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Friday, 22 August 2014

It's Friday!


I crept out of bed early with the sound of the roosters crowing to one another - 4am - put on the kettle, made my coffee and came to the computer. By the time hubby surfaced around 6.30am, I had already updated a couple of blogs, up-loaded some artwork to RedBubble, let the chooks out, fed Solly's chickens and filled all the bird feeders in the garden. Time for another cup of coffee.

It's the end of the week and the weekend is lying ahead as an extra bonus, the hours are mine to do with as I please. No need to rush and open the doors for business, no staff coming in, just two lovely days of spending time with my chooks or whatever else takes my fancy.


But today ended up being busier than usual, with a constant stream of customers and eventually, when I did manage to join Chrissie in the garden, she informed me that Missy had been sitting in one place all morning. Very worried, I approached her to see what was the matter and was greeted by her screeching like a banshee! She fluffed herself in a threatening manner and I immediately knew what the 'problem' was - when I picked her up, I saw what all the melee was about - she was sitting on a couple of eggs. She had obviously been gathering them for some time and now she was broody and ready to stay with them till the little darlings hatched...


I remove all the eggs that my chooks lay - I've got nine roaming the garden, causing havoc, and I really can't afford to have any more. Missy obviously got sick and tired of me removing her eggs out of the nest boxes in the chicken coop and decided to do the sneaky thing and find a safe spot in the garden!

Missy looking on in disgust as I remove her eggs

And I have no idea how 6 eggs escaped our attention what with Chrissie regularly cleaning up and me watering the garden every couple of days. But the girls can be very innovative when it comes to hiding their eggs!


We spent another couple of minutes searching to see if there were any more stray eggs we might have missed and that sparked a major clean-up of areas trampled flat by the girls - it is just beyond and above me as to why they would like to sit ON TOP of the plants in stead of next to or under them...

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

You are a cultivator


You patiently tend to your garden, pruning each rose bud carefully.
You water the grass as you pull out the weeds.
You watch as the trees bask in the sun.
You help the plants, like you help others, to grow for a better tomorrow.
You are a cultivator.

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Spring - not yet...


It’s chilly again today, and grey,

but I have late-winter Nasturtiums still flowering.

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

There's a whisper in the garden...


There's a whisper in the garden that spring might be on her way...

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Flower of the Rattail Cactus


Every Spring my Rattail cactus (aporocactus flagelliformis) rewards me with a mass of beautiful flowers. We’re heading for the end of winter now here in South Africa, so I don't have long to wait for these beauties again!


The bright pink flowers 1.5 inches long, 2.5 inches wide (4 by 6 cm), are produced along the long hanging stems, up to 4 feet long (120 cm) or more, in spring and summer and are sometimes followed by small red fruits. In the wild, they are pollinated by hummingbirds, but in cultivation, they generally need to be hand pollinated. They originate from the Highland plateaus of Mexico (Oaxaca, Hidalgo), but are cultivated throughout the world.


Although all the info I’ve read says they don’t tolerate frost, they have survived many frosty winters outside in my garden, but I must say, since I’ve decided to bring them inside during winter, I do get a much longer and better flowering period. But they do need some cold to produce their flowers, so I keep them in a cool place in the house.


They need to be kept moist all the time so water abundantly in summer. Needs good drainage.

One of my Rattail Cacti over-wintering it in my flower room


This is one cactus really worth cultivating and looks lovely planted in a hanging basket. But do be careful when handling this cactus - those little needles are deceptive-looking, once they get stuck in your fingers it's quite a job getting them out and cause a nasty burning sensation.

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