Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Late Spring Flowers

A collage of late spring flowers from the garden.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Big Garden Makeover (Year 2...)

The big garden makeover continues this year, the 2nd year of a 3 year plan. Well I hope it’s only 3 years. But one thing is already clear: Much less work is required on the mundane tasks of weeding, mulching, etc. And that’s great. That was one of the major objectives of the makeover.

The original plan to have the garden well-planted without seeing much soil is coming on really well. I still have a few open spots, but they will be covered this year as some of the smaller plants grow bigger and where needed, I will plant new ones, but that will only be a handful of cases. I have already identified a few plants that should be moved to more “friendlier” locations and one or two I want to remove completely.

M wou nog altyd 'n bankie onder 'n boom he.

Two weeks ago we created two small vegetable gardens. The one close to the house is mainly for herbs (Italian and sweet basil, German, French and lime/lemon thyme, Greek oregano, Italian and curly parley and some garlic and also chives), one tomato and two sweet pepper plants. In the second vegetable area we planted leeks, Swiss chard, leaf lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, pattypan and crooked neck squash, and also some typical South African green squash (skorsies). Although the area is rather smallish we are going to try our hand at vertical gardening for the vine type veggies.

During the Memorial Day weekend we dressed the backyard beds with 2 and a half truckloads of mulch, and created a rest area or, what I rather want to call an appreciate-the-garden area under the silver leaf maple tree where we laid garden cloth down and then pine bark nuggets on top. The grass never grew well on that path in any case. And we then installed an around-the-tree bench.

In general the garden is looking much better than in previous years. Just about all the plants transplanted last year survived. I was a bit worried that the January ice storm would have damaged many plants, but it seems only the trees suffered. I lost a few perennials, but I don’t think I can contribute that to the ice storm, just normal harsh winter “wear-and-tear”.

For the rest of the summer we have several projects planned, but I will write more about them as time goes on.

Along the path through the "Woodlands" area of the yard the hostas, columbines, coral bells and astilbes are doing really well. These were just baby plants last year.

Dual Flights.
Two Sundays ago while lazily strolling through the garden I heard a loud sound of air being forces out of a container. Looking up I see a huge air balloon above me. I quickly went to grab the camera, which is never far away, and was very fortunate that at that very moment that I took the picture of the balloon a starlet flew past and into the picture.

But it is not all work and no rest. We do make some time to enjoy the sunset too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

South Africa's Version of Google Earth


Dramatic Cape Town Weather

Yesterday my brother-in-law emailed me these dramatic pictures of a thunderstorm over Cape Town in the early hours of yesterday morning.

I certainly can't remember that we had these kinds of storms when I grew up in Cape Town. Thunderstorms were an occasional event in December and then only towards the north of Durbanville. Certainly no over Table Mountain and Kloofnek.

I must say that the weather in Cape Town is certainly changing probably due to global warming. I see that the Cape Town region has been identified as a hot bed of change due to global warming. Doesn't sound too good for the delicate eco system the Cape is so known for.