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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Plants

Richtersveld redux: Reviving remoteness and the great out there

The Richtersveld is a reminder of vastness out there while the pandemic constrains us. Our (cancelled) three-week trip to three nature parks would have started in mid-May, so instead of actually going away, while under continuing lockdown I reminisce about a previous trip out into nature. Continue reading “Richtersveld redux: Reviving remoteness and the great out there”

Wheat, war, bread and biscotti

Food has become more of a global and personal focus in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Some food supply chains are threatened, and for a variety of reasons thousands more people are now food insecure. Continue reading “Wheat, war, bread and biscotti”

Backyard curiosities 2: Bird’s Nest Fungi

No, I didn’t find fungus growing in bird’s nests, but a fungus that resembles bird’s nests. Very tiny nests to be sure, and within each nest-shaped cup nestles a cluster of egg-like capsules. Continue reading “Backyard curiosities 2: Bird’s Nest Fungi”

Salad in the cupboard: Sprouting lentils

Store cupboard items can produce fresh salad ingredients within two days. That is the magic of seed germination – otherwise known as sprouting. Continue reading “Salad in the cupboard: Sprouting lentils”

Finding resilience and fragility

Across the globe we are facing the uncertainty and challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Here too in South Africa a State of Disaster has been declared as the number of people who test positive for the virus increases by the day. Continue reading “Finding resilience and fragility”

The beautiful Cape chestnut: Host to the citrus swallowtail butterfly

An African tree renowned for its beauty is the Cape chestnut, which is a larval host plant of the citrus swallowtail butterfly that featured in last week’s post. We are fortunate to have one of these trees at the bottom of the garden and it is mature enough to flower each summer. Continue reading “The beautiful Cape chestnut: Host to the citrus swallowtail butterfly”

Flowers across the spectrum of the rainbow

Are all the colours of the rainbow reflected in the flowers in the garden? I expected that green flowers would be the hardest to find, but I was wrong. Continue reading “Flowers across the spectrum of the rainbow”

Wild gardenia: At home in forests and gardens

With attractive flowers, heady scent, glossy leaves and unusual fruit, it is perhaps surprising that the wild gardenia is not more commonly used as a garden staple. It also makes a good container plant and it does well as a flowering bonsai plant. Continue reading “Wild gardenia: At home in forests and gardens”

Owed to a tree: For its beauty and bounty many thanks

This springtime, at first we didn’t have rain. Then we had a lot. And one morning a favourite old tree, sodden with the weight of the water, fell with a shuddering thud. Continue reading “Owed to a tree: For its beauty and bounty many thanks”

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