Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Garden Clutter

Ok – so now I am back in my garden and all I see is clutter and mishmash and an overgrown, totally out-of-control garden. Well, that is not so bad because I don’t particularly like too much order in my garden! They say that weeds are plants that haven’t learnt to grow in rows! But a happy companion growth is good!! All I decided to do today was record the, aah-hem! mess! I’m feeling less and less energetic! But I know that this is my weekend in the garden – I have earned it!! And if I don’t get the veggie seeds planted, I’ll have nothing to show this summer!  I have been sketching and drawing and planning and have a new vegetable patch design – I will post it to show you how I spend rainy days – I still think of my garden! And this design is all based on good companion planting!

Ok – here is the BEFORE photos ….. just to let you all know my garden gets really, really wild!!

[one_half]Peas in the Potato Patch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Peaches in this jungle[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Lots going on here[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This is my FIRST almond!![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Lemon juice for Africa!![/one_half]

[one_half_last]What!?  Figs again!?[/one_half_last]




[one_half]Veggie patch going wild![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Chamomile growing wild with weeds[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Veggie patch needs lots of work-whew![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Wow! Front garden looking savage[/one_half_last]




[one_half]How sad-needs some love![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Back garden chicken demolished![/one_half_last]

Wish me good luck and I will most definitely show the AFTER photos!!

Happy gardening xxxxx


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


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A look around

I’m really tired of the cold weather. Where is Spring? It’s almost mid October and my barometer tells me its 10°C or 50°F (I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it sure feels that cold). Yesterday was a lovely sunny day (sunny but not warm) and I took a walk around the garden and was surprised at how much is looking pretty despite the weird weather. I’m loving the Lilies again this year and the Clivias are quite magnificent. They are flowering all over Cape Town and are a wonderful sight. Even mine are looking great. There’s lots of orange and yellow which makes a change from my usual white and pink colour scheme (which will follow on again in Summer).

I’ll take you on a tour and show you some pretty …

The Clivias are planted along the back wall under a deep shade of trees where they brighten up some of the darkest spaces when they flower. It’s a wonderful sight when you walk through around and spot a bright splash of orange tucked behind a tree, or in some places, they are grouped and flowering all together. I think this is the first year I’ve had such a great show from them – this being their third spring in my garden.

Here is a Clivia tucked away under lots of foliage plants

Clivia tucked in a corner

[one_half]A group of Clivias against a wallA group of Clivias against a wall[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Up close and personal with a CliviaUp close and personal with a Clivia[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The gorgeous Babianas are floweringThe gorgeous Babianas are flowering[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Tucked in between the flowering SalviasTucked in between the flowering Salvias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]In a pot outside my bedroomIn a pot outside my bedroom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Happy fish in their cleaned up homeHappy fish in their cleaned up home[/one_half_last]

[one_half]And the Lilies have started to flowerAnd the Lilies have started to flower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Yellow, orange and white this yearYellow, orange and white this year[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lilies bending to the sunLilies bending to the sun[/one_third]

[one_third]Star Jasmine growing up a treeStar Jasmine growing up a tree[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lots of colour in the alleyLots of colour in the alley[/one_third_last]

[one_half]About to burst into bloomAbout to burst into bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]New planted petunias for summer colourNew planted petunias for summer colour[/one_half_last]

Aren’t the colours of the Crabapple magnificent? A day or two and the whole shrub will be flowering.

Happy gardening

Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Front garden cleanup

It has been an eventful week in my garden – with my first Louisiana Iris bloom and with the warm sunny days we have had all week, the energy is there to get the garden looking spiffy! Out came the lawnmower and the big job to cut the knee-high grass! Oh boy! What a job.

[one_half]This took ages to cut! Whew![/one_half]

[one_half_last]But it was worth it-looks great[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Rose bushes with their new leaves[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Healthy growth[/one_half_last]




As the sun sets on a productive day, I look out over my front garden and am happy! I will be able to see the new expanding plants, grasses, trees, flowers and veggies.

Now I need to plant all my seeds … my job is far from over, but I am smiling!

