30 December, 2015

Our False Bay garden in December

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

We needed more security at the palisade fence. But not barbed wire please. The Ungardener collected a flock of terracotta birds and they watch over us from the wall at the gate.

There was an old man with a beard
Who said - it is just as I feared
Three owls and ...
Have all made their nests in my beard!

Birds near the garden gate

16 December, 2015

Mont Pellier and Artemis House - gardens in Franschhoek

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

In November 2008 we saw How the other half live. Double storey guest wing. Rows of garages for boats. Helicopter landing pad. Stabling for horses.

Gardens In Town - including Monty Don's choice. On farms and country estates - Mont Pellier. If I would, live here, I would exchange the eye-level view of the Skuifraam Dam wall on the Berg River. I'd have This View, of the approach to the house. (As I edit this, I have an idyllic view of our Camps Bay home. Surrounded by neighbours. But those same mountains)

Mont Pellier in Franschhoek 2008

09 December, 2015

Dusty Miller for Advent

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

My favourite base for our Advent wreath is the Prince of Wales feathers in silver velvet, OTT leaves of Dusty Miller. (This year with a little extra substance from Lamb's ears). Centaurea cineraria is my December plant for False Bay Dozen for Diana. I look forward to your December choices. I began in October with Melianthus major. In November I added white pelargoniums. February 2016 the yellow stars of Hypoxis make up the first 4 in this Dozen for Diana.

Pam in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania shares my love of parsnips for her December plant.
Donna in NY State has a Christmas plant I don't expect - fern! 
Advent wreath
returning to my wintry favourite
silver leaves from Dusty Miller and lamb's ears
with white silk balls

03 December, 2015

Somerset West Open Gardens for Helderberg Hospice

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Early November we explored the gardens in Somerset West. An embarrassment of riches, by the time the gardens were closing we knew we didn't have a hope of finding the last 3. But delighted to save the best till last as we lingered in our final garden. I remember chameleons in the garden when I was a child, but they are seldom seen now. Wonderful to find a garden where they are encouraged.

Chameleon