12 November, 2010

November, walk thru our garden

We have ten olive trees. The first two planted at the road. Those weird new English people – have underplanted with pig’s ears and Bulbinella and a bit of Dietes, and Agapanthus. Passersby stop, to look. Then we planted two pairs to cover our neighbours green shaded caravan and garage. A rustic trellis, and I will train the olives to a gentle espalier. We planted four between the post-box and the pecan and the heat wave hit them. Dead. But see, they are growing up again!


Shocking pink watsonias have gone over. Pale floating Dietes. And those yellow flowers? Inherited day-lilies having a very good season, just enough rain.

Day lilies

Giant/Spanish reed is reaching for the telephone pole. Invasive alien. Home to the weaver-birds. As I explained to the men from the municipality, when they came to complain about the WEEDS. ‘The Ungardener’s free spirited plants’ you mean? I did then shear the middelmannetjie to ankle height. Except for these pretty flowers (which the Ungardener planted quietly when I wasn’t looking). Dusty Miller at the perfect clumping silver fountain stage I love!

Pecan tree, pretty flowers, Dusty Miller, Arundo giant/Spanish reeds

We moved the compost bins away from the vibracrete (concrete panel) wall which faces into the afternoon sun. On the far side blighted earth, sprayed with herbicide whenever anything dares to raise a little green head! A shade trellis, half built over the compost bins. The first raised vegetable bed, built with concrete blocks. And the wood is unfortunately treated with poison; they do say the poison stays IN the wood. And also after the first winter and rain, the loose stuff will have washed off … Then the Folie de MIIX. Door, or not? Spring bulbs gone dormant. Finally we mulch with straw, which means we get wheat and oats and mielies (corn on the cob) – much enjoyed by the sparrows!

Works in progress

Our Mediterranean Sun Circle. There are lots of lemons coming. Salvia greggii is happily growing from cuttings. One lavender survived. Next autumn perhaps another lemon tree? Or the lime I long for?

Mediterranean Sun Circle with oranges and lemons

We have a Nuxia (as seen at Org de Rac) for the Cape Robins and the butterflies. Our neighbours gave us Sansevieria, with a cream border along the length of the leaves. Added to the Karoo Koppie as a drift. Empty pond forced us to buy a bird bath, and today we saw the first three sparrows lining up to use it. We moved Big Red Tecomaria, from where it had SULKED, all thru the summer. 

Nuxia, Sansevieria on Karoo Koppie, new bird bath, Big Red Tecomaria 

The pond has been drained, again. To be relined. Frogs were rescued and posted into Plum Creek. The dragon fly larvae went into the baby baths with the water lilies.

Ah, once we had a pond, with Water ...

Figs are coming, there will be plums.

Karoo Rose and Sheila's Perfume, figs, Chaim Soutine, Pearl of Bedfordview

Pictures and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye    



  1. Wonderful photos of the nature and plants.We have here at the moment autumn and nothing is bloom in my garden...

  2. Diana, I love that wildlife is such an important part of your gardening - your middelmannetjie is quite nice. What a felicitous phrase - there will be plums!

  3. So many great plants!
    Thanks for the nice walk around your garden.

  4. I really like your Mediterranean Sun Circle. I missed that post and enjoyed reading it. Lots of pretty things going on in your garden.
    I like the little blue flowers!!

  5. Oh, so many wonderous plants and flowers! I need a greenhouse ... I want lemons and limes, bay leaves, figs ... a beautiful, lovely walk. Thank you. I am glad you rescued the frogs and little dragon flies. Look forward to seeing your pond set up again.

  6. Dear Diana of EE, I really like the idea of training Olive trees as espaliers. I am sure that yours are going to be wonderful against that warm wall.
    Your garden contains such variety and is a wonderful mix of formal and informal arrangements. If only I could grow lemons and limes.....

  7. I love your works in progress and can't wait to see more of your garden. I Love the figs too!

  8. Hello Diana,

    I enjoyed seeing all that is going on in your spring garden. I love how we grow many of the same plants. Your photos show what an asset Dusty Miller can be in the garden with it beautiful gray contrasting foliage.

  9. Hello,
    I try to plant in my garden olive trees, but it is to cold here.
    Nice garden, and you have beautiful roses.

  10. So envious that you can grow lemons, Diana. They are my favorite. And I'm always intrigued with anything espaliered. I will look foreward to hearing more about you olives.

  11. Ellada you surprise me. I think Greece = olives. But you must be inland and up in the mountains? Going to have another look at your blog ;>)

  12. Thank you for the tour around your garden. I really like the Mediterranean Sun Circle garden. Bistro tables and all.

  13. Thank you for the tour! I garden vicariously, now that we've had snow!

  14. I don't eat a lot of olives but I'm envious that you live in a climate where you can grow them.

    BTW, thanks for linking to my posts at www.GardenBloggers.com recently.

  15. It must be wonderful to have lemon and olive trees! I like your Mediterranean circle with its table and chairs. I bet it is nice to sit there. Lovely roses!

  16. Olives, lemons, figs, plums... your garden is delicious to my eyes and my spirit, Diana. I love that you both respect and keep the "free-spirited plants," especially for the sake of the wildlife. Beautiful post!

  17. Fresh figs! oh my I'm jealous. I had the pleasure of tasting a fresh fig once many years ago in Australia and I've longed ever since to enjoy them again.

  18. I hope to have a lemon tree some day when we retire to a warmer climate. I'd also like to grow avocados, delicious. Will you eventually get your lime tree?

  19. Robin - the lime is harder to find, but it is on the list ;>)


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

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