Tag Archives: gardening

Chasing Chickens through Van Den Berg Garden Village in Stellenbosch (2016-08-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 SEP 2016

The area around Klein Joostenberg has a lot to offer, and one of the more visually interesting ones is the slightly ramshackle Van den Berg Garden Village, the unusual plant nursery that greets you when you get out of your car in the car park at the Klein Joostenberg complex.

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Just across the street from Ludwig’s Roses Winelands, and adjacent to the Joostenberg Deli and Butchery,  Van den Berg Garden Village is the work of Dutch-born Toos van den Berg, who studied horticulture before travelling around Europe, arriving in Africa and marrying a man from the Cape.

After developing nurseries in Dieprivier, Durbanville and Kirstenbosch, she eventually moved to this spot, and the result is one of the most interesting nurseries that marries horticulture and art in sometimes quite the eccentric way.

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It was the sound of free ranging chickens that pulled us in, and we spent a fair bit of time ducking and diving among all the shaded little pathways, discovering overrun pieces of art, beautiful flowering plants, and of course, chickens.

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Around 80% of the plants in the nursery are indigenous, supplemented with some intriguing exotic plants from all over the planet. As Toos has remarked before, “The birds don’t know the difference”! ;)

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An interesting little find for all the gardeners out there, that’s for sure.

Related Link: Van den Berg Garden Village Nursery

Oupa and Jessica planted Beans! Jessica 18 MAY 2015

I forgot to mention that a fair couple of weeks ago, Jessica was in for a right treat when Monty prepared a bed of soil for her and tasked her with planting her very own green bean garden patch.

Of course, the actual planting was quite stressful for oupa Monty as he continuously reminded Jessica not to push the seeds down too deep, not to cover them with so much soil, not to press on them so much, not to give them so much water, etc.

jessica lotter planting her bean seeds with oupa in the garden

Nevertheless, each and every little bean was planted, patted and watered, and two weeks later I brought the girls back so that Jessica could inspect her gardening project.

Thankfully, the beans had all sprouted and were standing quite proud and tall – exactly what a little blonde princess might have been expecting!

jessica lotter proudly standing next to her bean garden

grandpa monty montgomery standing with jessica lotter next to her bean garden

Emily on the other hand couldn’t be bothered with the whole bean planting exercise. She was more than happy to continue being swung in Monty’s fun makeshift milk crate swing!

emily lotter swinging in a makeshift crate swing

So with beans now mastered, I wonder what gardening project is up next from Oupa and Ouma Montgomery? ;)

granny cheryl mongomery and grandpa monty montgomery sitting next to jessica lotter at stodels in bellville

Battling the Lawn Invaders My Life 04 DEC 2014

I’m not much of a gardener. Not because it is difficult mind you, but more because it seems so time consuming and in the end I just really don’t care enough to actually be bothered with it. That said though, I am a particular lover of walking around barefoot, and now that the luxury of doing that on my own lawn around my house is rapidly diminishing, I find myself, daisy picker in hand, in the garden just about every evening nowadays!

Why?

Weeds. Lots and lots of nasty weeds which I neglected for far too long, and which are now in the process of drying out and leaving behind sharp, pointy debris everywhere! Luckily we don’t have to deal with really insidious thorns, that would have been horrible, but as it is, the burr hispida genus (that seems to have taken over most of my lawn) is causing enough damage to little feet to warrant its removal!

All of which translates to me going down on my hands and knees, ignoring all the burrs puncturing my girly soft flesh (not really, but it sounds more dramatic if I put it like this), identifying the tendrils, following them back to the central root system, and then yanking as much of it out as what I can.

I have to say, removing a clump of weeds, tendrils and all, from your lawn turns out to be a rather relaxing and rewarding activity, serene and tranquil for a lack of better words.

Of course, I could have saved myself a hole heap of trouble today had I simply listened to Mom and Dad about a year ago when they first noticed an increase in weed activity on my front lawn and warned me about it!

