Tag: wind

Red ribbon seaweed

For one of the desserts at our Coastal Foraging, I make an agar agar jelly treat. To do this you have to collect the red ribbon seaweed that grows on kelp fronds and boil it to extract the agar agar.

Coastal foragingAgar agar kiwi jelly and candied kelp on ice cream.

The romantic version of collecting the seaweed is on a beautiful summers day..blue skies and turquoise sea. A surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach.

The reality is usually more like a sand-blasted walk down the beach through a howling south-easter, slipping on the porphyra strewn rocks to get to the water’s edge at low tide, holding on with your toes and getting soaked by waves trying to reach the kelp.

If you try and have a surf you could easily get smacked if the face with your board like I did today. Who needs botox right? Dear wind, please hit my lip on the other side now. Angelina Jolie roll over – this is a Deep South extreme makeover.

And if you have missed low tide, you better start looking for a limpet with a lot of red seaweed growing on its shell.

Coastal foraginglike this but more.

Today we got the romantic version….

Coastal foragingA surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach

Coastal foragingOk and maybe one quick little wave. Or five…

Coastal foragingCollecting the seaweed.

Coastal foragingFound a good bunch! Tough job hey. Gotta love these board meetings.

Coastal foragingWoohoo! Dreamy Summertime.

Coastal foragingLets go check out the haul…

Coastal foragingNeatly stashed away in wetsuit and top

Coastal foragingThe foraged goods. Nice.

A little bit of everything here – red, brown and green seaweed to eat.

Watch out for our next blog post to see what we made…

Happy holidays!

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Wild wind and wild food.

Summer is here in full swing. And by full swing, I mean its full on windy. We have had a howling south-easter blowing for days. Causing havoc in the gardens, drying out the soil, whipping up our summer skirts, blowing sand in our faces and flattening out the surf. For days.

But the elements did not stopped us from having two more amazing Coastal Forages.

Coastal Foraging

Gathering food along a windswept beach only made us even more hungry for the feast we prepared…

Coastal ForagingGathering

Coastal ForagingStrandlooping

Coastal Forage seaweed facepackGarden Spa

Coastal ForageFeast!

It was an even more blustery day for the second group…

Coastal ForageGood and clean and fresh tralala!

Coastal forageCollecting mussels and seaweed

Coastal foragingA spontaneous swim!

Coastal forageMussel pot – infused with thyme and the memory of the sea.

A taste so fresh you have to eat it to believe it.

There was a satisfied silence as we tucked in around the table. Only punctuated every now and then by grunts and sighs of appreciation from the hungry hunters.

We will be repeating this Coastal forage course next year and would love you to come and join us.

Happy Summer living!

Summer time and the living is breezy

 February is the hottest month of our year!

The snakes and tortoises are wide awake. We are having to remove certain tortoises quite often from the veggie garden.Tortoise

The vegetables in the gardens quickly tend to bolt if not watered well enough, or get to dried up from

the South Easter who regularly makes her appearance. Like now. And yesterday. And probably tomorrow.

Luckily,  just around the corner we have a warm False Bay ocean for long delicious swims and an icy turquoise Atlantic Ocean around the other corner for screamingly refreshing  dips or exhilarating surfs.

Beach time

Summer also brings us:

Warm magical evenings with clear starry skies, sweet fragrant juicy tomatoes and plump purple sticky figs from the garden, super productive bees buzzing amongst all the flowers and warm freckled faces and dirty sandy hands after a hard day of playing in the garden.

Summer tomatoes

Hooray for summer time!

Spring time at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

I love Springtime at Cape Point. Mild sunny weather with no wind, beautiful fynbos flowers on show, tortoises start emerging (and some snakes too) a few showers for the plants, and have I mentioned no wind?

Here is whats been happening:

Leucadendron laureolum

Critically endangered (Red data listed) Watsonia humilis.

Roof garden of the retail office

Calendula in flower in the veggie garden

We finally have our very own Good Hope Gardens Nursery veggie garden seeds!

Selaginella in the shade in the retail.

Spring tortoise makes an appearance.

Beautiful flowers ready for the Spring sale.

Enjoy the weather everyone and happy planting!

Roof Gardens for the future

A brilliant write-up in the Cape Argus on Good Hope Gardens Landscapings Roof Gardens by Jeanne Viall:

Green trends to hit the roof in future

March 6 2012 at 01:15pm
By Jeanne Viall

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Copy of ca Roof TopGarden_7154INDPENENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Roof-top gardens, like this one in Scarborough, created by Tom Gray, also soften ones outlook. Picture: Neil Baynes

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A green roof is so much more than a roof garden, I discovered in Scarborough. It’s a living roof that’s attractive, insulates and benefits the environment.

Tom Gray has been building these living roofs for many years and believes they are the roofs of the future.

The first green roof we visit in Scarborough belongs to Cindy and Richard Hartley and is best viewed from a deck overlooking it.

It’s a succulent garden, about 40m2 and sits at a slight angle for better drainage. From the deck you look across the planted roof to the reserve and the sea, and instead of seeing a roof, your view is of vegetation.

While aesthetic considerations are one of the reasons for a green roof, there are a lot more. Insulation is one, creating new green spaces another. There is a lot of insect life buzzing around this garden.

Gray grew up around plants at his parents’ Good Hope Nursery near Cape Point and has always loved fynbos. After training as a carpenter, he moved into the nursery business and started his own landscaping business, Good Hope Gardens.

