Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Last October Days

After the heat of yesterday and the windy morning, I finally ventured out into the garden to see what needed tending. Besides the blown-over trellis and the build-up of weed, I was amazed to see lots of new growth and happy flowers. I am amazed at how much a garden can really give you when you offer some love and care.  I treasure the surprises and the jump-for-joy moments, like the new Louisiana Iris in the front garden, the first new Rose or the Broccoli sprout and the sweet carrots.

My first rose bud. It is so sweet and gloriously scented!

[one_half]Dianthus in full bloom next to the Tea Tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]New rose bushes with Powis Castle[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Salvia Hot Lips in the rose patch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Some rose buds, Fuchsia growing tall[/one_half_last]

[one_half]What a beautiful colour-Louisiana Iris[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A single perfect flower-just lovely![/one_half_last]


[one_third]My Auntie Henna Rose[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Fuchsia lush and green[/one_third_last]

The Grass Feature is coming alive. The grasses are in their 3rd Season, so this is the year for them to shine!

[one_half]The grass feature is amazing[/one_half]

[one_half_last]All grasses are in full growth[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The riverbed still looking good[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This will be so nice in summer[/one_half_last]

Well, the front garden is in full display. The Leopard trees are about to bud and within a few weeks will be rich and green with new leaves. Now let’s see what the back garden is doing …..

The Carnations are still blooming – together with the Yarrow. Both are new to my garden and seem to be happy in the new bed.

[one_half]Chamomile- great tea[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Sage – Salvia[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Calendula – my first ever from seeds[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A favourite medicinal flower[/one_half_last]

My first Fennel plant with flowers – from this one I will collect the seeds.

[one_half]Babiana are so pretty[/one_half]

[one_half_last]My first carnations that didn’t die on me[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Sweetpea up the ladder[/one_third]

[one_third]The new bed[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Buffy hiding from me[/one_third_last]

[one_half]My new apple trees in bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Quinces are now starting[/one_half_last]

[one_half]New strawberries – I love spring![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Blueberry bush also producing[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Watering hole next to the Tansy[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another watering hole[/one_half_last]

[one_half]My first Lily-behind the pineapple sage[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A dove in her new nest in the potato bush[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Blue Cornflowers in the meadow[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Don’t know what this is-but pretty[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Another unknown flower in the meadow[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another non-name flower[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Wild growing Nasturtiums[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Meadow flowers coming to an end[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Best Lemons ever![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Loquats are nearly ripe![/one_half_last]

I have so many more photos,but I think I will post them on another day. There is so much happening in my garden right now and I haven’t even touched on the veggie patch.

Til next post – Happy Gardening xxxxxx


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

The Baby Doves in my shade garden

This evening we were sitting on our back terrace, all our pets were out back with us and we were making a fair amount of usual family noise when I spotted out of the corner of my eye what seemed like two very small birds just perched on the Philodendron … just hanging out, seemingly undisturbed by my dogs and cat who were all being quite vocal. On the off-chance that the birds might still be there when I got back I went to fetch the camera. My daughter managed to take quite a few photos of them and as you can see, these are definitely babies.

Barbie tells me that they look as if they are now too big for the nest but still can’t fly. I have been aware of a dove living in the back garden but was not aware of a nest.

This is the sight that first caught my eye …
The sight that caught my eye

Using the zoom lens to get closer without frightening or disturbing them …
Getting in real close

Very obviously babies, they sat quietly, as if watching us.
Looking around

Time for us to leave them alone and keep our boisterous pets away from them …
Nitey-nite birdies

I sent Barbie the photos and she says they seem unstressed. They are not peeping or making any noise so they are probably not lost and Mommy is around. This spot is directly below the bird feeder and water bottle, so there is food for the Mom. The babies must have flown/hopped onto the big leaf stalk they are sitting on which is about 2 feet off the ground – so they are not completely helpless.

I’m guessing that the main threat to them would be my cat Hercules, whom I’ll try to keep him inside and very well fed for the next few days to give the birds a chance to get strong so they can fly to higher branches.

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Trees

Tree ID help

I was lured out back today by endless chirping of birds and found, to my delight, that there is a new type of bird visiting my garden. Tiny little birds, hanging out and darting around on the huge Hibiscus. I tried to photograph them but they were too quick for me and once Dexter started running around and bringing me his ball to throw, they took off.

The Dove however, not intimidated by rambunctious Rottweilers, was content to perch in the tree and check us out which it did for ages. Isn’t it cute …

The Dove

Which brings me to my question … The dove is sitting in the now bare tree. I don’t know what type of tree this is and I forgot to write down what the Tree Guy told me. (I don’t think he did tell me about this tree as it was bare when he was here and they didn’t do anything to it).

Here is what it looks like in the height of summer …

Tree ID help

I would really like to know what tree this is. If anyone can help me identify it I will be very grateful.

You can click to enlarge these two photos for more detail:

[one_half]What tree is this?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]What tree is this?[/one_half_last]

PS: I’ve trawled tree ID websites and all my books and I am none the wiser.

