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.

Reeds in May

The first corner, the one you see as you arrive, is the reed corner. Where the weaver birds are at home. And where, when I was sick of WAITING I started planting the first bit of garden. Cuttings that were desperate to get in the ground after more than a year.

When you step into the house, Ungardening Pond, with the sound of the waterfall immediately claims your attention.

Ash Corner in May

Turning right you see the reason we chose this plot. Two huge thirty year old, mountain ash trees. Which have now shed most of their leaves, letting my bulbs enjoy the autumn sun, and rain.

Walk thru the house, or around the house past the Karoo Koppie and Apple Creek’s Elephant Eye Light Railway. To the fig-trees (and washing lines, and compost bins, well they have to go somewhere)

This garden has two jewels. Mine is - this way to Paradise. My rose garden (for more click the roses tag). Seen thru the tall windows in the living room, as you come in. Four beds, because I couldn’t chose a colour. So I have pale and dark, and pink and yellow. With the foliage and not rose flowers singing along in harmony, whether the roses are blooming or resting.

We start in Paradise, sitting with our tea, listening to birds singing. ‘Lift my eyes to the quiet hills’. Looking across to Plum Creek and the waterfall. Then we walk around the pond to the ash trees with their planters, glancing at the blue and fynbos borders (going to be pink in future. Fynbos shrizzled up in the heat!) The shadow of the bare trees falls on the Karoo Koppie, with Apple Creek in the sunshine. Walk down that path, to the fig trees.

The second jewel is the Ungardener’s - Ungardening Pond (for more click the pond tag). Half of what makes this a wildlife garden. Water, some shelter, and food. For frogs and birds and dragonflies. Some eat, and some, are eaten …

As we say goodbye, and you walk away, this is the last you will see of our garden. Before you turn to the driveway, with its pecan tree, and olives, and winter’s joy of Japanese flowering quince, and guavas (now ripe) and Australian bush cherry roaring off to take over the world.

Photos by Jurg and Diana,  words by Diana of Elephant's Eye  


  1. Beautiful post! So interesting to see the progression of your garden. You've done an amazing job transforming the space. :)

  2. even with this extensive photographic map i bet it is 100 times more enjoyable to be 'in' that beauty, to touch it and smell it and listen to birds and leaves. That seems like a little bit of heaven you got there x

  3. Wonderfully done, your blog is so inspiring! Driving around looking at vacant land today, this just gives me the boost to " get planning" Love Carol

  4. Your creation is maturing so nicely, Diana. I loved seeing the progress through the years. Wonderful that you have those older photos taken from locations that can be compared over time, very wise indeed! I love the sight lines. :-)

  5. I love how pictures freeze time and show what amazing changes you have made to a blank palette :-)

  6. Hi Diana: Enjoyed the journey around your gardens. Well done, your blog is so interesting makes one want to come and visit.

    Enjoy your day,

  7. It is so lovely to see the progression of your garden Diana. It gives me hope and inspiration to see the plants filling out so quickly!

  8. A delightful way to view the progression of your garden ... thanks, Diana ... you must be delighted looking back.

  9. Your garden has grown by leaps and bounds! I can hardly believe it's only 3 years old. You've really transformed the landscape.

  10. When a gardener moves into a home, it's like the jungle taking over the Mayan ruins: first the building is prominent, then the greenery over the years takes over. My trees need to get taller before I fall into the Mayan ruin catagory...can't wait!

    Christine in Alaska, no figs, no fynbos

  11. But Christine, you have The Fish that I covet!

  12. I had never seen photos of your house and gardens, so this was a real treat! I enjoyed seeing the changes over time. Your garden looks to be a peaceful retreat and a great place for wildlife, Wonderful!

  13. Hi Diana, it is a lot of work you have poured in that transformation. But the result is splendid, congratulations.

  14. What a fantastic transformation! Thank you for documenting and sharing your hard work.


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.

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