Confessions of a not-so-constant gardener

I have neglected my garden, I have neglected the blog and inadvertently I have neglected my sense of well-being. Today is the first day in too long that I spent a morning in the garden. I went to the nursery this morning, bought some new plants and had a long chat to an indigenous ‘expert’.  In an ‘aha’ moment I was reminded of all the things I love about creating an indigenous garden. Learning a new skill, watching things grow and bloom and helping nature reclaim a small plot of land as her own again is a very satifsying past-time. However, the last few months my garden has disheartened me and I’ve been frustrated at my lack of knowledge and skill and the time it takes for things to flourish. Mould has set in on the Halleria, worms destroyed the Clivia, and there are little red lice on the wild dagga. You’ll see from the pic, that some areas of my garden are looking quite sparse.

But after doing an honest morning’s work in the garden and getting dirt under my fingernails again my little sparse garden has inspired me. I’ve decided it’s pointless stressing about the mould, worms and mites – nature will do what she does and some day my garden will come to fruition.  It’s been a year since we ripped out all the exotics in our garden and basically started an indigenous garden from scratch so like they say – all good things come to those who wait. I guess with life’s frenetic pace there is ultimately and important lesson in all of this. To enjoy your garden, no matter what the stage in its life-cycle. Go on – get in there and get your hands dirty!



6 thoughts on “Confessions of a not-so-constant gardener”

  1. You can write about aloes all you want. I do not have enough window space to grow all the aloes I like and the one they said would be hardy here wasn’t. We do grow a lot of other things in the NW of the USA, but not aloes. Show me your aloes.

  2. hey sonya. garden looks alright.. maybe a bit sparse.. but i think you can build it up quite nicely without giving it too much attention… i would shove in as many indigenous plants as possible – get a load of cuttings / seeds from friends, bombard the garden with them, add water and see what happens.. whatever is strongest and most comfortable will survive regardless of mould, worms and lice..

  3. I agree Mol-d, that’s exactly what I plan on doing – first stop – Niall’s garden… I guess it just takes time and what survives is suited and what not – well not. Daniel – there are quite a few posts about aloes on this blog, check them out if you haven’t already… what type of aloes are you trying to grow? Maybe they not getting enough sunlight.

  4. Hey Sonia, it is so easy to get despondent when the garden doesn’t seem to be taking shape – I see it so often. But I’m glad to see you fought the feeling. I think the only way to learn how to garden is by trial and error, and I’m hoping to keep doing that my whole life… In my experience, it takes about 2-3 years to start to really see results in the garden.

  5. Thanks Ross, that is encouraging. I suppose in this two-minute noodle society we want to see results fast. My garden is teaching me the age old practice of patience and how life should be lived at a more ‘natural’ pace.

  6. The tree with the long pods is bauhinia tomentosa. Don’t plant any lantanas – the yellow one is a hybrid but apparently reverts to the noxious lantana camara which is the curse of the South Coast (along with chromalena). I have loved Charles and Julia Botha’s book “Bring Nature back to your Garden” and have used it as my planting bible. When I started the garden I drew a map of plants put in but should have put a date next to each large plant I planted in order to see how big they get.

    If your picture of the tree you love is an erythrina, I don’t think they are at all invasive but the branches can become brittle and fall.


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