Happy gardening

Barbie's garden Home page features Miscellaneous

Micro all grown up

[one_half]Micro at 6 weeks[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Micro in food[/one_half_last]

Hi Chris, I wanted to send you the latest photos of Micro today. She is so confident and her flying skills have become better than your average bird. She can manouever herself  in and out of the kitchen and her favourite perch is above the hanging pots and also in the evening on the DVD player in the bedroom. She also has to inspect the supper plates every evening and taste everything – so inquisitive! My favourite though is when I’m on the laptop and she wanders over the keyboard and starts pecking at my cursor on the screen. Gets me every time!! I can’t believe that she is already in her 6th week. She is really looking like a dove now. Soon I won’t be able to tell her apart from the other doves.

Ok – have a great day tomorrow and don’t work too hard. Take some time off and sit in your beautiful garden.

Christine's garden Home page features Miscellaneous

Close encounter with a Hadeda

Hadeda in my gardenI was taking a walk around my garden to see what I could photograph for a blog post – and it walked right up to me – a Hadeda lunching on my earthworms! The amazing thing was that Hercules was walking with me and the Hadeda was completely unfazed by our very close presence and by being followed by us, me snapping away in the hope of getting at least one good photograph. The walkabout lasted for about ten minutes until we had followed her all the way from the back garden to the pond and then she decided she had had enough … either of us or of munching on earthworms, and she took flight.

I often see the Hadedas in my garden. I don’t actually like them much – they are usually in the garden in groups of two or three and they trample on the plants damaging them and mess all over the place (read: crap on the patio). And they are big birds so the mess they leave on the patio is large! Not little dove droppings, I’m talking about huge Hadeda droppings. So whilst they are not unwelcome (I love having birds in the garden), they are not exactly my favourite visitors – much like the loud noisy neighbours one tolerates once in a blue moon!

[one_half]Hadeda in my garden[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Hadeda in my garden[/one_half_last]

For anyone interested and not familiar with the Hadeda here is some info I found on Wikipedia:
The Hadeda or Hadeda Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash, is a ibis found in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Hadeda is a large (up to 76 cm long), dark brown ibis with a white “moustache”, glossy greenish purple wings, a large black bill with a red stripe on the upper mandible, and blackish legs. It feeds mainly on earthworms, using its long scimitar-like bill to probe soft soil. It also eats larger insects, such as the Parktown Prawn, as well as spiders and small lizards. These birds also favour snails and will feed in garden beds around residential homes. It has a distinctively loud and recognisable haa-haa-haa-de-dah call that is often heard when the birds are flying or are startled, hence the name. More info about Hadeda here: Hadeda Ibis.

Barbie's garden Home page features Miscellaneous

Photo shoot with Micro

We did some close up shots of Micro with my new Nikon D3100 and I am so amazed with the results. Hannes took these beautiful photos and you can just see these were taken by a pro!

[one_half]Micro and Brbie[/one_half]


Barbie's garden Miscellaneous

We can fly!

Day 11

We flew today!! Micro amazed us with her natural ability to just take off and fly. I thought today was the day we could go outdoors and introduce her to the big world. She walked around but never took her eyes off me. She wanted to fly into my lap, but instead she took off and just went straight up – onto the roof’s gutter!! I think she was shocked herself!! Hannes climbed up to get her down. Whew! She still has lots to learn, but we try again tomorrow!

[one_half]Flying lesson[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I can Fly![/one_half_last]

Barbie's garden Miscellaneous

Micro is growing

Bby Dove Day 10Day 10 :   These last three days Micro is showing signs of becoming a fully fledged dove, in fact a Lemon Dove (Columba larvata) AKA: Cinnamon Dove or Forest Dove – we known it as a lemoen duifie. She sits on my shoulder after I’ve fed her and we walk around the house together. She is testing her wings and her balance is improving. But she still gets tired quickly and after a while, her eyes close and I put her back into her box. She snuggles down and I cover her with her blankie!

Barbie's garden Miscellaneous

Baby Dove is doing well

Day 6 & 7

Micro, our little baby dove survivor, is part of the family now! She whistles in the morning like someone whistles for attention – so very cute. Hannes is making sure she gets all the flying practice in – we don’t want her to be prey for any larger birds when she launches into the big outdoor world. I have also tried introducing her to the chickens, but they are all far too curious and quick to take a bite of anything that is in my hands – so we will leave the introductions for another day. All in all she is thriving and donig well.

[one_half]Baby Dove day 6[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Baby dove Day 7[/one_half_last]

Barbie's garden Miscellaneous

Baby Dove has a Name

Day 5

Baby Dove has finally got a name. We decided to call her/him MICRO. It was a fitting name with all the photos taken through the Macro lens. It was taken with a medical Micro Nikkor 60mm f2.8. All the doctors use it in labs for very accurate photography – one of the sharpest lenses in the world. So, now you know why my photographs are so spectacular – it is to do with this very special lens – and the best teacher in the world too (my hubby!!)

Ok, so Micro is looking more and more like a dove. She is preening and plucking daily and has the cutest little peep – calls me from a distance! Well fed and perky, makes for a very content baby bird. She now knows she has wings and we did a first flight practice today. Hannes had her on his finger and got her flapping. Very tired baby afterwards! It was a tough flying lesson. She is now fed and in her box for a little snooze.

[one_half]Flying lesson[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Baby Dove Day 5[/one_half_last]