24 February, 2015

Our False Bay garden before the builders start

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity

The jack hammer tears up the garage floor (for an entrance hall and front door) and the sledge hammer works on our bedroom and bathroom. Look in the giraffe's window at tendrils of Ceropegia woodii against a reflection of the garden.

Ceropegia woodii

An enthusiastic trio of volunteers at the bird bath are green pepper plants? Aphids on the roses and ladybirds are busy.

Ladybird and volunteer pepper plant?

February flowers are purple and yellow. Streptocarpus and Clerodendron came from Porterville. Septemberbossie and stoep jacaranda I found in the new garden.

Streptocarpus, Clerodendron
Septemberbossie, stoep jacaranda

Yellow Hypoxis and white chincherinchee came with us. Singing yellow Hibiscus with a crimson heart lurks in the shady corner - take cuttings to plant in the sun.

Three white roses are lost against the white wall. In Camps Bay our house was built of cement blocks in a deep dusky pink which echoed the cliffs of the Twelve Apostles. Porterville was face bricks to echo the surrounding wheat fields. We've never had a painted house, a white house. I would like the house to look as if it grew out of the earth. The paint colour is Karoo Lands (no, Ungardener, not Karoo LAMB). Neither too chilly for the Ungardener, nor too sh#t brown for me, nor too pink for both of us.

Hypoxis, Hibiscus
chincherinchee, white rose

First bud on Nerine sarniensis is a herald of autumn. The inherited Fuchsia is flourishing. Tuberous begonias are already knee high bunches of deep red leaves. Japanese maple is popping out bright red new leaves.

Nerine, Fuchsia
tuberous begonia, Japanese maple

We've an established garden, but I'd like to have space to plant what I choose. Since the house needs painting, the simplest was to rip out ALL the plants against the walls. I've kept the Agapanthus for the blue and white garden. The front garden will be walled, stripped of plants, terraced, then planted with the succulents in waiting for a new Karoo Koppie. Thru the garage and down the shady side will be a washing line cum pergola. At the bottom will be the pond and shelter and berries for birds. Up the sunny side I plan velvety silver foliage.

Front garden, shady side
bottom, sunny side

Most of those potted plants will go into the garden, and the chosen few will earn glazed pots in sea greens and blues.

Pots in waiting everywhere I turn

The Ungardener says I should tell the succulents that when I move them, for the THIRD time, it will be their furever home. Two of the cuttings of Nic's heart leaves Hibiscus tiliaceus are establishing. Following the Stellenberg advice, we tore out a huge Asparagus fern, harvested the best bits, and planted them at the new trellises.

Asparagus fern, succulents
Hibiscus tiliaceus, succulents

South Africa's power supply is buckling due to rising demand and lack of maintenance. We have load shedding and part of our daily routine is putting the solar lantern out in the sun to charge. I read when the schedule targets us, by bottled sunshine!

Solar lantern at the potted lime
Let there be light!

Lessons learned. About plant labels. I used plastic which turns brittle and crumbles in the sun. Wooden sucker sticks snap off at ground level. I've seen garden bloggers using plastic knives as labels. When I saw bamboo forks - I thought sustainable and effective! PS experimenting with 600 pixel photos (before I used 800 pixels)

Suddenly Diana came to a fork in the road!

For Wildflower Wednesday's FIFTH Anniversary the South African plants are Ceropegia, Streptocarpus, Clerodendron, Septemberbossie and stoep jacaranda, Hypoxis, chincherinchee, Nerine, Hibiscus tiliaceus, and Asparagus fern

My End of the Month View

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

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