Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous Perenniels

New additions for 2012

I guess my New Year’s resolution is to have more colour in my garden. I have so enjoyed the nursery outings that Christine and I take on regular intervals and the temptation to buy more and more flowering plants has taken hold of me. I will share these new additions with you and how I have added them to the garden.

Here is Gerbera Garvinea (the daisy-like orange flower) and white cosmos and red Dianthus with my favourite Gaura Belleza in the background.

[one_half]Gaura Belleza ready for planting[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Dianthus, Cosmos and Gaura looking pretty[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The Gaura now in my buckets[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I think this is a perfect spot![/one_half_last]

I had the lavender in the buckets, if you can remember, and I found that I needed to replant those in a more suitable environment (I haven’t done this yet!). The gaura are just perfect here – they play in the wind and seem to love this sunny spot! They are light and pretty, so I have improved this area. I’m chuffed!

[one_half]Here, I have combined the Cosmos and Dianthus[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Festuca Glauca and Calibrachoa ready for planting[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Calibrachoa and alyssum in the grass feature[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I have added the Festuca Glauca here[/one_half_last]

I had a few gaps in my grass feature and really wanted to add Festuca Glauca. I found some so – yeay! You can see it here next to the bird bath. The calibrachoa and the alyssum found a home next to my Miscanthus.

[one_half]Gerbera Garvinea Orangia – very cute![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Gerbera in my barrel combo[/one_half_last]

I am very pleased that the Gerbera Garvinea looks fabulous in my barrel bucket with my Artemesia and spring bulbs as a threesome. The alyssum just finishes the pretty picture.

[one_half]Grass feature looking just great[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another view from the deck[/one_half_last]

I had to add the last two photos of the grass feature. It is really coming on beautifully and I’ll keep you updated on this because I see that it is really starting to grow!

I wish all of our garden blogger friends a GREAT 2012 and Happy Gardening  xxxxxxx

30 Day Challenge Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

The 30 Day Challenge – Day 11

Today I am grateful for family and friends. There is a saying that goes “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow”. I think it’s a proverb, but wherever it comes from, Family and Friends are there always there for you when things go wrong or life deals you a blow. For all those special people in my life, I am extremely grateful (not just today, but every day!) – and those of you that show interest in my garden when I prattle on about it for hours, even though you are not reeeeally interested, you Rock! 🙂


Photo: Dianthus – I love these and use them as gap fillers for summer colour. In my garden they do well in sunny spots where they thrive and behave as perennials and in the shaded areas they do well for a season and then require replacing.

Dianthus – Sweet William has been a favourite in the flower border for generations. Dianthus are relatives of the carnation, and flower in shades of red, pink and white. Many forms, such as the ‘Wee Willie’ are bicolor. They are easy to care for, and form neat mounds that seldom need pruning but benefit from dead-heading which encourages them to bush and flower. Sweet William prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun. In areas having extremely hot summers, plant in partial shade for best results

About the 30 Day Challenge

Cat of The Whimsical Gardener, has invited Garden Bloggers the world over to join her in the 30 day challenge of posting a photograph and sentiment that you are thankful for – every day for 30 days. Find something you are thankful for every day, for 30 days, can’t be too difficult, can it? See all Barbie’s and my posts filed under “30 Day Challenge“.

Christine's garden Gardening

Too hot to garden so we photograph

Its just way too hot in Cape Town today to do anything constructive in the garden. It was 38° Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) earlier when I checked although it felt hotter at lunch time, so it could have been closer to 40 earlier on today. I’m waiting for the sun to go down before I do anything. I was forced outside because Dexter spent the afternoon keeping cool in the pool. I need to supervise him or he destroys the creepy crawley (he seems to think its an alien being and it’s an ongoing battle in summer to keep him from destroying it).

I did take a few photos – amazing what you see on photograph that you don’t really notice with the naked eye. The bench in this front area needs to be sanded and varnished … very obvious in the photos, less obvious in reality. So its on the “to do” list along with a thousand other things …

I thought I would show you today how this patch looked before I cared and how it looks now. Its not fantastic – still needs work, but the whole garden is a work in progress so I’m not beating myself up over it.

Here is how it looked just after we planted in October. (The trellis is there to train the bougainvilleas upwards and hopefully eventually they will spill over the garage wall and pergola on the other side – that’s the hope!).

October 2010

This was taken on 6 February – a month ago. Looking a whole lot better already for just four months later.

