Archive for August, 2010

Snails Galore!

When I tell people that we have a snail problem, and that we fill buckets of snails on a fairly regular basis, I can sense that they think I am exaggerating.
I thought I would show you this picture taken last year – the apple trees have been sawn down and the snails have collected on the tree trunks for their winter sleep! Makes collecting them so much easier!
You can imagine what they would do to a collection of bags filled with newly planted delphiniums! I just don’t grow them any more.
In the older section of the garden the problem is much less, but where we have pulled out apples trees to expand the nursery or garden, the problem is pretty severe. Try counting them!

Snails clustered on apple tree trunk.

August 28, 2010 at 2:20 am 1 comment

House and Leisure Magazine

September 2010 edition of House and Leisure


For those of you that have read the article in the September edition of House and Leisure, and would like further information on the Elgin Open Gardens please follow the link. We are featured under Route 3. It would be lovely to have lots of visitors.
If you have not read the article it would be great if you could dash out and buy a copy – although I think the October issue is now out!

The entrance fee is R5 per person with children free.
We have ample parking.
The garden is wheelchair friendly – we also have a mobile scooter for those who have difficulty walking on uneven ground (or who just want a relaxed trip around the garden). There is also a golf car for those who would like to be taken around the garden – it is fairly large! The use of the mobile scooter is free of charge as is the golf car.
We will have a display of proteas, pincushions and Leucodendrons set out. The indigenous section of the garden has been expanded to provide winter cut flowers.
Plants from the nursery will be on sale.
Posies made up from flowers picked in the garden, will also be on sale.
An ‘activity sheet’ for children to ‘discover’ things in the garden will be available at R5 each.
The garden may be used to picnic in as well.

August 26, 2010 at 8:31 am Leave a comment

August in my Heaven Scent Garden

August is a wonderful month – you have the bitter cold, the snow and the rain, and then the most glorious sunny days in between. I am always lulled into thinking winter is over and then a bitterly cold snap brings me up short and reminds me that the weather hasn’t changed, it’s just my memory!
The garden is filled with promise and some of the plants and flowers just can’t wait to explode into action. The Agathosmas (buchu) and Coleonemas (confetti bushes) didn’t wait, and have been looking lovely, alive with bees and full of flowers.

Agathosma ovata 'Glentana' in full flower.


Leucospermum 'Spider' full of buds


The Leucospermums start flowering in August. There is now a wonderful range from which to choose. I have been planting different hybrids over the last few years to see which ones suit our situation and requirements the best. The ‘Spider’ pincushion is very different from the others as it has soft ‘pins’ – so to speak! I think it is very beautiful!

Leucospermum 'Spider'


Other Leucospermum varieties that I have photographed in the garden are on my web album. Find them under Leucospermum hybrids.

August 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Late Winter flowers

When the roses get pruned, and it feels as if there really isn’t going to be anything to pick in the garden to make up all the posies and bunches that need to be done, I have this feeling of panic that creeps over me. Will I have to cancel orders or will I be able to coax enough out of the garden? I always tend to forget how privileged we are here in the Western Cape – we have the fynbos that just loves the rain and then those wonderful warm days in between when we think winter is over. Here are some pictures of posies and bunches that we put together this week. There are exotics as well but the majority of plants are indigenous.

Posy with pincushion, daisies, miniature watsonias and viburnum


There is a wonderful indigenous Tulbaghia that smells like narcissus, not garlic, and it flowers now – colours are white or lilac. It is a wonderful flower to have for the posies – both for its scent and prettiness. Its botanical name is Tulbaghia fragrans and it sends up its flower stem before it produces its leaves.

Posy with Blushing Bride, Tulbaghia, Coleonema and lavender


The flowers we are picking at the moment, include the following:
Agathosma – various varieties
Argyanthemum frutescens – various varieties,
Bulbine frutesence – yellow and orange
Chasmanthe floribunda – yellow and orange
Coleonema album and Coleonema pulchellum
Cyrtanthus mackenii – yellow and red
Dodonaea angustifolia – seed heads
Erica tenella
Euryops pectinatus
Hebe – various varieties
Hebenstretia dura – katstert
Helleborus orientalis – once they start setting seed
Lavandula dentata
Lavandula heterophylla “Margaret Roberts”
Lavandula stoechas
Leucadendron – various varieties
Leucospermum – various varieties
Statice – various
Ornithogalum longibracteatum
Protea scolymocephala
Scabiosa africana
Tulbughia fragrans
Watsonia – various colours
Zantedeschia aethiopica – white arum
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘dwarf white’
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’

If you wish to view photographs of other posies and bunches of flowers created this month go to my Late Winter Flowers web album.

August 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm Leave a comment


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