Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The guy next door

Is clearly doing better than me as far as creepers go. This is his honeysuckle seen from my side.

It's a bit early for a retrospective, but going back through my posts since I started, I realised that it all looks so 'perfect'. In real life my garden resembles our beautiful country in many ways. Gorgeous & spectacular in many ways but with large arid areas (which have their own interesting charm).

Certainly popular opinion would have the bad guys out numbering the good ten to one and I wouldn't be anywhere else for the world.
So I've undertaken to fess-up slowly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sex Sells

Or so they say, and I need someone to notice my predicament and come to the rescue.In the last week it's become clear to me that my garden is being eaten alive. So I went hunting for the culprits with my camera. Bug mugshots if you like. This is what I found.

Under every bush, behind every leaf they're all at it and judging by my garden it's not safe sex either. I'm compiling a hitlist as we speak. What I need help with is environmentally friendly ways to dissuade this kind of behaviour and the resultant rise in population.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sweet, Sweetpeas.

Last year I planted Sweetpeas and they loved the spot I chose for them. So much so that they've come back on their own this year before I had time to put trellises up. So they're creeping ground covers.

With great joy my little girl went 'shopping' yesterday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Cape Doctor

I woke up feeling like this.

That is what we call the South Easter here and it's arrived in style. Starting early summer (October) and lasting until Feb/March it howls around every corner, lifting skirts Marilyn style, hanging plastic bags from fences, making birds fly backwards, painting Cape Town in dusty colours and generally ruffling everyones feathers. My poor garden is fried.
(By the way if you are into colour have a look at ColourLovers a site I found through Viva.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Colour Swatch

This collection of colour is inspired by this weekends find.

You're never too old to learn II

I have to say the popularity of my snack has been a bit of a surprise. Suddenly I'm very aware of the power of the web and feel all exposed. (The irony isn't lost on me.)

The real Kusmalva I suspect

Making popular pitas isn't all I was up to though. I went hunting for Pelargoniums of the fynbos family in the veld around my neighbourhood. And I think I've returned with egg on my face.

I found this speciman which I suspect is the real Kusmalva (Coast Geranium in plain Afrikaans). Why? Because it's clearly a Pelargonium and I found it in the veld next to the sea. Sometimes it doesn't pay to fight the obvious.

The problem I'm left with is, what on earth does it make my gardens variety? So I won't quit my day job just yet as I'm clearly not a horticulturist of note.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Green and Gold

Besides the lettuce leaves this post has nothing to do with gardening.

Forgive my momentary lapse of reason but the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup on Saturday! I made these for the gathering, based on an idea I saw on FreshlyFound under 'Palatable patterns'.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New beginnings

This has been a year of new beginnings for me. I vowed to spend more time being creative and on the things that inspire me. Not surprisingly quite a few of them overlap. I started doing pottery and one of the first things I made were herb names for my newly planted herbs. Now I'm thinking of making them for Christmas presents. I've also started a herb pot for my mom inspired by african masks.

On top of this I've always wanted to experiment with botanical art and the first experimental results have become my title design. Now the blog; which has given me a way to start arranging my thoughts and a context for the rest.

(Instead of isolating the individual I think the world wide web has given many of us a voice and a way of finding like minded individuals to be inspired by and with which to share.)

Exciting times indeed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You're never too old to learn

A large part of the reason I started this blog was my lack of knowledge. I know there are lots of you out there who have answers to my questions so please feel free to share.

I recently bought a fantastic book on Fynbos (the smallest of the six floral kingdoms of the world). This is some of what I learnt about the Pelargonium. One of the five largest Fynbos genera, 148 of the 270 species worldwide are found here in the Cape Floristic region. So out of the three Pelargoniums I have in my garden only one is from the Cape ~ the Pelargonium capitatum (Kusmalva in Afrikaans). That is of course if I identified it correctly, an interesting exercise in itself.

Pelargonium capitatum/Kusmalva

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Real Talent in a plant.

My Rose Scented Geranium ala Pelargonium Graveolens Roseum has a bright future. On further investigation I have found out more about this twigs potential properties.

Not only is it used in the perfume industry but you can cook with it. Apparently its leaves and flowers can be used in food. Use them in salads, frost them to decorate cakes and use them to give flavour to stewed apples & pears (sounds good). For more Scented Geranium recipes and crafts.

Even more charming though, is the fact that it's used in Nit Shampoos and ticks don't like it.

Happiness is

The only thing more beautiful than these (Papa Meilland ~ I think) is the way they have wrapped my room in their intoxicating perfume.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Location, location, location

My garden is a coastal garden and being 300m from the beach it's more coast than garden. In summer we're battered by the South Easter and in winter the North Westerly pulls out all the stops. Add some salt and place in the sun for best results. It's a miracle I have roses at all.

The South Easter gives Table Mountain it's cloth.

The North Westerly brings out the moody side.

However we're also fortunate enough to live smack in the middle of the Western Cape fynbos kingdom and like many South African gardeners I'm discovering the benefits of using what belongs here.

Here is one of my projects.
Someone recently gave me a bouquet that had Rose Scented Geranium (Pelargonium) leaves in. Bar the real thing I have never smelt anything like it. So, I stuck it in some hormone powder and then in the ground. It might not look like much now but hey it's got new growth!
Being new to blogging I was delighted to discover not one but two responses to my little blog. Both from fellow creatives who use nature as inspiration in their work.

SkinnyLaMinx, who designs the most beautiful things (her etsy shop ) and is Cape Town based,

and a Durban based Home Economist and Interior Redesigner FreshlyFound who amongst other things has came up with this great way of storing wood. I hope you don't me sharing this.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What to do?

Does anybody know of a nice way to get rid of these little critters. Someone has suggested Sunlight Soap as it's not toxic?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

Oh dear, like my garden this space is very intimidating. And like my garden I will endeavor to fill it with something true, something beautiful and something that reflects my thirst for all things green.

My first rosebud ~ complete with aphid. First thing in the morning, you can't help but smile.

Summer's coming!

My happiest time spent in my garden is watering it, that's when I make most of my discoveries (good & bad).