Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flowers at No. 9 Constantia, in my mother's garden.

Above, Verbascum nigrum, self-seeded, and a wonderful, vertical accent.

An indigenous gardenia, once our potted Christmas tree, now happier in the garden. It made flowers for the first time this year

Eucomis, or pineapple plant. A misnomer.

It is March, so it is time for our South African Easter lilies to start blooming: Amaryllis belladonna. Flowers appear before leaves, so they are very striking.

Which brings me to The Question: when will the Brunsvigia bosmaniae at the Hantam National Botanical Garden outside Nieuwoudtville bloom???

In 2006 I was lucky enough to visit what was then the farm Glen Lyon, Neil MacGregor's sheep farm and flower preserve in the last year that Neil conducted flower tours personally, in his flower bus. In what must have been a bitterly heart-breaking move, the great South African decided to shut up shop and the farm became the Hantam National Botanic Garden, run by SANBI - so it is in excellent hands. If he had had a successor interested in continuing the farm and flower business, the flower bus might still be running.

We owe him a massive debt of gratitude for preserving that unique piece of the geophyte world.

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