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
crassulas

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.

Washing
 pergola

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
Veltheimia
Iris
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. (Edited May 2016 it is Mexican sage NOT Buddleja) 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, Mexican sage 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

Aragon
Chocolat

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

(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red
Those are my links.
To read or leave comments, either click the word Comments below,
or click this post's title)

33 comments:

  1. you have such a talent as a gardener, as an artist with plants as your medium, the Dusty Miller is one of my Mum's favorite flowers and I can remember when it first came to our Nurseries to purchase, it doesn't grow here as a perennial, only an annual,
    I really like the soft pinks whites and greys you chosen, what a beautiful oasis you have created, Aragon looks so comfortable, Chocolat too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aragon prefers to rest her old bones in comfort. Chocolat is still young enough to be comfortable wherever.

      Delete
  2. Such a beautiful garden! all the plants are growing nicely and happily and the cat is sleeping peacefully.
    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. Diana, looks like your garden is shaping up very nicely. All your gorgeous plants are pretty well exotic to me,Dusty Miller I really like,we use a form of this as an annual, sets off other plants very well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Something we rarely see these days is washing hanging on the line. It's a smell and a sight I remember fondly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are lucky there are neither short-sighted rules against washing-lines, nor is our climate too unkind. Altho in winter you do have to choose the right days.

      Delete
  5. I agree with Ricki. At my old house, when the kids were very young, I nearly always dried the laundry on the lines in the sun during our warm months. The smell is exquisite. In my head, I'm translating your late July to my late January--no comparison. Your midwinter is hands-down much better than mine! A beautiful time in your S. African garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. once the slabs are laid in place, I'll be adding fragrant plants for stray washing to fall on. Lavender, buchu, pelargoniums, kitchen herbs.

      Delete
  6. I do so love your pergola - and the clever way you used those long bilts to anchor your "lines" to. You,ve given me an idea - for creating one for different summer and winter use... I wonder if RMan will go for it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tell me more ... tag me in when you blog about it?

      Delete
  7. Your choices of plants and your ability to find them to purchase are a credit to your abilities as designer and plantswoman. My washing line is taken down after each use, I'd hate to have to dry clothes inside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. on winter evenings I leave clothes horses by the fire overnight to chase away the last dampness.

      And thank you - plantswoman- I like that!

      Delete
  8. although I don't have it, I think one of my fave plants now is also that Cotyledon. How exciting to be starting a new garden, and have before and after shots that go in the desired direction! Does it snow where you are or just in the mountains?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well behaved snow, to garnish the mountains.
      http://eefalsebay.blogspot.com/2015/07/to-Cape-Point-from-snow-Groot-Winterhoek.html

      Delete
  9. I have a small "courtyard" area between the pool and study door which is an effort to keep tidy and the grass short. I think I'm going to turn it into a natural looking garden area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a path if you need one, and then plants that you can enjoy thru your study window?

      Delete
  10. Oh the joy of washing lines... I am forever hiding them. My brother once concreted one of those whirly ones into a large wooded tub on wheels so it could be easily hidden away. The downside was that he needed to be 7 feet tall to reach the thing. I rather like the idea of a washing pergola - I may steal that idea when I am landscaping this winter. The Cotyledon is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO glad to get rid of the Twirldry with a death wish.
      JUST the right height to whack me on the head as the breeze caught it.

      Delete
  11. A washing pergola ist a great idea! I don' think I have seen it around here.
    The garden looks great already.
    Regards
    Elke

    ReplyDelete
  12. That orange and orange-edged foliage adds so much color -- love it! Thanks for joining in with your leafy love this month, Diana.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You eat what you find in the garden.
    I never eat the mushrooms I captured in the jungle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. today there was a sudden mushroom in our garden.
      NOT about to eat it.

      Delete
  14. I like the names you give the different areas in your garden. I have a Buddleia on my balcony to attract butterflies. I prune it a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can imagine the cats being a little put out by your winter lack of sun, although the break in temps must be nice for people. Does the heat make your flowers turn faster? We seem to be accelerated into fast forward this summer, it's very scary.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aragon spent most of today hogging the sunny chair in the bay window. Blissed out, thank you.

      My snowdrops (actually snowflakes I guess) that barely managed to produce flowers in Porterville, where I tucked them in half-shade ... are now in full sun and flowering. Tricky to capture in a photo. Will try again.

      Plants, cats and people are enjoying a kinder sea-moderated climate.

      Delete
  16. I love the idea of a section of the garden called Spring Promise. You've made so much progress in your garden. I'm glad you cut back the butterfly bush. Those need a hard pruning every year to look their best.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love all the interesting foliage in your garden.The Cotyledon orbicular is a treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is lovely to see your new garden evolve. When I first heard you were moving I was horrified, thinking of your beautiful mature garden created lovingly over the years. But it's fun restarting all over again too! I'm at that point where my garden beds need some complete overhauls in places as the plants have become too big or self seeded too much or just don't look right any more, but that takes time and energy, both lacking at the moment. I will try to do a bit this October after my chemo is finished but it may take a few years to get looking good again. I'm going to be brutal this time and get rid of plants which don't like my dry soil in summer, and replace with drought resistant plants. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, the anguish when we first decided to leave, to sell.
      But actually that garden had tipped over to the too much work, needed chunks ripped out and replanted stage, and our hearts weren't in that.

      Now I'm aware that I'm planting too much, too close together. But it's such fun to visit nurseries again. And I keep telling myself - it's smaller, I can keep up with the pruning.

      Except the fiddlewood and carob trees!

      Delete
  19. So much going on in winter there....love the Kalanchoe too! And your wildflowers. But that new garden is perfectly named, Spring Promise. I have taken out my Buddleja as they were too invasive and sent out thousands of new seedlings throughout the garden.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your washing pergola is very stylish! You've made so much progress getting your new garden in -- so many beautiful plants to admire. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lovely pictures as usual. The bulbine rather reminds me of the yellow asphodeline I have now identified in the herbaceous border in our local park.
    It's strange to think you are heading into spring as we up here in the north are falling into autumn.
    All the best :)

    ReplyDelete