By Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
The frog is spouting water! Froggy Pond is established. Two clumps of dwarf Papyrus and hopefully eel grass Vallisneria aetheopica - which came with us from Ungardening Pond in Porterville. At last we can say goodbye to the green plastic baby bath Pond in Waiting.
The S curve of the path and horseshoe curve of the pond wind together. The bottom of the garden is lit up by Leonotis orange furry flames. Between the raised planters the path is lined by Plectranthus neochilus.
Because the pond has a formal shape I have kept the planting understated. Against the south-facing shady wall of the house I have planted two Sansevieria (mother in law's tongue) - in the Karoo Koppie they declined unhappily. Some species come from tropical Africa. Once I realised they needed a kinder home, they bounced back in weeks. Apart from those Thomas kicks over because he lies just there! The 'two sides' the path follows are planted with yellow Bulbine (rescued from the tapestry hedge). The curve behind the frog continues with Plectranthus neochilus (quiet blue flowers will echo water). An embattled Elegia capensis which has been struggling in a pot since last year's Kirstenbosch plant sale. Cyperus that my father once liberated from the mountainside near the Camps Bay beach where we collected stones to line the path of my mother's rose garden. Today we BUY pebbles at the nursery.
The olive tree at the Karoo Koppie is coaxed up and out. Where the Sansevieria was, I have planted bits of the red Pelargonium we found in the garden. I pruned back the Plectranthus neochilus border which spills onto the pavement. The lemon tree I prune as I harvest fruit. The Ungardener removed the last Australian brush cherry - it grows SO fast I abandoned naive topiary plans. Emptied two pots of Pelargonium (cuttings to the raised beds) and now four pots of Agapanthus anchor the washing pergola.
I trimmed a lot off the Dusty Millers and rediscovered the plants they were smothering. Dymondia is making a good carpet among the white Iris. Phylica needs rescuing from the Euryops. I have planted far too much, far too close together. But I prune, and chip, and mulch.
I have enough flowers to pick bunches for vases. Mostly purple for my visiting sister. Spekboom hedge (we see from the kitchen door) rises behind the tall blue pot. My map of Africa, D and J live on the pond border. The last inherited pot - this tall one is in an alcove outside the front door, planted with a Searsia which will screen the bay window.
Iceberg rose. Lime blossom and next season's fruit. Garlic chives, going to seed, used to garnish our dinner. Abelia. Pelargonium with a red eye echoes raspberry ripple.
Tulbaghia still establishing. Stoep jacaranda low growing herald of autumn. Polygala virgata. Plumbago hedge resprouting. Ceropegia. Tall shrubby Plectranthus with deeper purple flowers. Scabiosa. Fuzzy Mexican sage. Septemberbossie recovers slowly from years of neglect.
Salvia greggei, (my mother's) autumn sage. Pelargoniums inherited, travelled with us or bought new. Oxalis was battling in the sun on the patio, in the shade under Coprosma is fat and flourishing.
Purple chilli peppers ripening to orange. Orange Bulbine. Nut grass. Leonotis for the sunbirds. Scarlet and gold sparkles as Nerine sarniensis 'Jersey' lily opens today. Orange leaved Crassula. Pelargonium. Fire heath. Teensiest volunteer tomatoes.
Gazania rigens an exuberant border. Almost yellow vygie. Oil glands in lemon peel. Hibiscus. Hypoxis unfurling. Hawkweed with moths for Wildflower Wednesday.
|Yellow March flowers|
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