Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 1st

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 1 October 2015

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Gazania krebsiana, previously known as Gazania pavonia, must be one of Namaqualand ‘s most well known and striking perennial plants. This flamboyant, variable and versatile plant is the trademark of the unique country landscapes in Namaqualand (the wild flower region in South Africa’s western extremities) and the pride of the flower route in South Africa.


Gazania krebsiana is an extremely showy plant when in flower largely due to its warm and bright flower colour, flower size and its extended flowering period. The plants are perennial and herbaceous and reach about 150 mm high. They are therefor aptly referred to as tufted groundcovers and many individuals together may give a rather mat-like appearance, a sight that is all too beautiful when in bloom. Individually they form rounded tufts on the ground of about 200 mm across with very distinctive foliage.

Flowerheads measure 50-60(-90) mm in diameter. The upper side of the ray florets (the florets at the margin of a flowerhead in the Asteraceae) is mainly a magnificent dark red or orange, with dark brown markings on the lower quarter. In some literature the flower colour is referred to as terracotta, hence the common name, terracotta gazania. The dark brown markings may contain black or white spots, adding more eloquence to the flowers. Gazania krebsiana flowers from August till January reaching a peak in October and November.

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Each flowerhead contains about 25 fruits, ± 5 x 1mm. Each fruit is equipped with silky hairs that enable it to be easily dispersed by the wind. The seeds start maturing from October and ants may be seen carrying them away into their underground tunnels.

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Status
Due to its adaptability and the abundance of seeds it produces, Gazania krebsiana is well established in all habitats across its distribution range. Seeds are able to travel across large distances and can remain viable for a number of years. The plants are relatively short-lived, up to about three years depending on various conditions. Currently there is no concern of these plants becoming rare or endangered. However, it must be mentioned that many major populations in certain parts of Namaqualand have become heavily reduced, largely due to overgrazing from domestic livestock.

Distribution and Habitat
Gazania krebsiana has a very wide distribution range, mainly within the winter rainfall region of South Africa. It is virtually found in all provinces of South Africa from Namaqualand in the west to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in the east. Northward it extends into the drier interior of the Great Karoo, the Free State and then into some parts of the summer rainfall regions of Gauteng and the Lowveld. Plants and adaptable and flourish in a host of habitats but are mostly found along roadsides, on flats or lower slopes, exposed hills and rocky outcrops and stony ridges. The latter two habitats are especially ideal in the Namaqualand region of the country. To a lesser extent they may well be found in grassy situations, in montane vegetation and in coastal dune vegetation which is commonly referred to as Strandveld (seaside plants) in the west to south, and thicket in the east. Associated vegetation types include Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, Fynbos, Dry Valley Bushveld and Grasslands. Plants seem to tolerate a number of soil types but have a noticeable preference for clay and sandy soil. Wikipedia

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — September, 24

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 24 September 2013

National Braai day in South Africa – Butternut Delight 

Heritage Day (AfrikaansErfenisdag) is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.

In 2005, a media campaign sought to “re-brand” the holiday as National Braai Day, in recognition of the South African culinary tradition of holding informal backyard barbecues, or braais.

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We also had a braai. I made a butternut dish my mom used to make years ago. With that we had lamb chops and boerewors. (Boerewors is a type of sausage, popular in South African cuisine. The name comes from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors(“sausage”), and is pronounced [ˈbuːrəvors], with a trilled /r/.Boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat – always containing beef, as well as lamb or pork or a mixture of lamb and pork, the other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. Boerewors may not contain any “mechanically recovered” meat, this is meat derived through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated.

My sister made a beautiful spinach salad to compliment this meal. http://flippenblog.wordpress.com/

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Butternut Delight

Ingredients
2 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 teaspoons butter
Salt and pepper
Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Place 1 teaspoon butter in the middle of each squash. Season with salt. Roast 25 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender.

Filling

Ingredients

1 onion cdiced

1 green pepper diced

Half a punnet (or more) mushrooms, chopped

200 gr bacon. diced

2 cloves of garlic , crushed

about 150 ml cream

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Method

Fry onion, green pepper and garlic in some butter.

Add the mushrooms and  bacon to the onion and fry until cooked.Add the cream and let it it reduce for a while.Cut the butternut halves lengthwise , spoon mixture onto the butternut, grate some cheddar cheese over it. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and bake for about 10 minutes.

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — September, 17

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 17 September 2013

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Jamie Oliver’s Bombay Potatoes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons sunflower Oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 potatoes, peeled, parboiled and cut into cubes
4 knobs butter
4 tomatoes cores removed and flesh diced
fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method
1 Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spices for a few minutes.
2 Add the butter, then the potatoes, making sure they are completely coated in the spicy mixture.
3 Cook for about 10-15 mins, then stir in the tomatoes and the coriander.

However, this is my version of his recipe.

