Writing this blog involves a lot of leafing through books trying to identify the flowers. My favourite and the best that I’ve found so far is called Field Guide to Fynbos by John Manning. It seems remarkably comprehensive, very detailed and I’m very grateful for it.
The day after I saw the Brown Afrikaner I saw another gorgeous bulb. When it comes to bulbs there are two exceptionally prolific areas (that I’ve identified) on the farm and luckily one of them is the bank along the drive. Running down the drive the other morning I caught a flash of red and stopped to see this; high on the bank above us. It’s a south facing bank which doesn’t get much sunlight at this time of year. I stopped several times as I drove up and down the drive and managed to catch one shot late in the day with the sun behind it. I’ll go and have a look this week if the weather improves but I don’t know if I’ll find more of these so although the photo isn’t great, I decided to publish it in any case. I couldn’t get close enough to identify it with pinpoint accuracy – I can’t believe I’m going to have to bring field glasses with me to identify flowers. I’m pretty sure it’s a Nerine though. It is a lovely thing.
Nerine Sarniensis or Guernsey Lily
There is a multitude of shrubs on the farm with shapes that are unique and rather strange; not familiar to anyone who grew up in the herbaceous gardens of Europe, even those filled with exotic flora. A feature of these, and we’ll have lots of examples over the coming months, is that the leaves grow close to the stem, all the way up a long stalk, with the flower heads clustered at the top. One of these is Metalasia Densa, coming into flower now, – a prolific flowering which will last for the next six months. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these shrubs on the farm.