Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Use me More

South Africa is one of the best countries for using solar power

And if you live anywhere near the coast you will know that we certainly don't lack wind power.
The trouble is we are not harnessing much of this available power. At the moment the bulk of our alternative energy is left to private individuals and the cost is exorbitant. We are not even offered the opportunity of putting excess power back into the grid. 

 Eskom is still investigating new nuclear power plants and investing in coal fired plants. What are they thinking? Clearly they aren't.
Despite the ridiculous salaries their top management earn (R18.5 million) see:
 Salaries of Eskom execs doubled-20110627
Eskom and Government keep arguing that alternative energy is too expensive and so we have to keep using coal. The problem is they are not looking at the real cost of coal generated power. When calculating the cost they forget about about the strain placed on our water resources, they forget about the health issues of the people living around these plants and they definitely haven't thought about the impact on climate change. You can read more about the cost of Coal fired power here:

If you are as horrified by these facts as I am then please join me in asking Government to use the sun & wind more.
(Sorry this technologically challenged person can"t get the link pic to work properly - so please click the USE ME MORE  text)
 To make my bulb shine brighter, Click here: PetitionLinkButton.png

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty Pelargoniums

This post was meant to be for Clay & Limestone's Wednesday wild flower meme, but the end of the month is always hectic at work and  blogging time is limited, so I've missed the deadline. But these are too beautiful to be ignored so I am posting it anyway.  I have decided on Pelargoniums . Firstly because they would be well known to overseas readers and secondly because they are such easily grown, rewarding plants.

I know there are many sites trying to clear up the confusion between Pelargoniums and Geraniumms but in case you haven't read them – here's the quick answer. Pelargoniums belong to the family Geranicae of which there are approximately 800 species. These are divided into Geraniums with five equal petals and Pelargoniums with a variety of flower forms but mostly with 2 smaller petals above and 3 larger petals below.(Can also be the other way around - 2 large above and 3 small below). South Africa is blessed with about 220 species of Pelargonium. My garden boasts only 8 of these. Pelargoniums hybridize very easily leading to the vast variety available in nurseries and also leading to the confusion I have in correctly naming the varieties I have growing. I have got as far as putting them into categories. If there is an expert out there I would appreciate any help in naming or correcting any errors.

These have large showy blooms in a variety of colours.
Definitely a Regal, it's blooms are absolutely stunning but despite reviewing hundreds of photo's I can't positively ID it.
Pelargonium cucullatum - this one I initially thought was capitatum, but it has no scent and the leaves are tinged with red on the edge.

As the name indicates these have typical ivy shaped leaves and a trailing habit.

Pelargonium peltatum - the leaves are smooth and semi-succulent.

Flowers from this group are usually small and insignificant, but foliage is highly aromatic.

Pelargonium graveolens -Rose scented (above)
Pelargonium tormentosum - Peppermint scented (below)
I love these - just brushing against the leaves releases the most amazing aroma.

Most of these, but not all, have a darker horseshoe shaped mark on the leaves.
Pelargonium inquinans? Not sure about this one, it does have that typical smell, but no horseshoe marking on the leaves.

This one is definitely a Zonal - but which one?

And this one?