Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Flourishing in my winter garden

I am so pleased to say that there is so much happening in my winter garden. Lots to harvest and even more thriving! Let me show you whats going on…….

Lots flowering….

[one_half]Broad bean flower- shoots are delicious in salads[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Pretty Mangetout pea blossom[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Garden peas are flowering[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Constantly flowering is the violets[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Waiting for my Chamomile that self seeds every year[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The roses are blooming – huh??[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A few roses and the fuchsia has started![/one_half]

[one_half_last]The Fuchsia has come out! So nice to see!![/one_half_last]

[one_half]A perfect rose in winter[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Self seeded Calendula[/one_half_last]

 Lots to eat …

[one_half]Wonderful variety with my new layout[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Can you believe I have tomatoes??Yellow Plum[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Broccoli florets-looking healthy[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Broccoli ready to pick![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Grenadilla dropping off the vine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Swiss Chard abounds[/one_half_last]

 What is on its way…

[one_half]Parsnips – new this year[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cabbage – love growing my own[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Lets hope my beetroot thrives this year[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of love in this garden![/one_half_last]

What herbs do we have…

[one_half]Coriander everywhere-self seeded as well[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Oregano, rosemary,thyme, yarrow & lemon balm[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Parsley-flat leaf and curly[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Thyme is abundant[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Chives and coriander amongst the lettuces[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Artemesia -trapping the aphids?[/one_half_last]

Composting pals…

[one_half]Here is my active worm farm[/one_half]

[one_half_last]There’s my worms-working hard[/one_half_last]

I hope you are having as much fun in your garden as I am!!

Happy gardening xxxx


Barbie's garden Bloggers Harvest Day Gardening Home page features

Garden revival

You know that feeling when you go away on a holiday and come back to your home – it feels like you are a stranger! It takes awhile to become familiar again with your garden. That’s how I felt!

I felt as if I had been away or hibernating – I had to spend at least a day just greeting everything that was actively growing or peeping out of the soil. So many plants that have re-seeded and started to take over. And the bulbs I was hoping would survive have not disappointed! The Chasmanthe and the Louisiana Irises just make me brighten with pride! I had to chop and carry away all the overgrown borage and nasturtiums – they were like monsters. I should have taken photos….. but I did take a lot of photos of what is happening in my garden revival…..

My first Louisiana Iris this spring!!

[one_half]Quince blossom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Peach Blossom[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Love the blossoms[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Almond Blossoms[/one_half_last]

[one_half]New Almonds – can’t wait[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Blueberry blossom[/one_half_last]


[one_half_last]Fuchsias just starting[/one_half_last]

[one_half]This is a spekboom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lovely lavender[/one_half_last]

[one_half]New rose leaves-patience![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Confetti bush-indigenous[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Angels’ fishing rods-Dierama[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Leopard tree is in seed[/one_half_last]

[one_half]My grasses are coming through-Pennesetum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Chasmanthe and Iris in raised bed[/one_half_last]

And what’s happening in the vegetable garden?

[one_half]My edible greens-salads, rocket & spinach[/one_half]


[one_half]Chives and Pyrethrum – bug busters[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Flowers, fruit and herbs together[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Empty chicken coup[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Fig tree budding[/one_half_last]










From sunny calendula to the sweet peas – the blossoms and the blooms, I am so enjoying my garden again!!

If I can get this everyday, I am rewarded and grateful.

Happy gardening xxxx


Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Winter in my garden

I have to say that I was dreading winter – but there have been some really warm days and the rainy days have been spent indoors with a warm fire and always some seeds to plant on the back deck. I want to show you what’s been going on in my garden, especially in the back where the new meadow is growing so beautifully. I am really enjoying my garden and the chickens have been kept under lock and key…. well, they have “play time” which is well supervised! They have areas where they are allowed and we stand guard while they scratch and dig!

Here are some photos of the raised beds – now prepared with seeds sown.

