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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Pollinators

Being there: The diversity of solitary bees

I noticed a decoratively marked black-and-white pollinator, studiously visiting flowers on our lavender bushes last week. I had not seen one of these unusually marked insects before, but guessed that it might be a solitary bee. Continue reading “Being there: The diversity of solitary bees”

Sagewood: Spring flowers hosting many insects

One of the first spring-flowerers, the wild Sagewood (Buddleja salviifolia) produces a profusion of nectar-laden blossoms. Their pungent yet strangely sweet scent attracts many insects. Continue reading “Sagewood: Spring flowers hosting many insects”

Flower Mantis ambush hunting a bee

Except for three heads of lavender-coloured blooms, the buds are mostly still tight on the Sagewood shrubs (Buddleja salviifolia) in our garden. When looking to see if any more blooms had opened I was delighted to discover a small Flower Mantis nestled in the tiny flowers of one of the flowerheads. Continue reading “Flower Mantis ambush hunting a bee”

Southern Solstice: Celebrating with aloes

Today is winter solstice, here down south. The day was warm and sunny, and brightened by the winter-flowering plants. Even though we don’t suffer from frigid temperatures I still appreciate that from tomorrow, the days will start lengthening, albeit imperceptibly at first. Continue reading “Southern Solstice: Celebrating with aloes”

Sweet sunbird, sweet aloe

What could be sweeter than nectar, and this female Amethyst Sunbird seeking  sweetness from the flowers of a Krantz Aloe? Continue reading “Sweet sunbird, sweet aloe”

One fine spring day: Thirty-minute photo shoot

I set myself a personal photo challenge, to photograph only spring flowers in the garden in a short space of time. So, I had to capture what were there, even those flowers that were not “at their best”. Continue reading “One fine spring day: Thirty-minute photo shoot”

Unusually Pedestrian

Usually seen buzzing about collecting pollen from flowers, I spotted this carpenter bee taking a walk. Continue reading “Unusually Pedestrian”

Live and let live gardening

Going with the flow of nature is such a natural choice when it comes to gardening. Yet many of us were brought up in a tradition where gardens are controlled and orderly spaces. Continue reading “Live and let live gardening”

Purple-powered flowers

Purple, traditionally associated with royalty, certainly is a rich colour in the garden. As a fan of the colour purple, I started taking photographs of purple flowers in the garden and I share some of them here. Continue reading “Purple-powered flowers”

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