Our False Bay garden in January
By Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Ungardener GRRRumbling Gartenzwerg and Pissed Off Gardener. UGG whined about privacy. POG forked out the spotted leaf aloes and moved them from the verge to the Karoo Koppie. UGG added four more plants to the bietou and tree fuchsia tapestry hedge on the verge for End of Month View. False olive Buddleja saligna. Dune crowberry Searsia crenata.
UGG - spekboom hedge around the East Patio - it'll never grow.
POG - it is, half way up the wall!
POG needs to rethink the planting at the blue pot. One end sings happily with golden oregano, joy of the mountain in Greek. The other is sinking under lemon mint.
POG and UGG need to battle out a truce about pruning the Brachylaena coastal oak. It needs cutting back to encourage branching and make it denser and resilient against the wind. As I coax the lemon tree to a good shape.
Last week the mountain slope (that burnt the day we moved here) burnt again. There is a stretch of the upper slope which has been able to keep its hard won delicate green layer. Fynbos needs 8, 10, 12 years to set seed and rejuvenate after a fire. FAR too soon! This time we know the fire started from two railway carriages that caught fire. Why the train caught fire is an ongoing investigation. For two days we had dense smoke. Deeply grateful to teams of firefighters, who had been battling an earlier HUGE fire in Elgin and another in Stellenbosch.
Next day we walked along the coast to Glencairn where the fire started. Past a pair of nesting oystercatchers just next to the railway line.
From the beach the clear blue sky next day, with just a last wisp of smoke as the firefighters are mopping up.
Thomas the cat took 5 weeks before he would trust us enough to let us stroke him. He is still patiently trying to make friends with Aragon, but the old lady hisses F**K off when he gets in her personal space. He has nudged her into admitting that, yes, it is nice to sleep on the Adirondack cushions out on the patio.
For Wildflower Wednesday I've gathered three bunches of flowers, mixing the inherited exotics with my own indigenous. Cherry red ivy pelargoniums and a fire heath. Funky scented male flowers on the carob tree. Sculpted dusky pink tubes of Ceropegia. Abelia is ready for a vase. Firesticks has settled in and is sprouting. Deep orange leaves on Crassula. Fuchsia in the proverbial fuchsia pink, with edible berries - sweet with a disconcerting sharp aftertaste.
Six pack of yellow Gazania is eating the path! Tiny white flowers on Asparagus fern take me back to the first day at school as they smell exactly like wax crayons. Bright orange berries of Coprosma, also edible! Yellow Euryops with feathery blue-grey leaves. Tiny lime fruits. Yellow Hibiscus. Indigofera covered with spires of pink and white flowers. Still a scattering of mixed yellow Californian poppies.
Three different pink pelargoniums. Inherited pot of electric pink Oxalis. Deepest blue Cape forget me not. Soft purple mounds of Plectranthus (stoep jacaranda). Tulbaghia first flowers in the herb garden. Blue Plumbago hedge rising from stumps. First flower on Septemberbossie as I encourage the tired pots.
Blue and white for my Cornish Stripe garden. Volunteer white Alyssum against the cobalt blue pot.
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