Summer shots


Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

Ubiquitous Coke and Collies

19 Mar '07 1:02 pm
The power of Coke IS awesome! In fact Powerade (their unfizzy, 'healthy' cooldrink) is our main sponsor, but Coke will surface! The other main sponsor is - sign of the times - a vehicle tracking and recovery company. The pic I took as part of our portfolio for our sponsors and for club records.

As I have said before in the forums of Doubly, my Border Collie: if you're beautiful and adoring, who needs brains? He is singularly blonde. He'll go out the front door and then come and bang his tail imploringly against the glass door, asking to be let in, despite being able to see the open door through the room. He herds dragonflies, swallows and bats. And thunder. All unsucessfully. What he'll do if he catches the thunder I don't know, because he is scared of it. He doesn't so much herd Monty as corner him - and then slobbers over him, growling. Actually he'd rather lick Monty's ears, but Monty isn't that kind of boy and doesn't usually allow it. Much as I love my Doubly dog, if this had been sheep country he would have been put down long ago as a bad bloodline. He is definitely one of the 'modern' dogs, bred more for looks and companionship than work.

The latest addition to our family is a lovely teenager acquired by Phineas, our foreman. She is an unusual dark coffee shade (i.e. not quite basic brown!) with slightly paler eyes and 'furry bits'- ears and tail. She had a surprised expression and a skittish nature which immediately reminded me of a Dr Seuss character. The one in my mind is powder blue and has a topknot, but when I googled to find you a picture, this one struck me a a good if unkind impersonation. She is really a beautiful dog. Monty seems to think so too, and spends most nights with her, which is better than up the valley argueing with my neighbours about their respective alpha male status.
Dr Seuss.gif

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

End of School

19 Mar '07 2:00 pm
Hi Jack -

I remember well the intensity of the last couple of weks of school before the long break! I understand just how worn out you must be, especially when you are participating in other, non-school related activities!

As for the names of plants, I'm quite surprised that there aren't many died-in-the-wool gardeners there! I always thought it would be rather like California, with many, very beautiful private gardens! Anyway, I guess we all learn something new every day, don't we?

And to Dixie, that was a great picture of your 2 dogs! I've never heard of the bearded kind, though, so, you see, I've learned something new again today!

And, for everyone, I've finally finished cleaning all of the grass from what used to be my tiny front lawn, knocked down the concrete and stone wall that used to surround the little flower bed there, spread wood ashes for fertilizer (and just to get rid of them, now that I no longer have a wood stove) and begun digging over the entire area. Once that job is complete I'll begin emptying out the compost bin, then dig the whole thing over again! After that it should be ready for planting. I've sketched out an approximate plan of what colours I want in what areas, but I'm sure that will change at least a bit as I go along.

Spring is now coming along rather quickly here, even though there's a pretty cold wind from the ocean today. The wind won't warm up much until the snowpack in the mountains melts. We had a much heavier snowpack than usual this year. Down here most of the precipitation fell as rain, but in the mountains there are many metres of snow. This will be good later when the weather dries out as it always does. I just hope there isn't any serious flooding in the meantime!

Here's a picture of what the new flower bed looks like now. The grassy plants in the centre background are kniphofias that I grew from seed a couple of years ago. They're looking rather bedraggled after winter but they will come back strongly as the weather warms. The large lilac bush is the one that was poisoned last year and it will be removed after it blooms one last time for me.

That's my news for today!!

Cheers, everyone!

gordonf
New Bed1B.jpg
It was late in the day when I took this picture, but it'll have to do for now. There should be lots of colour here later in the summer!

Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

California and SA

19 Mar '07 2:27 pm
You're right, Gordon: there are many similarities. But I guess CA has more people with more money and better trained horticultural assistants. Bear in mind that the A-income group in SA numbers perhaps 5 million in an are about 5 times the size of CA. And that the ordinary worker is quite possibly illiterate. I know from experience that the concept of 'name tags MEAN something' is mostly lost on my staff. If a tag is lying around, find a plant without a tag. Hardly a system that promotes meticulous naming... there's a price to be paid for plentiful cheap labour!

But looking now at the wonderful site (Annie's Annuals) just posted by Mark - oh yes, I definitely think I need to explore West Coast approaches and plants!

I was up at 2am: startled into wakefulness that all that was left to do was pack and wash dishes. So I've spent a bit of time in the forums... now I must get to work to leave here just after the staff come on duty. Two weeks at the sea with my family, and then a week home before school starts. YIPPEE!!!

Enjoy spring, and all that goes with it, all of you! (I've noticed, Liza, that you are spendig more time in the garden than behind the computer these days! Enjoy!)

