28 April, 2014

Today we have warthogs

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

It was March 2010. Not, I hasten to add, in our garden, but at Addo Elephant National Park. 

Disconcerted? Look at my watermark
Warthog drinking

21 April, 2014

Flowers from my mother

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

Flowers in my garden came from my mother’s Camps Bay garden. White Pelargonium, electric pink Salvia greggei, Santolina in the little hedge, tuberous begonia with its interesting leaves, a tough Aspidistra, a pot of Nerine bulbs, some cymbidiums and King Arthur's slipper, tangerine Bulbine, bluebells and snowdrops. 

Salmon pelargonium
January 2011

14 April, 2014

Spekboom at Addo

 - gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Elephant food (dwarf jade plant). In March 2010 we went to Addo Elephant Park. Near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

Portulacaria afra is recommended as suitable to plant in semi-arid places, against global weirding, the greenhouse effect. Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project. Because the plant is a succulent it is not subject to wildfire, and the carbon dioxide remains trapped. Unless of course you have elephants around. A mother elephant with a teenager a few years old, and this year’s baby. Watching a gardener’s nightmare of – I asked you to THIN that, not demolish it! But the plants have adapted. Instead of whining about the elephant damage and giving up. A branch left lying on the ground, has enough sap to keep growing, strike roots. Even the tiniest little cluster of leaves.

Addo elephants eating spekboom

07 April, 2014

Hearts in stone

 - gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Wherever I go, rocks and stones, follow me home. My signature is a palm size relief map of Africa, complete with our ridge of Cape Fold Belt mountains. If you travel from Cape Town along the Atlantic seaboard to Hout Bay. Drive further up to Chapman's Peak. In earlier years, the most beautiful stretch of road I have ever travelled in South Africa. When the Ungardener was first a tour guide there was an elderly African gentleman, who spent his working day keeping the road clear of fallen stones. 

Our gravel paths