05 February 2011

Summer in the garden

Happy summer days in my garden, despite the heat and unusual humidity. The plants thriving under these conditions and blooming now are those which have their origin in the summer rainfall region of our country.

Agapanthus 'Selma Bock' - a pretty hybrid with white flowers, blushed with violet.

Among the stepping stones I come across a lovely surprise: I noticed Boophane distacha, the Bushman Poison Bulb, making its first bud. It's that small pink dot on the righthand side of the pic.

Boophane - known as Gifbol in Afrikaans - contains extremely toxic alkaloids which can be fatal when engested. Notwithstanding it is used medicinally: the dry outer scales are used as a dressing after circumcision and weak decoctions of the bulb scales are used as an enema to treat various complaints, or as a sedative. Higher doses lead to hallucinations and even higher doses can be fatal. Boophane disticha was used by the Khoisan to get into a trance state, and it is one of only two plant species depicted in rock paintings. The fan of pleated leaves is very distinctive - even on the painting.

Around the corner, under the oaks, the shade garden is looking lush and green.

This part of the garden was planned as a White Garden, and indeed there are white flowered species such as Pavetta, Rothmannia, Japanese Anemone and white azaleas - but there are as many blue and mauve exceptions. Guess I'm not very good at sticking to rules!

Crinum moorei
- at this time of the year the leaves are in tatters, but the tall blooms make up for it. The fresh green upright foliage is a real asset in the winter garden.

In the bathroom garden, it is the time of Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. katherinae. In the first year that I planted it, there were no flowers, and since then there as been one more flower each year. So in Scadoxus Time I have lived here for 5 years.


  1. Hello Marijke

    VERY envious of your Scadoxus multiflorus! Got any spare bulbs...

  2. Lyn - hmm, don't think I'm ready to break up the show yet. Maybe later, or when I move?