Christmas collage, January and now February. Went around the garden today. Once the rain had stopped, and the clouds were starting to part. The flowers are spangled with raindrops. The roses have eaten their belated dinner, and were nicely pushing thru bunches of burgundy leaves, and fat buds. But that one very hot day has left ‘frostbitten/sunburnt’ brown leaves.
Left – Dainty Bess twice, Elizabeth of Glamis, Help Kids
Centre – Karoo Rose, Elizabeth of Glamis in bud
Right – Maverick, Alec’s Red, Burning Sky, Chaim Soutine
The Ungardener focussed on The Eye, but I focus on the chestnuts
People have long sensed the high strangeness of London. That the Monument and Nelson's column - can it be a coincidence that they're both 202 feet high? - cast significant shadows at the summer solstice; that a 1960 mural of Jean Cocteau in a hidden little London church suggests that he and Leonardo da Vinci were collaborators across the centuries - and that their religious beliefs were not nearly as orthodox as the history books would lead us to believe. Dan Brown's best-selling novel lifts the lid on some of these matters.
The Ungardener is having fun exploring the possibilities of his new camera. Sometimes - why won't it do that? Why doesn't it focus? What on earth is it doing? And then he caught a blaze of dragonflies (Tx Wikipedia collective nouns), and a far more elusive and fragile damsel. But despite the name, these are all highly visible MALES.
Dozen for Diana was, way back then (I've only been blogging since June 2009), inspired by Gail at Clay and Limestone. She wrote one of those posts Could You Leave Your Garden? that touched a nerve. Especially for me, as I had just left my first garden. And was in transit to this one.
There is a fascinating interview by Sue in Milan. Since Sue teaches English as a Foreign Language, it is good to know that she passes on her way with words. Interview with Stuart Robinson.
Or read Stuart's own 31st December post 'A year we had to have' on his own garden blog Gardening Tips 'n Ideas for some insight into who he is. Just got his vegetable garden going, but his kids come first and it is going to be a basketball court. That is just so sad for the gardener, but he is a father first.
The Ungardener is hyperactive, can't sit still or he falls asleep. I like to learn something. See something I would miss if it wasn't pointed out to me. Understand something I can only know if it is explained to me. My roots are in London. My mother was born there. I read, talk, write and think in English. And to me, that means London. It is many years since we were last there, and it will be many years till we go again. The retired tour guide likes to plan, I like to see what comes up.
What we always do is go on as many London Walks as possible. He checked the web and printed out all the possible interesting walks for when we would be there. This was one of the two we walked in July last year.
First we had lunch, in a church, as one does in London. St Mary le Bow. Bow Bell? And a very quick look in the church, before the walk started.
We have frogs. I said FROGS!! There are enchanting little clicking reed frogs, usually start up around 4 in the afternoon. A gentle little murmur in the background, very soothing and reassuring. The woodwinds. Sadly we only see them when Chocolat has found them, and I don't like to post sad pictures of the (walking) wounded. If you have a cat … you can fill in the dots for yourself.
Then after dark the real frogs get chirruping. A little louder, but still a restful noise, a lulling lullaby. The string quartet. We do like our frogs. A good noise, the sound of the sea rolling peacefully in, and out, or a river flowing by.
Hi blotanists. #Blotanical may be down for a few days as we sort out some issues and migrate to a new server. Please pass this message on.about 1 hour agofrom web 2 pm Cape Town local time 15th February. This is Stuart's Tweet, for those like me, who think twittering is for the birds. But it is the only way to fend off withdrawal and keep in touch while Blotanical is down! http://twitter.com/bussogardenerlink for tweeters.
This garden has over 30 rose bushes. The first garden was on a mountain slope above Camps Bay - west facing into the sun, prevailing South-Easter which once tore the roof off our neighbour's house. Now we have heavy clay, summer heat, and in winter it Rains. The next garden will be sand, salt sea breezes - not suitable for roses. We will concentrate on the endangered indigenous plants.
I am imagining that townhouse/courtyard garden. No lawn! Somewhere to sit with a tiny pond. And we welcome birds, bugs and all.
Lots of plants.Waiting impatiently in pots. Been there for more than a year, while the house was built. The Ungardener did most of the Ungardening (read hard landscaping) himself, and that takes time. Months of time.
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
A garden in Franschhoek. In November 2008 we spent a wonderful day looking at open gardens in this affluent Winelands town. Some gardens were at guesthouses, money no object, lots of professional staff for maintenance. And some were private homes. How the other half live. Staff accommodation. A double storey guest wing, or granny flat. A home gym. Rows of garages for rows of cars, and boats. A helicopter landing pad. Stabling for horses. A garden pond, large enough to NEED its rowing boat. So we have a little list and a map. Some gardens In Town - the guest houses, and a few homes. Including Monty Don's choice last week. Others on farms and country estates. Mont Pellier today. If wishes were horses, then I would live here. But since we are talking wishes, I would exchange the view of abandoned fields and derelict, run-down semi-industrial buildings, with a busy road down in the valley. And an eye-level view of the Skuifraam Dam wall on the Berg river. Yes that is planted with proteas, but still. I'll have This View, of the approach to the house. (Today, as I edit this, I suddenly see an idyllic view of our former home. It was a smaller house, surrounded by neighbours. But those same mountains, and my adored rocks!)
Rebecca has Invited us to join her in making our garden rainbow.
To earn the promise to all life on earth, which is the rainbow. First you have floods. WE had FLOODS. We moved into this new house in May 2007. And in June it rained, and rained, and rained. Our giraffe wasn't planning on living in Noah's Ark thanks! The following July. 2008. It rained, and rained, and rained. 2009 was just good soaking rain.
November 2008 there were open gardens in Franschhoek. One of those lovely Western Cape towns awash in wine estates, tourists. And beautiful gardens, as we discovered.
Since we live in a first/third world country I don't 'know' Monty Don. Have heard of him tho. Deborah of Kilbourne Grove loves him. We haven't seen the TV programme, or the DVD, or read the book. But, I did look up his 'Around the World in 80 Gardens' on my little computer. Any gardener who comes to South Africa goes to Kirstenbosch. One of the world's greatest botanical gardens. Fynbos (proteas, ericas, restios and bulbs, and and and ...) with the back of the Table Mountain chain as borrowed scenery.