Garden 'siteseeing' in Egypt, New Zealand, South Africa, and England

Garden blogs around the world.

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It's the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, and after a heavy meal yesterday, many Americans feel the need  of some exercise. Why not join us in a quick jaunt to visit a few gardens and gardeners in other areas?

In rural Cambridgeshire, England, Gary Davis is a new blogger. An organic gardener, he moved to his current property from London two years ago and has been steadily improving it ever since -- cleaning up a bramble-infested area for a vegetable garden, constructing a greenhouse, planning and planting flower beds, and getting ready for a garden wedding.

Most fascinating for those of us who are fans of novels that feature British village life, Gary's Garden offers details of the real thing, since he jumped right into the middle of what's happening locally.

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For instance, he's helping with the Village in Bloom contest -- where the environment counts more than perky hanging baskets of geraniums -- to see if the village can improve its standing from last year's silver medal.

The comments about the Advent Fayre at the parish church told me a great deal about village life and I loved this: "The coffee and cake stall was doing a roaring trade."

From the snow and sleet of East Anglia, let's head to East Taratahi, Wairarapa, New Zealand, to learn more about Heritage Isies in New Zealand. These historic irises -- and some that are more modern but have the heritage look -- are beautiful, and when they're newly available, sources outside New Zealand are given, which is handy for international visitors.

You also learn many fascinating stories about these old irises -- such as the permission granted by Winston Churchill -- in the middle of World War II yet -- to have an iris named after him.

I liked this posted quote: "You can have a complete Garden with Irises alone, but you cannot have a complete garden without them. -- The Introduction From Orpington Nurseries Catalogue 1953 (Edited NZIH)

In Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Ashraf Al Shafaki is another new garden blogger. He doesn't post frequently, but "a dip into the plant life of Egypt" is something most of us know little about, so even an occasional glimpse can be interesting.

At Egypt Farm, the 30-something former computer programmer grows date palms, apricots, mangoes, watermelon, fava beans, tomatoes, and onions, among other plants -- including some that in most part of the US would be considered houseplants.

He tells how to make a date milkshake in a blender and then discusses the traditional Egyptian drink that inspired it. 

In Pietermartizburg, South Africa, Sally's Gardening Tips is how-to blog, where you learn less about the blogger's personal garden and more about such subjects as the nitty-gritty of growing herbs (in pots and hydroponically), pruning and shaping trees, various things to keep in mind when growing in containers, and lots of flower-gardening tips.

Sally Robson goes effortlessly from the mystery of the black orchid to vegetable gardening hints to lawn care.

I enjoy the various "styles" of online gardeners -- not just in their gardens but also in their writing. It makes visiting them more fun, doesn't it?

Note: Garden siteseeing is a weekly feature of Diggin' It. Join us each Thursday or Friday for a new round of visits. Or see  here for some of our previous siteseeing destinations.

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