Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hints of Spring

August in my part of the world is characterised by the colours yellow and blue.  It seems that wherever I look those two colours catch my eye.  The sea, the mountains, and often the sky are a rich blue,  and provide a lovely backdrop for the cheerful yellow that is glowing everywhere.  Wattle season is definitely in full swing and the large black and silver wattle trees are becoming golden with their masses of little flowers, all like miniature sunbursts.  I love wattle!  

At Swallows Nest, the signs of spring are everywhere, with many of the Leucadendrons in flower.  Safari Sunset, usually rich red for most of the year, are yellow and pink at the moment with a delicate rose-like fragrance that makes picking them a joy.  

Safari Gold Strike are beginning to flower and are a beautiful fresh yellow at the moment.  I have started to pick them in earnest now and I'm so happy with their long sturdy stems and beautiful big blowsy flower heads.  Yellow is such a great colour to lift the spirits at the end of winter.  

Inca Gold are another stand-out for this time of year - yellow pointed blooms stretching toward the sky.  

Yellow is such a happy colour!

These flowers are the Tall Red Leucadendron.  It is a very vigorously growing plant that we pruned with a chainsaw (they really were unruly!) in our first year at Swallows Nest.  They have grown back to be bigger than they were at first.  They will need to be heavily pruned this year, and this gives them great stems for next year.  I love their lime green pompoms!  

I love the combination of colours available at this time of the year - and the textures too.  It's all just a hint that spring is not far away.  


  1. Yellow is indeed such a lovely color with so much promise of more to come. My Goldstrikes really surpised me this year, the plants are not yet 3 years old and had incredible blooms on those lovely stems. The Inca Gold are however much later than normal probably because of a rather warm winter in SA. I simply love your pictures - they are beautiful - and descriptions. I must admit however that the wattles are real alien invaders in SA and are seriously getting out of hand here. The latter part of our winter is normally spent to kill as much of them as possible otherwise they simply take over and kill everything else gulping up water as they go.
    Thanx again for sharing

    1. Hi Kemp, I hadn't thought of wattle as a weed! But I can imagine it - they are such vigorous growers and they seed so prolifically. I've heard that the black wattle are grown a lot overseas for the tannin which is used for plywood production. They are also really great firewood! I can see how they could be a real pest. I still love them though! I'm interested to hear about your Goldstrikes - they are a great hybrid, aren't they! Fabulous stem length and really big flower heads. Very satisfying to grow. Our Inca's were early this year after a very hot summer. Nice to hear how yours are going!