goodbye aloe

present tense

I associate blooming aloes with Nelson Mandela, who was born in the winter month of July in Mvezo, a village on the banks of the Mbashe River, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.  July and August are cold months in South Africa, and the spikes of our proud aloes spice our winter landscape with red heat.

Aloe Ferox, via the Albany Museum

Aloe Ferox, via the Albany Museum

Albany Museum: Ikhala: The aloe that serves society.

Please follow the above link to read more about Ikhala; the warrior aloe – a truly magnificent plant with a lot of cultural meaning.

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This post is a brief visual sharing of my latest inspiration: winter’s dying bouquet combined with early signs of spring – bits and pieces I found while E was busy pruning the vineyard in preparation for next year’s harvest.

The colours of decay and new life – brown + sap green – are appealing.

no more red | willemien de villiers
no more red | willemien de villiers
goodbye aloe | willemien de villiers
goodbye aloe | willemien de villiers

collection of winter and early spring

collection of winter and early spring | willemien de villiers
detail of aloe candelabra + nasturtium leaves | willemien de villiers

detail of aloe candelabra + nasturtium leaves | willemien de villiers

brittle frond of decaying aloe | willemien de villiers

brittle frond of decaying aloe | willemien de villiers

The secrets of the arum | willemien de villiers
The secrets of the arum | willemien de villiers

I quote the following from Hadeco – The History of Zantedeschia and Propagation by Tissue Culture : “This bulb was highly regarded by the Xhosa for its medicinal and edible qualities. Placing a warm leaf on the forehead is said to aid headaches and the fresh leaf is soothing for insect bites. The leaf and flower stems can be cooked and were often eaten with mealie-meal. Zantedeschia aethiopica is also famous for growing to a monstrous size of 1.8 m in its favoured habitat of wet, marshy ground.”

Click the link to read more about this beautiful lily that grows with such abundance in the Western Cape regions.

pressed flower ring + golden chalice nub | willemien de villiers

pressed flower ring + golden chalice nub | willemien de villiers

new growth | willemien de villiers

new growth | willemien de villiers

Enjoy and happy creating!

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