🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine. 
-Anne Bronte

"Golden wheat" - painted with Nescafé instant coffee, strong and black - ©Maree Clarkson

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you for allowing me to be an important part of your daily life. I've immensely enjoyed reading all of your blogs (even though I don't comment much!) and learnt so much and I'm always thrilled when you leave a comment and we can have a bit of discussion.

This year has had it's ups and downs in my garden (I've lost two big trees and a few frost-tender plants) and Mother Nature has taken and given in abundance, both in fauna and flora. I've seen many a brood of baby birds being raised but I've also experienced the loss of the baby Robins and a few of my beloved chooks. But overal-ly it's been a good year and I hope we will all still be together for many more years to come!

And remember, life is short. Laugh regularly and connect with nature - it helps you find peace in your busy life while making the world a better place!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Season's Greetings from my home to yours 2015

My sincerest wishes for hope, happiness and peace during this Holiday Season. May you spend wonderful, happy hours with friends, family and loved ones!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

It's Agapanthus time!

Every summer I look forward to the few Agapanthus (A. praecox) that I have, flowering. I say “few”, because I struggle to grow these beauties in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) – too much shade. I have found that they prefer full sun and not too much water.

The evergreen species is indigenous to the winter rainfall Western Cape and all-year rainfall Eastern Cape and shed a few of their old outer leaves every year and replace them with new leaves from the apex of the growing shoot. The deciduous species come from the summer rainfall Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Free State, Lesotho, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Mozambique, and grow rapidly in spring with the onset of the rains, and then lose their leaves completely and lie dormant during winter.

Agapanthus species are easily able to hybridize with each other, particularly when grown in close proximity and as a result, a bewildering array of garden hybrids have arisen.

Insects just absolutely love Agapanthus and the Agapanthus is undoubtedly one of our indigenous botanical treasures. It has been exported to all corners of the earth, but occurs naturally only in Southern Africa, where it grows in the wild in all our provinces except the Northern Cape, as well as in Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.

I doubt that there is a South African gardener alive that has not come across an Agapanthus somewhere! They line our roads, and are in most gardens and parks, from the tall globular-headed ones to the ever-shrinking dwarf cultivars now available at garden centres. This one above is the smaller praecox minimus species I have in my bathroom court-yard garden.

Here's to another bloomin' blue summer!

. .

Monday, 14 December 2015


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