Getting ready for Spring in Limpopo

It is August in Limpopo and spring is just around the corner. In the middle of June, inspired by a blogger friend (and too much champagne the previous night), I returned to gardening after quite a few years. I was so enthusiastic about this project that I ended up with severe muscle spasm in my back. At the time I felt thoroughly disgusted with this 55 year old body that cannot keep up with the 25 year old living inside it and I promised myself that I will return to my gardening.

Well, I am back, but first I must confess: I am not back on my own, I have a gardening partner. Steven is a young black man who is currently doing his last two subjects for his matric (senior year in high school). This job puts a welcome couple of extra Rands in his pocket and a more than welcome 20 year old, strong and fit body in my garden. This, however, does not mean that I do not yield the spade, fork, rake and pruning shears myself.

Last Saturday we completed clearing out all the overgrowth. We live in a very fertile region called the Bushveldt with the emphasis on "Bush" and if you do not regularly, and mercilessly, cut back the trees, shrubs and creepers, the Bushveldt will very quickly reclaim your garden. We first moved all the plants that we want to use again, to what is supposed to be our vegetable patch, and Voila!, an instant nursery.

Then we laid in the spades, saws and pruning shears and this pile is the result. (I hope Hubby realises that it is his job to cart all this off to the dump site.)

We started by clearing the beds that ran against the wall of the house. I am not sure yet whether we will replant these beds or whether we will allow the lawn to grow up to the wall. We then started clearing out the first corner where the Wild Fig Creeper (Ficus pumila) grows. This is what it looked like before...

...and this is it after about an hour of hard labour and balancing on a ladder wrestling the creeper from the wall.

The hosereel and the garden wall-lamp have always been there, just totally hidden by the creeper.

Next we tackled the corner with the monster in it. This old Delicious Monster (Monstera deliciosa) has been growing here since we moved into the house and on closer investigation, I found a young one hidden behind it.

The trunk of the palm tree (Curypha umbraculifera) next to the monster can just be seen to the left. In the next photo, once the monster was slain, the palm tree can be seen clearly and it can also be seen how much lawn space we have gained.

We have a long weekend coming up and I am planning on spending the whole weekend in the garden. I have a lot of replanting to do and once it is done and I am not too exhausted, I will report back on the progress.


leilani said...

Being 25 in a 53 myself I can say there are positives. We are old enough to know better, young enough to stll do it anyway !! Long live the garden!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Wow! Lots of hard work, but it looks like it all paid off!