Bloom Day in May: Mugongo

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My parents were visiting us last week, 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 “Bloom Day in May: Mugongo”

Our garden: bird droppings (sort of)

On Friday morning, I looked down from our upstairs porch and cursed the hawks.

For about a year now, they have had a huge nest in the tree right next to the house — and they have “feathered” it with all sorts of garbage, particularly dirty pieces of cloth and scraps of paper.  They regularly redecorate by pushing some of their treasures out over the side.

Whenever I look up, I take in the sight of what looks like someone’s old underwear lapped over a branch.

This appeared to be the worst yet — chips of styrofoam (?) all over the ground.  They really were flying pigs.

Tiny mushrooms in the grass/enclos*ure

A closer inspection, however, revealed that I had to take it all back.

Tiny mushrooms in our garden/enclos*ure

Thousands of tiny, tiny white mushrooms were in the grass and the planting bed.

Tiny mushrooms in our garden/enclos*ure

Below, the white grains under the mushrooms are yet more mushrooms.Tiny mushrooms in our garden/enclos*ure

Sorry, hawks. . . until next time.

Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid

In more news from the same tree, the weaver birds and their amazing basket nests are back.

The yellow-colored males have been building and re-building for several weeks now, chattering loudly as they work.  According to a guidebook, the males weave and the females inspect (and destroy any subpar work).

Our garden and the birds/enclos*ure(There are much nicer photos of last year’s nests here.)

I guess the girls — who are plain brown — were finally satisfied, because it recently got much quieter up there. Then, a few days ago, I started finding halves of eggshells on the grass under the tree.

Our garden and the birds/enclos*ure

Here’s my collection so far.Our garden and the birds/enclos*ure


There are birds here,
so many birds here
is what I was trying to say
when they said those birds were metaphors
for what is trapped
between buildings
and buildings. . .

Jamaal May, from “There Are Birds Here