Needing some ‘air’ after my Facebook Page charade this morning… and the heavy winter clouds pulling open for some dazzling sunshine here in Noordhoek, South Africa… I hopped out into my garden to use the warmth and light to get some of the many watsonia corms I have collected into the moist soil. As they had already started shooting my big green bag – as you see on the photo below – it was just the right time. Besides, the soil was wet enough to be worked – and there’s always a lot to be done in terms of gardening at this time of the year!
Whether these would be pink watsonias – or white, red or a delicate salmon – remains to be seen once the spikes develop their glory!
The pink watsonias are the most common of these more or less 50 species, which are part of the iris family and native to South Africa. They grow extremely well here in the Western Cape and – surprisingly, the porcupines don’t seem to have them on their favorite menu… my other iris bulbs never escaped their gourmandise! While it is said that they grow well along water areas, I must say they grow well just everywhere and seem to be rather drought-resistant. At least that’s what I observe in my garden. They are a stunning view if planted over a large area and paint some slopes of Silvermine Nature Reserve every year in gorgeous colors.
The flowers produce lots of seeds that attract birds and bees. The the only drawback is that to look beautiful and tidy one has to cut back quite some old, dead leaves and the long stalks tht carry the flowers… offering space for the new young shoots to appear in the next season. Otherwise they are well adapted to our Mediterranean climate and reproduce profusely.
And then – the moment I had finished for the day and stretched my aching back – all gardeners know what I mean – that very second the rains came… gently soaking all the planting and trans-planting I had done! A wonderful Service from Heaven!