25 November, 2015

Our False Bay garden in November

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Two great heaps of sandy soil at the bottom of the garden from the Ungardener digging the pond, and me each time I dig a hole for the next plant. After Camps Bay days I am loath to garden on even a tiny slope. I dug my heels in for concrete retaining blocks and raised beds. Two layers of neatly lined up fluted columns. Ivy pelargoniums will cascade down from the blocks, and 3 little trees wait patiently. For End of month view.

Raised bed using concrete retaining blocks

Cornish Stripe has borage, kingfisher blue Felicia daisies, commonorgarden forget-me-not in soft blue and Anchusa capensis the Cape forget-me-not in a deep blue, purple spires on lavender and Plectranthus neochilus, tiny pansies as a good border.

Purple thistles as Dusty Miller explodes (already! I only planted the cuttings in July).

Blue and purple flowers mostly for Cornish Stripe

A happy blue Gilia capitata from California. I'm scattering the seedheads where I want the blue flowers.

Gilia capitata from California

Dark Aeonium is in the Karoo Koppie. Japanese maple and Prunus nigra at Cornish stripe. Bougainvillea and scarlet Pelargonium an electric reminder of before. Cape Snow a white everlasting, straw flower, opens and closes with the weather, to show deep red hearts. Two white pelargoniums, one for pink and white Spring Promise and another for blue and white Cornish Stripe.

Red and white flowers and leaves

The white Iceberg roses at the garden gate have friends. White spotted fruit chafer beetles.

White spotted fruit chafer

Spring Promise has the mellow pink Pelargonium I thought hadn't survived from Porterville. Potted Fuchsia and Oxalis come with the garden. Also Alstroemeria which needs moving. The green and white variegated leaves which I was going to add to Cornish Stripe have coral pink flowers. Dais cotonifolia has pink pompoms for Christmas (a little early?) and I couldn't resist Armeria sea thrift.

Pink flowers

Californian poppies range from ivory yellow to a burnt orange. Woodland Walk has Burchellia bubalina and Leonotis with trumpets of nectar for the sunbirds. Inherited Hibiscus and my Hypoxis with a border of Gazania rigens at Summer Gold.

Yellow and orange flowers

I do heart leaves and choose my plants for foliage first. Grey Cotyledon orbiculata. Oxford and Cambridge flourishing as it never did in Porterville. Brachylaena already pruned and flashing deep green mirrors with silvery echoes. Melianthus fronds claiming the paved courtyard. The second lemon verbena is good to go. Butterfly leaves on Bauhinia. Orange leaved Crassula. Heart leaves on Hibiscus tiliaceus. Green waterfall as the edible banana pops out a fifth new leaf. Green and white Coprosma with an appealing twisted trunk. Dark spotted leaves of Drimiopsis (from my mother). Green and white Plectranthus and Felicia in the blue pot. Feathery Asparagus and shiny discs of spekboom. Silky soft feathers on an Asparagus fern that came from our Camps Bay garden. Dusty Miller and lamb's ears being silver for Spring Promise.

The wider garden views
would be mostly leaves

Chocolat has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and we need company for little old lady Aragon, someone to claim our garden from the neighbouring cats. We went to the SPCA in search of a young tomcat, we both hoped for gray. We think he is about a year old. Handed in as Unwanted, he has been fed, but is VERY wary of people. Who knew that long-haired cats had extra feather tufts on their feet?

Thomas Gray
Do NOT touch me

His name is inspired by a book my mother loved to read. With her bookmarks of baby Diana. Thomas Gray, philosopher cat by Philip J. Davis.

Thomas Gray
my mother's book

For Wildflower Wednesday the South Africans are Felicia, Anchusa, Plectranthus, pelargoniums, Cape Snow, Dais, Oxalis, Burchellia, Leonotis, Hypoxis, Gazania, Cotyledon, Brachylaena, Melianthus, Bauhinia, Crassula, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Drimiopsis, Asparagus and spekboom.

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Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer

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