[one_half]Strawberries doing well[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Beds are all neat-grass brown though[/one_half_last]

The Irises are looking healthy and I can’t wait for the first blooms!

[one_half]Lobelias are looking pretty[/one_half]

[one_half_last]One of the bulbs in bloom-Gladiolas?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]New seedlings in the veggie patch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Wow! Look at the meadow blooming[/one_half_last]



New beginnings – these last two photos are of the new bed I have created at the back of the garden to hide the bare wall. I hope that it springs to life this summer! Well, I hope your gardening days are bringing you joy! What’s happening in your garden?

Happy Gardening xxxx



Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Meadow in May

I am so excited to see the carpet of Meadow green is now flowering – that is so quick! It seems like yesterday when I scattered a bunch of Winter Mix meadow seeds onto my bleak back garden patch. There are so many different varieties of plants that I will only know what is what when they start blooming. I am not worried about the weeds because Mother Nature doesn’t either. I want to let it look as authentic as possible. If there are some dreaded nasty weeds then I will spot them and pull them.

Christine suggested I plant a few of my bulbs in the Meadow – I like this idea and have put aside some Sparaxis and Ixias bulbs for this. But I can already see the flowering of the Alyssum and the Cosmos. The arrows will help:

Red arrow – Cosmos; Yellow arrow – Alyssum; Blue arrow – Marigold

This Meadow will be a wonder this winter! Happy Gardening xxxxx

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

An Autumn garden

My garden is in a sorry state … three days of continuous rain over the long weekend that interrupted my garden clean-up has left it looking untidy and ever so sad-looking. As I was busy with laying newly purchased compost and mulch the heavens opened up and it rained for three days solid. But in typical Cape Town fashion, as we got out our winter woolies and put extra blankets on beds, so the weather changed right back and the last two days have been too hot to do much gardening.

Today is looking good – not too hot, no wind, no rain (yet), but before I head out to continue my clean up, I took a few photos to show you what’s going on. And as I was taking these photos, I noticed something else – it’s not all white anymore! I have lots of pinks and blues and violets …


[one_half]Camellias have started their displayThe Camellias are starting their display[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Promise of lots to comePromise of lots to come[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A sweet pink daisyA sweet pink daisy[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Looking washed out after rainLooking washed out after rain[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Mexican Petunia keeps on givingMexican Petunia keeps on giving[/one_half]

[one_half_last]More pretty – Brachycombe daisiesBrachycombe daisies[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Barleria obtusa – Bush VioletBarleria obtusa - Bush Violet[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of blue and purpleLots of blue and purple[/one_half_last]

[one_half]First Azalea showing its faceFirst Azalea showing its face[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of lovely, fragrant LavenderLots of lovely, fragrant Lavender[/one_half_last]

Then there were a few surprises that popped up after the rains. The fading Hydrangea blooms are amazing to me. Spent but still beautiful I think I’ll leave these on the plants rather than cutting them off. I think they are lovely, I think I prefer them at this stage. Even the ones turning brown are lovely, it’s just a different type of lovely.

Tucked away in a very dark, hidden corner, we planted a few extra Clivias around this time last year (I already had quite a few and added to my collection). As I was cleaning, composting and mulching I noticed that the new additions have not just established themselves well, they are thriving and rewarding me with seeds.

And finally, I wrote about my intention to plant Crocosmia in the shade last year which I also did and forgot about. I planted them from bulbs and have been extremely underwhelmed by them – compared to the success I had with all the exotic bulbs I planted I fully expected this indigeneous bulb to do well. It has not really …. but it is still early days. Right now there are a few raggedy looking stalks and one single bloom – I’m not even sure I’m that mad about it anymore, but I will be patient. All the photographs of mass plantings of these can’t be wrong, they obviously just need more time to look impressive. But seeing the first bloom was exciting …

[one_half]Hydrangea bloomsHydrangea[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Clivia seedsClivia seeds[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Clivias have grown very wellClivias have grown very well[/one_half]

[one_half_last]First Crocosmia bloomsCrocosmia aurea[/one_half_last]

Oh, and the photos don’t really support my statement of a “sad looking garden”. Trust me, its sad. The lawn is in a bad way, there are lots of weeds (thanks rain!) and shrubs looking worse for wear after a three day downpour. Lots to do … a busy gardening weekend ahead.

