Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Autumn in the Free State

Search as I might through my reference books, I cannot positively identify this butterfly. It seems to a species of the Acrea genus

A male Malachite sunbird in eclipse plumage enjoying the nectar of the wild dagga (Leonotis leonarus)

At this time of the year, Plumbago auriculata is in full bloom and attracts butterflies and bees in abundance

A busy bee is just visible on the blooms in both the above photographs

Scabiosa columbaria is another insect-friendly indigenous perennial to have in your garden. Here I captured a bee working hard on the bloom while the insect on the side was a complete surprise to me. I only noticed it once I downloaded the photo

The rhubarb-like Acanthus mollis in the foreground has rewarded me with glorious foliage while the Setaria spp (an autumn flowering grass) is attracting many seed-eating birds to my garden

Autumn, Fall, Herfs, Automne, Hwetla

Autumn in the Free State, although it heralds a very cold, dry spell of winter which can play havoc with the garden, is still one of the most glorious seasons in the Free State. Many of the shrubs in my garden have produced magnificent foliage and floral displays. We are still enjoying the outdoors with days of idyllic Indian summer while the feathered and insectivorous visitors to the garden are a delight to watch.

Mulching beds against the dry season, my gardeners and I are also cutting back shrubs, and lifting, splitting and replanting overcrowded bulbs and rhizomes.

With the abundant summer rains we were blessed with this year, I believe that my garden will remain green and lush longer than normal. Towards the end of next month, we’ll plant; plant bulbs (mostly indigenous) and annuals (always exotic as my husband loves pansies and primroses) which will supply colour and warmth during the frosty months.

For now we'll continue to revel in the balmy days of autumn.


  1. Your garden is looking lush and green I smiled when I saw 'exotics' like pansies and primroses! They are very common or garden plants here and in some area primroses grow wild in the ditches along the road, but with pollution from traffic etc they are getting very scarce as are our bluebells

  2. Oh that's sad, Peggy that the "wild" annuals are becoming scarce because of pollution. Thanks for popping in. Hugs Jo

  3. What lovely images! I LOVE details from the outdoors!

    Have a great weekend, Jo!
    Warm greetings from the West :-)

  4. Thanks Esther, I spend so much time outdoors I almost feel guilty. Then I remember that my doggies love me being in the garden and I go out AGAIN! And I snap the garden AGAIN. Have a wonderful Saturday. (I look forward to seeing what you're doing in Niger today- riding, goat walking, all so precious) I'm off to see my latest granddaughter, born yesterday (with my older gd and gs in hand)Very exciting for the little ones to see mama and their new little sister! Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo