We are so blessed to stay in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, where the climate let’s us enjoy Mother Nature at her best.  I’d love you to join me  on a tour of our Highveld garden. P.S. There are lots of photos so please stay a while and just absorb nature’s beauty.


The garden towards the main house
And into the garden I go, to lose my mind and find my soul Click to Tweet

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The back garden – a shady paradise

So where does one start? Our garden is pretty well established and almost everything grows. We have lots of trees so shade-loving plants, like this water-wise indigenous Clivia. She grows wild in the forested woodland areas in South Africa and thrives in our garden.


Orange Clivia

Our friend, who sadly passed away, cultivated them and gave us some rare yellow and peach seedlings. Damn, I miss his smile and his love of all things natural.


Yellow Clivia

Another indigenous beauty we have in the garden is the Agapanthus. They have strap-like leaves and produce beautiful balls of purple or white flowers that look so dramatic in or charcoal ash vase. We’re lucky enough to have a rare hybrid that carries a mix of purple and white flowers.


Agapanthus hybrid with mixed white and purple flowers

The large Wild Iris is quite common in many gardens in South Africa. A perennial, evergreen plant that grows up to 1.5m can be found in full sun or partial shade. Ours is quite happy under a Queen palm.


Wild Iris

We also have Siberian Iris growing. I honestly don’t know which is prettier. The white, yellow, and purple flowers of our indigenous Wild Iris or the delicate brown and purple coloring of the Siberian Iris.


Siberian iris

Mother Nature is a master and combining colors in ways we could never replicate. Like this gorgeous Petrea and yellow Bougainvillea that have intertwined themselves around our fence.


Petrea and a yellow bougainvillea

Or the pastel shades of the Shell Ginger flowers with her throat of yellows and reds.


Wild Garlic

Or the gorgeous flower of the Aloe arborescens…….


The flower of the Aloe arborescens

And the pure white and red of the Bleeding Heart in Spring that changes to a deep wine red in Autumn before she loses her leaves and takes a break.

Bleeding heart in spring


Bleeding heart in autumn

The indigenous Vaderlandswilg (roughly translated as the Willow of our Fatherland)  is one of the biggest trees in our garden. She heralds each season by cloaking herself in the most beautiful colors. In Spring her leaves emerge as soft, pale green buds. In Summer she wraps herself in dark shady greens and in Autumn she dresses up in yellow, orange, and red hues. She’s our cat’s favorite climbing spot and the perfect place to cultivate our baby Staghorn ferns.


Hello Joe

Talking about Staghorns, here’s the mommy plant.


Staghorn Fern

Isn’t she stunning? And the little musical frog. I don’t know about you but I really love weird and wacky surprises in a garden. Like the chain of hearts, we made it from card stock and aluminum tape.


Chain of hearts

Or the mossy pillow planters we made for our garden bench.


Take your garden decor to a whole new level with this beautiful moss pillow succulent planter. Not only is it easy to make but it also adds a magical touch to any outdoor space #gardendecor #mosspillow #acraftymix #succulentplanter #gardendecorideas

Or maybe a giant metal bird standing next to my She shed.


Our big bird that watches over the garden

That little plant with the pink flowers in the hanging basket in the photo is called a Lidroos in Afrikaans. You probably know her as a Christmas cactus, and every year she’ll be covered in the most beautiful salmon-pink blooms.


A pink Christmas cactus (also known as a lidroos) in full bloom.

We call her bigger sister a Bladroos and we have quite a few of those in the garden too. Her orange flower is as big as my hand.



And this gorgeous cerise one lives under the weeping mulberry in our front garden.


Bladroos under the weeping mulberry

The front garden

Our front garden only gets morning sun and lies on the frost belt so we need to be careful what we plant. But the Strelitzia Reginae, or Bird of Paradise, doesn’t seem to mind the frost. Native to South Africa, they prefer full sun and rich and well-drained loamy soil. Ours seems fine with a little morning sun and produces flowers all year long.


Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia reginae

Another beauty that doesn’t mind the frost is one of my favorites; the Iceberg rose. She’s low maintenance and seems to do her own thing no matter where you plant her. We have a few growing around our DIY drum water feature …..


How to turn an empty drum into a unique water feature complete with a faux hand water pump made from PVC pipes #drumwaterfeature #PVChandpump #DIYTutorial #ACraftyMix #DIYWaterFeature #outdoorDIY

And there’s a whole bunch growing in full sun along our western wall.


