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Illumination a Word for Wednesday on Thursday

My interpretation of the word “Illumination” when applied to my garden – linked up to Donna’s “Word for Wednesday“.


I see different things at different times of day. At night I see the fairy lights in the tree lighting up parts of the garden that is pleasing to my eye, a few up-lights highlight the Bird Bath Bed and warm outdoor lights on the back patio highlight the back garden in a way that makes it a great space to while away the time with friends over a glass of wine (or two!).

In the morning I see the first rays of the sun kiss the dew laden foliage and buds and by mid afternoon (I’ve learnt!) its no good attempting to take photographs. Although my eye loves the vibrant colours of the flowers and leaves at noon, much like my ageing visage looks in bright sunlight, the camera doesn’t lie and the beautiful blooms and plants look washed out and tired.

But then at dusk it all comes alive again with the suns softer rays casting delightful light onto my beloved garden and everything looks beautiful and most pleasing to my eye…

[one_half]Light dancing on JasmineThe light dancing on Jasmine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Bright light on FestucaBright light on Festuca[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Harsh light not great for bloomsHarsh light not great for blooms[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Light brightens a dark and gloomy cornerLight brightens a dark and gloomy corner[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Perfect light enhances the colour of someLight enhances the colours of some[/one_half]

[one_half_last]… and no light is better for others... and no light is better for others[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A “lucky shot” grass is IlluminatedA "lucky shot" grass is Illuminated[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Kissed by dew and morning lightKissed by dew and morning light[/one_half_last]

Donna of Garden Walk Garden Talk is hosting a new meme called Word for Wednesday. Each Wednesday a new word is defined. This week it is illumination. Join and see other inspiring gardens full of light.

Next weeks “Word for Wednesday” is Repose. Any Ideas?

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Home page features Miscellaneous

Hope Grows Day June 2011

This month I’m taking part in “Hope Grows Day“, a monthly Gardening Blog meme hosted by Hanni of Sweet Bean Gardening. What is Hope Grows Day? On the 5th of the month (or a day or two later) you showcases what you are hoping to see in your garden over the next month. Its my first month of taking part in this so I don’t have a report back of how successful I was for May, but here is what I’m hoping for in June.

It’s officially Winter here in South Africa, so I’m hoping for good rains without storm damage! (Not asking too much I hope!). Apart from the trees in my garden which I inherited with the property, my garden was newly planted only ten months ago so I am hoping for a mild(ish) winter that doesn’t cause damage to all my new plants. Please Mother Nature … give them a chance!

Most of all I’m hoping that my newly planted bulbs will continue to grow well. I have lots of bulbs sprouting, some even have buds like these …


I’m hoping my “Sinfonietta” Irises continue to grow well (you might remember they were just little rhizomes with a few cut off leaves just 2 months ago, pic here)

“Sinfonietta” Irises

I’m hoping we’ll be eating these cherry tomatoes …

Tomato harvest

… and that these carrots will be on the menu


And that I will have something other than this to show on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in 10 days time! (there is nothing much happening in my winter garden and I so badly want to take part again, but with so few blooms to show, June might be a non-event for me).


What are you hoping for in your garden in June? Join us all at Hope Grows Day on Hanni’s blog and show what you are hoping for in June…

Happy Gardening

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Earth Day Reading Project

I admit it – I don’t read enough! (books that is). It’s not that I don’t like reading – I love it, but the fact of the matter is that I very rarely find the time to read a whole book from cover to cover. I’m one of those people that once a book grabs hold of me I can’t put it down until I’ve finished it, so I reserve reading page turners for holidays and long weekends. But it is why I enjoy gardening books so much – I can read bits and pieces that interest me, put the book to one side and then grab hold of it again when I want to learn more about a particular subject.

So it was with some trepidation that I agreed to take part in the Earth Day Reading Project initiated by The Sage Butterfly. When I received my invitation to participate from Donna of Gardens Eye View, my initial enthusiasm was followed by thoughts of “how am I going to read 3 books from cover to cover by the 23rd April AND write something interesting and meaningful about each of these books?”. And “what if I buy three books and none of them actually inspire me?”. I finally settled on two books I already have in my “library” of gardening books and, a slight deviation from the rules, a magazine I read every month.

