Candy pink Nerine
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
I've always loved our indigenous South African bulbs. Such a huge variety. Some I've grown from seed. And this was my mother's. So many years ago I divided her pot in two for us to share. It didn't bloom for her again and I still feel guilty for her lost flowers. The bulbs like to be UNdisturbed and crowded says Sissinghurst blog. This year they must have touched shoulders at last and decided to push up flowers!
Spoilt for choice, but this shocking pink Nerine is my May choice in Dozen For Diana. Which plant does your garden speak in May? And in June the jewel in my garden is More precious than rubies!
From Donna in Upstate NY Dutchman's Breeches (a surprising name, but it fits!)
Pam in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania Brunnera (leaves lovely in both shape and colour)
I am working thru two Dozens in tandem. First Discovered Treasures found in our False Bay garden - carob tree, Marble Chips Coprosma and tall shrubby Plectranthus. Then plants that I have brought with me - white Pelargonium, Dusty Miller and yellow Hypoxis , or bought to fill the gaps I have forged out - Melianthus, and silver leafed Brachylaena.
Glazed or terracotta pots will stay - the nerines are in a wide flat terracotta pot. Three little pots in a deep saucer for the pond bulbs that want wet feet. Four big pots of Agapanthus at the posts of the Washing Pergola. Leaning blue urn of striped Liriope. An unhappy cracked pottery casserole now filled with tiny bulbs. Butterfly pot of Drimiopsis.
I still have over a hundred plastic pots of bulbs which should either be planted out - but the little things fade away in summer and I'll lose them! Or be promoted to gracious new homes, when I can afford the pots I'd love to add.
This pot lives in Spring Promise, keeping company with pink flowers on pelargoniums and Salvia greggii. With grey leaves on lamb's ears and Santolina. Tiny pink Oxalis in a new octagonal terracotta bowl.
At the zigzag where Hypoxis lights up Summer Gold, now it is the Nerine's chance in the spotlight. After a mountain fire when the fire lilies explode into colour some are nerines. Groot Winterhoek in May 2009.
I don't know which species of Nerine. Frilly flowers of Nerine humilis with very fine leaves of Nerine masoniorum ? Nerine is named for the Mediterranean sea nymphs (who are in the book I'm reading The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies).
... riding a dolphin. Nereids. Sea nymphs. More like guardian angels. They came to the aid of sailors in distress...
On Sunday we walked on the beach to see the mass of kelp swept up by the high tide. Long fronds wave near the surface, exposed at low tide. The trunks go down to the holdfast attached to rocks on the seabed, broken free by stormy weather. Sadly that heap is speckled with plastic garbage.
At the Two Oceans Aquarium you can see the kelp forest.
'Four species of kelp grow off our coast, but you are most likely to relate to the sea bamboo, Ecklonia maxima, which is washed onto our beaches by rough seas. In fact we use the Kelp Forest Exhibit as a water purifier when algal blooms in the harbour die, turning the water toxic (anaerobic). When this happens, we reduce the amount of water we pump from the harbour and pass it through the Kelp Forest before distributing it to our smaller exhibits.'
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