Sunday, December 1, 2013

Summer Colour in Phokeng

One of the views from my desk

The mimosa and jacaranda trees are blooming, so there village is awash in yellow and purple. Beautiful!

And the weather has been kind: the past week we’ve had plenty of clouds shading us from the blistering sun, even though we didn’t get much rain (just a shower or two at night).  So while my garden is still very thirsty, the leaves no longer look dry and bedraggled.

I finally planted up the main bed in the front garden. Most years we just threw seeds in there and let the flowers cover the space. That kind of planting only works on a temporary basis, because once the flowers are dead, you’re back to an empty patch.

Hopefully, my new plantings, which include two hydrangea  that will grow into colourful bushes and some pansies for ground cover, will be a great start to a more permanent and colourful garden.

I also had enough pansies to provide ground cover under one of our big palm trees. The tree is close to the front entrance, so they jazz up the entryway just a little bit.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the rocket seeds I planted last year have also grown this year. I expect to have a steady supply to last us through the summer.

The butternuts, watermelons, cucumbers and green beans are also doing very well in my back garden. I've started picking cucumbers, which we eat with everything: with salads and as snacks to munch on. I'm planning to pickle some of them.

The nursery also had some cherry tomato seedlings, some of which have started to bear fruit.  I took enough seedlings to keep us well supplied for summer salads. We’ve also planted seeds for regular varieties of tomatoes, so I’ll have plenty of harvest for soups, gravys and sauces in winter.

The chilli bushes from last year have also started to bear fruit. An old man from the village gave me around 12 chillie seedlings, which I have also planted. I hope they will also bring a good yield.

We also planted more seeds (butternuts, beetroot, cucumber, maize, green beans, onions and carrots) and have more seed packs to plant up. This will help with succession in the garden.

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