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

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

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