Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Slugs n' snails          - 17/12/2013       Next-->

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

With life in Zimbabwe being so very transient, I have a delightful way of remembering people who have been special in one's life, but who have now passed on or moved away.

Every year my Maltese Cross Lilies bloom when the first rains come and I remember that they came from the garden of our dear friends, Dave and Midge and their Mum Onie. The lilies grew at Portwe Estate, their once beautiful farm house of many years standing.

The Spider Lily plant that I grew from Jack Buckle's garden, also blooms when the first rains come, they are absolutely exquisite, white with spidery tendrils and bring me many happy memories of a man who gave his piano playing gift to countless hundreds of Bulawayo folk.

My dear friend Yvonne who retired last year due to ill health, gave me so many plants, roses, day lilies, and chrysanthemums that pop up out of the ground annually and bring me tremendous joy.

My own mom gave me many cuttings from her garden, an Easter Cactus that flowers joyfully at the strangest times, and a maidenhair fern that I have nursed through many troubled times, but it always springs back to remind me of that precious Gentle Woman.

My amaryllis were splendid this year, great tubs of white, blood red, and orange, and they all grew from one bulb given to me many years ago by the late Kitty French. Over there against the wall is a giant pelargonium, that flowers a brilliant iridescent fuchsia colour and came from a dear friend who smuggled it across the border in her suitcase!!

My orange clivia were all stolen from the gardens of dear friends, and I have a rare yellow clivia from the Rawlins couple with the greenest fingers in town. The orchids too have come from many friendly sources, including some which I gather were purloined in the Chimanimani Forests, and I feel very guilty at having bought them thus aiding and abetting a crime.

This year we have had a good start to our rainy season, (dare I say that above a hushed whisper?) The garden is looking lush and divine and the frogs, snails and chongololos are rejoicing in this fact!

Christmas plants abound in our garden, poinsettias, agapanthas from my friend Ali, giant iris heads from Nita and magnificent coleus propagated with Sebastian's magic touch!

'I don't know whether nice people tend to grow roses or growing roses makes people nice!' Is such a sweet quotation from Roland Beowne.