Category Archives: Rwanda life

In our garden: Ross’s Turaco

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. . . an occasional large and dramatic avian visitor to our garden – about 30′ up, climbing around in one of our several Grevillea robusta trees.

Also known as Lady Ross Turacos, the birds are about 18″ long with mostly dark blue feathers. I got a very quick look at the ends of this one’s wings — bright red and only visible in flight.

I have seen them in different tall trees around the garden before — the last time in a pair. The males and females look exactly alike.

Today, this one was making only a noisy, repetitive croak, which drew me to look for it.  But, previously, I have also heard them make a more melodious call, which I remember as sort of a loud cooing sound (a contradictory description, I know).

My soul into the boughs does glide;
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets, and combs its silver wings;
And, till prepar’d for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

– Andrew Marvell, from “The Garden

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Filed under African gardens, nature, our garden, plants, Rwanda life, Rwandan gardens

(Not very) Wordless Wednesday: rain

Our Rwanda garden after rain, August 2014Raindrops on the Graptopetalum leaves yesterday morning.

It had rained the night before, for the third time in two weeks. Maybe the summer dry season is ending early?

(I would normally look for consistent heavy showers to start in early to mid September and last until late December.)

I have been hoping for an early fall rainy season, since we only have a few more months in the country, and I would like to see the garden in high growth mode one more time.

ADDENDUM: 6:27 p.m. — raining.

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Wordless Wednesday: the mural

U.S. Embassy-Rwanda LGBT Pride Mural, June 2014U.S. Embassy-Rwanda LGBT Pride chalk graffiti mural, created June 24, 2014.

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Bloom Day in May: Mugongo

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Last week, my parents were visiting us, and we took an overnight trip to the north of Rwanda. We made a stop at Mugongo, the former home and plantation of long-time American resident Roz Carr, who founded Imbabazi Orphanage in 1994, reworking her old farm buildings.

You can read about Roz’s life in Rwanda, from 1949 to 2006, here.

The long English-style flower borders looked particularly colorful as we near the end of the rainy season. Among the many plants blooming were calla lilies, hybrid tea roses, crocosmias, cannas, calendulas, fuchsias, violets, ageratum, hydrangeas, borage, sedum, Santa Barbara and Shasta daisies, azaleas, irises, dahlias, begonias, and day lilies.

It is a credit to Roz’s good strong design and to the continuing dedication of the gardeners she trained that the garden is still so beautiful, almost eight years after her death.

Click here for more information about the Imbabazi Foundation and how to visit the Mugongo garden.

You can scroll through more (and larger) photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any of the thumbnail images.

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (the 15th day of every month). Continue reading

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Filed under a garden in history, African gardens, design, garden design, landscape, nature, plants, Rwanda life, Rwandan gardens

Wordless Wednesday II: landscape plan

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Waxprint cloth, Kimironko Market, Kigali, Rwanda.

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