Soil . . . scoop up a handful of the magic stuff. Look at it closely. What wonders it holds as it lies there in your palm. Tiny sharp grains of sand, little faggots of wood and leaf fiber, infinitely small round pieces of marble, fragments of shell, specks of black carbon, a section of vertebrae from some minute creature. And mingling
with it all the dust of countless generations of plants and flowers, trees, animals and – yes – our own, age-long forgotten forebears, gardeners of long ago. Can this incredible composition be the common soil?
- Stuart Maddox Masters, The Seasons Through
We're out of the grip of Winter and Spring is in full swing again (September 2005) and the first rains have fallen - the cacti are absolutely jubilant and are all in full flower. The Red Hot Pokers are still in full bloom, much to the glee and enjoyment of the Black Sunbirds. The Echevarias survived very well, they actually like the dry season without any water and really bloomed prolifically.
Aug '05 - Had to clear out a lot of the grasses that did not make it through the winter and also heavily trimmed some of the reed species - big open patches that need filling!
Close-up of cactus flower
June '06 - Red Hot Pokers still in full bloom
Echeverias covered in their stalks with small bell-like flowers
December 05 - have had a lot of rain and the lawn is running riot, desperately in need of a cut!
Jan '06 - My Pachypodium in full bloom
The garden by candle light in February '06
Started on the pathways and got half-way before we were driven inside by some rain, which has lasted almost a week.
Some huge fungi sprouted next to one area of the pathway and look like fossilised fairy umbrellas - too gorgeous!
circa 1982 Natal Fig bonsai in January 2006 before the Winter hit him.
This winter seems to have been rather severe - left my 1982 Natal Fig bonsai out till June and came out one morning to find all his leaves hanging black and limp. I immediately took him inside and started pampering by loosening the soil a bit and keeping him in a warm place - will wait till all the leaves fall off and hopefully he'll return in Spring. This is the first time in 23 years that he has been hit so severely and losing all his leaves...
Next up-date - April - July 2006