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Beautiful Birds

One of the things I love about my garden are the birds. I tend to just enjoy having them around and chatting to them when they are hopping around me while I am working in the garden. If I happen to have my camera with me when they are around I will attempt to take a picture, but I don’t have the lens to do a good job so my photos tend to be a bit of a hit and miss affair. We quite often have visitors in the garden who love photographing the birds. At Open Gardens we had a couple who took some wonderful photos of the Paradise Flycatcher. They returned later and took some equally wonderful photos of the Batis. They kindly sent me some of their pics which they were happy for me to put on the Blog. I’m sure you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Female Paradise Flycatcher


Male Paradise Flycatcher on nest


The male and female Cape Batis.


The female Batis with a bee

Many thanks to Matthew & Mary Ann Syphus for their lovely photos.

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January 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

What an Open Garden!

We were hoping to have more visitors this year and we certainly were blessed with lots and lots! Many thanks to everyone who came to visit and especially all those who come back just about every year. It is always lovely to see familiar faces – I’m even getting some names right! Life is so busy for everyone that the Open Gardens ‘Event’ does at least get everyone out here. Many thanks also to the friends who came to swell the numbers and give support and especially to those that come and help in the garden every year – you are amazing. I know my children will be saying ‘what about us?’ Thanks guys!

The weather was very kind to us this year. The first time in ages that both week-ends have come up trumps.
I was thrilled that we had some visitors that used the mobility scooter as well as the golf car. It is such a pleasure seeing people who would otherwise struggle to get around the garden enjoying the freedom the vehicles provide.

Here are some photographs of the ‘Event’

A visitor delighted with her 'Silver Tree'

Display of Leucodendrons and Leucospermums

The Heaven Scent Team ready for action.

Emma's Red Wagon


Chris taking 'Dad and the kids' for a trip round the garden

November 29, 2010 at 10:37 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 Paradise Flycatcher

What a wonderful surprise………this year we were not treated to just the occasional flash of beauty as the Paradise Flycatcher darted by, but by at least 3 of them at times. I think there was a bit of competition as to which male was the most presentable!  Well once things were finally settled and the unhappy ‘other’ male dispatched,  we were privileged to be able to observe the most wonderful display of nest-sitting and rearing of the young.  They chose a spot that was so exposed to the comings and goings of people – I was quite amazed that they didn’t seem to worry about us at all.  Both the male and female birds were equally involved in the routine of nest sitting and feeding.  It was lovely to watch them. The photos are not great.  The nest were a bit far away for my little camera and also on a rather ‘wavy’ branch.

Please click on the photos to get a larger image.  Look for the male bird’s tail feathers – they go right up to the edge of the photo.  For some detail and better photos of the Paradise Flycatcher.

Dad feeding them

December 6, 2009 at 9:00 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

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

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