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Best Wishes

19 Mar '07 6:34 pm
Have a wonderful trip, Jack!!

-gordonf

Liza
gardening consultant
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Waterloo, Belgium

Dear, lovely Jack...

20 Mar '07 3:55 am
Thank you so much for noticing! Yes , I have been working like crazy in the garden non-stop every day, since the previous Saturday, when the sunshine came back , and -- miraculously! -- lasted all week, until last Saturday that is.. I was not enjoying gardening completely, cause I knew that a sort of winter weather was comming back , and I was working with all the possible physical forces my body allows me, in order to finish certain essential tasks for the season..This ..garden stress made my body being in a deeper ..garden pain than normally... But , believe me! Having finished my pre-planned tasks, I was swimming in an utmost ....garden joy, the body pain being of a secondary importance!

And, ....HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER WITH YOUR LOVED ONES!!!

And , dear Gordon!! Wow! You work so hard, with great results, and even more to come! But, at least, you work without...any Spring-snow!...
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Welcome Back!

20 Mar '07 3:14 pm
Welcome back to the forum, Liza! It's good to hear from you again! I was becoming a bit worried that you were not feeling well or something (never occurred to me that you might just be too busy to post anything). I'm glad you have completed the tasks you had set out to do.

Today I made good headway in the first digging of the hard-packed soil in the new flower bed, as well as rescuing some more plants from a former residential area that is going to be turned into a new park. I got some Michaelmas daisies and some daylilies and iris for a neighbour as well as 3 "mystery" plants for my garden. They're now planted in my nursery bed so that I can wait and see what they are before placing them in permanent spots. My first species tulips bloomed today, so I'm feeling quite puffed up about that! :D

I noticed today that the first of the weeping willow leaves have begun to unfold so that the trees are taking on that lovely, soft yellow-green of spring, and the leaves on my flowering crabapple tree are doing the same with the exception that they are red. Soon I'll have to take some more pictures of the estuary of the river as the trees slowly clothe themselves for the new season.

All the best,

gordonf

Liza
gardening consultant
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Waterloo, Belgium

You do feel great!

20 Mar '07 7:43 pm
Dear Gordon! You can pass your.... Natural amazement and joy in such a smooth but ...uplifting way! I LOVED your news!! And your description about the Willow Tree leaves! You cannot imagine how I love Willows! In our former house here in Belgium -- hired-- it used to be an adorable Willow right in the center of its garden, covering somehow the most part of it! Squirrels just adored to play up and down on it! It was my huge baby! So, after we moved here, we adopted our own Willow baby , which seems to have taken already its traditional ....hairdresser's style, but still smaller...

And you already have a Tulip in bloom! This is absolutely fantastic! As I told you, here yesterday it ...snowed (!!), but the snow quickly melted ! This morning everything was white-frozen, maybe -2 Celcious! And now, sunshine!! In Greece the month of March is considered by the farmers the worst of all ; now I can see why...My tulips are quite tall , but no many buds , yet... That's better.. I prefer them to bloom later, in their normal, quiter season...So the blooms have a chance to last longer..

Keep us Spring-gardening informed, please! Happy gardening!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
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Alabama, USA

Spring excitement.

21 Mar '07 2:43 am
It is so good to read your exchanges and feel the excitement of both Gordon and Liza at the approach of true spring. It is bursting out all over here also, but I'm just a little stymied because I am so limited right now as to what actions I can take. I need to get some photographs however, because my tulips are also coming out in force on the rose berms, all the willows and other trees are leafing out, and my beautiful * willow is already in full flower. I missed getting photos of the new buds. So happy to be kept abreast of all your progress as well.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Anna
Gone to seed
User avatar
Hamilton, New Zealand

21 Mar '07 12:04 pm
I've been awol again so I'm catching up... again...

Still loving the photos (the cottage garden one with the kniphofias to the left is my current wallpaper. Hope that was in this thread. To speed things up I'm looking at the board in 2 windows and 2 different forums so don't mind me if I got it wrong. :D ) and the dogs. Everyone's dogs. :)
Woof?

Dixie
garden enthusiast
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Waikato-New Zealand

excitement

21 Mar '07 1:04 pm
Yes it is wonderful for me to catch the excitement and expectation of the coming Spring in the Northern Hemisphere ..I wonder what your 'mystery 'plants are ,Gordon .Please don't leave us in suspense !
Jack - My family gave me the delightfully bizarre book of Dr Seuss' life story and cartoon history -'The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough '..see if you can get it from the library .
Dixie.

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