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Fairy Houses :)))

I had so much fun as a child building fairy houses 🙂 Did any of you build them? Enjoy the miniture architecture 🙂

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Moss Pink ~ Colours of our Earth

Phlox subulata[1] (Moss Phlox, Moss Pink, Mountain Phlox) is a perennial creeper growing to a height of 6 inches and covering a 20-inch-wide (510 mm) area. The small, five-petaled flowers bloom in rose, mauve, blue, white, or pink in late spring to early summer. It is native to North America.

Altercations between gardeners and law enforcement personnel occasionally occur when the oder given off by the plants are mistaken for that of marijuana. ~ Wikipedia

All of the pics below are from Japan where they have festivals and parks with spectaculor moss pink displays. Here is a link to some of the parks http://yokosoen001.clublog.jp/e27444.html

~Dirty hands~

Winter Veggies in my Garden ~ Nom nom nom

Here in the Western Cape of South Africa we are lucky not have frost in winter in most parts. It is therefore easy to have a variety of vegetable growing through winter. Heres whats going at the moment.

Broccoli, my second cut, the heads are growing well, I think im gona steam them when done 🙂

Bright lights spinach, this has been growing for a couple of seasons and is very hardy and produces loads of spinach.

My peas, this is my first time growing peas, pretty excited to see the outcome.

Cauliflower in the vertical minigarden, just waiting fo it to open 🙂

Onions in my vertical garden, with little onion seedlings coming up on the top.

Loads of baby spinach and baby lettuce, for freshest salads!

Leeks which will be used for soup.

Broad beans growing up! They have started to show flowers so im looking forward to beans soon 🙂

Beetroot in the vertical garden, and then harvested. I think im gona pickle it 🙂

Well that’s whats happening in the garden now. I have just got my seed potatoes so that will be happening soon too, very excited!

Happy digging!

~Dirty Hands~

Secret Aloe Garden ~ Winter wonders

I found this little garden just off the road outside a boat club near where I live. After driving past a few times and seeing the Aloes in bloom I knew I must stop and take some pics 🙂 Upon closer inspection I saw that most of the Aloes were hybrids, I don’t know if they are natural or man-made hybrids but they are beautiful! And there definitely seems to be a lot of Aloe Thraskii genetics in the mix, which can be seen by the deep recurred leaves. I noticed an old man weeding near to the garden and went over to ask him if he was the person responsible for the this little piece of colour amongst the grey of the city.

He told me he was and it was just his passion and hobbie to share the colours of the beautiful Aloes with passers-by. So awesome! If we all did a little of this our cities would be dappled with inspiring secret gardens!

~Dirty Hands~

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Crassula and Mushroom in my Garden <3

Last night while out in the garden I saw this little mushroom popping up next to one of my crassula succulents, at first I thought it was a flower but upon closer inspection saw it was a little mushroom 😀 I love these small miracles and happenings of nature right under our noses! You just have to look out for them:)

Happy digging ~~ Dirty Hands

Amazing artist ~Takanori Aiba

I recently stumbled upon Takanori Aiba works of art and had my mind blown!!! His level of detail and intricacy is phenomenal! And I love the asian style that is so prevalent in his works.

:: BIO

Takanori Aiba  (相羽高徳) was born in 1953 in Yokohama, Japan. Studied Japanese traditional textiles and dyed clothing in Tokyo Zokei University. Built a first career as a freelance maze illustrator since 1978. His maze works were serialized in “POPYE”, Japanese fashion magazine for 10 years. Founded his own company,”Graphics and Designing Inc.”, in 1981. Expand a range of his career to a concept maker and art director for architectural spaces. Total production of “Shin Yokohama Chinese Noodle Museum”, “Muse Du Petit Prince De Saint Exupery A Hakone”, “NINJA AKASAKA“ were one of his major works.Since, 2003, He put his mind to create three dimensional art works which combines  his knowledge and experience of both maze illustrator and architect. On September, 2010, He had a solo exhibition, “Adventures of the Eyes” at Kakiden Gallery, Tokyo Japan with his works.

