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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Suburban garden South Africa

First flowering of an Aloe ferox

A post on the Ashburton Aloe Festival back in July 2017 (Aloes and gardens, samangos and forests) featured a small potted Aloe ferox (bitter aloe) that we bought at the festival. I said then I might post an update on its progress – so here it is as this winter it flowered for the first time.

Continue reading “First flowering of an Aloe ferox”

Tiny spiny flower mantid nymphs hunting in autumn flowers

While watching a solitary bee feeding on nectar in basil flowers in the herb patch a few weeks ago, I noticed a minute spiny flower mantid nestled down on one of the flower spikes with its spiny abdomen curled up over its back.

Continue reading “Tiny spiny flower mantid nymphs hunting in autumn flowers”

Serendipity, scrutiny and surprises in the garden

Alliteration always amuses me, hence the headline – and it does describe some recent ambles around the garden. Peering as I go, I am sometimes amazed at what I come across – often in plain sight but so easy to overlook.

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Botanical images: Inspired by vintage prints and cards

Botanical art has a classic appeal. There is something essential about the clean accuracy of a detailed depiction of a plant that has been chosen to represent its species, coupled with the aesthetic qualities that emerge from the union of technique, artistry and natural beauty.

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Drab busters: Winter flowers bearing brightness

Here in KwaZulu-Natal the winters are dry. The wild grasslands are golden but are brightened by wild flowers, and the remnants of woodland and forest have their flowering trees too, some of which we are fortunate to have in our garden. Continue reading “Drab busters: Winter flowers bearing brightness”

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