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

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

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

Cape Robin in our garden

While working in the garden today I was thrilled when Chris discovered that the Cape Robin had a nest just next to where we were working.  I thought she was just hanging around for the worms which we were exposing.  These she pounced on with glee!  I had forgotten that she had built a nest deep in the rosemary bush last year.

Rosemary and lavender bush used by robin for nesting.

Rosemary and lavender bush used by robin for nesting.

Here is a photo of the rosemary bush where the nest is situated, and a not so good picture of the little ones in the nest.

Baby robins in nest

Baby robins in nest

I took it rather hurriedly so as not to disturb them or distress the mother.  I noticed that when we went on working in the area, she would pick up a worm and disappear into the bush quite happily not being too bothered about our presence.  The Robin tends to make its nest fairly low down so is fairly easy to disturb while gardening.

The next day(23rd), when in the garden I decided to check on the robin’s nest and take a decent picture.  To my surprise after taking the pic the young robin flew off and landed on the ground close by, before disappearing under a shrub.  Here is the young robin before he took off!

Young robin in its nest.

Young robin in its nest.

August 22, 2009 at 7:42 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

September 2008

What a rainy month!

We have not had quite so much rain in September for a long time – August is usually the month when our dam overflows etc but needless to say we had August and September’s rain all in September and the dam is now running over quite happily!  Well never look a gift horse in the mouth they say, so although we are rather behind in all our September chores nothing is drying out and in need of irrigation yet, which is great.

September 29, 2008 at 9:08 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

Older Posts Newer Posts


Categories

  • Blogroll

  • Feeds