International Womens Day 2018

To All Amazing Women:

Happy Women's Day 2018

“Each woman carries within herself

the promise, the passion and the power

to create, to nurture and to transcend!”

~ by Bianca  Gubalke ~

Happy Women’s Day 2018!

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First March Lilies 2013

First March Lilies 2013

The first March Lilies (Amaryllis belladonna) 2013 greeted me early this morning when I stepped into my garden! The ideal moment for some flower photography: a bright pink bouquet of amazing beauty with Chapman’s Peak in Noordhoek, South Africa, in the background! The perfect “Good morning from Noordhoek!”

First March Lilies in my garden !

First March Lilies 2013

Perhaps it’s a bit early for the first March Lilies, but I am thrilled whenever I see them coming up! It means that it will get a little cooler and – hopefully for Nature and the gardens – the rains are not far away!

First March Lilies in my Garden 2013
First March Lilies 2013

The huge trumpetlike flowers of the Amaryllis belladonna exhude a fine scent and are an unforgetful sight when growing in carpets on a mountain slope. They love rocks and rocky soil. While the seeds are distributed by the wind, they have large clumps of bulbs that can be separated during the dormant season and transplanted. That’s how I transplanted these in a sheltered yet very central spot, close to rocks and agapanthus.

I will have to inspect my garden for all the secret places that may explode in pink within the next days! They will attract honey bees and carpenter bees and I have seen sunbirds hovering over them. Unfortunately, there’s also a black and yellow striped caterpillar – the lily borer – that means big trouble. If I see it I remove it by hand and cut off the infected and damaged parts of the foliage. If I don’t, the little bugger continues to eat its way through and the stem eventually collapses. I’m sure there is other food around – just not these stunning march lilies that don’t last forever anyway!

Interestingly, the longish leaves of the amaryllis belladonna only appear after flowering and remain green and juicy throughout winter. This rather unusual phenomenon is called hysteranthy.