26 July, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday with July weather


Fact is stranger than fiction. Beautiful mediterranean winter day here. Blue sky and the cat sitting in my shade. We are in the eye of the storm. The country around us has rain. And snow!! The national road between Cape Town and Johannesburg was closed by snow, and so was the second route. Meanwhile our Swartland wheat farmers wait for rain. We’ve had no rain since the 2nd of July, and this should be a heavy winter rain month.

Kniphofia fading to yellow


22 July, 2011

Inspired by Ifafa lilies

Last Saturday we went across-our-valley-to-Riebeek, to a new nursery. I will show the plants as they find their new homes in our garden. First the Ifafa lilies. Two bags filled with LOTS of bulbs, so I split them gently. Planted four clumps ‘under’ our baby lime tree. Now I sit on my little chair like Charlie Brown – to watch them grow into an Elizabethan ruff of singing-canary yellow!

Ifafa lily


19 July, 2011

Across our valley to Riebeek wotsit

We travelled the dirt road across the wide valley to the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. Once upon a time there was a heated argument – where shall we build the church? They built two, and today the towns flow together.

Blackheaded heron 

It is the season for waterblommetjiesAponogeton distachyos. Literally ‘small water flowers’. Cooked it becomes the traditional waterblommetjiebredie. (I recently read about translating bredie, not ‘stew’ as in getting in a stew, but slowcooked and mellow, a casserole). Oh and we discovered the blooming flowers smell glorious. Left to nature, every tiny pond formed by winter rain is now filled with a sheet of these raised spikes of chunky flowers.

08 July, 2011

For the birds

The Ungardener loves Ungardening, pottering, DIY projects. If not a new one, then tweak the old. 

At the bird feeder

05 July, 2011

Midwinter in a Swartland garden

Winter interest? Seriously? We are not tropical, with NO winter. We are temperate, we do have seasons. But we are mediterranean, in the valley there is no frost or snow in the garden. So the garden stays green, with flowers, year round.

New gardener, with James. We are learning summer New gardening. Coming round to letting the plants rest when it is hot and dry, instead of frantically and despairingly battling with life support. The seeds and bulbs wait, the shrubs and trees furl their leaves. Our garden year begins in March, cooler, some rain, March lilies. Garden!

Try again, winter interest. Early in the morning the garden is spangled with dew. On a sunny day like today, and many winter days are sunny, the dew burns off as the sun climbs the sky.  The cats who observe work in their garden, find a gardener's shadow, no reason why we should BOTH be hot and bothered!

Early on a winter's morning, dew smokes from Dombeya leaves


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.