29 July, 2015

Our False Bay garden in July

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

First impression as the verge fills in with yellow Bulbine and blue Plectranthus.

On our verge orange and yellow Bulbine and blue Plectranthus

Karoo Koppie is my Autumn Fire, orange and red flowers, but foliage carries the theme.

orange and red succulent leaves
firesticks, Kalanchoe

My current favourite plant is Cotyledon orbiculata. Delicate red backlit margin to the leaves. Burnt orange flowers. Large round shiny leaves for dramatic texture. I've collected four variations on their leaves - including the large round but grey, grey fingers and stag horn for Foliage Followup.

Cotyledon orbiculata

At long last the twirldry is gone. The lemon tree can now sparkle in its corner. Bonus is that the pergola catches the morning sun in winter, and the washing dances in the breeze.


Lemon tree

Spring Promise

I've nearly finished planting Spring Promise. Pink and white prettiness with velvety silver leaves. Four Dusty Millers anchor the corners. I've cut back the Coprosma, from looming to embracing. Freesia and snowdrops are still in pots, as I debate whether to plant in the ground, or find better pots? March lilies and a Pride of India cutting still wait to be planted in front of the hedge.

Spring Promise
Dusty Miller, Freesia

White iris from Celeste, interplanted with grey leaved Dymondia margaretae, evergreen texture and colour. Veltheimia with Santolina for when the bulbs fade. Chironia baccifera in the corner will give me pink flowers. The arum lilies, with white flowers and large spear shaped leaves, would have been on my list, but they happily came with the garden. Combined with Anna's March lilies, and a (salmon or pink?) Pelargonium for later.

In the square Dais cotonifolia has shed all its leaves, letting the winter sun in, with pink pompoms promised for Christmas. Two clumps of Anna's pink watsonias, hopefully some with the graceful swan neck. Against the wall pink pelargoniums and Margie's little wild pink hibiscus from Knysna. The tallest plant is Bauhinia bowkeriae with butterfly leaves and white flowers. Also Dombeya burgessiae firmly hanging on to tightly closed pink buds ... Podalyria has the silvery leaves I want, and white buds are almost open. Three tiny proteas and two ericas for fynbos are a few polka dots where the Ungardener grumbles There's A Hole! Fragrance of garlic buchu and Freesia make me happy to linger here.

Spring Promise
Arum and March lilies, Chironia 

Waiting for Euryops, sunshine bush Leucadendron and Protea scolymocephala before I plant the next bit - Summer Gold. Flowering in their pots are Phylica, Ifafa lilies, Chasmanthe and Albuca.

For Summer Gold
Phylica, Ifafa lily
Chasmanthe, Albuca

I have hard pruned the invasive inherited purple Buddleja following advice from Karen Peck in London (4th June and 23rd July) and Town and Country Mouse in California. Next door's Australian brush cherry volunteers (2 to be removed) I am slowly building into a quarter of an obelisk topiary. With our cement pavers we ordered a circle - for the table in a shady corner under the carob at the bottom of the garden. Karoo Koppie is filling in to my delight.

Olive, Buddleja with Alstroemeria, Australian brush cherry
stone circle, Karoo Koppie

For Wildflower Wednesday, mine are all South African wild flowers, including Septemberbossie and pink and blue Lobostemon. (Exotics are Kalanchoe, Coprosma, Santolina, iris, Dusty Miller, lemon, Buddleja, brush cherry, carob, rose and slipper orchid).

Slipper orchid, rose
Septemberbossie, Lobostemon

Today is grey wet more snow on the way. Cats remember July sun. For End of Month View


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

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