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The 30 Day Challenge – Day 4

Today I am grateful that gardening distracts me from the “noise” of life. Everything seemingly blocked out while I focus on the garden chores at hand, no other outdoor past-time has afforded me this form of escapism from the daily grind. I didn’t start to garden with this in mind, I now acknowledge it as a beneficial “side-effect” of gardening, a surprise really, as I had thought that gardening would be the ideal time during which to contemplate … but when I garden, the “noise” in my head is quietened without effort – and for that I am grateful.


Photo: Agapanthus. Another wonderful indigenous (native) plant I have growing in my garden is Agapanthus, which is commonly known as “Lily of the Nile”.

Agapanthus is not a lily, and all of the species are native to South Africa from the cape to the Limpopo River. According to Wikipedia, species boundaries are not clear in the genus, and in spite of having been intensively studied, the number of species recognized by different authorities varies from 6 to 10. The type species for the genus is Agapanthus africanus. A great many hybrids and cultivars have been produced and they are cultivated throughout warm areas of the world

About the 30 Day Challenge

Cat of The Whimsical Gardener, has invited Garden Bloggers the world over to join her in the 30 day challenge of posting a photograph and sentiment that you are thankful for – every day for 30 days. Find something you are thankful for every day, for 30 days, can’t be too difficult, can it? See all my posts filed under “30 Day Challenge“.

Christine's garden Gardening

Another Before and After Post

This is another “Before and After” post, this time of a corner in my garden I’ve never shown or written about before on here. The reason is that I was never very proud of this area. Correction, I was actually very embarrassed because even after the makeover it looked kinda sad. Unfortunately it was one of those spots that was so bad that I don’t even have any “before-before” photos to show … it was a mess of ivy. That’s all that was there. Ivy. Ivy in the bed, ivy all over the walls, there was so much ivy we couldn’t open the door!

This is the top corner of my back garden bed. During the big makeover that happened here in August last year I stubbornly insisted that the ivy should stay on the wall. I don’t like looking at walls. And I really didn’t want to see this wall because I knew what it looked like underneath all the ivy. But seeing how great everything else in the bed was doing I finally decided to pull down some of the ivy. Once I started I couldn’t stop and finally I had it all off. I have a lovely guy who comes in whenever I need help with painting and he painted the wall and now …

Well I’m starting to love this area of the garden (click to enlarge the photographs).

[one_half]Taken in January 2011 Back makeover[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Taken on 5 March 2011Back Makeover[/one_half_last]

What we have here is a Silver Birch, my embattled Lemon tree that’s making a slow recovery, two other trees (sorry, don’t know what they are). Lots of Agapanthus and Dietes, Mona Lavender with Carex Evergold and plectranthus madagascariens as ground cover. Up against the wall to the left are Viburnum tinus “Lucidum” and we have some Azaleas and small Camellias here too. We still have some bare patches here and there but they are slowly filling up and I can now see that it will, in time, look lovely.

Happy gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Root bound Agapanthus

[one_half]Aggie released from the potAggies ready for planting[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Root bound AgapanthusRoot bound Agapanthus[/one_half_last]

Today was the day I finally decided to plant my new Aggies out into the back garden with the others. I bought two Agapanthus “New Blue” on the 15th January and I’ve had them standing in a pot outside my office. They’ve been flowering profusely since I got them, and still are. (I often buy plants and then  spend quite a long time deciding where to plant them, moving them around the garden in their pots until I find a good spot … then I plant). As I cut open the pots today I discovered that they were VERY root bound … I’ve never actually seen a plant quite this root bound before and I was quite shocked, so ran to get my camera so I could show you.

I’ve just “googled” this and found out that to get Agapanthus to flower, you should “overcrowd” them or if they are in containers, let them get root bound as this causes them to flower. No wonder mine have been flowering for 6 weeks without letting up! I guess now the roots will have lots of room to spread out the flowering will end.

As I have a ton of work to do for the business this weekend I got all my weeding and planting done early this evening. Begonias, ground covers, lavender, impatiens all planted.

Have a lovely gardening weekend

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New plants

Newest acquisitionsHere are the photographs of the things I bought on Sunday. I went to the Nursery to but a few Alyssum (not in the photos – I planted them straight away) and came home with all these “extras”. The plant you see right in the front is my purchase of a “Margaret Roberts” Lavender – just like yours! I think I will have to plant this in that small “full sun” patch I have at the back, or else I will put it in a pot on the back patio. I was SO excited when I found it at the nursery, because I’ve been hunting for one for ages!

