26 August, 2015

Our False Bay garden in August

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

In August I planted Summer Gold, completing the side of the garden off the 'conservatory' and along the bedroom windows. The hippo marks the boundary for End of Month View.

Summer Gold and Spring Promise

I'm quietly surprised that Spring Promise is immediately living out the pink and white prettiness edged with silver leaves, that I planned. Veltheimia has dusky pink flowers and rippled leaves. White Podalyria delicately spotted. Vlei lilies wait for the pond. Pink ivy Pelargonium. Pots of Freesia alba, this one with yellow splodges. Nutmeg Pelargonium has kidney-shaped leaves. Dombeya with pendant clusters of shell pink flowers, perfect for upending in a bud vase to show their faces. Pink Pelargonium. Arum lily.

Veltheimia, Podalyria, vlei lily
Pelargonium, Freesia, nutmeg Pelargonium
Dombeya, Pelargonium,
arum lily

Summer Gold, a reminder of my mother's favourite colour. Albuca with three petals and a hanging trumpet, a bit like a snowdrop. The sunshine bush, a Leucadendron I have coveted from the Groot Winterhoek to Cape Point, lights up the mountainside in winter. Euryops flat yellow daisies make a good home for flower spiders. Slender buttery trumpets of Ifafa lilies. Protea scolymocephala ivory lime green gorgeous little flowers. Hibiscus yellow in summer heat, glows orange in winter. Almost yellow ostrich feathers on Phylica.

Albuca, Leucadendron
Ifafa lily, Protea scolymocephala
Hibiscus, Phylica

The white pillar was here, and that corner needed a focal point. The sculpture is my sister's work. Sadly too much travelling knocked off the statue's arms, and the repairs the Ungardener did needed concealing under paint. Our path winds thru pink then yellow flowers to the table under the carob where the Maid of the Forest lives.

Maid of the Forest

Two big pots of Septemberbossie, once lived outside the garden gate, are guardians of the step from the East Patio down to the garden. The garstigly green wall outside the kitchen is a quiet mocha to match the house at last! On the table my purple Streptocarpus waits. The lime tree has moved and we'll add a tall blue pot in its focal place.

Septemberbossie. East Patio
Washing Pergola or Cornish Stripe

On the West Patio and Rose Courtyard my blue bench shelters under a lime tree with hundreds of buds. Love the smell of citrus blossom as they begin to open. Brachylaena obligingly flashes silver and green thru the window. Grewia lavender star has a first lonely flower. Corycium wild orchid I dug up from our Porterville garden, has survived moving and sent up a bud!

Brachylaena, Grewia
lime tree, Corycium

I have planted dozens of Lachenalia rubida from pots into the Terraforce wall. Probably not good to dig them up with leaves growing, but that way I can sort out - - - Lachenalia, Albuca, Freesia, Melasphaerula hordes, hmmm dunno but we'll put those in a separate pot and see.

Karoo Koppie and the verge

South African shade-loving Crassula multicava. Mexican Echevieria chosen for the pink leaves, not the queasy yellow flowers. Burnt orange Kalanchoe from Madagascar.

Crassula multicava, Echevieria on the right

An enthusiastic volunteer, I am expecting large and tall daisies. Sparaxis harlequin flower. Almost yellow vygie.

Mystery daisy volunteer
Sparaxis, vygie

In front of the bay window I have planted a wild olive sapling from our previous garden. 'When I grow up, I'm going to look like the one across the road with gnarled branches' for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Our olive and
when I grow up across the road

I'll be planting the blue and white side while the Ungardener builds his pond. Love the way the path winds in a double curve from the carob to the lemon and olive.

Woodland Walk and pond

All Proudly South African for Wildflower Wednesday (except Hibiscus, Echevieria and Kalanchoe). We moved here in November last year and the Garden Year unfolds month, by month.

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  1. It will be a while before your olive has that gnarled look, but they are beautiful whatever their age. Thanks for the link to GBFD, you are always welcome to join with any of your great native foliage interest plants.

  2. Your sister is very taleneted , beautiful work, the under gardener and you have been very busy and the garden looks beautiful, I love the hippo guarding the boundaries!

