My first solo attempt at drawing, painting and decorating pottery tiles. You can see by the designs that I pulled out all the stops. I sure had fun!
As it's four months since we enclosed our back garden, I thought I'd share photos of what it looked like before and what it's like now.
Photo taken mid-June with friends at the back of our house
Our enclosed garden photographed this week
A closer, wider view of the enclosed garden: note the three cats enjoying the greenery
Before we enclosed the back area with reeds, due to two boisterous dogs in our large garden, the cats weren't able to wander safely outside. Having this cosy area has made a great difference and we spend most evenings out there with our kitties. Often Marnitz joins us and as posted before we've had a potjiekos meal as well as many BBQ's out here.
One thing we discovered though, was that our youngest cat, Ambrose is able to clear the fence in one swoop if left to his own devices. In fact, one evening something (I cannot think what) spooked him and he did exactly that. Marnitz and I dashed around the outside of the reed walls and there was little Ambrose, crouching in between the roots of a tree just beyond the fence. Two very surprised dogs, sitting about a meter away were just staring at this apparition which had fallen from the sky! I yelled so loudly (at the dogs, poor things) that Ambrose took fright once more and sailed back over the fence into the garden where Grant was waiting!
Last week Grant sent two men from the workshop to add six rows of wire suspended between angle iron stays which they'd welded to the orignal posts. Facing inwards, we hope this is a deterrent if ever Ambrose should try to clear the fence again!
Semunye and Asmani add six strands of wires to the top of our fence
Meanwhile I have sown and successfully grown planters of herbs and sweet pepper seeds just outside my back door. I also brought back a sprig of mint from home in September. I mollycoddled it in a small tin in my bedroom window until it had eight leaves true. Then I planted it out into a larger plastic container outdoors where it is doing exceptionally well. I have asked Edward to water it and the other herbs daily while I'm on leave.
Young, strong basil plants grace the rectangular planter; the round bottle in the center boasts my healthy South African mint, the lush plants in the background bottle are cat-nip (the cats have turned their noses up at this!) and the newly planted bottle in the front will soon sprout sweet peppers and coriander/cilantro.
Last but not least, I have two sunken bird baths in the garden which, along with seeds that I put out daily, attracts a host of Grey-headed Sparrows, several Spotted Palm Thrushes, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleus, Red-billed Firefinch and the ubiquitous doves. There are also a few resident colorful lizards who rush up to the seeds and nuts for a quick snack. At night we've heard (and also seen while out there BBQ'ing with friends) frogs enjoying the refreshing water of the ponds.
The "piece of string" that interested Ambrose in the garden turned out to be a dead baby snake
This week while sitting out while the cats frolicked around in the garden beds, we noticed Ambrose trying to lift, what looked like, a piece of white string. Eventually I unfurled myself from my relaxed position on the garden chair and walked over to have a look. It was a baby snake, albeit dead as the proverbial doornail. It had been dead for a while, so we couldn't blame Ambrose for its demise! The fact that we already have a variety [small] wildlife visiting our garden is exciting. It makes you realize that the garden is healthy, inviting and alive!
I hope you're all having a great week.