24 July, 2014

The Owl House at Nieu Bethesda

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

This is NOT about owls as birds. It IS about the life and art work of Helen Martins, and Koos Malgas. We were heading for Addo in March 2010. The Ungardener loves game watching. 'Hunting' for elephants. We went via the Owl House, which has been on my See Before I Die list for years.

On the Owl Route to Nieu Bethesda and the Owl House

15 July, 2014

Holds upon Happiness

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

My mother taught me to love reading. Not TO read, although one of my earliest memories, is going round the flat asking two parents and three sisters to read to me. But no one would. So little Diana curled up in a big chair. And read. A whole book. All by myself. My mother, at 97 in 2010, was still reading voraciously and shared this with me.

Eve Palmer and roses from June 2010
Little wooden Dutch doll was my mother's

07 July, 2014

Mystery tree is a carob

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

Discovered Treasures 1

At the bottom of the garden were problem trees at our boundary wall. First was the pohutakawa New Zealand Christmas tree Metrosideros excelsa, reminding me of my father. I remember the HUGE tree in the corner of the Camps Bay garden of the house where I grew up. Pohutakawa is an invasive alien in South Africa. The second Discovered Treasure is also from New Zealand - Marble Chips!

Carob tree Ceratonia siliqua


01 July, 2014

Kgalagadi lions

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

The Ungardener has always dreamt of seeing the famous lions of the Kgalagadi. In June 2008 that was our mission. They are larger than lions elsewhere, as they may cover 12 kilometres at night hunting. The mane remains more impressive, as grassland is kinder to the clothes than bushveld. Because they are predators they are hard to see. But we clicked into a friendly pattern of sharing with approaching cars. So we were told – at the next waterhole there are two lions resting in the shade.

Kgalagadi lions resting in the midday heat

And here, the car pulling out, told us, there is a leopard sleeping among the trees. So we parked quietly, and had our lunch there, while she napped.