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Garden friends spotted in my garden

I love walking through my garden, but when I stop and bend down, I see so much more! I have so many active friends that work and play in my garden. Let me introduce some of them to you.

My sunbirds are back and enjoying the Pineapple Sage bush – they frequent this bush, so my next photograph shoot will hopefully catch the splendid male.

Lots of Praying Mantis, I am happy to say.

This is an unusually looking one!

My bees are always welcome – we need to be kind to the bees!

My favourite of all – the chameleon!! Fat and happy – I think she is pregnant! What do you think?

This sign keeps reminding me of my best friend who shares my garden with me and cares when I least feel like it and always gives me an encouraging word. AND the happy trips to the nursery – thanks my buddy!

Happy Gardening xxxx

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Bug-a-boo Zoo

I have had such weird and wonderful bugs coming into my garden lately that I had to do a special post on all the bugs I have met so far. Every time I step onto my back deck, I have to run and get my camera. It is as if they wait for me and pose. Thanks to a lot of our friends, we were able to identify all of them. Here are a few of them, from the most recent visitors ……

A cheeky grasshopper is sitting in one of my sunflowers and chomping away on the petals – yum!

[one_half]Not a bug, but a common visitor and friend[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This female hopper is hanging by 2 claws[/one_half_last]

Voracious fruit beetles all clambering for a taste of the sticky, yummy figs! The annoying Starlings wake us up in the mornings with their squealing as they tear open the figs. They eat some but they just destroy a whole lot of them. These broken figs are what the fruit beetles are devouring!

[one_half]Remember this little guy? Longicorn beetle[/one_half]

[one_half_last]And this strange beauty? The Devil Horse Mantis[/one_half_last]

[one_half]This Rhinoceros beetle I found in the manure, remember?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Some kind of horned caterpillar…. forget the name![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Colourful little beetle, isn’t he? A Harlequin bug[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another Harlequin Bug[/one_half_last]

[one_half]En masse the locust can destroy, but this one is ok on his own[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This Haarskeeder is the ugliest insect of the bunch![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Remember this mommy Praying Mantis who left her basket of children at my front door?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Ladybugs are always welcome in my garden!![/one_half_last]

Well, I hope you enjoyed visiting my Bug-a-boo Zoo. I will keep you updated with any new additions.

Happy gardening xxxxx

Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Bugs and things

We have suffered through consistent wind for days now – this is the norm for this time of year in Cape Town – and I grow weary of it! I have no joy playing in the garden when the southeaster howls through the town. The wind has a nasty habit of bringing with it flies! I don’t know why! It seems to be a common thing here in Philly! It doesn’t make weather pattern sense – but thats what the townfolk say! The garden was looking parched, so I was out watering the garden this evening and I came across a few bugs and things. Look what the wind blew into my garden. Christine, you have some real beauties! Mine, I hope will match up to yours…

[one_half]My favourite little helper in the garden![/one_half]

[one_half_last]I don’t think that he is a good guy![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Look, I found a baby chameleon[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Oh look, another one! His brother?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A little garden spider – another helper![/one_half]

[one_half_last]This one looks hungry! A moth or a butterfly?[/one_half_last]

I’m glad there is a good mix of welcome vs nasty!

Happy Gardening xxxx

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Autumn in two Gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day in May

Our third combined post for the monthly Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, here’s whats happening in our Gardens in May. We hope you enjoy our “May blooms” and then join Carol and friends over at May Dreams Gardens to see what other gardeners around the world have blooming in May and then pop over to ‘Garten Blogger Blüten im Mei‘ over at Seepferds Garten for the German version of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! Enjoy!

What’s Blooming in Barbie’s Garden in May 2011

With the weather changing and the days bringing unusually warm temperatures and then turing icy cold the next, brings the most interesting flowers. I had little hope of anything exciting. With a busy work schedule, I had little time in the garden this past week so when I stepped out with my camera I found flowers in the smallest of places. Hidden in the tomato patch and high up in the protea bush… enjoy my garden selection!









Lets check out whats happening in Chrisine’s Garden in May…

What’s Blooming in Christine’s Garden in May 2011

With cooler temperatures and a fair amount of rain, growth in my garden has been great resulting in lots of lush green growth, but very few “spectacular” type blooms. The Camellias are flowering, some Azaleas are putting on an early show and the Murraya Exotica (Orange Jasmine) are blooming. Looking around for blooms to give you a good show, here is what’s blooming in my garden in May; lots of pink and white, but the overwhelming theme in my “May Garden” is Green!


