The Hottentot Fig

4 Apr

The end of March is probably one of the prettiest times of year here – you can be a bit unlucky if you get 4 crummy days on the trot, and of course we do have rainy days during January and March. Now we can see the benefit of a few cold rainy days in the sudden sprouting of green and yellow carpets everywhere you look and the hills look as lush as they ever do in the region.

The weather has changed in the last week – today is like a hot summer’s day and we will see less and less rain now, making planting difficult unless you have lots of time to tend and water plants in.

The Hottentot Fig or Cat’s Claw (so called because that’s what each plant head resembles) is out in force – you see it growing all over the place and it has the most stunning bright pink flowers – and I have been transplanting it again in front of the house.

We had such a hot summer last year that it suffered a little but so hardy is it that you just snip a piece of another healthy plant in the ground and water it in.  Within a year, it should be lush again and is just no bother. So having lived here now for almost 7 years I have learned what is happy growing here and what isn’t. From now on I’m looking to achieve a low maintenance ‘garden’ that will survive the heat of the late spring and summer in the desert.  This is a good start.

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