Our False Bay garden hidden behind building chaos

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

We are promised six weeks for the renovations. For April's Wildflower Wednesday (March is Spicebush) and End of Month View (March) I will walk slowly round the garden and take a fresh set of THIS is Where We Begin photos. Today I lurk, plan and remember March flowers in our Porterville garden.

Celtic knot sandblasted across the bottom pane of the bathroom windows
Celtic knot sandblasted across the bottom pane of the bathroom windows

We (including an unconcerned Aragon and a despairing Chocolat) live, eat, sleep and wash in the main en suite and guest room. The bathrooms have sandblasted Celtic knots for privacy below and ours has a wonderful view across the mountains (with some 'hedge' planned across the immediate neighbours).The second bathroom and kitchen are concrete shells. The living room waits and waits for the last window.


My garden tour starts at the kitchen door, now fully glazed to enjoy the potted lime against a spekboom hedge (February). That is the garden in my mind. Reality is daunting. The four troughs of spekboom are swept aside while the walls are power washed, then painted.

Building chaos across the new glazed kitchen door
Building chaos across the new glazed kitchen door

Walking down the shady side, between the smattering of white paint flakes, the garlic chives have buds and Hypoestes has a first lilac flower. The potted bulbs are flowering in scarlet Nerine sarniensis, cream chincherinchee and mauve Tulbaghia. Among the succulents the orangey red climbing aloe is blooming. Across the patio, hidden behind the overflow of furniture, Plectranthus greets autumn on a tall purple shrub with a groundcover cousin.

The front garden has been dug up in a foundation trench for the front wall. Tecoma and Plumbago hedges have been cut right down so the old wall can be painted. I plan to move rooted bits of Plumbago to the blue and white garden and the orange Tecoma also needs a home within the main garden.

Amaryllis belladonna March lily 2014 in our Porterville garden
Amaryllis belladonna
March lily 2014 in our Porterville garden

Encouraging myself with pictures of Amaryllis belladonna March lilies in our former garden in Porterville and dreams of next March. All indigenous to South Africa for Wildflower Wednesday, except the edibles, the lime tree and the garlic chives.

In April I can begin at the beginning of the garden!

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

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Comments

  1. Renovations are always a pain. But once its done....

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  2. It's going to be marvelous from your description. Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

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  3. Nice decorative yet useful window treatment

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  4. I'm sure when all the work is done, you will be able to enjoy your house and your garden to the fullest.

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  5. That is a lot of work. May it go calmly and quickly
    Beautiful Lily!
    Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

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    Replies
    1. these last 2 weeks ... are ... stretching out

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  6. "Reality is daunting"....can I quote you on that!?!? I hope you love it all once it is done. Thank you so very much for introducing me to Susan Twiet. We've had a few nice correspondences.

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    1. her posts are the ones I take time to enjoy reading, slowly, and think about.

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  7. It's always tough on the garden when there are renovations. I hope it's all done in the promised time frame so you 4 can settle down and you can focus on putting your garden in your mind into reality.

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  8. I empathize with you, Diana, as our renovations near completion -- it's been just a month of dust and clutter. We did both bathrooms, the den and the hallway/stairwell. The view through the French windows from my favorite chair is of an old toilet and empty paint cans. Your project is much more extensive, and it includes your garden. It is going to be beautiful, my friend. P. x

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    1. the view, is thru splattered windows and sheets of plastic. But oh it will be!

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  9. How well I know the chaos of construction. I sometimes felt despairing, like M. Chocolat -- and at least I was the one who had made the decision to have the work done. Are your renovations proceeding on schedule? I was promised 10 weeks and it really took more than twice that; I hope your builders are more timely! (But now that it's done and I'm able to enjoy the results, it really was all worth it :-) ) -Jean

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    1. We were promised 6 weeks, that would be the end of next week.
      Now the delays hit.We wait (not for the builder, but the others).

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  10. I'm sure it's frustrating and much work for you, but it's all very exciting for us to see your new projects and progress over time. The lot looks great, and I love the Celtic knot pattern on the windows!

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  11. Plumbago hedges. It always amazes me when you mention plants in your garden that are special tropical plants in my part of the world. My mother always kept plumbago, bringing it indoors in winter. She liked the blue flowers. Your windows with their knots look lovely, the renovations seem well worth the trouble.

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    1. Marguerite, your renovations are hands on, I lurk.

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  12. Don't know much about flowers, but you have a beautiful property. :)

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    1. your first impression is at its very worst ;~)

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  13. lol
    what can I say? I lived in a 100% concrete jungle for years, so for me,
    lot's of green = beautiful property! ;)

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    1. We've lived in flats in Zurich, but still, we saw trees, and hills.

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  14. Dear Diana,
    oh, a lot of work and bussy hands are needed. For your readers is this an exciting time to see all the changes! Love the celtic knot! What a wonderful motive! Wish you all my best and send you tonns of energy
    Elisabeth

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  15. Diana, I can't believe what you're getting up to...like, aren't you supposed to be retired or something? The Nerines are beautiful.

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    1. ... they won't pay me my pension yet ... I've got another garden in me, and this one is MUCH smaller.

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  16. Renovations cause all sorts of headaches that weren't expected, but everything will be worth it in the end.

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  17. You live in such a beautiful and interesting corner of the world. I envy you. Your lilies are gorgeous!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  18. The opportunity to create a new garden is exciting, but daunting. Look forward to updates.

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    1. this garden is quite small, and the outer half is still green. We look forward to landscaping and planting the new bare bits!

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  19. Renovations wouldn't be so bad, if the people doing it actually gave you what they promised...we never have good luck renovating...but once done its so worth it. Hope it goes smoothly for you.. Visiting from WO40's.

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  20. Oh Diana your visions are lovely and will be worth it once the work is finished. Of course I always add a few weeks to those work estimates.

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    1. today ... feels as if it has added a week. The kitchen cupboards have hit a delay. Shriek.

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  21. We gardeners are fortunate to have special eyes to see what will be in the future, rather than necessarily what is actually in front of us. House and garden renovations can be stressful without those special eyes!

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    1. I feel as if I'm sleepwalking, then I blink, and see The One Day Garden again.

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  22. Just spent an enjoyable morning catching up on your False Bay home and garden.

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  23. I know it will be wonderful when it is all completed, Diana. I love seeing your gardens. xo Laura

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  24. Those reno's are hard on the spirit, but a quick jaunt in your garden will make your heart soar once again. It will happen, and then think how beautiful it will all be....

    Jen

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    Replies
    1. yesterday a sunbeam caught one of the white roses against the newly painted Karoo Lands wall - makes my heart sing! Today is seriously frantic chaos.

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