Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the road again

Here is a little more info on the succulents of the Karoo for anyone who might be interested. We were to the south of the given map.
I'm going to be away for about three weeks during which I hope to relax, paint, fish, read, garden, sleep and photograph my way from dusk to dawn. I'll report back in pictures.
Wish me luck and seeya soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Succulent indeed

I have to gloat a bit.
I've got a new camera, I've got a new camera...Nah,nah,na,nah,na.

This last weekend I had the perfect opportunity to test it out as we we're invited to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve just outside Montagu. Typical Little Karoo in climate and veld, it boasts lions, elephants and rhinos to name but a few. The Lodges have been surrounded by rockeries and succulents and once again the variety of our indiginous species is amazing. I don't know the names of them all but I had a closer look through my lens. They roar and prance in their own quite way. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's not what you know but who...

This guy caused quite a stir and intrigued me, so I wrote to Lambert at Lambert Smith's Insecta and he very kindly sent this info back.

This appears to be a White-spotted Fruit Chafer (scientific name:
Mausoleopsis amabilis). They are drawn to flowers and also eat plant sap and over ripe fruit. They normally breed in the general proximity of horses as their larvae develop in horse dung.
Which makes perfect sense as I live near stables.

Thank you Lambert

Friday, March 7, 2008

Birds on a 'wire'

I went to the Design Indaba & Expo last week and there where some very beautiful things. Alot of them inspired by natural shapes, materials and colours. In the running for the most beautiful object (see the others here) was this sculpture by Daan Samuals which reminds me of a noisy morning first thing and I have to say was my favourite.

Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kathryn asked me to show some pics of my roses in pots with the pennyroyal. So, here they are. Looking rather bare and spindly. (which is why I avoided them before)

In everyone's defence here (that is, mainly mine) they take a beating in summer with the sun and salt laden south easter and I've probably not been feeding them enough either.
No roses (small detail) - but no aphids either, which is a first (considering I haven't sprayed since I planted the Pennyroyal). And I see there are lots of new leaves. I have also been wondering wether they need bigger pots. They have been in these for a bit more than two years. My usual best performer is the Papa Meiland but it is also the most sheltered of the five:
Royal Zulu
Queen Elizabeth
Papa Meiland
Julia's Rose
Dainty Bess

On a happier note, this is what they bring to my table before being roughed-up by me and the weather. The only one missing is Dainty Bess.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Penny Wise

Quite a while ago I mentioned that I was planting Pennyroyal under my roses as an aphid detterent. Well, it seems to be working pretty well. I noticed a few aphids about a month ago but since then they have disappeared. My roses are in pots and ants used to be a huge problem, again, I have noticed a big decline. (Maybe I should consider it as ground cover for my lavender in pots as I've noticed the ants have moved in!)
Pennyroyal has a helleva reputation. It's reportoir ranges from ant & flea detterent to poison and abortafacient
What I'm not sure of is how much the pennyroyal is competing with the roses for food, as it is so invasive. And talking about invasive - Kathryn, it's to early to tell wether my garlic chives are going to be a problem or not. I'm not sure how much I'll mind either, because I to like the flowers.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More garlic chives

Speaking of garlic with everything, I found loads of interesting stuff about garlic chives at The Garden Path written by Brenda Hyde including a great sounding recipe which I will try at the soonest opportunity. Have a look at the rest as well, it's a mine of information.

Does anybody know of good South African sites like this?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pest Control

I know, I know enough with the bugs now! But isn't he cool?
I love my garlic chives and planted them amongst my other plants because they (according to a trusted source) are great pest deterrents.
Not in my garden. Or maybe it's a Chinese or Italian bug ~ garlic with everything, or, even better maybe he is not a pest.
Now there's a thought.