When I took to my sofa yesterday afternoon, having been cogitating on this week’s post, it was with quite a start that this is my one hundred and fifty first. Perhaps, then, it’s appropriate to mark this milestone by telling you that I’ve taken an enormous leap towards realising one of the things on this list.
Before I get to that, though, May is a month of mostly glorious weather and colour in our part of the world. Although we desperately need rain and everything is dry and dusty, I confess to enjoying the warm, clear days and the promise of the even more glorious colour of aloes in full bloom.
Flanking our garden steps we have two groups of aloes. I am not entirely sure what aloe*; it is not Aloe Marlothii or A. Ferox – I know both well and have four feroxes in different spots in the garden. The leaves are reminscent of A. Arborescens, but they have candelabra-shaped inflorescences, and the Arborsecens has single-stemmed flowers. It is entirely possible that they’re a garden hybrid.
A year ago, though, their flowers were more advanced than this year:
In full bloom, they are much loved by little creatures for their nectar.
The buds start appearing early in April, emerging from between the leaf whorls like some sort of reptilian alien. The collage below shows their emergence over two months, perhaps more – pictures taken roughly once a week.
This week, they’re beginning to show some colour and the promise of full bloom in the next few weeks.
Somehow, during the course of a particularly busy couple of weeks, I have somehow managed to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Just.
Which brings me to what I wanted to tell you about: I often wax lyrical about the treasures in and of our village and valley, and it is this trove that has inspired Slow Wine Weekends: a perfect pairing of boutique, garagiste and hard-to-find wine with great food. An opportunity to be sipping good wine.
Check it out, and let me know what you think. Perhaps you’d like to join me – sipping good wine?
*There are about 130 species of aloes, many of which are indigenous to Southern Africa and particularly this part of the world. The medicinal properties of aloes are well known and feature in modern as well as ancient indigenous medicine. Crystals, derived from the leaf sap of the bitter aloe (A. Ferox) was the Cape’s first export in the 16th century. And why do I know that? Because, in a past life, I had a share in a company making skin and hair care products from A. Ferox
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