26 May, 2010


May in our garden is about two things. First the rain has brought BULBS bursting thru everywhere you look. Quite literally millions of Oxalis pes-caprae, wherever someone else didn't get in there first! If you've read here before, then you know I love foliage. Half my bulbs are chosen for their leaves, and the flowers are just a lovely bonus.

24 May, 2010

Elephant’s Eye is three years old today

This post is for our Swiss friend Andrea, who asked for photos of all four corners. And for Clara who still hasn’t seen the ‘new’ house.

No, not the blogaversary, not yet. We slept in this house for the very first time, three years ago. Digital photos make it so easy to sort out year by year, with Picasa’s help for the collages. So we, and you, can see how a garden emerges from the builder’s blasted earth bomb-site.

This virtual garden on the blog, appears, frozen in time, in two dimensions. If you could walk with me, you would see the third dimension, around the corner, looking back, over here, and NO DON’T look that way. The fourth dimension, of time, and change, is the most important, year long time lapse photography in the collages.

12 May, 2010

The long and the short view. Walking around Ungardening Pond

M’sieur Chocolat frequently brings us presents. He is greeted by me wailing - What have you got NOW?! We try to rescue the presents. ‘Please, don’t bring all the garden inhabitants home to play’ But if he is considerate enough to bring them in - we do get a chance to photograph something we hear. A gentle splash as we approach the water, or an almighty din when the moon is out.

10 May, 2010

Ash tree planters

In the very beginning, there were two ash trees. Our trees are about thirty years old. A good reason for us to chose This plot. We call them Dolf and Anna, for the gardeners who left us these trees, fruit trees, bulbs and Anna’s Red rose. Also lots of spinach, which just comes up, like that, of its own accord.


I have learnt my lesson in the meantime. I thought, trees, shade, I’ll plant a woodland garden. Clivia. Plectranthus. A hardy fern. We didn’t want to upset the trees by digging into their roots or banking soil up against the trunk. We built planters, away from the trunk.

06 May, 2010

The Ungardener’s Free-Spirited Plants

The plants I treasure most in my garden.
Are not the ones that cost an arm and a leg.
Nor the ones that were on my wish-list, and took years to find.
Not the ones I grew from seed, then waited years for flowers.

What I delight in, are the ones that just appear. A surprise out of the blue. Gifted by nature. A solitary seed that slipped into the wrong packet. Trespassed in the wrong pot. (You  know, what the Ungracious and Ungrateful call WEEDS, and reconciliation ecologists would recognise as locally adapted wildflowers) Our Ungardener calls them Free Spirited Plants!

Bietou in April

Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.