In this time of pandemic it is easy to get caught up and mired in fear and negativity. The intense cold that we have been experiencing (a cold that Dundee has not seen in decades) is certainly not conducive to a happy sunny disposition for most of us either.
What a clever ‘happenstance’ then that Autumn and Winter are the seasons of soul warming ‘Orange’. Every hue of sun shiny warming orange and red you can think of. From nartjie orange, burnt sienna, flame and brick red not to mention the buttery shades of yellow to name a few!
In the surrounding veld and on the mountain right now the Aloes are staking their claim to being the ‘bells of the Winter ball’. Aloe arborescens or ‘Krantz aloes’ as they are commonly called are putting on a show stopping display.
The Krantz aloe is found extensively throughout South Africa. It is one of the only aloes that can grow happily at sea level and feel just as at home right up to the tops of mountains, including our own Mpati mountain. Aloe arborescens is probably the most widely cultivated aloe in the world and certainly deserves a space in every garden. Not only is it incredibly easy to grow but the beautiful flowers provide a feast for butterflies and birds – particularly our sun birds.
Aloe arborescens is also a veritable pharmacy all on its own and is particularly excellent for treating burns. This South African plant was used to treat the radiation burn victims of Hiroshima long before the rest of the world woke up to its healing potential.
Take some time to get out and walk amongst the aloes. Slow down and notice their heart warming beauty. This painting is of some of our Mpati Aloes and one of our beautiful sunbirds – the White bellied sunbird. Acrylic onto canvas board.