Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Sunflowers from sunny Cape Town

Hi all gardening friends!! My year started off very busy work wise and the summer has kept me more outdoors than in! We are experiencing a heat wave in Cape Town these past few days so 32 to 38 degrees is the average!! Whew!! Hot in Philly!! I have to show you my beautiful Sunflowers that were all over my garden this summer. They are now going to seed, but were spectacular this summer.

[one_half]The geometry of nature[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The chickens will be happy!![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Sunflower seeds packed beautifully[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The bees were busy on the sunflowers[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Love this photo![/one_half]

[one_half_last]They stood over 6 feet tall[/one_half_last]

[one_half]So many heads per stalk![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Golden yellow sunshine!![/one_half_last]

Lots has been happening in the garden as well so in the next posts I will be sharing with you all the stuff we are changing and moving and adding and subtracting!

Hannes and I have decided to redesign the garden and home to make it more water wise and energy efficient in 2014. This is the theme that will include using grey water and harvesting rain water and including solar water heating and recycling. Lots of new ideas to go GREEN!

Glad to be back and will be sharing our experiences with you!!

Happy gardening in 2014!!!





Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Seasonal Celebrations in the Rose Bed

If you come to visit me you’ll ring the door bell from outside and then as you enter and close the door, this is the first thing you will see …

Summer garden

It’s what I see every time I look out of my back door and its bursting with blooms right now. In this small corner of my back garden, the roses are maturing and much larger this year. Covered in so many more blooms than last year, I’m really thrilled with them. Who said roses are difficult? I find them easy – the instructions are so precise: I know exactly when and how much to water and fertilise each shrub and how and when to prune.

Besides the once a year chop, I finger prune my roses occasionally and I am rewarded with such wonderful blooms and greenery, they are an absolute pleasure to me. And when they are pruned and bare for a short while, they just blend into the scenery allowing the other plants in their midst to shine – but only for a brief time while they recover and then come back to steal the lime-light, because once they are flowering its hard not to notice them.

[one_half]Basking in the shadows of the RosesBasking in the shodows of the Roses[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Quite a few blooms on Monday …The rose bushes on Monday ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]And lots more blooms by WednesdayAnd lots more blooms on Wednesday[/one_half]

[one_half_last]And even more today!And even more today![/one_half_last]

I’m tempted to cut the roses and bring them indoors, but I am enjoying this view so much I just can’t bring myself to cut them.

This is a ‘Summer’ Bed, at it’s best from December through to March. It’s far from perfect … I’ve made many changes and keep trying different things, but the roses are a constant around which everything else changes from time to time – except I think I’ll leave the Jasmine on the trellises now – I’m happy with them, even if they are too close in colour to the roses (the foliage). The result is that you do not notice the bare rose stalks when they are pruned and bare from the end of July through to early September – and when the Jasmine flowers in September and October, the scent as you enter the property is wonderful. Jasmine and Lavender …

Growing in the bed below I have Dietes grandilora, Penstemon, a Daisy bush, Heliotropium, a Duranta gold on either side and at the very front some of my Lobularia and Carex’s are really struggling because the dogs and the moles are at war here. Those dogs and moles have cost me a lot of plants! I’m considering other options – when they make me really cross then thorny plants, scarecrows, fences, ‘get off’ pellets … and other scary options spring to mind!

In other news, it’s a busy work time with little time for the garden and even less for blogging, but in two weeks time we will have a break and with it lots of lovely time to spend in the garden!

I’m joining Donna of Garden’s Eye View for Seasonal Celebrations. Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time!

Happy Gardening, wherever you are!


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Hello Summer

It’s the end of November and on Saturday we slip into Summer and the start of the festive season … where did this year go?

As the working year slowly draws to a close I am, at last, finding more time to spend in the garden. I’m delighting in the fact that many of my plants are finally leaping … Star jasmine is in full flower and the scent is wonderful all over the front garden. There is hardly a bare patch to be seen and the lawn is slowly coming back to its summer splendour. Slowly. And not without a huge effort. But it is worth it when it looks all lush and green, like a little carpet in the mass of plants at the back. Areas I focussed on last year, like the back left corner garden, are full of happy plants about to burst into bloom. The Agapanthus are looking great this year, and all my grasses are coming back strongly after their spring cut back.

Here’s a quick look around at some of my favourite spots.

[one_half]Petunias and Star jasmine leapingPetunias and Star jasmine leaping[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This corner was a “project” last summerThis corner was a "project" last summer[/one_half_last]

[one_third]The new bird houseThe new bird house looks lovely[/one_third]

[one_third]New grasses are coming upThe new grasses are coming up[/one_third]

[one_third_last]This Dahlia is taller than meThe massive Dahlia is taller than me[/one_third_last]

[one_half]Newly planted to replace struggling GardeniasNewly planted to replace the struggling Gardenias[/one_half]

[one_half_last]And a mass of flowers in the Rose bedAnd a mass of flowers in the Rose bed[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Jasmine climbing up the treeJasmine climbing up the tree[/one_third]

[one_third]In the pond …In the pond ...[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Thunbergia Alata (new)Thunbergia Alata (new)[/one_third_last]

[one_half]Solanum jasminoides behind the DahliaSolanum jasminoides behind the Dahlia[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A deep dark shade spot full of greeneryA deep dark shade spot full of greenery[/one_half_last]

After the trellis in the front garden “Gardenia bed” collapsed I decided it was time to redo that bed. The last few weeks I’ve been busy digging up the struggling Gardenias and painting the walls (yes I did have help :)), and then I planned, purchased and planted up the new bed. I’ll do a post about it soon, but the preview is above.

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

My Summer garden update

The last few days it has been a whole lot cooler here in Cape Town which means I felt more inclined to walk around and see what the heat of the previous weeks has done to my garden and plants …

Angelonia is a hard-working little flowering plant that seems to thrive in the heat of the sun…Angelonia is flowering

[one_half]In the “Gardenia bed”In the "Gardenia bed"[/one_half]

[one_half_last]there is plenty of lush growthLots of lush growth[/one_half_last]

[one_half]In the “Rose Bed” …In the "Rose Bed"...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]water for my birdsWater for the birds[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Lots of pretty in the back gardenLots of pretty in the back[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Grasses that I love in the AlleyGrasses that I love[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Colour courtesy of some “Supertunias”.
Colour courtesy of some "Supertunias".[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and abandoned doggie toysand abandoned doggie toys[/one_half_last]

At times like this I am particularly grateful for the big trees in my garden that cast so much shade. My plants have not suffered the way Barbie’s garden has suffered in the heat. If anything, growth is lush and everything that has not been attacked by pests is looking green and great. There have been more than usual bugs and ‘pestie’ things around – but such is life and nature and we try to tolerate them all here in my garden, even when I shed tears about destroyed plants.

Seems there is still lots to look forward to this summer!

Happy Gardening