Horizon's Gardening Topic

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  • I've got more spring bulbs starting to appear....as you say, the cold is returning.

    LW, what are the times for your seasons where you are? And do they last for the same time as the UK ie 3 months per season, or is it different for you?

    I can never get round my head that while Britain freezes, Aussies have barbecues at Christmas on the beach.

  • We have a very short cold period, about three months. Climates differ quite lot as SA is a big country and some have rainy, cold winters with wind, some inland places with mountains have snow and others have freezing frosty jobs with sun and a host in between. It can get extremely cold in some places.

    But as a rule, autumn starts about late March but it can still be very warm, it's just that some trees get the message from the change in the declination of the sun and they begin to turn golden if they are deciduous. I have a tree in the garden with a few yellow leaves already.

    Autumn goes on till about late April/early May when it's perfect temperature wise. It's like a wonderful gap between hot and cold. Then comes winter and late May, June and July can be really cold, but as mid August breaks the trees start sprouting and the birds start thinking about nesting again. A few cold snaps can be experienced well into September. September 1st is our version of your May Day. By October it is boiling hot. This goes on until end of February. Mostly where I am it's warm and only in June and July is it really cold.

    Other places are much different. Summer temperatures where I am start at about 23 degrees C and go up to anything like 36-37 in summer.

    We grew our garden trees over 20 years ago when we moved to our present house because we wanted shade and now that the trees are all tall and spreading, they keep the house cooler. They also keep the glare off.

    Here is a pic of our acacia caffras in full bloom in spring.


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  • 23 degrees is just the perfect temperature for me, anything above that and I feel uncountable. Very interesting post LW, thanks!

    Like your tree too! My neighbour grew a tree from seed and I think it was an African tree, it was over 40 years old. I'll have to dig up a picture. But my new neighbours who came in destroyed it... I say new, I've had them for over 10 years now...

  • Yep! More to say on that in that thread in the future..it's all part of the key reason(s) why I created this site.

    BTW, re your earlier post about the stars. I have never seen in my entire lifetime a sky filled with stars.... As well as sci-fi, I love the real stuff too, even got a telescope a few years ago. But from my location at best, you can see perhaps a few dozen stars and that's it.

  • That's the trouble with big cities. When were more central the sky just looked pale orange at night. We are about 25 kms from the very bright lights now and we see more stars. Have a specially big beauty, must be Venus? just outside the door and in winter it is like a flashing greenish crystal. I love it so much I put it in one of my books :D.

    There is a retirement complex that backs onto our suburban nature reserve and one of the guys living there has a small observatory he built for himself. One can see the little dome of this when one walks in the reserve.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • If it's a big bright "star", yep Venus or Jupiter most likely. Saturn tends to be dimmer and Mars much smaller and less bright and red of course.

    Correction, obviously if it is flashing, that is a star. It's the easiest way to tell the difference between a star and a planet. It must be the Dog Star, Sirius. I think it has a greenish tinge to it. Next time I see it, I'll have a closer look.

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  • I have consistently noticed a greenish colour to this star. It's very large and bright when it's close. I have seen the reddish smaller one so that must be Mars.

    I love the cosmos and have been attracted to the stars since I was old enough to see them. I once used to get an Astronomy magazine, but the subscribers and the mag itself were so taken up with their telescopes and the technical details of these that my love of the stars just wasn't catered for. I am at a loss when it comes to the mathematical calculations they make and the maps they draw up, etc. I just wanted information on what they could see through their telescopes and on the planets and stars themselves. So I stopped getting the magazine and returned to the sky itself.

    In the desert and semi-desert regions of SA the sky is so clear that the stars seem to be close enough to reach up and touch. My first experience of this was to be stunned into silence at this display. An inky backdrop filled with jewels. It was just amazing. They seemed so close. It was silent and dark and there they were, glittering in their zillions. Definitely worth looking at in one of these clear air regions with no artificial lights messing up the darkness of the sky. Ever afterwards, you know the stars are just there, even if you can't see most of them anymore.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • I think there's only two or three areas of the UK which have a clear view of the night sky, so it's definitely a life aim to go to one of these places and see the "proper" sky.

    I guess I should create a new Cosmos topic, but I don't want to dominate the board by creating all the subjects. Been at The Times online all morning, "pimping" for business.:cool: Got a new member last night as a result.

  • I also don't want to seem to be starting lots of threads so I have been sitting on my hands in this regard.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • It is frustrating, because there are lots and lots of issues and multiple new news items everyday. But I'm not going to flood the forum with my topics beyond the ones I initially created. Hopefully new members will feel confident enough starting their own topics up to kick things off.

  • New members are often a bit hesitant, but they will reply to existing threads and when they feel at home they will start threads. First they will read and then they might feel at home enough to comment and finally, I hope, you will have resoundingly energetic debate. :D Here's hoping anyway! I admire your plunge into purchasing a licence from vBulletin and a forum name and just going for it. A decent forum without constant moral sermons from the mount of better than thou is needed.

    This has nothing to do with gardening, I know, but I have a former forum friend who thinks gardening is a perfect place to discuss the meaning of life.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Been raining and raining where I am and has turned quite chilly, but now I can get the weeds out. Usually one needs dynamite if the ground is dry, but today pulling weeds is easy. Found some tomato plants courtesy of the birds. :)

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • We're just getting the tail end of a hurricane here which is blasting everything to bits including all the emerging spring bulbs.:(

  • Storm "Dorris" It's gone a bit further North than originally predicted so down here on the coast we've just got brisk winds and sunny periods. Not strong enough to do any damage, just a few small branches blown down.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.


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  • I saw on the news. :(

    It's only a bit of strong wind, so we'll get it through it! :)

    We're very lucky here in London as we pretty much get the best weather out of the entire country. So, if you hear us say we're getting snow blizzards, it means a few snowflakes. Monsoon rains means a five minute shower etc

    The last real hurricane we had here was in 1985 ish and that did bring down some trees, but that's not what's happening here today. If there's any tree damage, that's not down to nature, but people...

  • Very nice. :)

    I was hoping to showoff and post a pic of my grand display of snowdrops that started appearing last week. Except, I have the grand total of 4!

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