Sunday, January 14, 2007

thank you for the water restrictions2004 was another dry year where the dams that supply water to towns in the Western Cape were running very low. One of the dams that supply both Cape Town and Moorreesburg were at a 15% low. Water restrictions were vital.
It was then that it finally dawned on us that we did not need a lawn. Especially not this small block of grass 9 metres x 10 metres with bare patches and holes dug by the dogs. I did not even take a photo of the lawn (or rather grass patch) as there is no need for me to be reminded of the frustration that went with it.

This was the first part of the transformation after we were sure all traces of grass were dead. We had to dig in compost and dolomite gravel as the soil was in poor condition. I love digging, pity there are always weeding to be done in the garden, seldom any digging. The photo was taken some time in January 2005.

This photo was taken June 2005 which is in winter and that is our rain season. The green moss growth can be seen on the path, right front of the photo. So far only the triangle middle back has been planted, but the other plants were growing fine and ready to be transplanted.
 It is not wise to replant aloes in wet conditions. The thick sap filled roots are brittle and break easy where rot can set in. There are three options at any time if the roots break; let them dry out before planting; cut them off completely (good idea as the roots will rot away or dry up in any case); or in dry conditions plant the aloes but do not water the aloe for at least 6 weeks. It is best to plant aloes when the new roots (they are bright yellow) start to show, at this stage they are not easily damaged. The roots of an aloe can be seen as expendable. The plant absorb the roots in bad times and regrow them very quickly in good times.

The photo above, of our backdoor garden December 2006, which is our summer. Two years after we started with the garden on the photo at the top. It was summer with few aloes in bloom. The Aloe africana was blooming out of season due to it being disturbed by transplanting such a large plant. It was transplanted by Rudi using his trusted method described in his blog resurrecting an aloe
The plants on the photo far left are all immature, they should make a better show in a few months time. I will show more details of the plants in the winter (June-July 2007)  follow this link below.
For more information on how this garden developed. 


Blackswamp_Girl said...

What a great progression of before-during-after photos! Your new front yard is definitely more exciting than the old lawn, I bet. :)

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Ewa said...

this is alway great to see the 'progress' and 'change' photos of the same place.
It looks much better now than before.
thank you for sharing.