Bombay Potatoes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive Oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1 cm slices
2 tablespoons butter
2 tomatoes cores removed and flesh diced
fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped

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Method
1 Heat the oil and butter in a pan and fry the onions and garlic, add the  spices and fry for a few minutes.
2 Then add the potatoes and a teaspoon of salt, making sure they are completely coated in the spicy mixture.Then stir in the tomatoes and the coriander. (or parsley – my husband does not like the taste of fresh coriander)

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3, Cook till done.

I served this lovely spicy Vegetarian dish with green beans and a tossed salad.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — August, 20

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 20 August 2015

Leucadendron ‘Jester’ (Sunshine Conebush) –

Medium sized shrub 5′ x 5′ with beautiful pink varigated leaves & red flush in fall-winter-spring. Frost and drought tolerant once established. Slow growing initially. Great screen or hedge plant for well drained soils in full sun. Excellent foliage for cut flowers. One look at ‘Jester’ and one can understand why it is so named as it is definitely a clown in the garden sporting colors of bright pink, cream and green. Its other name, ‘Safari Sunshine’ is also nice as a reference to all of these colors and is a nod to it being a sport of ‘Safari Sunset’, though it is less vigorous is smaller.

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One look at ‘Jester’ and one can understand why it is so named as it is definitely a clown in the garden sporting colors of bright pink, cream and green. Its other name, ‘Safari Sunshine’ is also nice as a reference to all of these colors and is a nod to it being a sport of ‘Safari Sunset’, though it is less vigorous is smaller.

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Cut branches are prized for use in arrangements and foliage material. Originally introduced into the trade by Duncan & Davies (New Zealand) in 1986 as ‘Jester’. It was granted protection under Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) in New Zealand and South Africa under this name. In Brian Matthews’ “The Protea Book” he notes that ‘Jester’ and ‘Safari Sunshine’ are essentially the same plant.

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Cut branches are prized for use in arrangements and foliage material. Originally introduced into the trade by Duncan & Davies (New Zealand) in 1986 as ‘Jester’. It was granted protection under Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) in New Zealand and South Africa under this name. In Brian Matthews’ “The Protea Book” he notes that ‘Jester’ and ‘Safari Sunshine’ are essentially the same plant.

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — July, 30

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 30 July 2015

Portulacaria afra, better known as Spekboom, is an indigenous evergreen succulent tree that is predominantly found in the Eastern Cape. The tree forms an important part of the Valley Thicket Biome as it is both fire-resistant and water-wise.

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Climate & Photosynthesis
Spekboom is able to adapt its process of photosynthesis depending on its conditions and availability of water. In wet conditions it uses the same system as rainforest plants and switches its system to one used by desert cacti in dry conditions. Through this switch, it is able to store solar energy to photosynthesise at night when temperatures are cooler.

Studies have shown that a single hectare of Spekboom is able to convert 4.2 tons of carbon-dioxide into oxygen per year. The tree’s carbon-storing capabilities makes it up to 10 times more effective than any tropical rain forest.

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Structure & Growth
Spekboom flourishes in warm summers and areas where rainfall is between 250 and 375mm per year. During Spring, star-shaped pink or light purple flowers appear which can be used to make honey. The tree’s cork-like roots measure up to 20cm in diameter and can reach heights of between 2.5 and 4.5m, making it ideal to use as a natural hedge.

Health Benefits
Spekboom is rich in manganese, cobalt and magnesium. It also contains micro elements, iodine and selenium which act as an antioxidant. The leaves have a refreshing, slightly tart, lemony taste and can be used to treat a number of ailments including heart burn, dehydration, exhaustion and heat stroke. The leaves are typically suckled on or can be eaten as part of a salad.IMG_20180618_162107.jpg

Cultivation
In order to propagate Spekboom, cut a small branch just below a node. Remove the bottom leaves and dip the end of the stem into hormone powder. Create a small hole in soil and plant the stem. New roots will form on the stems within 3-4 weeks. Plant the stems in the desired locations and fill the holes with soil. Water the stems well to ensure that the roots settle. Spekboom grows best over a period of three years or greater and can reach ages of up to a 100 years.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — July, 23

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 23 July 2015

Leucospermum ‘Calypso Red’

This indigenous plant produce beautiful clusters of creamy yellow flowers that turn dark crimson red as they mature. As they only grow about 1m x 1m, they are perfect for small gardens and containers. It’s also a low maintenance plant and ideal for low water use gardens. Also suitable to plant in coastal gardens.

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Plant your Calypso Red in well drained acidic soil (use Arnelia Premium Potting and Planting Mix). Although drought tolerant (once established), you need to water your plant regularly and well for the first 2 years. Plants in containers need to be watered daily.

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Leucospermums are sun loving plants – so plant your Calypso Red in a sunny spot in the garden. Never fertilize – as this will burn your plant’s roots. Cut back dead flower stems to maintain a compact shape. Lastly, always remember that these plants do not like root disturbance.

