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Thursday, 9 April 2009

My New Garden: Progress 4 - Apr '06 to Jul '06

Winter is the season dominated by bare soil: the whole gardening cycle begins with the care and preparation of the earth during winter so that it will feed plants the following year. One of the things I enjoy about digging (and there are lots of things I enjoy about it) is the smell of the
earth that is released by the spade cutting in and lifting clods that have been buried for a year. Not only does the soil itself have a real scent, but the roots of the crop or plant - even weed - that has been growing there will also contribute to the mix, creating something new out of the
vague remnants of last season's garden.
- Monty Don, The Sensuous Garden, 1997

April 2006 and Winter is creeping up again, endless cycles of death and growth... The garden path really settling in well - the edging plants have taken well and the rain seems to be gone for now. Just as well, the mornings are decidedly snippy and fresh and too much water now is not such a good thing...

The Cape Robin in the Balhambra tree in my previous garden

The new pathway looking grand after all the rain...

The garden at night...

Stained glass garden ornament hanging from the Acacia Karoo

Slivers of broken mirror on a piece of string cast shimmering lights in the shadows.

Wonderful little Phormiums!

Rain gauge filled to the brim - 100mm

The birds are still enjoying the May sunshine... This Laughing Dove
I named Flutterby - reared him in the house and now he's quite at
home in the garden...

The birds enjoying the food table...

June 2006 - The indigenous wild grasses starting to feel the effects of Winter

Some of the wild grasses are seeding, much to the delight of the birds.

July and Winter is in full swing - lawn really dead!

July '06 - Oh, Woe is me... the frost seems to have gotten
my Pachypodium! Hoping and praying he'll survive the onslaught...

Pachypodium in January '06... it survived...! And looking beautiful
too with it's new crowns...


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

My New Garden: Progress 3 : Sep '05 to Mar '06

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!

Cactus flower

Cactus flowers

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

Pachypodium flowers

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

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