Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
I am really chuffed with how my swing-seat renovation turned out!

It was looking quite sad and forlorn which just wasn't right for such a well loved piece of garden furniture, so just before we moved I set about restoring it so that it would look magnificent in our new garden, and even if I say so myself; it turned out pretty well.

Gymnogene

Over the years we've had some special visitors to our garden, and this afternoon it continued as we had the  pleasure of seeing a Gymnogene or African Harrier Hawk flying over before settling in to the neighbours oak tree. The hawk sat there for quite a while, even ignoring the protestations of many songbirds which tried to get it to move on, before taking off to join another hawk in flight.

Jade Plant

I went on to our garage roof in the pouring rain to check on a suspected blocked drain pipe and was amazed to see this little fella growing in between the roofing sheets and the waterproofing (which clearly isn't doing its job!).

He has now been re-homed and will grow in to yet another spectacular Jade plant to join the many others already growing in the garden.

I do like the variegated nature of this one, the contrast between red and green is quite striking.

Read more about Jade plants here: Jade plants and Trees.

Swing Seat

I have to confess to the fact that I am really struggling not to write a ranty piece about the ineptitude and inconsistencies of the SA govt and their ham-fisted approach to the coronavirus, but I shall resist and rather talk about our garden...

After neglecting things for far too long I finally got around to some serious pruning and a number of other jobs over the last few days, including moving our dilapidated swing seat from the front garden to the rear.

Elisha's Bones

I was so fed up with this yesterday!

After a couple of days of non-stop rain I had checked the local weather forecast and it said the rain had finished, so I hung the washing out, only for the heavens to open and leave the washing saturated.

I was not amused!

There was no way I was going out in that to get the washing in again, and so most of it ended up on the airer being dried by last night's fire, so I guess I shouldn't grumble.

Then this morning, the storm has cleared and we are blessed with wonderful clear blue skies, and we now have two loads of washing out on the line drying, which means we're fully caught up with the washing load (let's not mention the ironing pile).

As a severe weather warning goes out around the western Cape this afternoon, I thought it would be good to revisit the issue of the Cape's three year drought and what it actually means for those of us living here.

Our drought seemed to be a popular source of conversation in Blighty as I was asked countless times about it, especially as it had hit international headlines a few months ago as Day Zero was scheduled to happen within days of that news breaking.

Day Zero

Day Zero is looming and is set for the end of March.

No we're not talking about the rise of a new Pol Pot or Jacob Zuma suddenly pulling a rabbit out of his hat and saving his political career. No, we're talking about the day that the taps run dry here in Cape Town.

Karma Chameleon

Until two days ago I had only ever seen one chameleon in the wild, or at least in my garden, then suddenly today I came across another little guy (maybe it's the same one) and decided to get some better shots of him.

This is a Cape Dwarf Chameleon indigenous only to the Western Cape and close to Table Mountain, though they have been found as far out as Agulhas.

Personally I'm thrilled to have this lttle guy in my garden and would love to see him again sometime.

South Africa's drought just got a whole lot more serious for those of us down in the Western Cape with Level 3 water restrictions coming into force as of today. This means we have to make a minimum of 30% savings on our water consumption and for those that fail the financial cost will be quite big because all tariffs are increasing from the 1st of December.

Our consumption is so low already, thanks to the measures we've put in place, that making a 30% saving is just about impossible, but it does mean that other than using grey water we won't be watering the garden this year. It will be interesting to see how the garden looks next June!

For those of you of the praying persuasion, please stand with us in prayer for this drought to be broken.

Antlions

Some of you have been on safari and will have enjoyed looking at the Big 5, they are a truly spectacular group of animals.

What you may not know though, is that there is also a Little 5 of some equally amazing animals.

We have the Antlion or Lion Ant in our garden and as the drought intensifies so does their hunting activity.

It was a pleasure and a joy to be able to Gather as a church for a braai (BBQ) knowing that we're together just for the sake of it, free from the nonsense we had to endure last year.

We had so much fun (as you'll see in the pics below) and it was great to get to know each other a bit better. For Paula and I it was great to see Joel and Eli playing with Yanko, I think they finally realised that girls aren't gross.

It was a great way to kick off 2016.

Eli has just counted our haul of granadilla's from the last few days and the tally stands at 145.

The dining room smells divine!

Anyone got any granadilla recipes?




After a couple of false starts the man from the municipality finally came to inspect the sewer pipe and concluded that they need to install a non-return valve on the street-side of the property. Sadly due to the extensive damage done by the floods last year the emergency budget is exhausted so he could give me no idea of when they will get around to doing the work.

Still, we've had a man out to inspect it and that alone feels like progress. It only took two years of trying to get this issue sorted, and we've only got this far after getting in touch with our local Councillor who put us in touch with the right person at the municipality.

Moonsquirters

Percy Thrower I am not so where Eli gets his desire for a bit of gardening is a mystery but one that shall be capitalised upon.

A while back he asked if he could grow some tomatoes and somehow he managed to sweet-talk mummy into taking him shopping for seeds etc.

That was a couple of months ago and today Eli has eleven very healthy looking tomato plants which he actually grew from seed.

So this afternoon he was ├╝ber excited to see that one of his plants has two small green tomatoes on it. Bless him, he had no idea what they were because they were so small and green, apparently "they don't look like the ones in the packets".

Garden Centre

After a good morning in Macassar I decided to call in on Michael in Chris Nissen on my way home to see how his gate is holding up and just to enjoy being with my mate.

One of the things that never fails to amaze me about our friends there is just how generous they are and this morning I left Michael's feeling like I'd been to a garden centre.

My garden is going to be looking great by next summer!

Gardening Bits

Following a difficult week it's lovely to be able to lay the current mess aside and enjoy a beautiful Cape winter's Saturday.

It's also great to have Michael back again working his magic in the garden. Michael is feeling much better after his recent heart attack and everybody including Rosie the dog is delighted to see him again.

Flying Thing

I was fascinated by this bug in the garden this morning and managed to get this half decent snap of it with Paula's point & shoot camera.

I think it might be a hornet but am not too sure. Whatever it is I was surprised to see it out on a cold winter's morning.


...how does your garden grow?

One of the fun parts of enjoying the first spring in a new home is discovering just what is in the garden. Our garden was an overgrown jungle when we moved in and it didn't appear that much was going on at all, apart from the marijuana plant in the middle of the lawn!

However as Spring has well and truly sprung now we're seeing some good stuff in the garden.

Trees

We missed the National Arbor Week last week but may just have made ammends this week.

With a bit of help from my mate Rod we've just planted four indigenous trees in the garden. I love trees so it's a real privilege to be able to plant some and especially to plant indigenous trees that are in harmony with the environment.

Zantedeschia

Zante..what?

Zantedeschia is the proper name for this beautiful South African flower more commonly (but wrongly) known as the Calla Lily. They say you learn something new every day and that's what I learnt today. Anyway, the point is that this beautiful flower is growing in our garden which I'm delighted about, though it seems the dog is too as she ate one of them!