~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

By Invitation Only ~ To Dream the impossible Dream...

Hello Dear Ones!!!
It is time for our monthly "By Invitation Post" again.... it swings by so quickly that I am sure we are on fast forward!
Hosted by Marsha from Splenderosa , it is a group of bloggers from around the world who blog on a common topic that have been agreed upon. It is always interesting to see the different interpretations.

So, this was the brief...."Tell us the thing you have most wanted to do, reality or fantasy, and of course, money is no object"
Sounds just like an invitation to share my bucket list, or at least some of it!
I guess many bucket lists includes travelling and mine is no different!! There is a whole world to explore out there...

Living in Africa, as I do, and having experienced wild life quite often, top of the list for me would be, to experience the migration of approximately a million Wildebeest on the Masai Mara and Serengeti. The exact timing of the annual  migration is a spontaneous natural phenomenon and not always easy to predict!

For both images see here

Now, that was the first bit...being a greedy girl that I am, I want to experience this from a huge hot air balloon, gliding effortlessly above all of the drama happening down in the river.... I don't believe that anything could top the feeling of exhilaration being able to witness this wonder of nature!


Image here

Next on the list....would be a micro-flight over Victoria Falls!
Can you just imagine, having a bird's eye view of the magnificent falls, feeling the spray and hearing the thunder ....
Image here
After that adrenalin rush, I think a more leisurely activity is in order. So, how about we wing our way to France and hire a barge. Cruising down the canal Du Midi perhaps, although it would be hard to choose which one to do!!
But, chugging along a canal with the promise a wine and glorious food up the hill in the picturesque little village is beyond dream worthy!!!
Image here
After slumming it in the country, I think we need some city lights, so why don't we head to Paris! Hire an apartment in the First Arrondisement or even Rue Montorgueil in the Second. I will happily shop and cook what I have gathered at various markets, starting with my favourite market at Boulevard Richard Lenoir, a bit of a walk but it means I can indulge!!!

Image here
South Africa is a magnificent country and I would love to jump in my car, with no plan at all, and do a road trip along the coast, all the way up to the Kruger Park and end just in time to see the hatching of the Sea Turtles in Kosi Bay and watch them race down to the ocean in their flip flop manner of new hatchlings....

Image here
I would dearly love the opportunity to star in the musical Chicago and I have some fab ideas to re- choreograph the Cell Block Tango!!!! Serious day dream believing going on here....*sighs* for now I turn up my car radio and blast fellow commuters with some razzle dazzle sounds, bobbing about in Noddy (car)....
I have started to write my memoirs and would like to finish them sooner rather than later, although there might have to be a sequel...
Just a few sprigs from my "To Do" list...
Now, do visit the other bloggers by following the link at the top of this post!
Live Well
Please leave your comments below and feel free to add  your own list!

For the Love of a Leaf!!! ~ Part 1

Hi Dear Friends!!
It has been some time since I have done a gardening post! The inspiration struck when one of my followers, on Twitter,  asked about iconic indigenous (South African) foliage!!!!
Well, he immediately got my mind racing and I have a few pics that have been sitting in files, obviously waiting, just for this moment....
Now, not all of these are indigenous to South Africa but they are some of my favourite leaves for various reasons. I will indicate the indigenous ones as I go along.

How does one choose a favourite child? Well, I feel the same about these...
Arum Lily ~ Zantedeschia aethiopica ~ leaves are just gorgeous. Have a look at these, in my neighbour's garden. Glossy arrow-shaped and frilly! A single one in a vase is a work of art! Then add the creamy bloom atop a flashy stem and you won't be able to avert your eyes....

Luscious...aren't they just?

Below, in the vase! Have a look at the underside of the leaves, you could turn them over and they are just as gorgeous!

During spring the hills of the Tygerberg and the roadside is ablaze in purple and yellow.  Lupins ~Lupinus luteus ~ pop up all over the place and in my garden. They are always a welcome surprise. Also known as the Miracle Bean, it is widely grown as a cash crop, alternative to soy! I am not sure that it is indigenous, but we certainly welcome them. I adore the shape of the leaves.

Little umbrellas adorned with morning dew that catch the sun!

Below, is a happy coincidence that happened one spring. A purple lupin perfectly partnered with a deep velvety maroon Ranunculus! Perfection!!! Just goes to show, all the amount of planning in the world can not foresee the bounty that nature will offer of Her own accord....

Now below, we have a painted work of art! One single leaf and look at the intrigue it delivers!!! A variegated Pelargonium that produces red flowers, I can not remember its name, but it sure is a showstopper!

Below, we have Pelargonium Tomentosum with velvety soft, beautiful lobes leaves. Run your fingers over it and the heavenly peppermint fragrance clings to your skin.

The Giant Strelitzia Nicolai has magnificent leathery leaves. Below, is a young leaf catching the sun. Of course, as they grow bigger, the wind shreds the leaves and one of my favourite sounds, is the wind playing through the serrated leaves of the Nicolai! I know I am home, when I fall asleep to the shoooosh shooooosh sound of the Strilitzia!

Take a closer look...

I took this photograph whilst stalking birds, and I never looked at the common Comprosma Repens with the same eyes again! Commonly known as the Mirror Bush and native to New Zealand but grows like a weed here!
An intricate work of lace, perfect in every way....

The fleshy leaves of Agave Attentuta always invites me to run my fingers over it as I walk on by. Native to Mexico, of course, I can not think of a garden without it and it falls firmly into my category of "designer plants"
I have seen it teamed with English lavender in the foreground with the most astonishing effect!

Designer plant indeed!

I have so many more to share with you!
I was hunting down my photos, that I know I have of Sparmannia Africana, but could not find them. They are lurking about in some forgotten place, so will share them just as soon as I locate them. I can nip outside and take some but want the flowers as well, and its not in flower now!
So, look out for the next instalment of " For the Love of a Leaf"
Do you have any favourites?
Please share your thoughts and favourites in the comment box below...
You can also find us on Face Book in the sidebar of this blog and soon to be on Twitter as well.
Will keep you posted
Live Well