You still have till 5pm to enter to win! Proceeds to Abalimi Bezekhaya and Soil for Life.
If you have ever clambered up Skeleton Gorge on Table Mountain you might have noticed some interesting plants, with distinctive, three-lobed leaves – resembling Hellebores – near the top. The plants bloom in late winter and early spring with tall, showy stems and airy white flowers. Later they develop interesting black, bead-like seeds.
Knowltonia vesicatoria belongs to the Rununculaceae family and is closely related to Anemones (so there is some good garden background built in). Brandblaar is an Afrikaans name for it, and apparently the leaves were used to raise blisters on skin over inflamed joints. Maybe that was so painful that you forgot about the arthritis!
Read more about propagating and growing Knowltonia on PlantzAfrica.
Cape Town garden designer and author Marijke Honig recently visited Babylonstoren and was taken by the bug hotel’s attractive architecture. You can do the same in your garden with a pile of brush and logs, but this is a version you can show the neighbours.
Insect palaces and bug hotels contribute to biodiversity in the garden, providing a haven for beneficial insects and arthropods (and perhaps the odd mole snake), who help you garden without the use of harmful pesticides.
(Look for Marijke’s new book, Plant Palettes, later in the year – an excellent and beautiful Christmas present for gardeners who would like inspiration for gardening indigenously.)
Photo credit: Marijke Honig.