Our False Bay garden in February

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Young Thomas Gray is doing what we missed, helping us in the garden. The Ungardener has been working on Froggy Pond. Thomas has discovered that he can leap up onto the post of the boundary wall, from where he can chat to little Ginger next door. Hadedas are about his size, but, that beak! We trim OAP Aragon's claws, so she doesn't get trapped in her rug.

Thomas (Gray) and (Catherine of) Aragon
Thomas (Gray) and (Catherine of) Aragon

My Hoya bloomed for the first time, but stupid didn't take the picture in time! Dangling chain-of-hearts Ceropegia with tiny trumpets. Standard Iceberg rose blooms over the wall. Succulent pelargonium has a bunch of flowers. Abelia is now big enough to harvest. Garlic chives I plant as a kitchen herb from my mother, and Pam@Digging plants it as a border which the deer don't eat. White pelargonium Mother plant for cuttings - but I want to use the nice pot, for darkest blue Agapanthus inapertus.

White flowers in February
White flowers in February

Sedge volunteers all over the garden, and gets weeded out only where it elbows into the path or stomps on newly planted intruders. Gazania rigens which I bought in an optimistic 6-pack is enough for a small field! I will move lavender to where the gentle mauve fits my colour plans. Septemberbossie in two huge inherited pots, is lanky and ungainly but flowering - one day, neat topiaries?? I added 2 seedlings to gaps along the Cornish Stripe boundary. Deep blue Cape forget-me-not making lots of large glossy black seeds - and I hope for MANY more plants. Inherited Plectranthus saccatus in the sage and mint family, flowers in the shade and grows effortlessly from bits poked in. Overflowing pot of pink Oxalis came with the house (one of the pots on the OUT list, but the bulbs I'll add to Spring Promise). Electric pink Salvia greggei - is both a nod to USA readers, and a reminder of my mother's Camps Bay garden. Success with ivy pelargoniums, very happily flowering in our third time's the charm garden. For WildflowerWednesday

February flowers
February flowers

I've trimmed the Brachylaena to a tighter shape, for more leaves where I can see them to enjoy. Down the sunny West side of the garden the gray leaves of Dusty Miller echo the distant tree at the gate.

Gray leaves on the sunny side
Gray leaves on the sunny side

Our tapestry hedge on the verge is at the optimistic toddler stage, with a neat green hem of Plectranthus neochilus (purple spires coming soon). For End of Month View

Tapestry hedge with Plectranthus border
Tapestry hedge with Plectranthus border

Froggy Pond has water! The Ungardener is busy with concrete for the paving slab edge. Then I can have fun planting - mostly quiet and simple harvests from yellow Bulbinella and purple P. neochilus. Raised planter along the Woodland Walk has filled in well.

Froggy Pond Woodland Walk planter
Froggy Pond
Woodland Walk planter

This week we drove along Chapman's Peak, heading for our first ever leisurely visit to Kirstenbosch. We stopped to admire an exuberant school of dolphins far below.

Dolphins below Chapman's Peak
Dolphins below Chapman's Peak

We were walking on the beach as they brought in the shark net. Hauling that net in is HARD work.

Bringing in the Fish Hoek shark net
Bringing in the Fish Hoek shark net

Mid-month we hiked up Kalk Bay Mountain with a group. The far side of the mountain went up in the HUGE blaze a year ago. Among the blackened relics of protea bushes there is a fresh green carpet with lots of bulbs. Breath-taking view across mountains and to the sea!!

Hiking up Kalk Bay Mountain
Hiking up Kalk Bay Mountain

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Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer
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Comments

  1. Every time I visit your blog I realize that South Africa would be a wonderful place to visit. It's on the bucket list! I also get the impression that gardening would be a joy, though challenging in its own way. To have green, growing, and flowering plants year-round would bring a special joy. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can remember the joy of spring flowers when we lived in Switzerland. But that was about weekend walks in the woods - not the challenge of gardening.

      Delete
  2. Love Froggy Pond! I have tons of pink oxalis, which started as one piece from a neighbor. I love how it looks so delicate but is super tough. Love my salvia greggi too! A staple here. Used to pick garlic chive flowers as a kid, never realized what they were.
    Love all the colors in your garden!

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  3. I read this post twice, that's how much I enjoyed it!

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  4. Garlic chives! Thanks for the anti-deer tip.
    How wonderful to see the dolphins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. plenty more on Pam's blog about gardening for deer

      Delete
  5. End of the month already, time flies! Why are the shark nets deployed and removed daily?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Durban the shark nets are permanent and sharks (and dolphins) get killed accidentally. This is to give the sharks a chance.

