The South African Garden in Fall
While South African plants are in pretty much every garden on the property, there is a special garden reserved for South African plants (and occasional interlopers from elsewhere) in the fenced back gardens area. Here grow many species of plants grown from seeds from South Africa, either collected by myself or from other sources like Panayoti's earlier SA seed hunting expeditions or Silverhill Seeds. Matt Prinsloo of Bulbomads is another good source and there are some things coming along from him that will mature next year in the South African garden and in other gardens as time goes on.
Our spring was normal in 2022 more or less, but after June the rains just stopped until September with one or two exceptions. Thus it was an unusually dry summer so I had to hand water frequently with the hoses I have. There were days I watered from morning till evening to soak the parched soil so I wouldnt actually lose some plants. Fortunately most of the South African species can take drought and some do better with it than with too much rain. Still I prioritized making sure that certain species got generous waterings such as Hesperantha coccinea, since I know it grows in and along streams from what I saw when I was last in South Africa before covid hit and our world changed.
Speaking of hesperantha, it comes in pinks, reds and whites and while it wasnt their best year for me, we did get some nice autumn flowers from them. They begin to flower in September and keep going until frost gets severe enough to knock them back. I protect the corm/rhizomes with a wood chip mulch and that allows them to come through even cold winters. Voles may thin them out at times, they are one rodent pest that I have a hard time keeping in check when they do appear.
|Hesperantha coccinea, a pink cultivar|
Gladiolus "Lucky Star" has been hardy here so far and one bloomed later than usual. I havent gotten it to set seed yet but if it could it would make for some interesting new hybrids as it itself is an unusual gladiolus cross.