28 September, 2016

September in our False Bay garden

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Thomas much appreciates fully glazed doors, where he can gaze in fascination at a pair of sparrows twittering up on the trellis. He doesn't try to walk thru the door (only once, but that was enough for me!) I've been trying not to see those two plants awaiting good homes. Pavetta has finally been planted in the third tiny raised bed at the bottom of the garden.


For Gail at Clay and Limestone with her pollinators and Wildflower Wednesday - a female carpenter bee on our Septemberbossie.

Female carpenter bee on Septemberbossie

Red trumpets on Burchellia bubalina for the nectaring sunbirds. Lipstick pink Pelargonium. A pink Cymbidium from my sister's share of mother's orchids. Coral pink ivy pelargonium has variegated leaves for the rest of the year. Flaming red pelargonium sparkles on the Karoo Koppie. Delicately embellished scented pink pelargonium. Shocking pink Oxalis came in a pot with the garden, and bloom steadily. Downturned bells of Dombeya.

Red and pink flowers

Yellow climbing daisy Senecio adds sunshine to Thomas' view thru the kitchen door. White pelargonium from my mother gifted to our 'new' Porterville garden. Yellow Bulbine borders Froggy Pond. Euphorbia mauritanica bulking up into LARGE bushes on the Karoo Koppie - the flowers in lime gold, then the seeds tendril out, and the flowers fade to bronze and terracotta (this is a plant I like!) This year's only Cymbidium in my garden muted apricot and nameless. Californian poppies self seed. Arum lilies colonising any 'available' space - we were here first! Tangerine Bulbine.

Yellow and white flowers

Potted Babiana. Septemberbossie. The colour of happiness is kingfisher daisy, blue Felicia. Scabiosa. Delicious honey wafts from Buddleja in a gentle mauve that sings with the silver fountains of Dusty Miller leaves. Lavender star Grewia. Oxford and Cambridge (Clerondendron now Rotheca) Gilia from California (I wonder if that was a rogue seed with the orange poppies?) Succulent pelargonium hazed with tall flowers. Forget me nots from the previous gardener. Spike of Lachenalia. Heartsease is an inherited collar to the potted roses.

Blue and purple flowers

My heart lifts each time we come home. The public part of our garden, which I planted from scratch, is a river of blue Plectranthus neochilus beneath the tapestry hedge. Olive tree has almost reached the top of the pillars. Inside the palisade fence the Karoo Koppie brings a changing display of orange and red 'flames'.

Verge and Karoo Koppie

I wanted the gate to be garnet or cherry red, but it has faded to the maroon of our local high school's uniform - ick. Which perfectly matches the Melianthus flowers and the rust finish of our Garden Bleu Inspire - not ick after all.


Our house is freestanding but their garage wall is our boundary wall, and so on down the road. From the livingroom we look either to the Karoo Koppie, passing traffic, and mountain. Or at that tall blank wall where we planted Brachylaena coastal silver leaf - which has reached the stepped corner of the gable, as I planned.


We miss the Porterville view from the verandah across Ungardening Pond to the first Elephant's Eye Mountain. Halleria and Grewia are steadily blocking the view to the next kitchen, and the birds appreciate nectar, berries and water.

from the Adirondacks in the 'conservatory'

But when I sit in the corner at the table on the stone circle I look across Froggy Pond to our lemon tree and the neighbour's hedge, or across Summer Gold and Spring Promise to the mountain. Not another house in sight!

View from the stone circle

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Pictures by Diana Studer
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