False Bay garden and water in June
by Diana Studer
- 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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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??
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.
Next year we will know - as soon as the little bananas turn yellow they can be eaten. And every single one ... was delicious!
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