6 February 2011

And here it is today (the back urn needs something in it – still looking for the right thing. I’m thinking something white).

6 March

It is all very green and none of the plants are flowering at the moment except for the “Mona Lavender” which is on the right (and of course the potted Petunias, but they don’t really count). To the left of the bench there is a lot of colour provided by the Sweet Williams which I’ve previously shown.

There are also a few Gardenias to the left and a Weigelia – both of which under-performed this year. I don’t know why. I gave them so much love and attention. I suspect the Weigela reacted to being re-planted from another position and I didn’t prune it correctly. But the Gardenias … I’m giving them one more year. I suspect it may be too hot for them here. It doesn’t seem that way because there is a big tree there, but its a narrow tree, and doesn’t cast a lot of shade so the gardening people mis-judge how shady the area is.

The Bougainvillea didn’t flower because it gets too much water. But I wanted growth this year. We’ll “neglect” them next year to force them to flower.

That’s all I can manage in this heat …
Happy Gardening (if you can)

Annuals Christine's garden Home page features

Front Garden

HerculesI’m enjoying one of the beds in my front garden a lot. To a seasoned gardener I’m sure its nothing special, and I know it needs work in terms of the Gardenias not performing at their best (and my newly planted “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” still underperforming), but I’m loving the little dianthus annuals I planted because they’ve added some colour to the blanks spaces while we wait for the new plants to establish themselves. The Plectranthus madagacariens is absolutely thriving and I have to keep cutting it back so it doesn’t take over completely. The wild iris plants are coming along beautifully.

Hercules loves this spot in the garden too … He likes to sit on the bench and watch me when I’m busy in the front garden. He loves to sniff the plants and is so light of foot that he doesn’t damage anything …  the perfect little garden companion!


Dianthus and bunny

Dianthus & Bunny[/one_half]


Gardening companion


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Controlling weeds in the garden

Weeds in the gardenOur blog has been going for all of a week and we’ve had our first real gardening question. I set up a Facebook page (The Gardening Blog on Facebook) and a Twitter account (@ourgardens) for our blog and as is to be expected, we’ve had few followers so far. In fact, I recognise only our daughters and ourselves following our Facebook page. But then somehow we’ve already managed to attract a few followers on Twitter and we’ve had a real live question! So Liesel, this post is specially for you … you asked; “@ourgardens thanks for the follow. Tips on how 2 get rid of weeds in garden without gardener?”

In August I had my entire garden “replanted” by a gardening expert. It cost a lot and I was determinded not to let all that go to waste by not taking proper care of my “new” garden, so the ongoing battle with the weeds started. Every day I would do a walk around the garden and pull up any new weeds … and it took a lot of time. I’m very busy with work and other things so I found it quite annoying. I am spoilt – I have a garden service who come once every two weeks, but they are not very good at removing weeds – they get rid of all the leaves (I have so many trees and keeping the garden tidy is a huge mission, so that is what they concentrate on) and they do a general clean up. But weed-removing does not seem to be their forte, so I have the ongoing battle of removing the weeds myself. And because all the plants are new and we are waiting for them to grow, there are lots of bare patches just waiting for the weeds … so it really is an almost daily mission. Or at least, it was!

Bark MulchOnce again, Kathryn (my garden expert!) to the resue – At the beginning of December she recommended we lay down bark mulch which makes the soil look more attractive, as well as feeding the acid loving plants and keeping the water in the soil. We did this and an added bonus is, it seems to have totally controlled the weeds! Yes there are still a few stragglers that get through the mulch, but considering that it is summer and prime growing season, the weeds are now few and far between! Another thing I did was plant annuals in some of the bare patches – lots of Impatiens in the very shaded areas and Dianthus in the areas that get more sun. This not only looks pretty, but having plants growing in those areas snuffs out the light so the weeds can’t seem to get through.

I am seriously no gardening expert and am learning as I go along. Experienced gardeners will probably cringe at my advice … but its working for me! The only area I still need to remove weeds from daily is the area outside the property – on the verge – where we did not lay mulch and I haven’t planted anything else. So thats my answer … mulch! You can get it delivered to your house and then you’ll have to throw it down yourself or get a gardener just for a day to do it for you.

On these two photographs you can see how the bark mulch looks in my garden (apologies for the poor quality of the photographs) but it shows that it does look a lot better than bare soil. Click to view the enlargements.

[one_half]Bark Mulch with Impatiens[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Bark Mulch at the back[/one_half_last]