Monday, July 06, 2015

Rock gardens

Four different  rock gardens 

Build a rock garden against a wall

Rock garden wall built standing alone

Flat rock garden

a  full garden size rock garden

The wall standing alone is the only rock garden that might need some instructions.  It was build using large building blocks in the centre row.  Smaller flat stones cemented on top of each other, leaving pockets for soil and plants,  were then added in front to hide the large blocks.  The building blocks are hollow which is convenient to plant the top row. 

Windhoek Namibia.

Meet Kambi the kudu doe with her innocent eyes and long eye-lashes.  The feral cats on the farms form bonds with the cattle and horses in the stables.  They catch rodents and live with their adopted 4-leg families much like the cats living with humans in cities.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The aloe garden looking back over time and different seasons.

The aloe succulent water saving garden all rolled into one effort,  the first year after we planted it. That was a busy time.

A few years later
The garden in the winter rain season.   
The aloes are in bloom and unlike the dry 
summer, it is green with flowers all over.

 This photo was taken to the right side of the photo above after the daisies and mesembs started their flowering.

Summer time in the Western Cape province is hot and dry, but winter time makes up for it with rain and a mild cold weather.  The world change into green with natural flowers and also easy gardening for people who like  more exotic gardens.

This is one of the "back roads" into Sutherland.  If you take a close look - you will spot the daisies.
Sutherland is the small town near the well known  SALT observatory.  The climate temperature is of the lowest in the RSA in winter, but more important for SALT is the dry air. Yet the daisies ads some colour even in this harsh climate.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Aloe barberae tree aloe

Aloe barberae tree aloe

 Aloe barberae below is not from a harsh habitat
and an easy tree aloe to grow in a garden.

The range of this aloe is a broad coastal zone from East
London in South Africa northwards up to Mozambique. 

Above:-  This is a group of trees planted together.
Here it is growing very well  in the winter rainfall  frost free climate.  Aloe barberae does not like frost but even there you will find them in gardens in Namaqualand or in the Karoo botanical garden where there is frost.  The secret is that it is dry frost and the trees were protected by other plants or against a house. Wet and cold kills most aloes. 

This tree grows high.  

Here is Aloe barberae as a single tree planted next to
Aloe marlothii to the left and Aloe ferox to the right - Both species are also described as tree aloes and are about 3 metres on the photo but the aloes grow larger than that.  They seem shorter because of their width, but they are large and heavy!
The photo was taken in the botanical garden near
Worcester.  The Aloe barberae tree grows on a hill where the cold air will move downhill quickly.  This climate is very dry compared to the habitat of Aloe barberae which proves again that this is an easy aloe to grow.

Photo above is a group of trees planted together.  Here the trees are growing in winter rainfall and still going strong.  This is a very adaptable aloe.

tree aloe Aloe littoralis

 Aloe littoralis  tree aloe   growing in our aloe and succulent water saving garden Aloe litorallis is a tree aloe that may grow at least to 3 meter high.  It is special in that it blooms very young and small for a tree aloe.  

The aloe in centre front is an Aloe aculeata x Aloe zebrina hybrid.  It grows without problem but I would have liked it to bloom more often than skipping a year ever so often. 
It is a pity that the aloe and messemb do not bloom together for the photos. 
The messembs should be beautiful this year.

Below Aloe littoralis in habitat that is near Windhoek Namibia .

The inflorescence of Aloe litorallis is impressive as is the whole plant.