30 April, 2015

Our False Bay garden after the house renovations

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity

The two pots of embattled Septemberbossie (Polygala myrtifolia) which used to stand outside the gate, have earned the right to be planted in the earth. They bring the purple and white I want to set against the lemons along the east side.


Already waiting there are ribbon bushes Hypoestes aristata now blooming in purple and a more unusual white. Filling the bottom corner is the one invasive foreign Buddleja I've kept.

Hypoestes, Plectranthus
and lemons

Last Saturday at the Kirstenbosch plant sale I timed it just right to catch Marijke Honig as she was signing her Indigenous Plant Palettes book. My copy was at home but she kindly signed for me and I've pasted it in.

Indigenous plant palettes by Marijke Honig

From the kitchen door to the east patio I'm still hoping to get the garstigly green wall painted to blend in with mocha inside and Karoo Lands outside. Bonsai pots are waiting to be filled, with succulents? Once we've planted the uprooted Agapanthus and the 2 large Septemberbossies, plus the pots in waiting, I hope to add lemon verbena.

East patio from the kitchen and garage

On the west patio the Brachylaena discolor we planted in December is already as tall as I am. Planted this time where we will be able to enjoy the green and silver surfaces flickering in the breeze. Standard rose and blue bench are trying a new space where the giraffe can see them. Variegated Coprosma (New Zealand) is enjoying filling the space we opened up when the bottlebrush left.

West patio from the living room
standard rose and variegated Coprosma

Down the west side the succulents wait in pots and holding bed. Hoping to begin planting them this weekend. Dais and many pink flowering bulbs to take their place. That bottom corner between the carob tree and the green Coprosma is a green bower tucked under a wall of leafy green.

West garden outside bedrooms

When we came home today, TA DA, the green loo for the builders is gone at last and we can begin planting the front garden. Inside a hedge of spekboom with focal aloes. Outside the aloes we found here as focal points in front of the pillars with Bulbinellaand Plectranthus neochilus filling in. What Americans call the hell strip. Ours belongs to the City Council but we are obliged to maintain it. Most people have a mown and watered lawn, or they garden right to the edge so there's nowhere to walk. I wanted a pavement for pedestrians and space to plant. Both wishes granted and the planting bed is nice and wide.

Be careful what you wish for ... empty front garden

Among the inherited foreign flowers are Bougainvillea, the lemon tree, Iceberg rose and purple Buddleja.

Foreign flowers in April
Bougainvillea, lemon
Iceberg rose, vase with Coprosma and Buddleja

When we bought the house visitors had to come down a sloping lawn to the garden gate. The white roses sing out against the Karoo Lands walls and the garnet red gate. Now we have an actual front door! With the Maltese brass dolphin doorknocker, steps and a handrail. So civilised!

Garden gate with Iceberg roses
Maltese brass dolphin door knocker

Laminate floors throughout with a cotton rug tucked under my great-grandmother's cabin trunk. Just enough sun for Chocolat to sleep on.

Chocolat enjoying the April autumn sun

Mostly South African for April's Wildflower Wednesday and wide views for End of Month View.

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

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