Sigh.

I really should listen to good advice more often.

south african lawn weed burr hispida

Back to Work, Back to Blogging My Life 07 MAY 2011

Note: Once again, life gets ahead of blogging, and this post which was meant to appear on Tuesday, only appears now. Oh well, what can you do? :P

And I’m back. Thanks to all of the public holidays plus three days’ leave, I have technically been away from work for 11 days now, having last been there back on the 22 April! Having not taken a holiday break last December, I was pretty much desperately in need of this little downtime, but unfortunately as any single parent with a baby will tell you, there really is no such thing as proper rest and relaxation if you have one of those little critters in your care! :)

Lack of funds and of course the fact that Chantelle was working meant that I didn’t go away for my leave period, and instead found myself home-based for the entire holiday, which isn’t all that bad I guess – if you don’t mind a little hard work. Yup, once again those sleeves got rolled up and I found myself toiling away for a considerable number of hours around the yard, sawing down poles, pulling up brick borders, laying down cement slabs, doing gardening, cleaning up the yard and yes, even doing a little bricklaying as well.

But it wasn’t all hard work, all the time mind you.

Pringle Bay, and a beautiful shot of Chantelle holding the cutest baby in the world!

On the Saturday of the Easter weekend Chantelle, Jessica and I went out for our first real outing together, taking the car for a spin along the always scenic coastal road towards Betty’s Bay, on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. We trundled about Pringle Bay, enjoyed lunch, changed nappies, drove through Betty’s Bay and in general just enjoyed a pleasant afternoon together. The evening brought with it another first, with us taking Jessica along with us to a restaurant for the first time, the family friendly Gordon’s Bay Sunset Spur. Armed with a milk bottle (always at the ready), the evening went quite well actually, though we didn’t break any records for length of stay come to think of it! :)

The Monday following the gluttonous, copious Easter egg devouring of the Sunday was kicked off with an enjoyable visit from Zania and Dean with Jessica and myself, before Chantelle arrived back from work and the Montgomery clan rolled in to join us for a late afternoon braai. As it turned out, my folks popped in for a visit on their way back from their little weekend away, and ended up staying for the delicious meat-fest as well!

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Tackling the Lounge Flower Bed My Life 05 APR 2011

Now that things are more settled in our lives in terms of a routine for Jessica, we can finally turn to our more neglected duties around Country Mews, like the poor garden for example.

Over the last couple of weekends we have been tackling and beautifying what had become a slightly forlorn and disparaging sight over the hot summer months since Jessica’s unexpected arrival.

True, having the majority of our garden implements stolen out of our shed didn’t help, but nevertheless, that is what insurance is for (with a bloody HUGE excess I might snarkily add) I guess.

Anyway, one of the earliest projects we tackled (and I use the term we rather loosely, as the majority of work and ideas belong to Chantelle), was the lounge flower bed housing our big Sheena’s Gold tree.

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Catching Some Z’s over the Long Weekend My Life 21 MAR 2011

The weekend before last I completely crashed. My weekday morning routine of up at 05:30 and back in bed at 23:00, combined with my early hours Jessica feed duty over weekends finally caught up with me, forcing me into bed in a state of deep slumber for most of that weekend (early nights, or should that be late afternoons!), with the only real activity being a whole heap of gardening in the hot day sun, with some blogging in the wee hours of the morning (after feeds of course).

Funnily enough, this past long weekend was pretty much more of the same.

Well except for Friday evening of course. Friday evening saw us knock on the door of Ouma for babysitting duties once more, as Chantelle and I (after a Old Oak Diner pizza for supper) darted off to Durbanville to pay a visit to Trish’s parent’s place, for the annual celebrate Trish’s birthday boardgames get together (well, it is kind of annual most of the time). Just about all of the old gang were present and accounted for, and we had a thoroughly entertaining evening comprising of the classic board game action of 30 Seconds and Pictionary.

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