Tag Archives: Africa

Today John the farmer is doing Hugelkultur !

Hugul1Hugel

Hugelkultur or hill culture is simply growing what you want on hills or mounds created out of rough biomass to improve the soil, increase drainage and at the same time prevent the soil from drying out.

I added a galvanized wire mesh tube or cylinder which i plan to use as a trellis for climbing plants.

The middle of the tube will filled with garden clippings, kitchen waste and leaves to create a ‘wormhole’.

The wormhole will concentrate earthworm activity from where they will spread out to the rest of the mound.

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My Strelitzia is flowering! Strelitzia reginae, featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Crane1Crane

Bird of paradise, Strelitzia is a close relative of the banana. The striking flowers of this species are evolved to attract bird pollinators.Birds also eat and disperse the seeds. The cut flowers are popular. This stemless perennial are native to South Africa and occurs in coastal areas in well drained soil along forest margins.

Today John the farmer spotted this on his walk on the mountain.

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This Babiana plant is a perennial corm bulb in the Iris family. Apparently favoured by baboons that eat it’s corms (hence babiana), it survives amongst rock crevices on sandstone slopes and flats where it flowers in early spring.¬† Possibly B. ambigua, this one was found growing on the Swartberg mountains in the little Karoo.

Senecio articulatus. Candle plant/ hotdog plant/ worsies. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Kleinia

Senecio or Kleinia articularis is a succulent with blue-gray jointed stems resembling a string of sausages hence it’s name hotdog plant or ‘worsies’.

It has ivy shaped leaves that are seen seasonally, otherwise the stems are bare.

They spread and ramble under larger shrubs in the spekboomveld and gwarrieveld of the western cape and eastern cape of South Africa.

 

Rafnia racemosa flowering after fire.

Rafnia1Rafnia

A veld fire offers an opportunity to see what comes up !

Rafnia racemosa is a woody shrub that shoots up after fire. Leaves are simple, elliptic and greyish-green. Pea-like flowers are yellow, 1-2cm long with a pointed keel tip and triangular calyx lobes, equal in size.

This species occurs in arid protea fynbos, arid renosterveld, waboomveld and sandolienveld in the western cape of South Africa.

 

Tongue-leafed mesemb. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

tongblaar

Tongue-leafed mesemb, Glottiphyllum longum with seed pods or fruit capsules. this species flowers in autumn in the western cape, little karoo region.

The highly succulent leaves are oblong and slightly flattened. Stems are not normally visible and the plant exhibits clump-forming growth as opposed to trailing.

Very hardy.

John the Farmer went up the Swartberg pass!

PassRecently re-opened after flood damage, the Swartberg pass was built in 1887 by Thomas Bain. It connects the Little karoo to the Groot Karoo through the majestic Swartberg mountains. It is 24km of gravel road barely wide enough for two cars to pass. A favourite for mountain bikers.