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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Plants

The African dog rose

The African dog rose takes its name from a wild briar rose that is native to regions in Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. Despite the shared common name, they are not related; what they have in common is a superficial resemblance between their flowers. Continue reading “The African dog rose”

For the birds: Grass going to seed in the autumn garden

Brightening up our mini-grassland this autumn are the seeded plumes of the Golden Bristle Grass. Not only do they catch our eye, but they also catch the attention of seed-eating birds. Continue reading “For the birds: Grass going to seed in the autumn garden”

Shady characters in the garden: Celebrating tree-dom

Feeling their roots, comfortable in their own skin, a nest for birds, there are no words for the beauty, splendour, the wonder of our trees. Continue reading “Shady characters in the garden: Celebrating tree-dom”

Yer Greens: Freshly picked

The autumn days are shortening here in South Africa, but our small vegetable garden is still yielding edible greens. Continue reading “Yer Greens: Freshly picked”

An unexpected guest: A longhorned beetle in the spinach patch

Here is a serendipitous juxtaposition: a longhorned beetle on our patch of New Zealand spinach. I use the word serendipitous because it was unforeseen and opportune, and because serendipitous has a great positive ring to it. Continue reading “An unexpected guest: A longhorned beetle in the spinach patch”

Crocosmia aurea: Saffron-scented falling stars

The rich lushness of the Crocosmia flowering in late summer, is a sign that autumn is imminent. The increasingly golden light of autumn perfectly enhances the oranges and reds of this season of change, preceding the more subtle colours of winter. Continue reading “Crocosmia aurea: Saffron-scented falling stars”

A good match: Pollinator and flower

Flowers need pollinating and bees need pollen and nectar. This week’s photo challenge asks us to share a photo of things that complement each other. Continue reading “A good match: Pollinator and flower”

African shadow brocade

Early morning sunshine enhances the yellow gold bark of a Fever Tree, patterning the trunk with leaf shadows; a combination resembling rich brocade. This photograph is posted in response to this week’s photo challenge to capture a shadow.
Continue reading “African shadow brocade”

Say can I have some of your purple berries?

When I see birds and monkeys enjoying these purple berries, I invariably think of the song “Wooden Ships”. The link between the Waterberry tree (commonly referred to by its Zulu name umDoni) and the song is purple berries. Continue reading “Say can I have some of your purple berries?”

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