Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Spring Splendour

Never have I been so enamored with a flower as I have with my Louisiana Irises. I think that the first specimen has been so magnificent that I have placed this flower on top of my Most Have To Have list. It is so tall and is so perfect that any other Iris will have to bend in its shadow. I wake up in the morning and open my back door and there she is!

[one_half]These are so tall!![/one_half]

[one_half_last]and so perfect![/one_half_last]

I have another 4 patches where I have buried the Iris rhizomes and they are all looking close to blooming.

[one_half]These are in the Blueberry patch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]All the flowers here are purple/blue[/one_half_last]




The first 2 photos are the Irises in the front garden rose patch. I am not certain what the colours are, so this will be a surprise!

Thanks again, my friend, for this special, special gift!

Happy gardening xxxxx


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

It’s all too beautiful …

It’s all too beautiful when the spring sun starts to warm up the earth and the plants respond by showing their first blooms and sprouting forth with lovely fresh new foliage. Gardening buddy Holly from Roses and other Gardening Joys said to me recently that when the first Iris blooms it is officially Spring – so hallelujah Cape Town! It is officially Spring here and this is the beautiful first Iris in bloom in my garden today …

The first Iris to flower in my garden

[one_third]The buds taken two days agoThe buds taken two days ago[/one_third]

[one_third]The fully opened bloom todayThe fully opened bloom today[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Photo taken from abovePhoto taken from above[/one_third_last]

[one_third]The Irises on the cornerThe Irises on the corner[/one_third]

[one_third]In perspective … the AlleyIn perspective ... the Alley[/one_third]

[one_third_last]A last look at the flowerA last look at the flower[/one_third_last]

I haven’t been able to write about these Louisiana Irises before. They were the last birthday present I got from my Dad last year, just before he died. We ordered the rhizomes from a specialist Iris grower in Johannesburg and they arrived the week before my father went into hospital for an operation from which he did not recover.

I planted the Irises while he was in hospital, worrying about him and then when he passed away I couldn’t find the strength to continue planting them. I gave many away (to my best friend so I will get to see them in her garden and on the blog soon) and then the last batch I forced myself to plant only quite a few weeks later. I’m not sure they will do well this year as they look poorly right now, but the first batch I did manage to plant are doing beautifully. In the photos you are seeing just three of the hundreds I planted along that wall (you can’t see them in the photos). The others are still waking up to Spring, but this one which is in the sunniest position has galloped on ahead to show me just how beautiful it will all look in a few weeks.

It’s all too beautiful …

Azalea Alley

I’m loving my Alley way garden right now. At last! I don’t feel the need to add anything else to this area now. In and amongst what you see in the Azalea bed above I have lots and lots of Asiatic Lilies coming up again, lots with buds on already so in a few weeks time I’ll have my little Lily field here again. I can’t wait …

What’s making you smile in your garden?

Happy Gardening

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Annuals Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Spring is on its way

It was a public holiday here in South Africa today (Women’s Day*), AND the sun was shining for a change, so I managed to get out into the garden. Several urgent tasks required my attention and thanks to the sunny weather, I was able to get quite a bit done. The new Jasminum polyanthum which I bought as a replacement for the Bougainvillea (that became overgrown, crashed and was removed) were finally planted and unravelled from their stakes and then tied and trained onto the bare trellis. It looks very sparse right now but in a few months it will be lush and full like the others I have. I love them … they are extremely easy to grow if planted in the right space, require hardly any attention and my birds love them as much as I do.

[one_half]The newly planted Jasminum polyanthumThe newly planted Jasminum polyanthum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Which will soon look like the othersWhich will soon look like the others [/one_half_last]

[one_third]Jasminum polyanthumJasminum polyanthum[/one_third]

[one_third]The birds are back in force!The birds are back![/one_third]

[one_third_last]Azaleas flowering in the alleyAzaleas flowering in the alley[/one_third_last]

Talking about birds … the Starlings seem to have disappeared for winter and its been very quiet in the garden. Finally about two weeks ago we started hearing the witoogies and sunbirds making a racket again. Rooibeksysies were seen getting water from the pond so we filled up their water bottles and boy are the birds thirsty! We are having to refill the bottles every second day (usually once or twice a week) and we’ve seen birds fighting each other to get to the water. So we’ve filled up all their water bowls and baths again and are enjoying their antics. It is such a joy to have them in the front garden and be able to see them while I work. Once the starlings come back they will again chase the sunbirds and witoogies to the back garden when they take over the front and side gardens from Spring onwards.

[one_half]Dutch Irises growing in a pot this yearDutch Irises growing in a pot this year[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lilium emerging two weeks agoLiliums emerging about three weeks ago[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lots of new annuals plantedLots of new annuals planted[/one_third]

[one_third]New herb and lettuce seedlingsNew herb and lettuce seedlings[/one_third]

[one_third_last]These make me smile every dayThese make me smile every day[/one_third_last]

I’ve spent quite a bit on filling in “holes” in my back garden. I’ve bought new Agapanthus, Azaleas and Clivias to fill in a few gaps. In the front garden I’ve replaced overgrown, out of control lavender, bought new Gaura to plant with the lavender and I’ve started planting new annual seedlings in the two beds I reserve for annuals. My Irises are looking good and have been composted, fertilised and mulched in preparation for their Spring show. After my initial, small success with the few I bought to experiment with, I then bought a whole lot more and have been watching them grow. My Lilium bulbs are coming up again from last year and I bought a few more of these because I loved them so much. A few gorgeous new Chasmanthe (Barbie’s influence!) found their way home with me – I love the bright, beautiful flowers … as do the birds! Other bulbs are growing well (Dutch Irises, Babianas and Ixias) and the first Hellebore buds are visible. I think Spring might be on its way …


[one_third]The flowers and foliageThe flowers and foliage[/one_third]

[one_third]A closer view of the plantA closer view of the plant[/one_third]

[one_third_last]The Chasmanthe flowerThe gorgeous Chasmanthe flower[/one_third_last]

I’d forgotten how lovely my garden can be. Spending a few hours today with my hands in the dirt, lugging around compost, digging, planting and mulching gave me time to look around and see how much things have grown and filled in. In particular I’m loving my Alley-way garden … the Azaleas have started to flower and seeing last years Liliums coming back again is such a delight! Some of them are almost a foot tall already. I’m really looking forward to the sea of lilies again … as well as the Freesias, Ixias, Babianas … and so the cycle continues. Spring is on its way!

That’s all for today!
Happy Gardening

* Woman’s Day commemorates 9 August 1956 when women participating in a national march petitioned against pass laws (legislation that required African persons to carry a document on them to ‘prove’ that they were allowed to enter a ‘white area’). More about Woman’s Day.