21 June, 2011

Today we have Naming of Parts

Anne Perry's quintet was written around the First World War. I have just finished the fourth book – At some disputed barricade. A poem we learnt at school was Henry Reed's 1942 'Naming of Parts'. I have always been fascinated by the fact that widgets and gizmos and thingamajigs do have precise and particular names, if that is what you work with.  

Dani is moving to the farm, but that farm needs a name! Like pub signs, as you drive across country, South African farms have intriguing names, that could and do tell a story. Just outside Porterville is a dairy farm, called Gelukwaarts. The waarts bit is obvious – forward  – This Way! For Geluk you need Dutch or German (and they got it from the English luck!). Happiness. Imagine driving along, heading for home, and turning where the sign says – This Way to Happiness!

I have had fun naming the bits of our garden. We started in the first garden with Pickwick’s Ridge. In that new garden the only shade was on the heap of cut and fill under invasive alien Port Jackson wattle. There I used to sit with cat and book, in the grateful shade.

Had to twist the arm of Pam's English Cottage Garden, to convince her that it is fun to name parts of your garden. You blog, you enjoy words, so … Bluebell Creek was born.

The Lady Garden at Deb is another named garden that springs to my mind. Oh and Jack at Sequoia Gardens – he does  naming of parts, and tells the story.

Karoo Koppie

I was asked – what is a Karoo KoppieOur Koppie is inspired by the real thing in the Karoo.

Mediterranean sun Circle,
with lemons

The Mediterranean Sun Circle – grew out of needing, something, to break that long path. And our young lemon is bearing fruit with enthusiasm.

Aragon crossing the bridge
over Plum Creek

Rain gardening against floods meant we needed to organise somewhere for the rain to go when it buckets down. We dug Apple Creek and Plum Creek. Our little bridge serves a purpose, to cross Plum Creek.

Ungardening Pond
Uncle George glad to get his nose
above water again, after the rain!

Looking thru Tecomaria
across Ungardening Pond
to Rest and Be Thankful

Friends are offended that I call Jurg our Ungardener. But that is why it is Ungardening Pond. What is described mechanically in engineering terms as hard and soft landscaping – I prefer to call gardening (that’s what you do with plants) and Ungardening (building a pond and swales and paths and a Karoo Koppie and a Folie …). Without the Ungardening ours would be a Yes dear, very nice, garden.

Pani's Falls

The very first Ungardening project was Pani's Falls. Fait de main. Pani is the Sanskrit word for hand, and the name of the man who worked with the Ungardener.

Rest and Be Thankful
(warts and all,
with our new neighbour's caravan)

Rest and Be Thankful

From the verandah we look across to Rest and Be Thankful. This has acquired a jarring white caravan to break the view. The three trees we planted to build a bower are now plenty big enough to coax together, and blur the caravan out of sight. Then we will see – garden water garden mountain. That is what we work towards. Gelukwaarts.

This way to happiness!

Thinking of Chile as the ash cloud from the volcano circles the earth, passing Cape Town.

Pictures and words by
Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink.
Those are my links)


  1. We have named areas of our property too. Most are self explanatory;
    wolf howl, bear poo corner, cedar ridge, mosquito alley,pioneer ruins,spring fed pond, and we have 'froggy pond' which I remember Mum and Dad talking about from when they lived in S. Africa.
    Jane x

  2. i so look forward to your postings,, I feel I'm right there with you,, when one thinks of Africa what comes to mind first is hot dry land,, you have shown me such a lush green, with an abundance of bloom and blossom,, Africa,, I thank you for that,

  3. Diana,you have such a pleasant blog. You are my only Un-artist blogger, but I will not miss it for anything!

    Do you know that cute poem by TS Elliot, The Naming of Cats from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats?

    The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn't just one of your holiday games............

  4. Diana - LOL Think we have a name. We're sort of leaning towards "Foothill Farm" - Foot for the eco-footprint path we're committed to and hills for the Langeberg 10 kms to the north.

    I love the description of your garden - thank you so much for sharing the details :-)

    Your Karoo Koppie is brilliant! And methinks your Mediterranean Sun Circle on our farm would be the "Mediterranean Country" with it's current 10 trees, but soon to be an planting of an additional 65 LOL

    Caravans - hate them - but they can be useful when you're building for your future...

    And as for the "Ungardener" spot - just what the doctor ordered - not only for us mortals, but also for the "field inhabitants" - they're not fussy - they'll even make use of our current basic grey water bed (http://ecofootprintsa.blogspot.com/2011/01/farm-visitors.html)

    Love this posting LOL - thanks again :-)

  5. Oh yes, the naming of things is so important! We have named all the little bits of our garden. Enjoyable post Diana, thank you

  6. I have just realised whilst looking at your header picture why your blog is called Elephant's Eye!

  7. We named the farm, but haven't named much of the property, beyond the requisite 'orchard' 'meadow' 'garden' type areas. There is one area, up near the turkey pen that we've dubbed 'tick hill', but that's because the deer sleep up there, and most days when I walk up there I get at least one tick on me! Not very romantic though...maybe I should strive for some more creative names ;)

  8. Diana - Your Karoo Koppie is my favourite. Never seen anything like it.

    Names in my garden : Lawn, Patio, Right and Left flower beds, "Woodland" at the rear. A typical garden in London suburbia.