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — July, 16

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 16 July 2015

wildflower (or wild flower) is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Spring flower season in the Cape Region runs from the beginning of August to the end of September; though, both the West Coast and the Tankwa Karoo national parks’ best viewing period is from the last two weeks of August until mid-September.  These photo’s are from previous years. 

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The Aizoaceae, or fig-marigold family, is a large family of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing 135 genera and about 1800 species. They are commonly known as ice plants or carpet weeds. They are often called vygies in South Africa and New Zealand.
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Calla Lilies – Zantedeschia is a genus of eight species of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. The genus has been introduced on all continents except Antarctica. 

Ornithogalum thyrsoides
Ornithogalum thyrsoides is a bulbous plant species that is endemic to the Cape Province in South Africa.
It is also known by the common names of chinkerinchee or chincherinchee,
star-of-Bethlehem or wonder-flower.
Gheissorhiza eurystigma (kelkiewyn)
Geissorhiza eurystigma L.Bolus
Family: Iridaceae
Common names: wine cups (Engl.); kelkie wyn (Afr.)

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — June, 4

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 4 June 2014

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Thunbergia alata

Family: Acanthaceae

Common names: black-eyed susan (Eng.); swartoognooi (Afr.) ; isiPhondo (Zulu)

In much of the warmer world, Thunbergia alata, or black-eyed susan, is well known as a fast-growing, long-flowering, friendly creeper. In South Africa it is a general favourite as it is not fussy about soil, needs only moderate water, doesn’t go rampant, is mostly evergreen and covers ugly places beautifully. It has even been honoured in the standard set of South African postage stamps.

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Description

Thunbergia alata is a soft, perennial climber about 1-5 x 1 m with many twining stems. The leaves are heart- or arrow-shaped, softly hairy and sometimes toothed. Many flowers are borne singly in leaf axils with a small calyx enclosed in 2 large, ridged bracts. The corolla is obliquely trumpet-shaped and is usually bright orange in wild plants. The inside of the tube is a striking dark maroon or purplish black. Nurseries also have variants with white, cream- or peach-coloured, yellow to deep orange or nearly red flowers. The fruit is like a bird’s head with a spherical base and a long ‘beak’. This plant flowers all summer but can continue all year in warmer areas.

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Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 21

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 21 May 2015

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Few bulbs are easier to grow than amaryllis — and few bloom with greater exuberance and beauty. Just plant the bulb in good potting soil. A support stake is handy for keeping the blooms upright, but little else is required: water regularly and provide bright, indirect light. Blooms will appear four to six weeks after planting.

If your amaryllis is not already potted, plant each amaryllis bulb in a heavy, 6-8″ pot. Lightweight pots may tip over. Plant the bulb, pointed-end-up, in potting soil. Do not use soil from the garden because it will not drain properly. Pack the soil gently around the bulb so approximately one-third of the bulb remains above the soil line.

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Place the pot in a sunny location and water sparingly until you see about 2″ of new growth. From then on, water regularly. As the plant grows, turn the pot periodically to encourage the stalk to grow straight. Within five to eight weeks, you will have an exciting and dramatic floral display. To prolong the blooms, keep the pot out of direct sunlight.

For Bloom Next Year

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Amaryllis can be encouraged to blossom again the following year. It takes a little planning and extra care, but is quite simple and very rewarding. After the flowers have faded, cut the flower stalk to within 1″ of the top of the bulb. Continue to water and feed the plant regularly with a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Amaryllis will grow a number of leaves during the spring and summer. This will help the plant produce energy for the following year’s bloom. In mid-August, begin withholding water and let the foliage die back naturally as the pot dries out completely. Store the dormant bulb in a cool, dark and dry place for a minimum of eight weeks. About five to eight weeks before you want the amaryllis to flower again, repot the bulb in fresh potting soil and resume watering — sparingly at first. Once you see new growth, increase watering. You can expect another dramatic floral display within five to eight weeks. By following these basic care guidelines, you will be able to encourage your amaryllis to flower year after year. – http://www.gardeners.com/

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 14

Fandango asks if you would like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen?

This post was originally published on 14 May 2015

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Protea /ˈprtə/ is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes (Afrikaans: suikerbos).The genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because they have such a wide variety of forms. The Proteaceae family to which proteas belong is an ancient one among angiosperms.

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.Most protea occur south of the Limpopo River. However, Protea kilimanjaro is found in the chaparral zone of Mount Kenya National Park. 92% of the species occur only in the Cape Floristic Region, a narrow belt of mountainous coastal land from Clanwilliam to Grahamstown, South Africa. The extraordinary richness and diversity of species characteristic of the Cape Flora is thought to be caused in part by the diverse landscape where populations can become isolated from each other and in time develop into separate species.Proteas attracted the attention of botanists visiting the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Many species were introduced to Europe in the 18th century, enjoying a unique popularity at the time amongst botanists.Within the huge family Proteaceae, they are a member of the subfamily Proteoideae, which has Southern African and Australian members. Wikipedia