Happy Gardening!

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Big clean up!

Today was a go go go day! I had my fabulous hubby as keen to get the garden in great shape. It has been looking shabby and dry and all the spent vegetable plants needed to go. I want to make way for my March planting and get the soil ready for this. I am totally exhausted but so happy that we managed to do the whole garden – every inch was checked and fixed!

[one_half]Here we start – bright and early[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cleaning the protea bush – hard work![/one_half_last]

Ok – enough of the ugly stuff. I didn’t bother to take photos of the before because it is really not a pretty sight! Let’s go straight to after shots! We’ll start with the front, move around the side and then to the back of the house. Then the chicken run!

[one_half]Front grass mowed and beds cleaned[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Grass patch needs little work – just some water[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Fuchsia cut right back so roses have room[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Roses deadheaded and fed with Sudden Impact[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Front garden neat  – awaiting stones for path[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The protea bush cropped just before I mowed[/one_half_last]

Ok, now for the side garden – the veggie patch area.

[one_half]Weeding took forever but worth it[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Front view of veggie patch[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Looking back on the veggie patch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Oops! Still need to plant these salvias[/one_half_last]

Ok, now we are coming around to the back garden where I have my fruit trees.

[one_half]Area raked and fruit trees mulched[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Fig tree got a real good haircut[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Potato (bush) tree bed all clean[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Looking through Potato bush bed into garden[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Beds cleaned and grass mowed[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Chicken run cleaned up too[/one_half_last]

Whew. Thats it! Gonna hit the sack now. Tomorrow i’m going to order the stones that we want to put around the house. Ok, that’s a whole new post.

Happy gardening xxxx

Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Summer Heat getting to me

Summer is getting intense! We have had days of nonstop high temperatures and I can’t protect my garden from it. It has been close to 40 degrees here with no letting up. In the early mornings I take this time to water as much as I can as well as early evening – I’m watering twice a day! But the damage is done…. I am devastated by the damage to my huge conifer tree (I don’t know what this type of tree is called). It looks like it has been burnt! And the protea bush next to it looks like it has some kind of disease. All my delicate plants have withered and died and I’m trying to rescue what I can, but watering is not always helping.

[one_half]I am overwhelmed by this heat – so destructive[/one_half]

[one_half_last]It started with this one branch – is it the heat?[/one_half_last]

This was once a beautiful, lush green conifer tree – now it is destroyed beyond repair. It happened instantly – within a week it just seemed to have died! I’m shattered.

The rest of the garden is looking untended, overgrown and debris that needs to be cleared and weeds that have popped up overnight! It is just too hot to do anything in the garden. I am grabbing all the edibles and storing them – well, what I can anyway! I am sad to show you all the ruined plants… some might bounce back, but I think some won’t!

[one_half]The Fuchsia needs cutting back[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Some of the grasses are patchy[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Sunflowers are spent – need to harvest the seeds[/one_half]

[one_half_last]My stevia wilted but might just bounce back[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Totally upset with my barrel flowers – all dead![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Even the waterwise plants can’t take the heat[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Fruit trees are struggling – my poor apple trees[/one_half]

[one_half_last]My strawberries are holding up, but just barely[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Roses need deadheading and cleaning up[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Even in the shade there is no escape! My evening primrose struggling[/one_half_last]

This is the toughest thing I have had to experience as a gardener. It is soul destroying, but everything has a season and we have no control of the elements. I take my hat off to you all in the northern hemisphere during the harsh winter days. Now I know what it feels like.

Oh well, I should be looking forward to the autumn and cooler weather and the ability to start afresh.

