The days are still hot but in the early mornings you can get a hint of autumn approaching, with a lovely coolness in the air.
By the end of summer a lot of gardens start to look tired and in need of help. My brother taught me years ago that heavy mulching helps enormously with preventing the soil from drying out too quickly, and with nourishing the ground. This past summer I’ve used leaves mostly, but sometimes also untreated sawdust which a carpenter is only too keen to get rid of. Probably because I used a thicker layer of mulch than in previous years, a good ten centimetres, the garden has survived the heat better than it ever has.
The Plectranthus ecklonii hedge is looking amazing against the backdrop of a Natal mahogany, nicely dividing the garden into separate areas and secret spaces. The stoep jacaranda is just beginning to make a lovely show in another corner under a forest mahogany this time and the blue next to the white of the white candles is quite lovely.
Other plants that have started flowering are the yellow barleria and the shell bush. Luckily there is a bush of purple bells in between or there’d be a real clash of colours.
The blue barleria will start to flower soon. It is more sprawling than it’s yellow cousin, and flowers for a very short time, but what a display it puts on. It is really worth having in the garden.
After Easter I’m looking forward to the wild dagga flowering, especially the orange variety as it makes such a lovely bright splash against the browns of the winter grasses. And then, around June or July, the coral trees will flower, a sight that always makes me smile.