Happy Gardening xxx

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Seasonal Celebrations

We’ve been celebrating Spring for the past week and enjoying lovely sunny days and the effect it has in the garden. My favourite tree the Cherry Blossom (type: unknown) is in full bloom and dropping the lovely petals to the ground which creates a magical snow-like look in the beds below. I can stare at this tree for hours, knowing that in two to three short weeks she will be covered in bright green leaves and the blossoms will be gone, until next year. So while I can, I enjoy the wonderful spectacle of this tree.

Lets take a look at some of the things I’m loving in my garden right now … (click to enlarge the photos)

[one_half]The Cherry blossom in all her gloryThe Cherry blossom in all her glory[/one_half]

[one_half_last]All the Blossoms falling to the groundAll the Blossoms falling to the ground[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Sherry has joined us on our walkaboutSherry has joined us on our walkabout[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I’m loving the Azaleas and foliage here I'm loving the Azaleas and foliage here [/one_half_last]

[one_half]I love this combo of grasses and bulbsI love this combo of grasses and bulbs[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A celebratory Spring purchase: ClematisA celebratory Spring purchase: Clematis[/one_half_last]

Who me? No Mom! I promise I never trample on your plants …
Who me? No Mom! I didn't trample your plants

It all looks very pretty and organised doesn’t it? Well … this is only a very small portion of my garden. The rest needs lots and lots and lots of work. So much so that I feel quite intimidated by it all. And with rain predicted for the coming weekend, I’m not sure I’ll make much progress.

I’m joining our good gardening friend Donna of Garden’s Eye View for her Seasonal Celebration. Pop over to see how our friends in the northern hemisphere are celebrating Fall (Autumn).

Happy Gardening

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The second Spring day

Welcome Spring! At last some lovely weather, we’ve had two cold but sunny days. Wonderful sunshine and the plants have perked up by the end of the second day. Welcome Spring!

[one_third]The Azalea AlleyThe Azalea Alley[/one_third]

[one_third]Irises and LiriopeIrises and Liriope[/one_third]

[one_third_last]The lovely AzaleasThe lovely Azaleas[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Delphiniums still in potsDelphiniums still in pots[/one_third]

[one_third]Acanthis mollis budAcanthis Mollis bud[/one_third]

[one_third_last]The sweet HelleboresThe sweet Hellebores[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Salvia are bloomingSalvia are blooming[/one_third]

[one_third]New growth on AzaleasNew growth on Azaleas[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Aren’t they lovely?Aren't they lovely?[/one_third_last]

The Azaleas are the star in my early spring garden. I love all the pink and cerise blooms and after the rains they are all showing lovely fresh growth and beautiful blooms.

The first Ipheon flower has shown its face. I didn’t realise they were such small flowers, quite pretty. The Acanthis mollis has sprouted tons of huge buds. I’ve read (and observed) that allowing them to flower destroys the plant. I have three plants and they have covered a rather unattractive corner with their wonderfully large leaves. I’d like to keep them looking good, so I might remove the buds in a day or two.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend
Happy Gardening

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Almost …

It’s almost Spring! Yay!

[one_half]The first Iris bud (I forget the type)The first Iris bud (I forget the type)[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The Hellebores are back!The Hellebores are back![/one_half_last]

[one_half]The Impatiens are waking upThe Impatiens are waking up[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This year I will plant the Clivia seed!This year I will plant one of these![/one_half_last]

The first sunny day in weeks and I went to see about the damage caused by storms and all the rain. Lots of neglected corners, the lawn needs serious attention, lots of plants need care, pruning, cutting back and my “To Do” list gets longer every second as I walk around the various sections of my garden. But signs of Spring are everywhere.

Weigelias are starting to bloom, Azaleas are flourishing and there are buds on all the spring bloomers including the first Iris. Daisies look pretty and the Salvia has grown a lot while I wasn’t paying attention. Every plant seems to be doing something to get my attention …

[one_half]Daisies waiting to be plantedDaisies waiting to be planted[/one_half]

[one_half_last]These were WHITE when I bought themThese were WHITE when I bought them[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Hercules … the way he drinks waterHercules ... the way he drinks water[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Nobody left the tap dripping ….Nobody left the tap dripping ....[/one_half_last]

The birds are back in full force – we are having to refill both water bottles every second day and they again wake me at 5 am every morning as they dart around the back garden looking for grubs in the lawn and berries off the trees and shrubs.

