About Us

The Gardening Blog is a blog by Barbie and Christine … life-long friends with two very different gardens. We are novice gardeners and through this blog we share our gardening experiences with each other and anyone who cares to join us in “watching our gardens grow”. Young mothers in our late teens / early twenties, “corporate types” throughout our 30’s and then business owners in our 40’s, gardening is a brand new passion for us both. Join us as we learn and grow … our gardens and as gardeners. (Read more about why we started this blog at “The Gardening Blog Begins“).

Barbie’s Garden

Barbie & ChicksCountry living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

Read more about Barbara’s garden by following her blog posts here …
Barbie’s Garden

Christine’s Garden

Christine at home 2010Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including cammellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

Read more about Christine’s garden by following her blog posts here …
Christine’s Garden

Our Gardening Companions


DexterDexter is Christine’s Dog – Dexter absolutely loves to “garden”. Dexter’s breed is Rottweiler – they are working dogs and this is very evident whenever I am in the garden. He loves to “help” me which he does by carrying refuse to the trash and generally “supervising” whatever I am busy with. He also decided at some stage that it was part of his job description to chase the Hadedas out of the garden. He gets very angry with them and barks like crazy when he spots them. Suits me – they have a habit of trampling all over the plants and damaging them.


Sir HerculesHercules is Christine’s Persian Cat – Hercules’ role in the garden is a far more passive one – he just likes to wander around and smell the flowers! And he loves to lie out back and sun tan! He is a great little companion in the garden though. He loves to go for a walk-about and look at the plants with me, following me wherever I go. Not so much when I carry the watering can around – then he retreats to his “supervisory position” back on the patio! He will spend hours watching me weed and dig … very sweet to have around!


SherrieSherrie is Christine’s dog. Sherrie was originally a “rescue” dog, rescued by her Dad in the USA from a puppy mill. Sherrie made the long haul flights from the USA and arrived in sunny South Africa in good form and has integrated well into our busy household. Sherrie loves to play in the garden with her “big brother”, Dexter. She does not do any digging but loves sniffing the plants and seems happiest outside running around and exploring. Sherrie is a Cairn Terrier, one of the oldest terrier breeds and recognized as one of Scotland’s earliest working dogs.


BuffyBuffy is Barbie’s pet chicken. She is a Buff Orpin and is a gentle, talkative and friendly soul. She is the matriarch, so she lays down the law. When she feeds, the other chickens give her a wide berth – no one dares step over the line or they will get a harsh peck on the head. She has been with us for 4 years and is treated like one of the family. She sleeps indoors and when it’s time to come in, she nudges the gate and opens it on her own. She is an unusual chicken because my hubby has taught her how to swim, so she swims in the pool on hot days.

The Girls

Chicken-the Girls 2010These three trouble-makers are a year old in February. They came to the family when Buffy’s sister, Mary, passed away. Mary and Buffy were inseparable and it broke our heart to see Buffy so forlorn and sad. So these 3 joined the family. Ruby, Vanilla and Skollie. The names suit them down to the ground. They love gardening with me but can destroy the veggie patch if I’m not looking. Ruby takes a flying leap when I come out with the spade! “Yeay! We gonna dig!” She says.

Timmy the Mouse

Timmy the mouseAnd then there is Timmy the Mouse. He just cruises around in the garden and comes out at feeding time – grabs a few seeds and runs like hell. We all think that Timmy is really Timothena and has a nest with a few young ones of her own. There are times when he comes right up on the deck where we sit in the afternoon and waits for a piece a cheese. This always amuses Jessica, my granddaughter!  He lives under the chicken hut and when the weather gets colder, tries very hard to grab a warm spot indoors – under the fridge!

The Goldfish

I thought it only fair that my four goldfish be included here – whilst they don’t exactly join in when I spend time gardening, they are very much a part of my gardening activities. They have been with us since we moved to the house. There used to be a Koi in the pond too but either Hercules or the ever present Hadedas decided he was no longer welcome and Koi dissapeared! But the goldfishies survived and as long as we have been here there are always four in the pond. Whether its still the original four or their off spring I don’t know, but there it is – they are my “other pets”.

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