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  6. Love seeing your garden growing, and the Froggy Pond. And Young Thomas Gray is becoming a garden cat....that is good news.

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  7. You make it all sound so easy (poking bits in here and there). You can't fool me: I'm sure a lot of effort led to things coming together so beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But it's true, some plants just explode into effortless growth.

      Sigh. And sadly some, quietly fade away, however hard I try.

      Delete
  8. I love the names you give your cats. I'm also enjoying seeing your flowers while staying indoors through miserable weather (freezing rain) here. Shouldn't a flower named "Septemberbossie" bloom in September? -Jean

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ;~))
      'Blooms thoughout the year, with a peak in spring, August to October'
      http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/polygalamyrt.htm

      I am watching my March lilies, to see if they have read their instructions this year?

      Delete
  9. Your garden has developed so quickly Diana. Great choices of plants and combinations.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks to the green bones it has an established feel, with some encouraging gaps to fill this winter.

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  10. So many lovely flowers to enjoy in your February garden, your tapestry hedge is settling in beautifully. You live in such a beautiful part of the world. I'd love to visit the Cape again.

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  11. Your garden is looking lovely and so much is in bloom. I love Iceberg roses, they are very rewarding, in our garden they will flower away all through the hottest months.
    Do you have any water restrictions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we have water restrictions.
      Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we may water for an hour, before 9AM or after 4PM. Unfortunately the people who have boreholes live on 'another planet'.
      He waters what is newly planted, and I water my pots.

      Delete
  12. Your garden is looking lovely! What do you harvest Abelia for? Is it edible? Your cats are so cute. I'll bet they have so much fun watching the wildlife!

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    Replies
    1. No, don't eat it!

      Abelia is the first plant I remember naming, then picking, for a vase as a child. And I still love those tiny shell pink trumpets and dark pointed leaves. Still have that mellow white vase from my mother too.

      Delete
  13. All those dolphins - what a sight! We occasionally see dolphins off our coast but I've never seen as many IRL as in your picture. Lovely picture of the sun shimmering on the bay too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. never seen so many dolphins together before!
      We turned back to take a photo.

      Delete
  14. Thomas looks comfortable in Froggie Pond -- pity for him you added water. You take so much care with your choice of bloom color, Diana, and it shows. I'm more random, but think I should follow your example. You have fabulous February flowers. P. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh but he comes in with his fluffy Persian tail ... dripping, suspicously. He loves to play with the water in his bowl, and a whole pond full!!

      Going to be playing musical chairs with the plants once our rain makes transplanting more hopeful.

      Delete
  15. So beautiful! Your garden has come such a long way. :o) Plectranthus is very tender in my area although I do add it every year as an annual.

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    Replies
    1. for me P. neochilus is tough and indestructible.
      Survives summer drought.
      But not your frost!

      Delete
  16. I am always amazed at how nature recovers and even prospers from fire.The view from Kalk Bay Mountain is breathtaking. And all your February flowers! I don't know, but it looks like young Thomas Gray has carnivorous eyes on the Hadedas, beak or no!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guilty as charged. Today Thomas got close enough to clip the bird. Who shrugged him off and continued to putter in the garden!

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  17. Oh, Young Thomas Gray is a darling.
    Amalia
    xo

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  18. How wonderful to see dolphins! Your cats are beautiful and I'm sure they enjoy spending time in the garden. My own cat, Pipig, is allowed a supervised romp through the garden every morning but I don't dare let her wander too far as the coyotes that make the neighborhood their home have been known to hunt even during the day.

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    Replies
    1. Thomas risks only traffic and strange people - both send him streaking for home.

      Delete
  19. Hi Diana, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!
    I love the color white, so therefore I really liked your mosaic photo of the white blooms from your garden. I had a similar white pelargonium growing in a blue container, which I threw out just a few days ago. It always had brown leaves and was a real nuisance. Pelargoniums should be easy to grow in my climate, but this one was just not cooperative, I have no clue why.
    I also love your mosaic with the gray leaved plants. White and gray go so well togehter. As a matter of fact, I would be happy with a garden made out of white, silver, gray and green!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pairing white flowers either with pink flowers and silver leaves, or blue flowers and white and dark leaves. The Iceberg roses I'm working towards lavender and mauve Plectranthus.

      But white flowers with grey leaves, and a little green - I'd love that too.

      Delete
    2. PS your pelargoniums may have caterpillars. My plants tend to recover next year. I leave my assorted bugs for the birds and lizards.

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