False Bay garden and water in September

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Pictures are from the 1st and 2nd of October for 'September in our garden'. Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset. Follow your nose via a honey trail. Soft purple and cream flowers with a hint of orange in Buddleja salviifolia throats.

Buddleja salviifolia
Buddleja salviifolia

Our garden's Spring Promise is in the pink. Especially this Oxalis which I inherited with the garden. I never see THIS one on the mountain as it is brasiliensis! Potted lime has baby fruit. Pink pelargonium with toothy citrus-scented leaves and another pink pelargonium. Bells of Dombeya burgessiae. Tillandsia (air plant) blooms in shade.

Spring Promise in the pink
Spring Promise in the pink

Furry caterpillars with purple eyebrows are Cape lappet moths. In the birdbaths his Cape robin and my wagtail. Zoë the cat.

Garden wildlife
Garden wildlife

Gathering the yellows for Summer Gold. Lemon Bulbine and climbing Senecio macroglossus. Lime striped Albuca. At long last rusty orange Salvia africana-lutea to delight the sunbirds. Lime gold Euphorbia mauritanica. Exuberant frilled Californian poppy.

Summer Gold glowing
Summer Gold glowing

Sitting by Froggy Pond with flowers on Gladiolus tristis - and faded next day.

Gladiolus tristis
Gladiolus tristis

I pruned for two solid days to reduce one Osteospermum moniliferum bush on the verge to a reasonable size, then he chipped and I mulched. The olive tree is sprouting. Winding along Woodland Walk next to Froggy Pond on a sunny afternoon or a clouded over morning.

September between Woodland Walk and Froggy Pond
September between Woodland Walk and Froggy Pond

Melasphaerula grows across our garden like grass, each tiny flower utterly beautiful. Lavender - left funky Plectranthus neochilus, right commonorgarden.

Melasphaerula Plectranthus neochilus, lavender
Melasphaerula
Plectranthus neochilus,
lavender

Blue and white for Cornish Stripe. Purple and white Babiana and commonorgarden violet. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Forget-me-not. Four purple and white Lachenalia. Polka dots of white Pelargonium.

Cornish Stripe blue and white
Cornish Stripe blue and white


Orange Bulbine and red flowers to Karoo Koppie. Pelargonium and poppy. Wand of Melianthus major. Waxy lenses of Begonia.

Karoo Koppie flames red
Karoo Koppie flames red

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

232 litres 2015 garden. Tall blue pot outside glazed kitchen door.
233 litres 2016 garden. Tapestry hedge on our verge.
  50 litres 2017 garden. Drought - planning filters and a pump for rain tanks.
2018 on our latest account 31 litres.

In September we used 76 litres, without our rain tanks it is 18 litres of municipal water. 22 days were off-grid using our rain water.

From 1st October our water restrictions have been reduced from a target of 50 litres per person per day to 70 litres.

September is Heritage month. Fish Hoek Museum organised a walk among history and spring flowers at the Silvermine Wetlands. Yellow flowers with crumpled leathery petals Lyperia lychnidea. Reeds filter land-based pollution and prevent storm surge flooding of houses. In 1969 there were plans to confine the river to a concrete canal - but we have retained a source to the sea river.

Silvermine Wetland and river mouth
Silvermine Wetland and river mouth

We in the Far South were the first for mains water pressure reduction. Brooklands water treatment works is on our Fynbos Ramble route next week.

“The Far South has dropped from the 20Ml a day through Clovelly pump station in June 2017 to 9Ml today. We are currently using 7Ml from Clovelly and 2 Ml from Brooklands Treatment works in Red Hill.”

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. Your spring garden already looks beautiful, Diana. I can't get over your success in reducing your municipal water use - you've cut your usage by nearly 90% since 2015!

    FYI, I sent you a message showing my e-mail address.

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  2. Congratulations on your ever more impressive water conservation success. Your garden looks just great--was your winter fairly rainy?

    The pink Oxalis is maybe my very first awareness of any flower--Great Uncle Antoine had it in his garden.

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    Replies
    1. The verdict on our winter rain is almost average. We still need a couple of good winters. Tomorrow is flirting with 40C in some Northern Cape towns!

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  3. I am also very impressed with your water conservation and I hope the rain continues .. Even if it is only about average... Ours is well below average this year. Your spring flowers, so perfectly formed and full of colour, are a delight to see.

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  4. I loved going on the honey trail it's a shame I can't really smell perfume.I'm glad your water restrictions have been reduced. Sarah x

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  5. So much beauty...the frilly California poppy stands out (swell photo). Crazy about the African Salvia but cannot keep it alive here.
    rickii

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    Replies
    1. Another Monday another vase
      http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/6005

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  6. I am so impressed not only by your flowers but by the dedication with which you have reduced your water use for the garden. I recently heard a story on the news about a South African compilation of two-minute versions of popular songs, so that people can sing them in the shower to time their two-minute shower.

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    Replies
    1. We stand in a baby bath and watch the level. So far to wet down. Water off. Then so far to rinse. Giving us grey water to flush with.

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  7. Your garden is truly alive with flowers now, and no doubt with the little creatures who enjoy them! Best wishes with the rains continuing to replenish the reservoirs. Here we have finally had a nice moist monsoon season and are still getting more! All this after two brutally dry years when I didn't even want to look at the wild saguaros, they were so shrunken and dry. There is something very personable about them anyway!
    Someday I shall grow Gladiolus tristus! ;) Your pictures are so lovely and inspiring...

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    Replies
    1. I can feel the sigh of relief as the saguaros swallow up the water.

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  8. I really must stop complaining about the record rainfall we have here. I do admire your conservation efforts, Diana. And your spring garden is lovely. P x

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    Replies
    1. We all either have too much or too little. Up North in Pretoria they have had drifts of hail like snow, and floods sweeping away cars.

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    2. It's amazing and commendable how you've managed to reduce your water usage! The golds and purples and blues in your garden are so uplifting! Now that we're moving into the colder months here, I will have to get my flower and plant fixes by visiting blogs such as yours to get me through our long winter.

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  9. We had very little rain vom April to October, so the drought is continuing here.
    Lovely picture of the Cape Robin!

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