered in ripe fruit; the squirrels’ favourite. This makes for exciting times for my dogs; as, early in the mornings, little grey squirrels run along the top of the wall, jumping in and out of the trees, and finally make it to the loquat tree for their breakfast. They then traverse the same route back, with a loquat in their mouth. All the while, my dogs are hoping a squirrel will come their way; but the little wild things are far too clever.

 

A Christmas Rose by Any Other Name

Christmas Rose - Poinsettia

Christmas Rose – Poinsettia

In the midst of a cold, wet, windy Cape winter, this poinsettia blooms with cheery bright red flowers. Captured here with early morning dew, this would be frost, if it were colder in the Western Cape. Luckily for my plants, it never gets cold enough to freeze.

Here in Cape Town, you get 4 months of winter followed by 8 months of summer; with a few perfect days during the transitions that pass for spring or autumn. But I grew up in England, where there were 4 distinct seasons. You didn’t mind winter so much, because spring was just around the corner.

Every December, my mother would buy a little pot plant that she called a Christmas Rose. Of course it was kept inside, sitting on the window ledge amongst the Christmas decorations. It had one big red flower. This was what a poinsettia looked like in England. I knew no better till I came here.

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

It never ceases to amaze me that all through winter there are plants, such as the poinsettia, in full bloom. They add such a welcome warmth to the garden.

 

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

This is what my poinsettia looks like, with my dog posing for a size comparison. So, yep, a tad larger than my Mum’s little indoor plant!