Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

Dog Gardening

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the October 27th, 2008

Sharing my garden with an inquisitive white German Shepherd can be trying at times. I spent yesterday morning pulling out kale that has become tall and tough with the hot weather. After adding a new thick layer of compost, I transplanted a few bush squash plants that were going to become too crowded elsewhere. Tilu was on her own in the garden later in the day while we were out. Always dangerous after I’ve been busy with yummy compost and earth, but I didn’t have time to put up protective fences. True enough, when we arrived home, there was one squash plant scratched out, but luckily not too damaged. It was only last night, busy picking salad for dinner, that I discovered the real reason behind the digging. I was looking for the fattest radish when I saw what looked like yellow worms sticking out of the earth. But when I shone my torch onto it, my heart went for a bit of a whomp, when I realised it wasn’t worms – it was bird’s feet, yellow and scaly with sharp claws, looking just like a voodoo chicken offering. What the . . . . .??? Horrified, I scratched the legs out with a stick and couldn’t help bursting out laughing when I found they were attached to a half eaten dove. She had obviously pinched it from one of the cats and then buried it to “cook” for later. Right where I had made the perfect bed for the job. I suppose I should fence off my veggie garden, but it would block the way it flows and meanders in and out of the rest of the garden. The Libran in me rejects the fence. So I will have to live with sharing my garden with Tilu and dealing with the surprises she creates.

green manuring

Posted in Garden Diary by Paul on the October 27th, 2008

Could you please elaborate on this process and its application in the Johannesburg area as it is totally new to me.

Purple rain dance

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the October 17th, 2008

The jacaranda is in full bloom. One day after I started planning a purple rain dance underneath it, we had our first rains. Just a drizzle but the earth sighed with relief. I sat on the verandah last night and breathed it in. The first storm of the season is so thrilling. The initial roll of thunder made Tilu prick her ears up and think about being nervous, until she remembered she had heard it before, and it was nothing to be worried about. She sat with me, both of us sniffing the rain filled air, while the storm flickered in the distance, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, Crash. Nine miles away. And it’s miles – not kilometers. It was something I learned from my grandfather, to count the seconds between the lighting and the thunder, and he measured in miles.
Maybe I will still have a purple rain dance. Just to make sure the next storm is closer.


October heat

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the October 13th, 2008

Still no rain for Jo’burg. Our rains usually start within the third week of October (either way). So they are not overdue – – – yet. I am still harvesting broccoli – after cutting off the main stems they have continued producing side stems for weeks. As long as I keep cutting them and don’t let them flower, on they go. My kind of vegetable! Not like cauliflowers, which are in the ground for ages and then one harvest and they’re gone.

My cherry tomatoes are already bearing fruit – decent size and with this weather they will ripen quickly. In this dry weather it helps to water tomatoes with a sprinkler – contrary to almost all instructions saying to water toms at their roots only. They need a bit of humidity to set flower. At least with no rain the snails are not too much of a menace.


Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the October 13th, 2008

Earlier this year a giant spotted eagle owl moved into the huge gum tree across the road from our garden. Every night, around dusk, he wakes up and silently swoops from his gum tree onto our chimney. His silhouette looks like a cat and the first time Tilu saw him, I’m sure she thought one of her cats had climbed onto the roof. We have called him Horton and every 30 seconds or so we hear his hooooh hoo echoing into the night. We haven’t seen a rat in months. I am organising a nesting box for him so hopefully next year we have Mrs Horton and their babies.
Horton’s cousin in the ‘Berg