six on Saturday, 1 October 2022

My six for this Saturday really date from 2 September and a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in South Africa, which advertises itself as “the most beautiful garden in Africa,” and it might well be. One of its signature plants is the Mandela Gold bird of paradise (Strelitiza reginae), as foreshadowed in the featured photo with the portrait bust Nelson Mandela and the stunning gold plumbed bird of paradise. This east coast South African native distinguishes itself with yellow as opposed to the typical orange flowers.

2. Located to the east of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, the garden has a picturesque location that guarantees some fine photos for the simplest point-and-click. Of course an overcast day augments the romantic character of the garden.

3. The images above illustrate one of the design characteristics of Kirstenbosch–or at least of the sections of the garden I had time to explore–generous swaths of plantings along the paths. Below are plantings of yellow Chasmanthe floribunda. Notice the bird of paradise and calla or arum lily interlopers. Calla lilies are vigorous growers in the Cape area of South Africa.

4. A few other plants prominent in the garden are ones I noticed frequently while touring: the fortnight lily, also called the African iris (Dietes iridioides), the blue daisy (Felicia amelloides), and South African Cape daisy (Dimorphotheca cuneata), labeled here as rain flower.

5. Of course, there were hundreds of other plants, some of them familiar, for example scabiosa and geraniums that are mostly native to southern Africa; some were not. Below are just a few that caught my eye. The first is the native natal lily (Clivia miniata). Then the Freesia alba, also native to the Cape. Finally golden vygie, native and vulnerable due to loss of habitat to development and vineyards.

6. For the final entry, I’ll go back to a wider perspective. The tree is an African mahogany tree. The view is my memory touchstone for Kirstenbosch.

I highlighted none of a vast variety of succulents in the garden. I suspect that another South African six is in my future–or maybe a full After Eden essay on the country’s flora. Certainty the fauna are coming. In the meantime, please visit the Saturday site of The Propagator for guidelines for joining in and for photographs of wonderful private gardens in both hemispheres.

Bulbine alooides

10 Replies to “six on Saturday, 1 October 2022”

  1. A friend gave me an African lily which he says blooms all summer in the Florida panhandle. I planted it here in my yard in central Alabama which is zone 8. It did not bloom this year. Maybe next year.

    Liked by 1 person

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