Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

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A little rain revives

It only takes a little rain at the end of summer to encourage the George lilies to burst forth into spectacular bloom! After this week’s 20mm, the first in a long, long time, the garden is immediately showing signs of revival, and the cooler days are distinctly autumnal in terms of light, scent and temperature. A strange thing – despite having had little rain since November (?), the water table has risen at least 40cm in the last few weeks. It is now higher than normal for this time of year and will remain a mystery! A welcome mystery, as the garden can now be watered from three tanks, a wellpoint and the well!

My George lilies remain a highlight of my garden, their origins dating back more than 100 years to the root stock my paternal grandmother gave to Mom, and they have rewarded me richly simply by flowering profusely every year in memory of these two fine women. Today I counted 22 buds, but by tomorrow there will be another 10 – such is their way. They love to be crowded into a tub and multiply beneath the soil so that you only become aware of the new growth when they burst from their restraints and break the container! From about 20 bulbs three years ago, the picture below shows the current situation.

Other shrubs that have suffered in the fierce February heat and lost almost all their leaves have miraculously produced green shoots, much like the Karoo bossies do after a rain shower breaking a 10-year drought. proving once again the resilience of Nature. The arrogance of Man to think that we could have a lasting detrimental effect on this planet – when we are all gone, life will continue without us in whatever form it chooses. But back to the garden…

Having been fed and watered for three years by a marvellous Malawian, my garden has become a veritable jungle and all I need do now that we do the gardening ourselves is relentlessly hack back the luxuriant growth of granadillas, bougainvillea, plumbago, and assorted alien trees that have grown bigger than we ever imagined they would. There are even two delicious monsters flourishing in the undergrowth as if it were a tropical forest. The growth over the last year has been unprecedented in the 40-year history of my garden – I can only think that all the roots have at last reached the water table!

I went outside to count the buds again, and six more have appeared since this morning. It may be a bumper bloom!

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