By Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
I have followed garden blogs as they prepare for an open garden. A busy year for Pam at Digging in Texas. I was shocked when one of the Noordhoek gardeners told me they had just two weeks warning for October!! Noordhoek is a suburb in our wide False Bay valley. With guest houses and equestrian estates. Granted these are upmarket gardens with a regular garden service, always ready to show, but still.
We meandered thru new to us areas, up the slopes, into housing estates - looking for the bunches of blue balloons as we hunted down the next garden on the confusing map.
The sea and mountain views, the slopes with protea bushes, the lizard watching us cautiously from the stones - reminded me of our Camps Bay garden. No regrets for battling to work on a slope, but for the wilder, closer to nature garden, and the wide views. Memories of the sunny Atlantic seaboard, while we now enjoy a milder moister (rain today) climate.
A large pond with a resident family of Egyptian geese.
A garden focused on the spectacular view up to Chapman's Peak. With a vibrant Moroccan mosaic on the wall just across from the kitchen sink window. Enjoyed their scones and tea as we worked our way across all ten gardens.
Tucked away in a corner behind many trees we found a garden with its own stream and a magnificent collection of bonsai. The tiny forest is a mass of seedlings planted 2 months ago. Once the roots have settled, then the training will begin.
This was the one I found most encouraging, seeing young gardeners in their twenties. Two years ago they started with established hedges, but the garden inside is their own work. The front in roses and pink and blue, the back in yellow and orange.
An artist's home where we enjoyed her studio and her garden. A modern house where the rain would cascade off the roof edge without gutters, to soak into the garden, and a careful rain hat built over the cat-flap below.
No swimming pool in our lifestyle but the associated wetland to filter the water for an ecopool intrigued both of us. Such clear water, and an opportunity for my bog plants, his dragonflies and frogs.
The last one, with a Toad NUT founder, felt like home. Especially the bat house that we never did organise for our Porterville bats. Another ecopool, this one with a lining made of recycled advertising banners.
It was a good day exploring gardens in our climate, reassuring to see some who shared our gardening for biodiversity mindset. Way beyond our budget and space constraints, but we will aim at the bijou facets.
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red.
Those are my links.
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