Posts filed under ‘Indigenous Gardening’

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

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

Kirstenbosch Exhibit at Chelsea

The time just continues to fly – not only is it June already, but the 2010 World Cup is upon us! It was always just something that was going to happen in the future when we were hopefully going to be ready for it! Well, it has been a wonderful experience – just proving once again that South Africa and South Africans are amazing! There is nothing that we cannot do together if we put our minds to it. Ayoba!
Well back to what my blog is all about……..gardening and all things garden related.
May is the time I try and go to The U.K. to see my daughter and help at the Kirstenbosch Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show if possible.
My break in England was wonderful. I was able to help at Chelsea for about 5 days. A really special experience. The design was excellent. David Davidson and Raymond Hudson do us proud each year. This year was rather more stressful than usual however, as the plant material/fynbos and proteas etc were held up at Heathrow for 3 days. This meant that the flowers were enclosed in the container (not in coldstorage) without water for an extra 3 days. By the time they reached us the plants were not happy and we were seriously running short of time to set up the exhibit. Needless to say David and Ray still managed to produce a medal winning exhibit – with all of us ‘handlangers’ scurrying around helping where possible and Sarah Struys seeing that everything ran smoothly. We literally had to be ‘tagged’ to get in and out! Well done Sarah as that was no mean feat. If you would like to see photos of the Kirstenbosch Exhibit at Chelsea follow the link, view the photo album, and then click on Linda’s Gallery and view the other 3 Chelsea albums.

June 24, 2010 at 9:29 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

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

Newsletter June 2008

May and June have been very exciting months for me.

In the middle of May I was able to work with the Kirstenbosch team at the Chelsea Flower Show.  It was an amazing experience!

Seeing the stand start off as a fairly open space with just the reservoir wall across the centre and some rusty barbed wire and a rusty gate, and then seeing it develop into a medal winning display was wonderful.

The designers for the Chelsea exhibit were David Davidson and Raymond Hudson.  They really did us proud and produced an amazing display which won a Gold Medal as well as ‘The President’s award for the Most Creative Display’.  It was wonderful for them as well as being great for the sponsors.  First National Bank is the major sponsor and deserves a really big ‘Thank You’ from us all in the Western Cape as being at Chelsea really is exceptional exposure for Cape Town inparticular as well as the rest of South Africa.  Brett from FNB in Johannesburg was also there during the build up getting his hands dirty – real involvement by the sponsors is so good to experience.

Incredible packaging of the Quiver Trees - No flowers broken

Incredible packaging of the Quiver Trees - No flowers broken

The flowers, aloes, Quiver Trees etc. all arrived on the Thursday before the show started, so from then on it was all systems go – re-cutting stems, putting into buckets of water etc.  The whole stand was surrounded by fynbos!  Slowly things started taking shape.  I must confess at one stage I did wonder how we were ever going to finish, but David and Raymond are old hands and they didn’t seem to worry, and of course everything was finished by the Sunday night.  They however received a phonecall at 5.30 on Monday morning to say a pipe had burst next to the stand and some damage had resulted. They called everyone staying at their hotel and by the time I got there at 10.00am all was looking perfect!

Going for Gold

Going for Gold

Monday was the day for The Press, Dignitaries, judging and the Royal visit.  The security squad went through the whole area with sniffer dogs that seemed to be loving their job.  The results were delivered on Tuesday morning amidst great excitement.

The Alpine Society stand next to ours won ‘The Presidents Award for the most Outstanding Display’.  Watching them at work was fascinating.  Many of the plants used are dainty and delicate looking, and were planted out with the utmost care using the smallest of garden equipment.  A well deserved win.

Recipient of The RHS Presidents Award for The Most Outstanding Exhibit.

Recipient of The RHS Presidents Award for The Most Outstanding Exhibit.

During the show I did a stint on the stand and saw our fynbos through the eyes of non-South Africans for the first time.  We have it on our doorstep all the time and as so often happens you take things around you so for granted.  I certainly gained a new appreciation for our beautiful fynbos.  There were a number of South Africans living and/or working in London who just wanted to smell the ‘veld’.  my photographs of the Kirstenbosch Exhibit.

They have done it again!

They have done it again!

Chelsea for me was a very special experience.

Not just Gold but also Most Creative on Show!

I stayed with my daughter, Helen, in London and had a few days to recharge my batteries before flying to Denver to visit my son,Malcolm and his wife, Jill.

Helen works across the road from Regent’s Park so we shared a picnic lunch there on a few occasions.  The gardens there are so beautiful and so well looked after. It is wonderful being able to wander in it, sit on the grass and have a picnic, or a snooze if you so wish.  The Rose Garden itself just takes your breath away.

June 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Indigenous gardening

I do bunches of flowers for the local farmstalls and include a number of indigenous flowers in my bunches. I enjoy mixing traditional garden cut flowers with our indigenous flowers. This month we have a number of special flowers blooming:

dsc06671-blog.jpg

The Eucomis, the Agapanthus campanulatus, A.inapertus and A. inapertus subsp. intermedius ‘Wolkberg’, one of the new hybrids ‘Blue Velvet’ as well as A.coddii, the Selago corymbosa, the Galtonia candicans, the Gloriosa superba, the Crocosmia aurea and C.paniculata. These are all able to be cut for the vase. I must confess I get quite confused with all the different Agapanthus varieties that are around, to know which is which one really needs to be an expert. No matter what variety they happen to be, they are all wonderful both in the garden and in the vase.

January 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment


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