25 March, 2015

Our False Bay garden hidden behind building chaos

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity

We are promised six weeks for the renovations. For April's Wildflower Wednesday (March is Spicebush) and End of Month View (February) I will walk slowly round the garden and take a fresh set of THIS is Where We Begin photos. Today I lurk, plan and remember March flowers in our Porterville garden.

Celtic knot sandblasted across the bottom pane of the bathroom windows

We (including an unconcerned Aragon and a despairing Chocolat) live, eat, sleep and wash in the main en suite and guest room. The bathrooms have sandblasted Celtic knots for privacy below and ours has a wonderful view across the mountains (with some 'hedge' planned across the immediate neighbours).The second bathroom and kitchen are concrete shells. The living room waits and waits for the last window.

My garden tour starts at the kitchen door, now fully glazed to enjoy the potted lime against a spekboom hedge (February). That is the garden in my mind. Reality is daunting. The four troughs of spekboom are swept aside while the walls are power washed, then painted.

Building chaos across the new glazed kitchen door

Walking down the shady side, between the smattering of white paint flakes, the garlic chives have buds and Hypoestes has a first lilac flower. The potted bulbs are flowering in scarlet Nerine sarniensis, cream chincherinchee and mauve Tulbaghia. Among the succulents the orangey red climbing aloe is blooming. Across the patio, hidden behind the overflow of furniture, Plectranthus greets autumn on a tall purple shrub with a groundcover cousin.

The front garden has been dug up in a foundation trench for the front wall. Tecoma and Plumbago hedges have been cut right down so the old wall can be painted. I plan to move rooted bits of Plumbago to the blue and white garden and the orange Tecoma also needs a home within the main garden.

Amaryllis belladonna
March lily 2014 in our Porterville garden

Encouraging myself with pictures of Amaryllis belladonna March lilies in our former garden in Porterville and dreams of next March. All indigenous to South Africa for Wildflower Wednesday, except the edibles, the lime tree and the garlic chives.

Pictures by Diana Studer  
of  Elephant's Eye on False Bay 

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