False Bay garden and water in August
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape winter. Snow on the mountains. Zoë likes to lie on the hearth, when the fire is just lit, when I go to bed, and again in the morning as the wood stove still radiates warmth.
White eagle decal spreads its wings across the glazed doors. To prevent the Ungardener walking thru when it is closed!
Freesia alba wafts its fragrance thru the garden from many pots. Reminds me of the story my mother told me - that my grandmother used to put a vase of freesias on a shelf near the gas lamp, for the warmth to draw out the scent. How that evokes the past is another country!
Light from a spike of white flowers on pregnant onions Ornithogalum. Dark from the first bud on Melianthus major.
On our Karoo Koppie I have a low Pelargonium hedge dotted with the red I found in the garden. Firesticks and Crassula bring red stems and leaves. Deepest russet Nasturtium from seeds my oldest sister gave me. Cluster of lentil sized berries on Searsia crenata.
In Spring Promise shocking pink Oxalis buds are just opening. Lipstick pink Pelargonium. Blush pink Dombeya. Soft lilac Hibiscus my middle sister brought as cuttings form Knysna. With white from more freesias and feathery garlic buchu. Anchored with clumps of grey feathered Dusty Miller.
In Summer Gold inherited Hibiscus is having a vibrant winter with golden yellow flowers burnished to deepest terracotta. I planted yellow Euryops, but it is totally upstaged by the yellow perfection of dandelions! Yellow Bulbinella is both where I planted it, and where it chooses. Delicate lime green gold and cream Albuca. For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset.
Cornish Stripe has underwhelming blue stripes (the four cobalt pots) with spikes of lavender under the lemon tree and a few blue daisy flowers on Felicia . But the indigenous white is glowing - Pelargonium, a border of potted Freesia alba, a white Babiana. For Wildflower Wednesday with Gail in Tennessee delicate purple veined white flowers on Melasphaerula ramosa (lonely only in its genus) which is in EVERY pot. Green and white stars of Cyperus albostriatus carry the white theme when the flowers don't.
From our August municipal accounts in litres per person per day.
2015 garden 235 litres. Planting Summer Gold. Sadly the Porterville olive, last Polygala and Grewia are all looking sad.
2016 garden 149 litres. Winter green has smothered some plants I had forgotten! Standard Iceberg and potted Adenandra are gone.
2017 garden 83 litres. Between rain and tanks, especially at the patio corner with two overflowing basins. Waiting for poppies, Ifafa and vlei lilies, and Sparaxis to bloom again.
2018 on our latest account 32 litres.
In August we used 75 litres, without our rain tanks it is 24 litres of municipal water. 20 days were off-grid using our rain water.
Tom Brown reviews our water situation each Tuesday (28th August). While the city will get by with our target of 50 litres per person per day as the dams are over 60%, Klein Karoo towns and farms are in desperate need of water and fodder for their animals.
I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
Teal blue text is my links.
To read comments if you are in email or a Reader,
first click thru to the blog)
Thanks for comments that add value. Maybe start a new thread of discussion? BTW your comment won't appear until I've read it. No Google account? Just use Anonymous, but do leave a link to your own blog. I would return the visit, if I could...
I welcome comments on posts from the last 2 months.