Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flowers for the soul

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~ Eleonora Duse ~ 

All of these are flowering in my garden right now and were photographed yesterday and today.  Without further rambling, allow me to present these beauties...I'll permit the photographs to speak for themselves in the universal language of flowers :)  

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Mirror images

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

Although not yet sealed, my mirror is now ready to show itself to the world!

I found it quite difficult to photograph, but decided the best approach would be to carry it around my garden and position it in different spots and at different angles.   The idea I had in doing this was to try and discover the best way to present it, so that not only the mosaic edging would be visible, but that the mirror itself would pick up various reflections to enchant and entertain.

I do not use a sophisticated camera.  It's a little point and shoot with both a macro function and zoom option.  My biggest problem was either picking up too much reflected light, or not enough - I just kept on at it until I felt there were at least a few worthy of adding to my blog.

So, here goes...

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Delayed unveiling

Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.  Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.
~ Mario Andretti ~
Toby says, "Do I really have to sit here and wait till you're done???  You must be kidding!"
For anyone following the story of my first ever mosaic piece, it was my fervent intention to photograph my mirror today & upload the pictures on my blog.

Unfortunately, I was not able to do this.  The task of trying to clean all the grout off the mosaic proved a good deal more arduous and frustrating than I dreamt possible.  Yes, DREAMT - last night, I dreamed about my mirror but, unlike in my dream where its revelation was super easy, the reality today almost had me crying tears of disappointment.  I felt certain my mirror was going to be doomed to the recycling bin, as it simply would not reveal itself through all the hard, grey grouting (clearly, far too much had been applied!).

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

My first encounter with mosaic

"More grows in the garden than the gardener sows."...Old Spanish Proverb
See how mossy my terracotta pot (housing one of several cymbidiums in my greenhouse) has become in the year since I've had the greenhouse. 

My daughter and I attended a mosaic workshop today.  It was our very first encounter with this craft form and although she knew she wanted to make a number for the entrance to her home, while I was eager to make a mirror for my garden, neither of us had any idea of pattern, colour, design or even the slightest idea of how we'd set about this prior to today. 

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Raucous toad's habitat

This is what I hear first thing upon waking in the morning and last thing before I fall asleep at night.  Meet our Raucous Toad...

I'd brought him home as a teeny tiny little thing, truly no larger than the nail on my ring finger.  He'd hopped across my path and I took it to be serendipitous as I'd been wanting a frog to take up residence in the pond (we'd tried unsuccessfully in the past to relocate tadpoles).  Anyway, I assumed he was a little frog, of the sweet, clicking, chirping kind.  Looks can be so deceiving.  He grew up to be this Raucous Toad (seriously, that's his zoological name, and raucous he certainly is...but in a very nice way, thankfully, as he serenades us all...night...long!  I added the floating pond weed just for him and he LOVES it :)  Remains suspended for hours at a time, trying out his repertoire of croaky notes and sometimes strings enough of them together to make us believe he's working on a melody!  The photograph is courtesy of my husband - now, HE knows how to take a great picture! I have lots to learn.

Hi, Everyone - I'm rather raucous and a bit of a toad, really, but, warts and all, I'm kinda cute if you'll take the time to get to know me!  Look at my lovely string of pearls beneath my chin.  I'm really quite a handsome fellow - would you like to kiss me, then?

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Outside the greenhouse

 Another glorious day to continue our walk in the garden.  Please do join us. 
This is the small area directly behind the pond and to the left of the greenhouse.  The pond is situated on the other side of and slightly below the Modjadji palm (cycad) in the picture above (on the right).  Once again, the logs are off cuts from tree prunings in the garden.  The greenhouse is to the left of where we are standing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The wetland garden

Looking across to the wetland garden (October 2010).
Before I proceed with the topic of this post, I am going to give you a little background on both the seasonal and climatic zone in which my garden is based.

I live in the western cape of South Africa, not more than 2 hours drive (in an easterly direction from my home), from Cape Agulhas, which is the southernmost town in Africa.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My greenhouse

Before I take one step towards the greenhouse, I have something I especially want to do (I don't know if this is blog ettiquette or not, but I'm going ahead, anyway!).

Today Gina, from Antique Art Garden, paid me a visit - her first and I do hope it won't be her last. She authors two blogs and I have been avidly following her art garden blog since discovering it several months back.  Gina is a most inspiring woman and her blog is well-worth visiting.  If you're anything like I am, you're certainly going to be hooked!  WELCOME to Driftwood Ramblings, Gina!

OK, now I'll cut to the chase without further delay and introduce you to my very own little sanctuary...


Looking into the greenhouse (brick paving still new).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Path terminates here

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.   Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Today will be the final installment of the stroll down my garden path. This is not because I've lost interest in showing you any further, but simply due to the fact that this is where my path stops... 

You may have the impression that my path is quite long, since it has taken three installments to view. This is not the case. It is not much more than 40 metres in length. By having traversed it slowly we have enacted the words of Yogi Berra, namely that “You can see a lot by just looking.”

We shall therefore complete our last few steps by continuing to observe as much as we can of what lies on either side of the path.

Let's begin...who's coming? 

Fork in the path

This post is the continuation of our walk down the garden path. We ended last time at the fork in the road. I cannot let that pass without offering you something to meditate on while we stroll. ”Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.”  Edward Albee

Oh, look! Bonny is first up to greet us today...

Anyone care for a ball game first???
NO? Well then, let's not waste anymore time and head on back home so we can enjoy the next part of our garden path stroll. Here is where we got to last time...

Friday, November 19, 2010

My garden path

"Like a big mountain, a small garden stimulates, restores, and delights us, just as it poses challenges, promotes mastery, provides exercise and relieves monotony."  The Power of Place - Winifred Gallagher

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm on my way...no turning back now!

Today saw me tentatively stepping out of the comfort zone of my obscurity into the unknown that awaits me in Blog Land. I'm pleased to report I survived the leap of faith. No one has written any nasty comments and I've not had my identity highjacked. If things continue this well, I suspect I might end up enjoying the journey.

My fellow travellers - L to R - Heathcliff, Toby & Bonny


WELCOME!  This is my debut as a blogger.

I have been feeling increasingly inspired to start my own blog, so I can share my garden and, hopefully, give as much pleasure to those who happen to stumble upon it, as I've had from the wealth of gardening blogs I've visited over the past several months.

Hi! I'm Toby. Welcome to my garden.

I have not sat down and formulated how I intend to present this blog.  As with my garden, which has evolved largely from intuition, I'll allow this foray into the blogging world to find its own meandering path.   

As my blog name suggests, I'm learning to drift along with the flow of life.  I hope you'll join me on my ramblings, as I'm sure we'll be bound to find some delightfully simple pleasures with which to enrich our souls.  In short, our ability to follow William Blake's injunction to, "See a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower." 

I am also of the assurance that there is no better time for us to be reminded of those wise words spoken by Albert Schweitzer, namely that, "In the hope of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet."  

It shouldn't matter whether or not we own large gardens or very tiny balconies.  We are all capable of owning a pot plant or two and nurturing it, or putting out some crumbs or seeds to attract a bird to our little space.  The pleasure derived from these simple actions can help to sustain and nurture us through the trials of every day life if we allow them to.

I'll conclude my very first post with these words by Hans Christian Anderson:

"Just living is not enough.  One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."  

Toby says, "HAVE A GREAT DAY!"