Our garden has always been too large for me to maintain on my own. When I was younger, I had the stamina and strength to mow the lawns and prune the trees. No more! It was a relief when we had a swimming pool installed for not only has it provided a welcome relief from the summer heat, but it cut down on the expanse of lawn to mow!

It was an even greater relief to sub-divide our plot, which lopped off the section of the garden which I had, through necessity, allowed to revert to an indigenous jungle. As it is, the bottom terrace of our garden has always been my ‘wild’ or ‘secret’ garden. This is where the Natal fig tree dominates and other trees have seeded themselves. Birds and other creatures remain undisturbed here.

Our double-storey house used to stick out like a sore thumb and now, thirty four years later, it is barely visible from the street. That is how I like it.

We are surrounded by Pompon trees (mostly self-seeded) that are bursting into bloom now.

There is also a beautiful Cape chestnut tree, dog plums, white stinkwood and enormous Erythrina trees. Clivias thrive in the semi-shaded areas.

Aloes enjoy the sunny spots.

I used to lavish attention and water on a variety of flowering shrubs and bushes … alas, the ongoing drought put an end to that. We all need ‘frivolous’ splashes of colour though and so I hacked into the encroaching jungle to clear a small space where I could plant seeds and seedlings with varying degrees of success. The rest are grown in pots.

In the back garden the old lemon tree is barely surviving the drought.

My garden has become less ‘landscaped’ as I have grown older and our water supply has become less reliable. I don’t mind though: during the worst of the drought the lawns turned into dust-bowls and even the leaves on the evergreen trees shrivelled and dropped to the ground. Our garden looked skeletal. Indigenous trees bounce back after even a little rain. Look at it now: we are surrounded by greenery, enjoy a wide variety of birds, lizards, geckos, butterflies and beetles.

Our garden remains a happy place to be.


45 thoughts on “ABOUT MY GARDEN

    • Fortunately, we have the space in which to let nature run its course. I tend only to what is closest to our home and the swimming pool.


  1. Beautiful grounds and garden Anne. Feels very peaceful. I so relate to both your drought, having lots of acerage, and less energy/inclination to devote lots of time to it. I too am letting much return to it’s natural state. Some of the pomegranate orchards now feed the winter birds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The winter birds would enjoy the pomegranates 🙂 I have often got the sense that there is a similarity in where we live albeit so far apart.


  2. I liked those colorful Pompon trees. I lost most of my backyard garden in the 2013-2014 Winter Polar Vortex. I never replanted anything and as I think about life when retirement comes along, though I always wanted to plant and recreate what I once had, I think twice due to climate change and the moderate drought we had this Summer with a 10-inch (25 cms) rain deficit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to see your garden. Letting some of it go back to nature is so sensible when maintaining it becomes a chore. No wonder you get so many birds visiting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely garden. And so great that you now have insects and other wildlife. I think we over manage our gardens to the detriment of the natural world, forgetting that we need them to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • During wetter years I used to pick a basketful of lemons at a time; it has struggled through the years of drought and now produces very few. I may have to replace it before long. Nonetheless, it is wonderful being able to pick a lemon when one is required 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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