  3. Beautiful flowers, and I really like walkways you have all through your garden.
    Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

  4. Your garden is so impressive - the planning and the planting. I am really looking forward to watching the borders develop and am very grateful that you are writing such a detailed account.

    1. It's partly a gardener's self-indulgent reward - that, is what we did this month.

  5. White Freesias--wonderful! Your new garden is looking great! Obviously, both you and the Ungardener are creative people and a wonderful pair. The walkways and hardscapes are fabulous! Lucky you to have such beautiful patios ... and a conservatory!

    1. I exaggerate when I call it a conservatory. House on one side, two glazed walls, and the fourth side is wide open to the garden. But it does give me a generous ledge to display pots on. I have a row of bonsai pots waiting to be filled.

  6. All your flowers are beautiful (many unfamiliar, so that makes it fun) but what gets me are your pavers. The rough texture plays against the square shape and the placement in a grid in a most pleasing way.

    1. we chose that 'natural rock' surface and edge, and were amused when the nice young salesman said softly THAT's the one we battle to sell. Why? Because customers can't hose it clean.
      People are weird.

  7. Wow, You've gotten a lot done! Having a flower bed that looks the way you planned in the first year probably qualifies you for the Gardening Hall of Fame (and certainly makes you an object of envy for those of us who have not had that experience ;-) ). I love seeing your Septemberbossie, especially since I found its Polygala cousin growing wild by my driveway in our spring. -Jean

    1. I cheat with the collage. The wide view is quieter.

  8. It's always a treat to see so many unusual (to me) plants from your part of the world. Oh my, I just realized this is the first year in your new garden? Wow, you have accomplished so much! From the plantings to all the stone pathways, it looks beautiful.

    1. you've reminded me to include a link to my monthly Garden Year posts. We moved here in November last year.

  9. The Ungardener - ha! Your olive volunteer looks vigorous, even if it's decades to grow a gnarled trunk.

    Your textured pavers - good texture, glad you were able to buy those. If you ever find yourself across the globe in Austin TX, Rockrose / husband hand-made their *many* garden pavers - a must-see.

    1. UNgardening is the hard landscaping, the not plants, that gives structure for me to plant around.

  10. Oh, I wish we were moving into Spring. My favourite season. The fragrance of citrus in bloom is beyond compare. Septemberbossie is beautiful too. Developing a new garden is hard work but how exciting to be watching it all unfold as the summer progresses!

    1. I read recently that you can actually eat citrus blossom, in tiny amounts for flavour. Haven't tried it yet.

  11. It's really coming along! And so great that you have so many native plants in the garden. And the little olive will look so lovely all grown up! Love the little courtyard area you are creating!

  12. OK I am not sure I can even pick a favorite although the Summer Gold area is wonderful and of course that woodland path and the Maid of the Forest...for now I chose these and await more amazing views.

  13. You have a beautiful place, Diana! It looks like you are having fun planting the different areas you have.

    Thank you for your suggestion on what size to post photos to avoid the storage problem. I have been using fewer pixels, but didn't check to see what size they were. I'll have to do that.

  14. As you move toward spring, your garden is already filled with blooms. You have done a lot of work since you moved! Best wishes to the little olive tree. Already love the woodland walk; looking forward to seeing the completed pond!

    1. Little Olive is singing and dancing, in the rain!

  15. Diana, Your new garden is really percolating along. I'm fascinated with the Phylica....could you tell me how big it is? Not that I could ever grow it here... Looking forward to seeing progress through the months while we're covered in snow.

    1. My Phylica is tiny, but there is a large one at the Harold Porter NBG in this post

      1 to 2M

  16. Lovely flowers and I find it fascinating that you have plants in your garden that I cosset in my greenhouse. Thanks for joining in.

  17. Diana, your garden looks fresher and happier then ours...but we did get some rain, thank goodness.

    Probably by this time next year it's going to be filled in and very lush looking. It's already looking wonderful.


    1. In March our garden explodes with a sigh of relief, but September is party mode!
      Even the Ungardener is looking at me doubtfully - aren't those planted too close together?
      Yes, but I'll be pruning and chipping ...

  18. Great photos of beautiful blossoms.
    I hope you'll link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/strange-visitors-in-garden.html