Remember we had floods, on heavy clay soil, with no paths. You can imagine the mess, inside and out! The driveway was functional to give the builders access to our panhandle plot. But we needed four single steps built, to get to the outside doors. And washing lines (we are allowed to dry our washing in the sun and the breeze). Everywhere I try to dig there are gobbets and sheets of concrete, broken bricks, broken glass, bits of plastic and metal rubbish.
2007 planted in June, bulbs in July, by November it was green,and the bricks for the edging
Got to start somewhere. So we made the first flower bed alongside the garage, towards the front door. Lots of weeds - wildflowers - free spirited plants as the Ungardener says. First of the Dusty Millers - my signature plant. One of the reasons we chose this plot was the mass of giant Spanish reeds with an established colony of Cape weaver birds. After we built the wall, with the back garden gate, we also had one fig tree on this, public side. Right. Step. Brick edging. Gravel path. Someone else, with a pick axe, removed the worst concrete. Drainage organised from this side of the roof, to go into the reeds.
2008 January Nandina and Pennisetum, May bulbs - top AND bottom left,
August with remnant of sluice gate, and Dietes in November
At last I can start. This was a nursery bed for the cuttings. A pair of Nandina either side of the front door. Lots of Dusty Miller. Two clumps of Pennisetum - fountain grass - beautiful - oh dear vehement invasive alien, OUT - and now I am religiously clearing the seedlings as they come up. Bulbine which is now marching in a long line at the far edge of the 'forecourt'. The white Pelargonium from my mother. Two bits of Strelitzia, which I thought were regina (smallish) but now look as if they might be nicolai (H-U-G-E, oh er). A bunch of lavender seedlings. A clump of Cyperus at the overflow from the pressure relief valve for the mains water.
2009 Dusty Miller debauched in August, and behaving in October,
Spanish reeds in October and December's Agapanthus
2009 roses, in May and June newly transplanted, fig tree and rose blooms in October
And the moral of this story is, that with all those vigorous pioneers, as soon as it turns to autumn, I will be doing some serious pruning, shredding for mulch, and transplanting of the oh ers!
Photos by Jurg and Diana,
written by Diana of Elephant's Eye