Monday, May 10, 2010

On the terrace

The cat spent part of the weekend in the jungle.

The hose is a problem. Ugly. But so useful. I used to use it only to fill my watering can, but it's so much more satisfying to direct a spray of water at things. Yet, I have Issues with it. So green, so plastic. So in the way.

The summer savoury seedlings have been confined to the garlic planter. Hopefully they will bush up around the green garlic, which is doing very well. Good drainage is key.

I bought strawberries. It is Deb's fault. We had dinner with them on Friday and she had strawberries in a trough. They are grown by Jim Glover, so are in wonderful condition, and are Strawberry "Fern", an allegedly ever-bearing cultivar. [2012 update - little did I know. Ever and ever and ever.]

This was my potting set up on Sunday evening. Kir (Steenberg Sauvignon blanc and a dash of Cassis), spicy olives and new plants. I also pulled up all the lamb's quarter seedlings that came from goodness-knows-where and planted them in one wide, shallow bowl. We'll see. They taste good...

One of the thyme plants has burst into flower. I have three potsful, as the thought of running out of thyme (...) makes me nervous.

I don't know how this bumblebee managed to stay airborne: I've never seen such loaded pollen sacs. He was collecting from the Iceberg rose.

New Dawn has started to open from the farthest end of the longest cane.

And down in my shade corner, the jungle expands. The hosta is taking over the world.

It was an extremely windy weekend, so the fig stayed on the braai (bbq) for the duration. Its leaves are big now and make a perfect sail. I did not want it flying from the roof. The horror.

I was contacted by a British writer and photographer who wanted to photograph the terrace for a book, in June. I wrote back rather self-deprecatingly and said that the terrace is SMALL, and favours close ups and from-the-top views. She wrote back and said kindly that, much as she likes the blog, if I had reservations, perhaps they'd better skip, in that case, as their schedule is very full.

I am a twit. The last time I said something as silly was when I was 18 and interviewing for a wine sales position at a local vineyard. What do you know about wine? - asked the manager of the farm. Nothing, I smiled (honestly, I thought).

Idiot! At that age I could at least tell the difference between pinotage, shiraz and cabernet, blind, as well as the whites. Did I think to mention this? No. I thought everyone could do that and that it didn't count. I acted like a cheerful worm.

I still wonder how my life might have turned out if I'd got that job. Wine making has always been very attractive to me, and things may have turned out differently. They have turned out well - but if I was given an extra life, it would be one of wine.

As for my terrace, perhaps it is a story I will have to tell, without expecting others to do it for me. The story in Visi was a lovely beginning. Now I must expand on it.

And now, if someone asks what I know about a given subject?

Everything. Ask me anything.

And then deal with the consequences.


  1. This is embarrassing -okay, I'm flipping channels last night and I land on donald trump -apprentice show. I watch because of cindy lauper-ha! She confesses that something was not her idea and she gets fired. All around the room they're wondering why she wouldn't omit such self-treason.

    I do this all the time. Maybe we all do from time to time. Undermining one's self, out of "truth telling" or high standards or perfectionism.

    Except pointing to our perceived shortcomings is perceived as a shortcoming itself. Oy.

    But you do tell it -with humor, class, taste, great photos and measure of complexity. Long live the blog!

  2. As disappointed as you might feel now, about your comment to this Writer/Photographer, it may be your chance to tell the Terrace's story on your own and have a go at writing it yourself.
    I know it sounds cheesy but "Things happen for a reason"..., don't beat yourself up. If anything your blog is AWESOME. :-)

  3. Given your penchant for color and quality, you might check out the hose options from Dramm.

    Still nothing from the hollyhocks, but I'm no less pleased to have received them and your letter.

    Have a terrific day :)

  4. Has your cat donned a red sweater for this photo?

    I have no doubt that you will be telling your story and showing your terrace, however small, in a book at some point. In this case it's the publisher's loss, in my opinion. The right opportunity will come.

  5. you tell it very very well no one could capture a bee's ass or a chive's eye view like you can. and that top photo of storb's is killing me. i know i know--it will be ok honey...i guess i'll have to agree with the things happen for a reason and you know what i want you to do...

    (but but...i'm so happy i got to inspire you for a strawberry change!)

  6. Hello Marie

    I have a serious love-hate relationship with green plastic hose pipe as well. Its a necessary evil. A lady living in Kleinmond wrote a really good "Hymn of Hate - To my Garden Hose" which was published in the Botanical Society's Magazine, Veld and Flora, a while ago. I bought a copy of this from her when our Garden Club visited her a couple of years ago. (Its now framed in my kitchen. I will try and get her permission to send it on to you for your blog.

  7. The New Dawn is breathtaking! Glad to see everything else prospering, too!

  8. And for the last question about how your life might have been if you had been hired by that vintner, well, my thought would be of the two things that you wouldn't have - Vince and Estorbo.

    Looks like your life really turned out the way it is supposed to be.

  9. Frank, you rock - thanks!

    Anyes - I belong to the to-be-pitied group of people that doesn't think Things Happen for a Reason. It think that what we do makes them happen. I think Happening is simply Consequence...and thank you :-)

    Hey Paul - I'll check those hoses out right now. I am so sorry about those hollyhocks. What a dud 'prize'! I'm going to have to report back to my friend Triple D about his, ahem, seeds...

    m.heart - e cat has been a sweater-wearer for weeks now, to stop him from licking a determined sore spot. Thank you - it's probably a good little kick in the pants.

    Bonbon - yes, bees' asses are the best. Shop/flowers/food? :-)

    Lyn, I'd love to see that piece!

    webb - it's the best time for the New Dawn. I spend the rest of the year muttering death threats to it!

    Karen - yeah, I know, of course. It's just that I'm fascinated by how very, very small decisions can influence the course of our lives.

    Beence, Beence, Beence. Maybe we would have met when I was Googling Clairette de Die instead?xxx

  10. The roses look so lovely!

  11. You know ... it could just be that you are getting ready to something extraordinarily fabulous and that the woman's inquiry was the first step.

    koo-rajhh (courage).



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