[one_half_last]Murraya Exotica[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Iceberg Roses[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Miniature Roses[/one_half_last]




[one_half_last]Chameleon Plant[/one_half_last]

The last photograph is not a “bloom” as such, but I wanted to show the beautiful variegated leaves of my Chameleon Plants – Pretty, no?

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Chameleon plant update

Chameleon plantsA couple of people have asked me recently how my new “Chameleon” plants that I wrote about here are getting on. So I’ve taken a few photographs and here is an update.

Firstly, they weren’t kidding when they said these grow slowly. They have hardly grown at all but appear to have adjusted very happily to their new home.  I’m assuming this of course, only because they haven’t died on me! Actually, they are looking very pretty and have started to sprout some new growth in the last three weeks. As you can see from the photographs – they have lovely white and pink leaves in and amongst the green. It looks very pretty and provides a lovely contrast against all the green ground cover foliage in that bed.

I really love these plants and am expecting them to be really beautiful as they “grow up”. (Their “sister” plants, the standard Trachelospermum Jasminoides, i.e. Star Jasmine, also took a while to settle down after they were first planted, before they started to show any new growth, so it seems these are behaving much as I expected them to).

[one_half]Chameleon plants[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Chameleon plants[/one_half_last]

Happy Gardening

Notes on Trachelospermum Jasminoides “Chameleon” (from RHS): Rare Pink and White Variegation; Unique new evergreen Trachelospermum with bright green, white and pink leaves. Makes an unusual ground cover, or stunning, compact climber. Produces masses of fragrant white flowers in the summer, doing best in semi-shade to shade.

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I get my ‘Chameleon’ Plants!

New plantsI have to compliment Ferndale Nurseries on their service. As I mentioned in my post of last week, when Barbie and I were at Ferndale I saw this gorgeous plant – Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Chameleon’growing at the nursery and wanted to buy one. Long story short, they phoned me on Friday to tell me they had got the plant in for me. I hot-footed it off to the nursery straight away and I’m so glad I did because they only had ten, of which two had been booked by someone else. So I promptly bought six of them. They are still quite small plants and were fairly pricey, but I love them and think they will be perfect in my garden.

All six have been planted. I’ve planted them in amongst their “relatives”, Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides – Star Jasmine). They’ve been planted in this very new bed which was planted in December and is already becoming one of my favourite spots in the garden. I managed to find some “before” photos to share with you. There used to be two huge trees in this area and it was impossible to grow anything here because it wasn’t just shady, it was dark! Real, midnight-dark – seriously! The trees had to come out because they were damaging the retaining wall and I was told they would eventually damage the pool walls. So it was either the trees or the pool … we chose to keep the pool because we didn’t like the trees much and as you will see from the photos, already have plenty trees in that area.

So here are some “before” and “after” shots and then a bunch of “now” shots.

After the first tree had come down …

One tree down

Still dark behind the remaining tree …

Tree from behind

Newly planted after the trees had been removed (date of photo, 10 December 2010). I planted the annuals just to get some colour going here.

Photo taken from the side view – 10 December 2010.

And here is how it looks now three months later.
(I know, the wall needs to be replastered – it is on my “To Do” list!)

And from the side view – can you spot the “Chameleon” plants?

From the side

I am really starting to love this area … it’s still very shaded because of the willow tree and the other large trees on the other side of the wall. But we have lovely Camellias, the Makaya Bella and lots of Star Jasmine planted here with ornamental grass (Carex Evergold) and now the “Chameleon” plants as ground cover – its going to be beautiful and I love it!

Happy gardening!

Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Friends in my Garden

I welcome these wonderful creatures in my garden – chameleons. I have not seen them around of late. Actually, I have only seen two in my Dad’s garden. So, how they came to live in my garden is a funny story. There were two young boys running around the neighbourhood ‘selling’ them – I guess for pocket money. Shame, so we were their best ‘customers’. We paid R2.00 for small ones and R5.00 for big ones. We eventually had to tell them nicely that we have enough chameleons, because they were at our front gate every 5 minutes! We eventually stopped at 25 chameleons!

Most of them have moved on or were prey for the butcher bird. We still have 5 or 6 in the potato plant (which is now a tree!) and the rosemary bush. And onle of them had babies! The baby chameleon pic was taken by my wonderful hubby – Hannes, the professional photographer.


[one_half_last]Chameleon baby[/one_half_last]