Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tiny shade garden

I've written about this part of my mother's garden before, but in case you missed it:

In an increasingly shaded corner of her garden my mother submitted to the inevitable and embraced the coolness that the rising and spreading trees nearby were bringing to what had been a hot pocket where herbs grew. She made a small, raised brick patio with a small pool and fountain at its centre, installed a lattice roof, shelves on two tall walls, and a bench. It is tiny, the size of a big-city urban garden (if you're lucky) and is packed with plants.

Many of them are indigenous South African shade lovers, like the Streptocarpus above and below.

...and velvety peppermint Pelargonium, below.

Yesterday I spotted my favourite little Cape Town birds, the !swee waxbills, standing in the water rising gently from the fountain, (the exclamation point is my own: their call sounds like their name: !Swee!).

They are adorable and unafraid, hopping about on their own or in pairs. Here they drank, and seemed to find interesting things in the moss.


  1. Lovely birds. Nice to see you
    re back.

  2. I remember this part of your Mother's garden - it is beautiful, and with the painted wall, reminds me a little of your Brooklyn terrace...x

  3. Beautiful little spot - how do you ever leave it!

  4. It's amazing how little water it takes to attract birds for a drink or a dunk. Are there any frogs? It doesn't take much for them either. What a sweet spot!

  5. What a lovely spot. Here, in the coastal tropics before the rain comes, I long for such little oases...Thank you Mrs. V.

  6. The swee waxbills are lovely -- so's the whole little corner of the garden, but have to love those little birds.


  7. Your mother's garden is very pretty. Now I'm missing my peppermint geranium. One of the best plants in my opinion.



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