Happy gardening xxxxx

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Morning light and holiday delights

What a pleasure it is to get up early (when you don’t have to!), to explore the garden at first light. A few delights from my summer garden taken at first light this morning – aren’t the “chameleon” plants (Trachelospermum jasminoides “Chameleon”)  looking gorgeous? The new growth is pink and white on these lovely plants. Finally after a long dormancy, they appear to be waking up for summer to thrill us with their pretty new leaves, so gorgeous!

Trachelospermum jasminoides "Chameleon"

Also seen at first light as if waiting to delight us with their prettiness …

[one_half]Calibrachoa peeping through LamiumCalibrachoa[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Gardenia so sweetly fragrantGardenia so sweet[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Pandorea Jasminoides “Charisma”Pandorea Jasminoides “Charisma”[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Gaura lindheimeriGaura lindheimeri floating in the breeze[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A deep blue PetuniaIt really is this colour![/one_half]

[one_half_last]I’m starting to love BegoniasI'm starting to love Begonias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Penstemon ‘Alice Hendley’Penstemon 'Alice Hendley'[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Gerbera daisiesGerbera daisies[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Scaevola pretty in violetScaevola pretty in violet[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cleome flowers non-stop for me!Flowers non-stop for me![/one_half_last]

Wherever in the world you are and what ever you are doing today, enjoy the holiday!

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

And the award for Miss Photogenic goes to …

Just a short while ago I was bemoaning the fact that everything in my garden seems so “white”, with white blooms everywhere and not much colour left, after the crazy flower-flush of spring bulbs had passed. Reviewing all the suggestions I was given of making my garden “pop” with colour once again, I decided I liked the idea of black petunias in and amongst all the white to create a “sophisticated” garden.

As it usually happens when I am out looking for something specific, I won’t find it, but get sucked into all sorts of other options. And so it was that I finally planted two small fuchsias in the Camellia bed which I think will work quite well along the shaded wall area. In the front of the Camellia bed which gets a bit more light and a sniff of sun, I repeated last years exercise of planting a few Petunias. I’m not a great lover of Petunias, but have to concede that they create an almost instant colour spectacle which I feel my summer garden needs.

I’ve never had fuchsias before and only noticed just how lovely they are when I pointed my camera at them, and now I can’t stop photographing them. How gorgeous are these little flowers? And what an absolute delight they are to photograph. I can’t decide which of my new “colour pops” is the most photogenic, but I think…

The award goes to …


And the Runners up are …

[one_half]Little white and pink FuchsiaLittle white and pink Fuschia[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The blue PetuniasThe blue Petunias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Bright pink Gerbera daisyBright pink Gerbera daisy[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Bright pink PetuniasBright pink Petunias[/one_half_last]

See … instant colour!

Those Gerbera daisies are SO SO cute I feel a post dedicated to them coming up! I was lured by their cuteness at the nursery today. All these little pots with Gerberas winking at me and I only bought 2! Think I better go back and get more … if I can decide where to put them 🙂

Whats your favourite flower to photograph?

Happy Gardening

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

How are my roses?

Thank you to Diana from Elephants Eye for reminding me to take lots of photos of my roses!!! I am waiting for them to give me a splendid display! I should be able to post it tomorrow too! I have been nipping some the new shoots to encourage growth and using my home-made bug spray on the aphids who think they can stay …..!

Just read a really nice article on Roses in one of my favourite gardening mags:

Rose grooming and growing

  • Roses are queen of the October garden
  • They need at least 6 hours of sunshine a day
  • Roses can flower up to 10 months in a year
  • They need 10 litres of water a week
  • Fertilize monthly during summer
  • August to April use organic pesticides for thrips, red spider mite, aphids and beetles
  • Dead head regularly to encourage new floweing
  • Winter prune at the end of July (this is only for our Southern Hemisphere gardening friends)
  • Groom in January!
Happy Gardening xxxx
PS: I miss Christine too xx