Posts filed under ‘Gardening for the vase’

Elgin Open Gardens

The seasons seem to come and go so fast. Maybe it is because there are so many specific things to do in the garden each month. I don’t know, but before you know it the correct season for pruning or transplanting or dividing or whatever, seems to have come and gone.
The same applies to Open Gardens. I always think that I will have so many things in place for Open Gardens ‘next year’, and what happens? I spend the month of October rushing around like a scalded cat trying to get things finished! Well, done it again!

Winter in the garden with Wolfie in his favorite position in the golf car.


I have tried to make things a little bit more appealing for a greater number of gardeners this year.
If you have a friend or member of the family who would enjoy the garden but is not that mobile, please remember we have a mobility scooter as well as a golf car. Both are free. I will take visitors around the garden but I can only take one person at a time as the golf car has a ‘boot/cargo box’ and not back seats.
I have worked on an activity booklet for the children so that their parents may enjoy their time in the garden more. It will most probibly cost about R8.00. I haven’t printed it yet so don’t have a final price.
For the Dads, husbands or boyfriends, who really have a limited interest in gardening, there will be cold draught beer and sandwiches on sale, which they can relax and enjoy.
I will give a light hearted talk, illustrated with photographs, of the preparations in the Grand Pavillion at the Chelsea Flower Show at 11.00am on Sunday 31st October and 11.00am on Saturday 6th November. (no charge)
Arnelia Nursery, an excellent producer of Proteas, Leucodendrons and Leucospermums, has supplied me with a lovely selection of their plants which will be on display and for sale. There are some lovely new pincushion hybrids.
As they were unloading the plants, a malachite sunbird landed on one of the pincushions – obviously thought this was ‘meals on wheels’! Anyway the flowers got his vote of approval.
There are a few plants of my favorite miniature protea, Protea scolymacephala. Arnelia has only recently started propagating it and offering it for sale, so I was thrilled that there were some left for us.

Protea scolymacephala


Also remember that the garden is home to a large number of birds, so these can also be enjoyed as you wander around the garden.
Hope to see you on the farm.

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October 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm 5 comments

Glorious September garden cut flowers

Three glorious September posies

These are posies I did this week. They are all very different – one being just fynbos and the other mixes of indigenous and exotic.
The back left is made up of Protea scolymacephala and Gladiolus carneus.
The back right is the Rice Flower, Narcissus ‘Geranium’ and small arums.
The front one is Alstroemerias, Bletilla striatas and primulas.

If you would like more information and photographs of Gladiolus carneus please follow the fernkloof link. There are also lovely pictures of the scolymacephala protea

More detailed photographs of the above posies are on my Picasa Photo Album.

September 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm 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

The Fernkloof Flower Show

This year the format for the show was a bit different.

There were no show gardens on display or outside nurseries selling their plants.

The display in the main hall was a veld scene designed by David Davidson and Riaan, with a few suggestions from me!   David, Riaan and the Fernkloof team did the hard landscaping – ‘creating a pathway through the veld with the signposts dipicting the names of the people who have served Fernkloof so faithfully over the years’.  A beautiful photographic backdrop was mounted on the back wall.  The photograph was taken by Pat Millar.  The next stage was creating the floral display.  As always David’s creation was beautiful.  I have learned a huge amount from David and have so enjoyed working with him.

There were so many members of the Fernkloof Flower Show that did a wonderful job of picking, cataloguing and displaying the plants that were flowering in the reserve.  The amount of knowledge is simply awesome  – in the true sense of the word!  There will be photos on their website, but if you wish to view my photographs of the Fernkloof Flower Show then follow this link.

December 6, 2009 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment

Beautiful Hellebores

These are one of my favourite flowers.  I really love it when they flower in the winter.

Hellebore creamy white

White Hellebore with shades of green

They have the most beautiful ‘faces’ and they are always a wonderful surprise when you lift them up and gaze into them.  I have a number of different colours and shades in the garden, with my originals coming from Archie’s Plants in Johannesburg.  They cross pollinate very happily and the seedling flowers are always a surprise.

Hellebore growing under the trees

Hellebore growing under the trees

Hellebores floating in a bowl as a table centre piece.

Hellebores floating in a bowl as a table centre piece.

They don’t keep well in water unless you cut a short stem and float them in a bowl of water – then they look lovely and their ‘faces’ are perfectly presented.

For more information on Helleborus hybrids and how to grow them go to  http://www.hellebores.org/helleborushybridus.html

September 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

July posies

Some examples of winter posies before we have pruned the roses.  In winter our temperatures drop fairly low at night so we only prune during the first week of August.

View the pictures on my Picasa website

August 23, 2008 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

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