Tag Archives: autumn

ScrapHappy May 2022

We’re solidly in the middle of autumn in Cape Town, but we still get to enjoy some beautiful sunny days with just a hint of cold when you’re in shadow. Nights and early mornings are much cooler of course, but the winter rains haven’t set in yet. The poppies and nasturtiums in my garden are sending out their first little leaves but they’re going to have to put up with a lot of wet before they see spring!

At the Spier Craft Art market, the ground is fairly thick with autumn leaves. Below the top level of the leaves, the soil is damp. Boots are needed, despite the sun. Boots, tights, scarves, and a new furry leopard print hoodie to keep out any surprise nasty cold winds.

Love my new jacket. Nothing like fake fur!

Anyway, enough of the weather, back to ScrapHappy. Many of the crafters work with beads. It’s easy to lose a few when you’re making things – and there was once a memorable occasion when Bongani accidentally tipped over a 2-litre box of black beads that he was using for a wire elephant.

The scavenger in me can’t help but give in to the temptation to scratch around on the ground for beads. Yesterday the pickings were particularly good, and at one point I was on my knees with a stick getting at lower-level beads that must have been tramped into the soil over many years of markets. I felt like a forensic anthropologist or archaeologist or whatever you call those clever people in crime fiction.

Once washed, the beads are good to go. I turned them into three memory bangles last night, and the only rule is that there are no rules – whatever gets picked up gets used, in no particular order. I noticed that there were more white beads than any other colour then I realised that this is most likely because they are easier to spot than darker colours.

There are a few plastic letter beads in there. I didn’t find a J for Jill so I get to decide what a letter may stand for. See the G? Today that stands for Grumpy. Grumpy because some twerp was in such a hurry to get in and out of the supermarket last week that she grabbed decaffeinated coffee instead of the real thing. How is decaf even coffee? It isn’t, is the answer. It’s ground-up brown stuff and doesn’t count in my book. Never again!

autumn garden

Inspired by Jane and Cathy with their spring gardens, I’ve just taken some pics of what’s happening in my AUTUMN garden right now. It’s my favourite season, even more than spring, and Cape Town’s southern suburbs had beautiful rain all through the night. Here are some of the colourful bits:

Lycianthes rantonnetii, or blue potato.

blue potato sun

Philadelphus coronarius, or mock orange, next to the front gate, in full bloom. The scent is unbelievable. In about two weeks time, the blossoms will fall off and it will look like a mini-snowfall on the ground underneath.

mock orange sun

Perched next to the front door, my beloved red crassula. Eighteen months old and looking like an underwater creature today :)

crassula sun

Next to the driveway, this stunning yellow hibiscus was here when I moved in.

hibiscus sun

The last pic from the front garden, two baby ice-cream bushes (breynia disticha) next to the letterbox, recently freed from the grip of some creeping weedy things and doing very well.

ice cream sun

Moving to the back garden now. The overcast day doesn’t do justice to this pic of the Duranta erecta (golden dewdrops). The flowers really are a glorious purple.

duranta sun

On the patio, this plectranthus was a tiny cutting two weeks ago. It grew so big and so fast it seems to think it’s a banana tree.

plectranthus sun

Some nasturtiums in pots, which those hungry black and yellow caterpillars just love to gobble up. I yell a bit when they’ve decimated a whole plant, but I do get rewarded by butterflies.

nasturtiums sun

The last three surviving petunias. I had to move the hanging basket because they weren’t getting enough sun. There’s also a convolvulus in there but it hasn’t flowered yet.

petunia sun

Tradescantia going beserk, hanging on the trellis. Who said you can’t grow things in old peanut butter jars…?

tradescantia

And then this – Stapelia clavicorona (yes, most unfortunate name) or milkweed toad plant. It lives in the pot it came in on a stand next to the kitchen window, and just seemed like a bunch of greeny-purple sticky-up shoots until yesterday morning, when it produced this. I was ambling around in my dressing gown throwing seed for the birds when I spotted the bloom. I nearly fainted with excitement, and then shrieked so loudly that my neighbour whatsapped me to make sure I was alright.

toad 2

A close-up. It’s magnificence, combined with the wondrous surprise of it even being there at all, is matched only by its vile stench. Google tells me it is also known as a carrion flower. All I can say is that carrion is getting a bad rap because the smell couldn’t possibly come close to this foul odour.

You can see there are another two buds just popping their heads out on the right.

milkweed toad 1

Every day I am grateful for the garden and the beautiful part of the world I live in. I’m really missing seeing friends, going out for sushi, having my hair trimmed (and the grey roots dealt with!), not to mention earning a living – aaarrrgggghhhh – but I acknowledge how very fortunate I am. Sending lockdown love to you all xxx