Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

R & R

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the November 16th, 2010

After all this activity we needed some R & R. I hadn’t planned anything – other than wanting to go up the West Coast as I had never been there. Keith has but it was a while ago and he hadn’t really explored the area near Langebaan.

My Garden Angels must have been listening to my West Coast intention because they quickly organised things for me. I had brought some seeds down for Kevin French, who had emailed me a while back about battling to find amaranth. He attended the workshop and afterwards he happened to overhear me talking about going up to Church Haven. I had never heard of this place up the West Coast – until recently when a friend mentioned it as well worth visiting. Kevin then asked where we were staying in Church Haven and I replied I hadn’t had a chance to even go online and look but I was planning to. Well of course he just happened to have a house there which was available. What I didn’t realise until later, is that Church Haven only has very few houses – and even fewer available to non residents. My Garden Angels had been busy.

A few days later we were in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Situated in a national park, just south of Langebaan, this tiny fishing village overlooks the lagoon, with its ever changing tidal patterns, flamingoes and other birds.

The water is warm enough for swimming and wonderfully calm.

Yet just a short hop over a spit of land is the the ferocious and freezing Atlantic.

We knew we were in for a wonderful stay when the first thing we saw as we drove in was a karakul, hunting for dinner.

Thank you thank you Kevin and Linde for creating such a beautiful house which reflects its surroundings so perfectly.

Built using local materials and traditional techniques, West of The Moon has warm wooden floors and ceilings, contrasting the cool white walls.

It is furnished with an eclectic mix of antiques and fabrics

and scattered throughout are enamel jugs, plates and wash bowls.

Even the taps are antique.

Solar power, large fireplaces and an ancient gas cooker complete the picture. This is a house created with love. Click here for their Facebook page and to contact Kevin about renting this piece of heaven.

Here are a few pics from the surrounding area:
An isolated house on the top of a mammoth rock above the lagoon.

Soaking up the sun . . . spring in the Cape is cold!

Eggs on legs . . . !!

You know you are in a game reserve when . . .

We then trundled further up the coast to Paternoster. We stayed at a beach house belonging to a friend of Kevin’s (My Garden Angels busy connecting the dots again . . . ). Here is a link to this spot

This comfy spot is a blink away from the beach where the daily catch is hauled in.

Loved the “4 x 4”!

Delicious food and picaresque coastline.
Gorgeous flowers to photograph . . .

In amongst HUGE rocks

Keith’s mysterious lighthouse . . .

And then Keith caught the sun . . .

And more busyness . . .

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the November 12th, 2010

A couple of weeks later I was in the Winelands. Earlier this year I met Sandy Webster in Cape Town. She suggested that we do a workshop in the Winelands. When I teased her that the bar had been raised really high by the Grahamstown Garden Club and their spread, including incredible cupcakes, Sandy put her hands on her hips and said “Cupcakes! We’ll serve wine!” And so the Winelands Workshop was born.

The workshop, held at Rustenberg Wine Estate, was attended by 108 people! It was held in the chandelier room:

It was a magnificent day with exceptional catering done by Sunelle, who provided a sublime feast.
The following four pics were taken by Alison Nathanson from Ashoot Photography.

The table of food was soon flattened – learning about growing veg is obviously hungry work!

True to Sandy’s word, guests were treated to delicious wine from the Rustenberg Estate

and also had a chance afterwards to walk around the beautiful gardens.

If you are in the area do yourself a favour and go and visit them. I particularly enjoyed walking the labyrinth after doing the workshop as it was very calming.

Huge big thanks to Sandy Webster for an exceptionally well organised event.

Thanks also to Rozanne and Simon Barlow from Rustenberg for not only providing such a magnificent venue but also for the night we spent in this wonderful old house

– we were warned to expect ghosts, but did not see/hear any! Keith discovered these on the window though, which were apparently scratched on by new brides with their engagement rings . . .

Thanks also to Jane and Alan Otton, who provided such comfy accommodation at Celtic Manor in Gordon’s Bay. This was the view from our bedroom!

We have decided that this will be the first of more Wineland events . . .

Spring Garden

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the November 12th, 2010

Here are some pics of the garden over the last few weeks:
The wisteria arch entrance

Peas glorious Peas!

And a few weeks later – the wisteria now a green mass over the archway.

A full veg garden!

Potatoes, chives, horseradish and a lemon tree.

Blackberry canes in a cage

A rosy entrance . .

Pansies and sorrel.

Tower of Tomato

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the November 2nd, 2010

Before I left for Turkey, I sowed loads of tomato, eggplant, basil, chilli etc seeds in seed trays and left detailed watering instuctions with trusty Hlonipani. However, one small detail I forgot to mention, was to turn the trays regularly. I arrived home to horizontal seedlings that had headed for the light!

My plan for the tomatoes was to use the large boxes I had scavenged from The Garden Shop. I saw these being tossed earlier this year and asked if I could have them. When Greg asked me what I was going to use them for I said I had no idea – but they were such great boxes they couldn’t simply be thrown away!

Faced with this huge amount of tomato seedlings, I hit on the idea of building a tomato tower. We piled them up on the paving next to the pool – where it holds the heat until well after dark, something tomatoes love. Jacklin Organic delivered a bakkie load of Ecopost (click here for more). We mixed it with topsoil and then built a support frame from bamboo which we cut from a friend’s rampant garden.

A simple drip irrigation went in and finally the tomato seedlings.

They are looking fantastic!

I have planted a wide range and these are the earliest tomatoes I have ever had in my garden. They must ripen now!!