Posts filed under ‘Gardening through the Seasons’

December weddings

December is always a very busy month in every way, and it seems to be the ideal month for weddings! My last wedding before Christmas included flowers for the guest house as well as for the actual wedding day. This was quite a challenge – luckily it was spread over 2 days to accommodate the arrival of the guests and then the wedding the following evening. The theme was fynbos. I used a yellow pin cushion and 2 different varieties of protea. There wasn’t a great choice of either protea or pin cushions as with a lot of the varieties of both, December seems to be a bit of an in between time. Here are some of the photographs. If you would like to view more photographs of the flowers go to my picasa web album

January 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

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.

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

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

Lovely winter flowers

Sometimes we tend to think of winter as a dull month.  These plants are flowering in the garden at the moment and they are just lovely!  I am sure you will agree.

Bletilla striata is a lovely dainty orchid that cuts well.

Bletilla striata is a lovely dainty orchid that cuts well and grows in dappled shade.

A Lavandula stoechas that looks lovely now.

A Lavandula stoechas that looks lovely now.

A really beautiful Helleborus

A really beautiful Helleborus

August 22, 2009 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

Lobostemon fruticosus

I have just been away for 5 weeks.  When I got back one of the first things I did was wander around the garden to see what was flowering and what had changed during my absence.  I was thrilled to see the Lobostemon flowering, as it is the first time that I have grown it.  It is commonly called the ‘Agtdaegeneesbos’ because of its medicinal uses.  It grows wild on the farm and makes a lovely cut flower for posies.  More detailed plant information can be found on the Kirstenbosch website or the Fernkloof Nature Reserve (in Hermanus) website.

Lobostemon makes a lovely cut flower

Lobostemon makes a lovely cut flower

Close up of the lobostemon fruticosus flower

Close up of the lobostemon fruticosus flower

August 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment

Posies for Winter

It is now July and the year is speeding past.  I don’t think I’m going to try and make excuses for the lack of news.  My record so far is dismal to say the least!   I am going to try and keep you in touch with what is happening in the Heaven Scent Garden.  I hope you find the news useful or at least interesting.

Linda on mobility scooter

For all those in wheelchairs or those that battle to walk over uneven ground, I have good news………We have an electric  mobility scooter car (4 wheels so perfect balance), as well as a 2 seater golf cart, for going around the garden.  We are busy making the garden suitable for both these machines.  Over the last few years as we have run out of space, we have encroached somewhat on the pathways and without realizing it, these paths have shrunk significantly!  We are now making sure that the pathways are wide enough and that there is sufficient space for going around corners as well.

We have expanded our indigenous border significantly so that we have plenty to pick in the winter months.  For those of you interested in cutting flowers for the house we are now picking Nerine undulata, Blushing Brides, Pentas, scabiosa africana and Euryops pectinatus.

Blushing Brides with scabiosa in the background

Blushing Brides with scabiosa in the background

Butterflies also love Pentas

Butterflies also love Pentas

All this is from the indigenous border. Other flowers that we are picking include Statice perezii, Helenium, daisies, Gaillardia and Ammi majus ‘Green Goddess’.  There are still a few roses – hopefully from next year the Blushing Brides will be able to take the place of the roses in the posies we make for the Farm Stalls.

July 17, 2009 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Trees as Air Conditioners

We are into March.  The Autumn colours are just starting to peep through in some plants and others seem in quite a hurry to get into their winter gear!  I must confess I do enjoy the rose hips, the berries, the yellows and russets of the helleniums and rudbeckias, and then of course a bit of relief from the searing February sun. 

The following information comes from an article from the Farmer’s Weekly dated 9/07/1993 about trees being natural air conditioners.

Trees planted around a house so their branches overhang the roof, keep the temperature down to an agreeable level inside, and they do more.  They humidifyand freshen the atmosphere and encourage the gentle movement of air.

Functioning as a fountain the tree draws many litres of water from the soil – often more than 1 000 litres a day – and evaporates them through its leaves into the air.  Each tree then, during the daylight hours, is enveloped in a blanket of water vapour under which one is cooled and refreshed.  Some species like the willow pump out water through the leaves in the form of finely divided droplets in a mist which may be felt on the hands and face, and in certain lights seen.  When a slight breeze is blowing, the temperature under such a tree measures 5 – 10 degrees C less than the temperature outside of its canopy.

With this information I realise that I need to plant lots more trees.  There are areas of the garden that could do with a little air conditioning!

March 16, 2008 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment


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