I chose three South African books / publications. Here they are:

Beginner's Guide to Earthworm FarmingBeginner’s Guide to Earthworm Farming – Simple ideas for a Sustainable World – by Mary Murphy (published by Penguin Press – Non Fiction): I had ideas about starting my own “Earthworm Farm”. So I bought the book. I still haven’t started my Earthworm Farm (my soil is laden with earthworms) but this book inspired many changes in the way I think about the health of our planet. From an attitude of “Its not my problem”, my thinking was radically altered and  I have become environmentally concerned.

I incorporate much of what I’ve learned in this book into my life and the way we run our household (it’s not just about earthworms …) and am still considering the earthworm farm. I have to get over my squeamishness before I can tackle this as a viable project (its not the earthworms that bother me, its the maggots that I believe find their way into earthworm farms). The “hook” that got me to read the book (yes I read it from cover to cover) was this statement: If you are concerned about the health of our planet then turn your attention to what lies under your feet. In the soil below are creatures that are responsible for producing the food we eat. Earthworms have been described by Darwin as the most important species on our planet and by Aristotle as “the intestines of the earth”…

Garden GaurdiansGarden Guardian’s – Guide to environmentally responsible garden care – by Johan Gerber (published by Aardvark Press – Non Fiction): What impresses me the most about this book is the author! A registered professional natural scientist, Johan Gerber worked in the actual harmful pesticide industry before he switched tack and started working with various leading agricultural companies in the development and registration of many of the environmentally-responsible pest solutions now available on the South African market. His philosophy is that pest control need not be at the expense of the health of the environment, or of people and animals.

In a nut-shell, the book is an exploration of the dangers and health implications of using conventional pesticides in the home environment and provides solutions for handling conventional poisons and methods of disposal. This book incorporates the best illustrated guide to pests and diseases that I have seen to date. Even an idiot-newbie gardener like myself can actually identify most pests and diseases using this guide and of course the best part of the book is that Johan gives us solutions and methods for controlling pests and diseases that will not harm our planet! This book has become my “Gardening Bible” and I won’t bring any pesticides into my home or garden that he does not mention and approve of in this book.

The Gardener MagazineThe Gardener – The South African Magazine for everyone who loves gardening – Editor: Tanya Visser: I started buying this magazine occasionally when I bought my house four years ago and when I got serious about my gardening hobby about a year ago I started to buy it regularly. I recently became a subscriber so that I can get it before it hits the news stand because I love this magazine. I have learnt more than you can imagine by absorbing their articles every month.

From becoming water-wise to planting more indigenous plants to companion planting and organic gardening … a lot of what I practise in my home and garden these days, that can be considered environmentally friendly, comes from this magazine. Most of all the magazine inspired me to try my hand a growing my own vegetables which I have been doing now for close on two months with great results. If that helps to reduce my “carbon footprint”, then I believe it has been a very worthwhile exercise. And we’re loving eating our own produce in my home!

In Conclusion: I’m still not entirely where I need to be as far as “caring for the environment” goes. I have plans to start an Earthworm Farm (one day!), we are getting solar panels in the not too distant future and a rain collection tank is on the cards for later in the year. For now we are growing some of our own vegetables, not watering as often as we used to, recycling, composting and most importantly … NO harmful pesticides are used in my garden. Ever.

As per the rules of the Earth Day Reading Project I invited three Garden Blogging friends to participate. Two responded favourably, one of them did not respond at all which made me rather sad. So to fulfill my obligation in taking part in the Earth Day Reading Project Meme, I am still looking for one more Garden Blogger to take part. If you would like to take part, all posts should be completed by midnight EDT on April 23, 2011 – please click here for all the details and let me know so that I can link to your post from here. My special thanks to Donna from Gardens Eye View for inviting me to participate and thanks to Holley from Roses and Other Gardening Joys and to Alan from It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening for accepting my invitation to participate.

You can read their posts here:
Donna’s post is at Earth Day Reading Project by Donna
Holley’s post is at Earth Day Reading Project by Holley
Alan’s post is at Earth Day Reading Project by Alan

Happy “Earth Day” everybody!