“I became interested in the architectural aspect of the roof garden, the aesthetics, but also its insulation properties. The growing roof keeps the room below it cool in summer and warm in winter.”

With climate change, it’s the roof of the future, especially in densely built urban areas.

“I researched the field, but there was little information available, and so started experimenting with different materials.”

A dog’s kennel was the first experiment. Drainage is all important. This garden has a gravel pit around it, no gutters, which filters the water.

“The big thing is to have drainage layers, and there are a number of products on the market.”

Through lots of trial and error, Gray has found materials that work well.

“There are many ways to do it, but if you’re working on a large scale, it makes sense to buy the material – it saves time.”

It’s important to start with a 100 percent waterproof roof.

Each green roof is designed taking into consideration many factors, such as situation, depth of soil, the homeowner’s preferences.

It also depends on the building – if its design requires lightweight structures that limits the depth of soil, and in turn which plants can be planted there.

“The depth varies between 120mm to 200mm soil,” says Gray.

However, one of his gardens in Fish Hoek has deeper soil, and can be planted with vegetables.

Wind is a factor to consider on green roof gardens, as it can blow many times harder on the roof than on the ground.

Succulents, especially those endemic to the Western Cape, are ideally suited to these green roof gardens. Gray likes using Portulacaria afra or repens, also known as Elephant’s food or spekboom.

They are also carbon sink plants – they bind atmospheric carbon that is responsible for climate change.

The roof needs regular maintenance.

“Initially, I plant long- and short-term plants. This garden is around six years old, and some plants need replacing.”

It also needs watering.

“With this depth of soil, you need to irrigate in the heat of summer. Although it does hold some moisture, it also dries out in the extreme heat.”

Botanist Nick Helme’s green roof garden, also in Scarborough, seldom gets watered and when it does, it is with a sprinkle from his hosepipe. His garden is built on top of his office, a timber-frame structure.

The roof was at the level of his deck, he says, and he didn’t want to look straight onto a glistening roof.

So they created a green roof.

With his extensive knowledge of plants, Helme was very involved in plant choice. His garden is about 18 months old, and he’s limited plants to those of the Western Cape, which includes the Little Karoo.

“I don’t want arid succulents, though, not in a high winter rainfall area.”

He has about 60 species growing here, a few of them rare plants.

It’s not the best time of year for the garden, he points out, with few plants flowering now – May to December is best. But the garden is interesting. Succulents come in so many shapes and colours. He’s planted many bulbs, but the only problem with these is that the baboons like them.

Maintenance means a hop over the railing onto the roof to weed.

“As a botanist, I’m obsessed with aliens and the first spring season I weeded them out as I saw them.”

Drainage is excellent, and slow. After a deluge, the water begins to drain only after 20 minutes, and then drips slowly off the edge for a few hours.

Green roof gardens are growing in popularity, slowly, as one way to mitigate pollution in cities. They’re a way to increase green spaces in built environments; there’s no need to repaint your roof or clean your gutters, and the drainage acts as a filter for “acid” rain, so what runs out the outlet pipes is clean. And they’re natural insulators against heat and cold.

“Everyone should have one, it’s a no-brainer really,” says Gray. – Cape Argus

* Find out more on http://www.capepoint.com


 

 

Farming and eating and beaching….Summertime!

Summer is here, along with the South Easter. We have been busy in the gardens, beach and in the kitchen…

The veggie gardens have been full and flourishing, and the figs are ripe and ready…eaten fresh with cheese and wine or made into jam – a winner! We also have a new spacious enclosure for the chickens and ducks to free range around in. The baby goat thinks its one of the dogs and and likes to bleat and run along with the dogs as they run and bark at our cars, welcoming us as we return home. Bookings are coming in for kids (children not goats) parties, the landscaping has picked up, while the bakkie has packed up! All the cars suddenly seem to be giving us problems – maybe its time for a donkey and cart 🙂 Other than that, its been so windy, windy windy!

Some fresh veg out the garden…sweetest peas and corn ever!!!

Biggest Patty Pans/Pots we have grown yet!

Even more organic garden veg.

And beetroot which when roasted…turned into this Rose petal, mango and roast beetroot salad. Yum!

We took a break from the kitchen and the farm and escaped to the seaside. Quite often.

 Swims at Dalebrook pool,

Did some digger loading at Scarborough beach,

Jumped for joy at Fishermans beach,

Did some breakdancing at Fish hoek beach,

And then came home to chill.

Enjoy the Summer everyone!

Summer is here!

With the weather not so sure whats its doing, the poor plants are not sure what to be doing either. But Summer seems to be back with a bang along with the South Easter wind, tangling our hair and drying out the earth. We are gearing towards our next event on the 16th of December – which promises to be a day of fun, fynbos, food and art.

The masses of Syncarpha vestita or Cape Snow that have sprung up near the windmills.When you stand in between them it sounds as if you are in the middle of a rustling papery sea.

Meanwhile in the veggie patch, flowers of other sorts have been blooming…

Elegant leeks have gone to flower…the organic seeds to be collected and planted next year.

Yellow patty pans growing at the base of their edible flowers.

The retail area in the nursery is looking particularly lovely. Shady and inviting, it inspires many to jazz up their gardens at home.

The different colours and foliage in the six pack area in the retail.

A little monkey chilling in the shady seating area 🙂

More news on the event to follow! So keep in touch for more fynbos fun.

xxx from us at the nursery