Sunday, November 2, 2008

Water Gardening

I realised today that I haven’t done a gardening post for ages! My excuse is that I’m in the garden most of the day and... well, I'm gardening! Even though we’ve had a few more showers of rain since the first drizzle last week, the weather is incredibly hot. When I do eventually come indoors and wash the soil and grime off my hands (and feet, face, legs, clothing!) I am rather exhausted and cannot stay awake in front of the computer.

However, a couple of weeks ago, John (one of my gardeners) and I decided to do a spot of housekeeping in the ponds which I’ve blogged about here.
Several water plants had become thick and overgrown, which prevents them from flowering properly so we had to separate them soon.
We lifted the rootbound plants from the water and seperated them creating a whole lot more

We lifted the plants out of the water and with great care divided them into many more plants. What I originally thought were bog irises, turned out to be some kind of [day] lily. The roots were long and tangled so we also cut off all the excess tentacles. Just as carefully we replaced them in the water. The species photographed above and below, just grow in the water whereas the species in my large pond and which feature in my blog header, had to be re-potted.

An iris by another name or a day lily?

Within a few days, the "pot-less" lilies rewarded me with beautiful new blooms. I’ve photographed the flower of one and hope someone out there can help identify the plant.

The beautiful Orange River Lily (Crimum bulbispermum), a bog loving plant which no water garden should be without

The waxy-looking white bloom with pink in- and undersides (photographed above), is the indigenous Orange River Lily (Crimum bulbispermum) and graces the edge of my large pond.

(Note: The Orange River, where this lily gets its name from, is South Africa's major and longest river. It rises in the Drakensberg in Lesotho, where it is known as the Senqu and flows westward for 2200km into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay.)

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