Cape Town Environmental Education Trust and hiking in Silvermine
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Let there be fynbos for future generations! I hope we will achieve that by encouraging children and young people to experience nature. We went with the Church in Creation to Kenilworth Race Course. In the oval in the centre of the track is a precious patch of Cape Sand fynbos with 34 Red Data species. Threatened with development, but we NEED another casino and fast food outlets etc. That morning I was encouraged by a fledgling environmental science student, and the two rangers at the reserve who were trained by the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust.
In March 2016 we met the eland at the Gantouw Project, also CTEET work. I watched a video clip of a young girl from the neighbouring low income township on a weekend environmental camp, and the utter 'lit up like Christmas' delight on her face as she paddles her kayak on the water! It is from moments like that that the vocation to care for nature springs, or the political will to value our environment over profit.
The Curious and Adventurous shinning up rocks like mountain goats. Behind the Ungardener you can see our wide valley. So many houses. False Bay to the left, the Atlantic Ocean to the right and far ahead Cape Point hides.
Up there in the mountains of Silvermine which lie in the heart of the Mother City, you see either the urbanisation, or the pristine unspoiled wild nature on the slopes of Spitskop above Noordhoek. Simply turn your head...
I like to linger on details, on textures and colours. New growth sprouts after the fires. A tiny groundcover is surprisingly a Euphorbia for Gail at Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday. Burgundy seedheads on a restio (Cape reed) Hypodiscus? A delicate and varied crevice garden is designed by Mother Nature.
Grasses are a garden trend. This one I covet with its curly leaves. Blonde seedheads wave in the breeze. Curly five awn Pentameris curvifolia.
Bietou bushes Osteospermum moniliferum have a spectacular year. I see a stream of yellow cascading down the mountain slopes. This colour is more intense, more orange than the ones in my garden. Sadly when we reached the river at the bottom of the valley the fragrant yellow flowers were a dense invasive stand of Australian wattles, exploding after fire.
U3A's botanical ladies are teaching me thru A Nother yellow daisy. Waving at shoulder height with little flowers and toothed leaves is Othonna quinquedentata. Senecio burchellii dangles her petals down. Cullumia setosa has prickles.
Yellow pincushion. Vibrant pink with tassels is Erica plukenetii. Yellow tubes are Penaea mucronata - Penaeaceae family is only found in the South-Western Cape fynbos. Yellow and white coronets is Struthiola (Thymelaeaceae family includes Daphne). Red stems and hooks on (after fire) Asparagus rubicundus.
He has found me the macro setting on my new camera. White Romulea flava. Pink and purple Amphithalea - legume family. Zygophyllum yellow bells hang down hiding their vibrant burgundy hearts. Apricot Oxalis obtusa. Pink and blue Lobelia plants grow side by side.
I still miss our first garden where I nurtured a huge pincushion. Leucospermum conocarpodendron. Yellow and white, green and red. It had silver leaves on the Camps Bay side of the mountains.
Yesterday Donna in Upstate New York interviewed me. We go back thru years of blogging, rooted at Blotanical.
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