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!!!





Annuals Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

Who’s living in my sunflowers?

I have come to the conclusion that my favourite flower ever is the Sunflower. I am so enjoying the tall, sunny, friendly giants in my summer garden because they are more than just a Sunflower. They give shade with their big elephant ear -like leaves like an umbrella placed under a hot, unforgiving sun. Their huge colourful flowers bring such pleasure, but when the flower is spent, it droops and hangs and invites you to pick it to gather the abundant sunflower seeds that will bring new life for the coming summer. The seeds are health giving food for us and our animals and when you plant them the sprouts are the best ever to eat!

But the best of all are the little creatures that also find the Sunflower a respite from the summer heat – so, who is living in my sunflowers??

[one_half]A wasp in my sunflower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Ladybugs tucked into the arm of the sunflower[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Yikes! A garden spider in camo gear, see it?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of ladybugs in the sunflowers[/one_half_last]

[one_half]A bee in the sunflower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Is this a ladybug on the sunflower leaf?[/one_half_last]

SunflowerHelianthus annuus – The valuable edible oil has more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil, the flowers yield a yellow dye, and the seeds are eaten dried or roasted.  No part of the plant is wasted as the stems are good for fuel when dry and the stems and leaves can be given to domestic animals as tasty fodder.

Bring a Sunflower into your garden and enjoy it!! xxx

Happy gardening



Barbie's garden Christine's garden Gardening

The Gardening Blog begins

SunflowersA life-time of friendship is indeed very, very special. Anyone who has one will agree – there is nothing quite like having a very best friend that really knows you through and through, has been witness to all your life’s successes and failures, been with you through the ups and downs and remains … your best friend! I consider myself very fortunate to have such a friend in Barbie.

We’ve been friends since as long as I can remember, but we’ve only recently become “gardeners”. The idea for this blog came to me after a conversation we had on New Years Day (2011). Barbie and I have always had the ability to spend hour upon hour with each other, talking non-stop. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. But back to my inspiration … Barbie told me that after one of our recent marathon “talk sessions”, her hubby Hannes asked her “what do you talk about for so long …” and she realised that we now spend a lot of time discussing our gardens. So the idea for this blog developed from that conversation.

We both live in the Western Cape – I live in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and Barbie lives in the village of Philadelphia near the Cape West Coast (just before Malmesbury). It’s about a 45 – 50 minute drive from here and as we are both busy with our businesses and families I don’t get to see her garden as often as I would like. We thought this blog would be a great way to share our gardening experiences with each other by uploading photographs and posting our latest “gardening news”. It will be fun to see how our gardens develop and progress over time!

PS: I chose the “sunflowers” photograph for this first post as a symbolic photo – two sunflowers – that’s me and Barbs (I’m the one of the left, she’s on the right, that’s because she’s taller than me!)