Fruit and foliage--Myrtus communis
Our miraculous December rainfall refreshed the garden's foliage.
The grey-brown hills are developing a greenish tinge. Much of those hills burned in the fire of November, 2020 (I think). The dark spots in the next photo are likely Malosma laurina, a lignotuber-forming native shrub perfectly adapted to periodic wildfires.
Malosma's top growth will burn away in a fire, but grow back rapidly from the lignotuber. Some members of the genus Eucalyptus as well as some members of the Protea family also develop lignotubers as a way to survive regular fires.
The arrow indicates a landslide that occurred about a decade ago, which is why this line of hills isn't covered with homes. Hooray for unstable geology!
Meanwhile, in the garden...our native oaks, I have read, drop all their leaves each year. They do a good deal at this time of year...
The yellow ones:
Various bromeliads. Placing them on stumps has been a big success:
Okay, Rhodanthemum has fine flowers, too. Add Agave 'Blue Glow' for more foliage admiration:
Pulling yellowed Gerbera foliage enables more light to get to the base of the plant...
...which appears to promote better flowering:
Also tidier. This is the essence of gardening: the human hand interfering--or collaborating--with the floristic kingdom. We'll call the good kind "collaborating".
Rain-washed Aeonium foliage, glossy:
Magenta and silvery blue Echeveria harmsii leaves, fuzzy:
Agaves wash up nicely, too. This appears to be 'Sun Glow' rather than 'Snow Glow'. Purchased unlabeled. Having grown both, 'Snow Glow' is prettier, but 'Sun Glow' is hardly shabby:
Fruit is ornamental, too. I brought some to a food bank to reduce the strain on the branches. It was nice to get out of the house for an hour. If some needy person enjoys an orange, that's good, too.
Foliage masquerading as flowers. A bract is a modified leaf.
Madagascar Aloe capitata ssp. quartzicola with the coordinating stems of South African Leucadendron 'Pom Pom':
Crassula arborescens, "Silver Dollar Jade", Grevillea 'Moonlight', Metrosideros 'Spring Fire', Alluaudia procera, Beaucarnea recurvata, Aloe lukeana:
Aloe marlothii became heavily shaded by Grevillea 'Moonlight' over the past year or two and developed Aloe rust as a result. One intention in hard pruning 'Moonlight' was to get marlothii back into sunshine. Flower stem just appearing:
Trachelium caeruleum usually looks quite dreadful in winter. This one was badly "trimmed" by rabbits all last summer. Seems to have done it good.
Alstroemeria 'Rock n Roll':
Speaking of foliage yucky, not all the foliage looks good in our winters. Pentas, for example:
it's a dilemma most winters: keep the Pentas or pull them and plant new ones the next spring. They'll look decent over warm, dry winters. This wet "cold" December we had made them as above.
December also does a number on rose foliage, but so does pruning:
The bins finally got emptied just before sunset yesterday. Pruning can continue. Hopefully all the drivers who were ill are feeling better and recovering. Several neighbors and one of Beloved's co-workers have been ill with Omicron, but are recovering. And so it goes, keeping priorities straight.
Whenever the isolation and the constant terrible events in the news get me down, time in the garden working at collaborating chases away the blues.