What would a garden be without roses

What would a garden be without roses 😀


An old headboard on the wall adds some interest to our South African garden

There’s a family of Vlakvarkies (Bush Pigs)  just below the roses.


Vlakvarkie family in a South African garden

This beauty, commonly referred to as the Icecream bush because of the pink and white splashes on the leaves, is stunning.


Ice Cream bush

She has the most adorable, teeny tiny flowers that attract birds, bees, and butterflies.


Teeny tiny Iceream Bush flowers

Birdlife in our highveld garden

And the birds. OMW, the birdlife in the garden – Weavers, Red Bishops, Cape White Eyes, Paradise Fly Catchers, Bulbuls, Louries, Sunbirds, and Fire Finches.


The bird life in our South African garden

Oh, and doves. Lots of doves 😀 At least once a month a Cape Eagle Owl perches on our roof and greets us with an HU-hu-hu. We love making feeders for our feathered friends too. Like this double-decker version that hangs near one of our water features.


A DIY bird feeder is a great way to make your feathered friends feel at home and look after them when food sources are scarce. This rustic two tier bird feeder is quick to put together and the tiers make it easy to serve them a smorgasbord of treats too. #DIYBirdFeeder #RecycledBirdFeeder #RusticBirdFeeder #aCraftyMix #Woodenbirdfeeder #PalletBirdFeeder #UniqueBirdFeeder

There’s even a cute bird bath so our feathered friends can take a dip when the weather gets really hot.


How to repurpose a bathroom accessory into a unique bird bath feature. #DIYOutdoors #BirdBathDIY #ACraftyMix #GardenFeature #Repupose

There’s a Swallow family that builds a nest under the eves. Meet Spikey, the young one who tried to fly before he was ready. He survived, BTW and has made many little babies of his own 😉


Meet spikey the baby swallow

The fae folk in the Highveld garden

Birds aren’t the only winged creatures that live in our garden. We have lots of fairies too. But shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. They’re quite shy 😉 If you’re really quiet you may spot them relaxing under the Ficus bonsai …..


DIY Adorable fairy garden furniture using scraps of old rusty ceiling tiles and nails. #FairygardenDIY #FairyFurniture #RustyNailFurniture #ACraftyMix #FairyGardenTutorials #CeilingTileRepupose #FairyGardenIdeas

…. or having a picnic under the mushrooms.


Magical fairy mushrooms and tiny picnic table

We often see them chatting to the branch man ……


The garden is filled with fairy beings

….. and they love doing a rain dance on this tree stump.


A moss covered stump and delicate creeper

The littlest ones really enjoy playing hide and go seek and seeing how high they can fly without wings on the swing we made for them.


A top down view of the fairy swing on the tree stump succulent planter #treestumpplanter #DIYplanter #fairyswing #DIYTutorial #FairyGardens #SucculentPlanter #HowTo #ACraftyMix

But we don’t just have fairies 😀 There’s a wood nymph hiding in amongst the leaves ……


Make your own enchanting wood nymph garden ornament #howtomake #woodnymph #gardenart

and a curious goblin too.


Our garden goblin that welcomes all fairies to our South African garden

He watches over the garden and makes sure everything is eco-friendly and balanced. From our succulent mushroom planters ….


This living succulent mushroom planter is much easier to make than you might think. It takes a little time, but once those succulents take root and start spreading it puts on such a gorgeous display. #Succulentplanter #uniqueplanter #ACraftyMix #PlanterIdeas

….. to our mossy mannequin, I love our highveld garden.


How to repurpose a plastic mannequin and turn it into unique garden art. The tutorial includes how to create a faux concrete effect with craft paint. Love how the finished product turned out. #Fauxconcrete #painteffects #mossmannequin #DIYTutorial #mosseffects #gardenart #acraftymix #recyclegardenart

And if I’m not mistaken, I think I can hear that goblin tell me to stop sitting in front of my laptop and get outside. So if you’re looking for me, I’ll be wandering around in the garden 😉 And if you enjoyed the tour of our highveld garden, don’t forget to pin it so others can come and visit too 😉


Come join us on a tour of a South African Highveld garden. It's filled gorgeous indigenous plants and fairy creations. #Gardentour #SouthAfrica #Highveld #ACraftyMix

Thank you so much for taking the time to join me on a tour through our Highveld garden. See you again soon.


Made with love by a Crafty Mix