  9. What an interesting post. I loved to hear how your gardens were named. Very fun to hear the stories.

  10. Marie - you are the only local artist on my list. Is the Lloyd Weber Mr 'Mystopheles' from that poem? Going to read, and see ...

    Dani - Foothill Farm sounds good! I love those mountains as you pass Riviersonderend.

    Bridget - now you know how we felt when we first saw it. I have a Why EE page.

  11. Intrigued by the title as I love the poem. Fascinated with the derivation of names and glad for the insight into how your various garden cameos came to be known. Always thought 'the Ungardener' was an endearing pseudonym for the one who makes up the other half of Elephant's Eye.

  12. I love the names you have given the parts of your garden. Rest and Be Thanksful is perfect! I was thinking I needed more creative names for my own spaces, when there you have pointed out my Lady Garden! Thank you for thinking about me! If one is going to blog about a large garden, names are necessary, but I confess at first I thought I was being a bit pretentious.

  13. How wonderful to name your gardens. I had noticed it on my many previous visits but now that you have said it, it clicked in. I am not so imaginable in naming my gardens - they are known as Yard 1, Yard 2, and Yard 3. I am ashamed and embarrassed now and will endeavor to rename my gardens with worthy descriptions.

  14. I loved reading about your garden names. Very inspiring-perhaps my garden is calling out for a name.

  15. A very enjoyable post Diana! If only our farm is as big as yours then it would also be fun naming its parts, however as i think about it maybe it is really fun if even just small portions have names. I will try and enjoin my nephew and niece. Now my mind will have some daydreaming to do!

  16. Reading today's post is actually inspiring me to have another look at my garden and parhaps start planning it better and using names. Time to put on my thinking cap.

  17. Diana, I love that you call your husband the Ungardener (so much better than some of the cutsey names that are used). It perfectly describes what he does and for the most part what my husband does. Although Michael plants and moves plants too, he handles power equipment, does major clean ups, rodent relocation, builds hardscape, gathers materials, and does anything gross, among other jobs. Carolyn

  18. Hello Diana! A lovely angle on the subject - and one of my favourite poems from my own schooldays, which I often teach as well...

    Soon I will blog on the new greenhouse. When I said to my builder, Freddy, that we will have to call it Freddy's Garden after him, he laughed and said he's telling people I've already named a dam after him :)Jack

  19. A delightful post! We are still working on naming the garden. Once we get that down, we will think about naming the bits...

  20. I like how so many people name parts of their garden. In addition to the flowers it tells a story. I can't seem to come up with names myself other than descriptors - entrance, side. Dull but functional.

  21. Deb - pretentious moi? Notatall. It's only a bit of tongue in cheek fun. We've been to the real Rest and Be Thankful, in wind so fierce I couldn't hold the camera still. Our pass is two steps high ;~)

    Andrea - ours is an ordinary garden. Rest and Be Thankful is big enough for a small bench, and two cats. The camera lies, you know.

    Carolyn - gross, absolutely. If a little creature needs a merciful death, I can't, he does.

    Marguerite - your garden is so new. Those names will grow out of your history, your story.

  22. Funny how names of affection sometimes don't seem that way to others. 'Ungardener' has always seemed straightforwardly descriptive to me (and his photographic role is always emphasised so I think of him as a collaborator in this blog) though I confess I hadn't associated the word with landscaping. I've noticed though that many bloggers describe their spouses and partners as their 'OH'. I bridle at this and find it very odd but am not sure why. Maybe because it's old fashioned? Maybe beecause I think important people should have names of their own - like 'Ungardener' . . . or (Ming!).

    'The Naming of Parts' is a brilliant and moving poem. I almost didn't read this post because I can't read it without crying and was worried that you might be writing about the horrors of war and the gentleness of a warm summer's day.


  23. We also have named the beds in our garden, some related to their purpose or location, some related to their inspiration, some a play on humor. We also named each of our 9 koi. I think attaching a name makes us feel more attached to them, more responsible for them. I truly enjoyed this post!

  24. Mr Mistoffeles is also in the book. The only poem you will not find there is "Memory". I am surprised to hear that I am the only South African. I know you found me! Maybe if I share your blog to Fb some SA gardeners will join this popular blog.

  25. Marie - Oh, I meant you are the only South African amongst a few artists on my blogroll. There are a few SA gardeners who come here ;~)

  26. I guess I should have read your posting Diana before I wrote mine. LOL! Now you know how to name parts of the garden.My poor garden is so lacking when it comes to naming parts and so unromantic. LOL! I have less than an acre so it has no grande views to inspire me. Love the posting.


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.