Kazuko Todate, Art Critic, talks about our exhibition,
*1″Works are created through Aiba’s extraordinary fantastic and sometimes even chimerical imaginations. However, they do not look like pipe dreams. In fact people believe that they are real buildings and spaces because Aiba depicts not only the outline but also all of the elaborate details in each works.
Though the paintings are flat and two-dimensional, Aiba creates images of the side, back, and even the inside of the buildings.
Aiba’s eyes circle around, and sometimes intentionally wander between buildings in the space.
His eyes are like those of a bird or like those of wind.”
*2″If you explore any small part of Aiba’s works, you find amazing stories and some unique characters.
Those works are not just imaginary compositions; it is indeed possible to construct the amusement parks.
Murakami, who makes Aiba’s models, is also a civil engineer. He is a realist sharing dreams with Aiba.
The early bonsai-type models look like bonsai art. Bonsai reflect the Japanese traditional aesthetic sense of
expressing the magnificence of nature in a small potted plant.
However, the density of decoration and the rich stories of Aiba’s works contain extraordinary times and spaces which
differ from the bonsai world determined by  plants physiology.
*1*2 “Adventures of the Eyes: AIBA Takanori’s Aesthetics of Space Creation, KAZUKO TODATE, Art Critic”
Information and pictures from Takanori Aiba’s webage http://www.tokyogoodidea.com/
Happy creating!
~~ Dirty Hands ~~

Stapeliads ~ Huernias ~ Orbeas ~ My sexy Stapeliae <3

These are pictures of the flowers that my Stapeliae plants will produce.
I have been collecting them for a quite some time and I’m just in love with these crazy little miracles of nature.
These are not my photos, but pictures of the same plants, they are taken from an awesome website titled Stapeliads which is also definitely worth checking out!

The genera of plants within the tribe Stapeliae are all to varying degrees stem succulents. Many of the species resemble cacti, though are not closely related, as an example of convergent evolution. The stems are often angular, mostly four-angled in cross-section, but in some species there are six or more, with some species of Hoodia having more than thirty angles. In size they vary from less than 2.5 cm/1″ in length to over 2 m/6″ tall. The leaves are in most species reduced to rudiments, sometimes hardened and thorn-like, arranged on bumps or tubercles on the angles. Some species, however, still have recognisable leaves, most notably the Indian species Frerea indica, and some members of Tridentea. Stapeliads are most abundant in warm, dry climates. In Africa, there are two separate regions where Stapeliads have most diversified: northeast Africa, and Southern Africa. Several species are endemic to the small island of Socotra off the Horn of Africa. The Arabian Peninsula, and most specifically the country of Yemen, contain another concentration of species. Several more are found in the drier parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Myanmar. A single species, Caralluma europea is found in Europe, in the very southern part of the Iberian peninsula. Stapeliads are often regarded as a climax group within the family because of their often structurally complex flowers. Certain aspects of these reproductive parts mirror the pollination systems in the Orchid family and represent a case of parallel evolution though both groups are quite unrelated and have developed similar, though not identical means to achieve the ultimate goal of pollination and therefore reproduction. Most stapeliads use flies as pollinators, that are attracted to odours resembling dung or rotting meat, emanating from the flowers. Many of the flowers also bear some physical resemblance to rotting animal carcasses, leading to their popular name of Carrion Flowers. However, not all stapeliads smell bad, or attract flies. Some species use beetles, bees, wasps, butterflies or moths as pollinators. Stapeliad flowers range in size from mere millimetres in species of Echidnopsis and Pseudolithos to those of Stapelia gigantea that can reach 40 cm/16″ in diameter, and are some the largest of flowers to be found on any species of succulent. ~~ From wikipedia

~~ Dirty Hands Earth~~