My other purchases includes 2 x Blue Ice™ PBR Agapanthus. The Aggies do so well in my garden and these were different and gorgeous (and were a great price – on special), so … they came home with me. The blurb on them says they do well in containers so they might go into the yet unfilled urn I have. Still deciding on that. The other plants are a Mandevilla to go with the other one I have (I have a white one, this one is bright pink / cerise), some begonias (to see how they do in my shade areas), Impatiens to replace the trampled ones and two shade-loving ground covers for that bare patch which is Dexter’s playground. Lets see how hardy they are and if they can cope with Dexter!

[one_half]The lotThe lot[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Blue Ice AggiesAggies[/one_half_last]

Now for some cooler weather so I can get out and plant them all!

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Agapanthus and others …

Back Garden updateAn “update” on our back garden I previously wrote about here. With the lovely weather we’ve been having the back garden seems to be flourishing. Agapanthus are flowering, the Plectranthus “Mona Lavender” is thriving, the Plectranthus madagascariensis (which I love!) is growing a bit out of control and I keep cutting it back, the dietes are growing well, Camellias are thriving and the two new trees have grown quite a bit …

I’m very happy with how things are looking. Even the new lawn is doing well. The aphids I’ve been working to get rid of seem to have packed up and left (for now) and the birds are having a merry time picking berries off the trees. Mostly I am enjoying the Agapanthus. I know they probably seem dead ordinary to most people – they seem to line the streets of Cape Town’s southern suburbs – I see them everywhere. But that’s fine with me because I really love them. Mine are Agapanthus africanus – Miniature blue. They are a rich, deep blue with gorgeous green leaves and look quite beautiful.

[one_third]Agapanthus & "Mona Lavender".[/one_third]

[one_third]Delicious Monster[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Agapanthus africanus - miniature blue[/one_third_last]

Christine's garden Miscellaneous

Trip to Ferndale

Armed with my camera, intent on taking photos and doing a proper review for the blog, I headed off to Ferndale Nurseries in Constantia this afternoon. But first I stopped off at Biggie Best because they are having a sale and I saw some nice pots there a few weeks ago … I bought two great pots. I couldn’t believe the prices – I wanted to get one and ended up getting two, plus some other nick-nacks (yes, another candle holder!). The reason for the pot-buying mission is that I’ve been looking at lots of photos lately of beautiful gardens and I notice that often they put a grouping of pots with different plants in them within a flower bed … and I think it looks beautiful, so I want to try that somewhere in my garden. I see they mix different pot types together and it looks good. I’m not sure I can get it right, but I have to try.

So with the two new pots in my car, I headed off to Ferndale and arrived at 3:40pm as they were closing the gates. They close at 3:50 on a Saturday apparantly (why not 3:30 or 4:00 – no, they close at 3:50). But the kind guy at the gate let me in, so I had all of ten minutes to grab a few things. So no “review” and no photographs of the nursery today. But I got my big sprayer (4 litres) which I will put to the test tomorrow. I also bought myself a few plants … I’ve been wanting a Clematis in my garden forever and bought a lovely one – it is Clematis “Nelly Moser”. (see pic).Also bought some pretty ground cover called Big Ben – hypoestes phyllostachya splash red – it’s got variegated leaves with red, I think it will add some interest at the back and it apparantly thrives in partial shade. Great for filling in some blank spaces I have at the back. I also bought two small Agapanthus “new blue”. I don’t know why – I have plently of Agapanthus in my garden but those two called me and said “buy me, buy me”, so they came home with me. They are a lighter blue than the ones I have so they are a bit different. I think these might go into one of the new pots.


Clematis “Nelly Moser”

Clematis Nelly Moser The Nelly Moser Clematis is a flowering vine that can reach as much as 12 feet in length, with off-shoots from the main vine reaching out 3-4 feet. Best displayed on a trellis, arbor, or other climbing fixture, the blooms start in late September and can continue all summer long. Nelly Moser offers a starburst shaped bloom 5-7 inches across with white ruffled edges and pink-colored pedals that grow in profusion. [/one_half]


Agapanthus “New Blue”

Agapanthus New Blue A midsized variety with leave forming a compact mound of 20-30cm. The flowers stand 40-60cm in height. The individual florets are much larger than most other agapanthus. This results in a very nice display of colour despite the individual heads having slightly fewer florets than some varieties. Tolerant of wide soil and water regime variations. Can be grown in full sun or light shade.[/one_half_last]

I hope to get these all in the ground tomorrow.