False Bay garden and water in June


- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

In winter the Karoo Koppie sings with colour, with bees and sunbirds on the aloes and vivid red Lachenalia bulbifera.

Bee on Aloe marlothii
Bee on Aloe marlothii

Karoo Koppie
Karoo Koppie

He has installed a trellis for the most exposed first rain tank. The last of the nursery haul Dipogon lignosus (indigenous climber with edible pea pods) is planted. For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset.

East Patio and Woodland Walk Cornish Stripe with new trellis
East Patio and Woodland Walk
Cornish Stripe with new trellis

I've also added gifted plants from a garden friend. Potted bulbs  Sparaxis bulbifera and Androcymbium eucomiodes  Men-in-a-boat. A delicate floating pink pelargonium. Two clumps of veldkool Trachyandra (for our herb and edible garden)

New plants in June
New plants in June

Gifted in return a garden posy of cuttings for rooting - Ceropegia coiled in tiny wreaths, perennial basil and lavender for the bees, a few scented pelargoniums with pretty leaves and red, white or pink flowers, wild sage with terracotta flowers, some Cyperus and spekboom. Gathered round an Iceberg rose.

June garden posy with cuttings to root
June garden posy with cuttings to root

Pruning season as the garden explodes across the paths. This time the Dusty Millers near our patio and the steps. Ficinia lateralis wants lots of water, planted next to the frog. Leonotis leonurus cut back by a third.

Woodland Walk, Rose Courtyard Froggy Pond, Summer Gold and Spring Promise
Woodland Walk, Rose Courtyard
Froggy Pond, Summer Gold and Spring Promise 

From our June municipal accounts in litres per person per day.

2015 garden 240 litres. He built the washing line pergola for Cornish Stripe.
2016 garden 241 litres. Our garden turned green and filled in.
2017 garden 83 litres. Extreme gardening, secateurs sliced my finger, five stitches.
2018 on our latest account 17 litres.

In June we used 90 litres, without our rain tanks it is 25 litres of municipal water. 19 days off-grid using our rain water.

Raindrops on Melianthus leaf
Raindrops on Melianthus leaf

Tom Brown reviews our dam levels each Tuesday (25th June)'During May-June [we have] more water stored in 8 weeks than over the entire winter last year.
Clanwilliam [dam] up a whopping 21% in the last week to 57.5%.
We need at least 60+% [in all dams], i.e. 530-550 M.cuM water stored to give agriculture a full allocation of irrigation water this coming summer'

Today we have the front edge of the forty something millimetres (one and a half inches)  we are forecast from early Sunday to early Monday. With snow reaching along the two arms of the crescent of mountains reaching out from Cape Town to border South Africa's coast, and inland to Sutherland and Calvinia. Perhaps even 7 cm on Table Mountain??

Thomas furry toes overflowing his bed
Thomas furry toes overflowing his bed

June flowers (all indigenous except the Hibiscus) for Wildflower Wednesday with Gail in Tennessee. Spectacular Aloe marlothii. Grey and terracotta Cotyledon orbiculata. Electric red Lachenalia bulbifera. Caterpillar on pelargonium leaf. Asparagus fern exploding. Yellow Euryops. Orange Hibiscus. Twirly leaves of Boophone. Tiny white garlic buchu. Large white pelargonium. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Purple Polygala.

June flowers
June flowers

Next year we will know - as soon as the little bananas turn yellow they can be eaten. And every single one ... was delicious!

Ripe bananas
Ripe bananas

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. I am glad that you are getting some rain! It is impressive how little water you have used, yet your garden still looks beautiful.

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    1. It's weird - because we are thinking about water use - I am distributing cleanish grey water in the garden. So it is getting MORE water. I only plan to water new plants till they settle in.

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  2. Good news about your water levels, hopefully the rain will continue. Love seeing the differences to your garden at this time of year compared to ours. B x

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    Replies
    1. Autumn has been good. Winter we have to wait and see.

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  3. Wonderful you are getting some rain, and congratulations on the bananas. Well grown!

    Your garden looking so beautiful on such little water is an impressive feat.

    I bought a Felicia for my garden, finally. That blue color is quite special.

    Best wishes for more rain.

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    Replies
    1. Felicia - felicity - I <3 the colour of happiness!

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  4. I LOVE the furry cat paws! Your trellis-covered rain barrel looks great and will be marvelous once it's been blanketed by vines. I may have to copy that idea for the all too visible tank on the north side of my house.

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    Replies
    1. He has substantial furry winter boots (also in summer!)

      That vine seems to tick all boxes - flowers, edible pods, grows VERY fast (so will need frequent pruning), harvest seeds for replacement plants.

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  5. Good to see wet plants & pavers in your garden, and nice to know there is plenty of water stored in your tanks. I'm very impressed with your bananas ... Too frosty & cold to grow them here, but my father grew a range of bananas in Africa and they were always delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Hope to track waterfalls after this good rain.

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  6. With lack of rain this month I have often thought of you! That's a great idea to cover the water tanks with trellis they will look beautiful with trailing plants covering them.How is your boat suspended in the window? Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two nylon threads from hooks in the ceiling. The Flying Dutchman

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    2. stunning round up as always - such beauty and what a joy those little bananas are. big hugs xx

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    3. Lady finger bananas are the nearest I get to a veggie patch

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  7. Good to see you are having some decent rainfall. I guess you will have gotten into such a thrifty habit with your use of water it will be hard to change. Your Winter blooms look very Summery to us northerners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our rain sounds so much better in mm (in inches it sounds silly)
      I have plenty of grey water lined up for the sunny and chilly week ahead.

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  8. How wonderful to see your garden looking wet!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - we people and plants are enjoying it!

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  9. So glad you are getting more rain! With all your lovely flowers, I have to remind myself that this is your winter and not summer. Your garden has certainly grown since you moved to False Bay, and everything looks lush. I adore the kitty toes!

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    Replies
    1. Yesterday and today we've had hot and sunny, when I have to remind myself, mid-winter!

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  10. Dipogon lignosus seems a very useful plant. How long will it take for the rain tank to be covered in pink flowers?

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    Replies
    1. It is happy to be in the ground, tendrils reaching out. As soon as I can hook it onto the trellis, it should go quickly, a mile a minute sort of thing!

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  11. Hi, I was looking at an old post from this time last year when you showed your Lachenalias in detail, and I think you've actually got Lachenalia bulbifera - not rubida. L bulbifera has distinctive green tips and longer flower pedicels, whereas rubida is more or less uniform coloured and the flowers are attached directly to the inflorescence stem. Did they grow wild in the area or are they bought bulbs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - you are right - I still have to edit previous posts. Since I've been hiking with fynbos flower fundis I have seen little wild rubida, and realised my seeds from Kirstenbosch are sturdy bulbifera.

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  12. Hi Diana, that first photo with the bee is quite extraordinary, the bee looks so cosy and happy. And I love the photo of T's paws. Your garden is looking quite lush, amazing how you manage on so little water. Happy banana eating.

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    Replies
    1. That bee is my laptop's current wallpaper.

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  13. Excellent! Great hearing you're getting winter rains, and I hope you fill those reservoirs. But even more, I hope that people around the world will practice such frugality with water use, and combine conservation with inspiration / education. To garden much better with drought, and not switch lawns or over-watered plantings into rock expanses.

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    Replies
    1. Yes - also not a fan of sad stretches of gravel with a few pots of even sadder plants.

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