As a true child of Africa, my bones don’t like the unusually cold and long winter we’re having. All I can say is; Roll on Spring …

PS: Last two photos are of my cat, Hercules. He likes to drink water from a running tap … failing that, it has to be from a glass (he will not drink water from a bowl) and if neither is to his satisfaction, he will shout until I open the tap for him … or dive right into the basin looking for water … as in the last photo 🙂

Post Update: I prepared this post yesterday whilst the sun was shining. Guess what … today it is once again POURING with rain here in the Newlands valley.

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.


Annuals Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

The first Asiatic Lily and other Joys of Spring

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom” – Terri Guillemets

Plant, care, watch, wait, stand back and admire … repeat.

How immensely satisfying it is to plant a bulb, seed or seedling and watch it develop and finally bloom. Had I known all this 30 years ago I may well have made very different career choices in life. How I envy those who chose the road of Horticulture or gardening as their profession. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, but oh my! I admit to loving my garden a whole lot more! What a Joy it is to step outside on a Spring morning and discover new blooms and fresh new shoots on plants. From bulbs that are blooming to plants specially selected for foliage … add some loving care, a good downpour and then a bit of sunshine and … Ta Da!!

And here we have today’s surprises …

[one_half]First Asiatic Lily in bloomAsiatic Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Freesias wherever you look…Wherever you look there are Freesias[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Ixias about to flowerIxias about to flower[/one_third]

[one_third]Sinfonietta Iris budSinfonietta Iris bud[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lemon tree covered in budsLemon tree covered in buds[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Sigh, I love them … so prettySigh, I love them ... so pretty[/one_third]

[one_third]The first Lily in all her gloryThe Lily in all her glory[/one_third]

[one_third_last]All these colours on one plantAll these colours on one plant[/one_third_last]

Today the first of the +/- 80 Liliums I planted is blooming, and how gorgeous it looks. Of all the bulbs I planted I am finding the Liliums the most satisfying. All the bulbs have come up, some are standing 1.5m high and all are covered in buds. The Lilium Longiflorum (St Josephs Lilies) bulbs were planted towards the back of the bed and the slightly shorter Asiatics were planted slightly forward. The overall look of the bed is fabulous – even without the flowers.

The individual plants are strong and standing proudly upright (no staking required although I’ve read it is sometimes required) and I enjoy the shiny green foliage that has filled the bed and makes it look most promising. (I will do a post soon to show before and after photographs of this bed – It’s an amazing transformation – my absolute favourite right now).

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labour, regardless of the season!

Happy Gardening

I’m linking this to Weekendflowers # 10! Click to visit!

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Happy Spring Day

In South Africa we celebrate the first day of September as Spring Day marking the coming of the spring season. It is the only day that most schools allows casual dress instead of the normal school uniform and many primary school children will be taking flowers to the eldery in homes, young girls (and some older ones) will pin a flower in their hair and generally we all welcome the anticipated coming of warmer weather with a spring in our step (pun intended!). Birds are making nests, and deciduous trees are sprouting new growth and love is in the air!

I’ve finished my fertilising, most of the composting and I’ve spent the last few mornings checking all the flowering plants for new buds and flowers and I’m being richly rewarded. To celebrate the the first day of spring I’m sharing my favourite buds – the ones I’m most excited about seeing in bloom …

[one_half]First Oriental lilies in budFirst Oriental lilies in bud[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Ixia budsIxia buds[/one_half_last]

[one_half]More Ixias in budMore Ixias in bud[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Ranunculas in budRanunculas in bud[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Buds and berries on the NandinasBuds and berries on the Nandinas[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The Clivias are about to bloomClivia about to bloom[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Murraya Exotica covered in budsMurraya Exotica covered in buds[/one_half]

[one_half_last]First Delphinium bloomsFirst Delphinium blooms[/one_half_last]

[one_half]First blossom on the Prunus sp.First blossom on the Prunus sp.[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Tibouchina budTibouchina bud[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Makhaya Bella budsMakhaya Bella buds[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Mandevilla SplenensMandevilla Splenens[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Love all the new foliageLove all the new foliage[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Freesias are in bud or floweringFreesias are in bud or flowering[/one_half_last]

PS: According to Wikipedia, In South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, spring begins on 1 September, and has no relation to the vernal equinox.

Happy Spring Day to all!