False Bay garden and water in November
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Thanks to winefarmers in the Constantia valley and their indiscriminate use of poison against ants 40% of our honey bees have been killed overnight. Grateful for each creature that manages to survive in our garden.
Way back in October 2010 an enthusiastic landscaper at Org de Rac talked about planting trees, for caterpillars, for birds. My Kiggelaria africana has been found by Acraea butterflies, and we have caterpillars!!
Little forest of tomato seedlings - tiny yellow plums if they come true to seed?
Butter yellow flowers and leaves sparkling in the shade Psychotria capensis. Encouraging the Japanese maple and rewarded with delicate leaves. Potted lime has been fed, thank you. Blue butterfly flowers on Rotheca myricoides.
For Wildflower Wednesday with Gail in Tennessee. When I catch that smell of wax crayons that takes me straight back to the first day at school, there are tiny white flowers on the Asparagus. Soft mauve pompoms of Scabiosa. Limonium perezii is from the Canary Islands sharing our mediterranean climate. Pelargoniums seem to bloom year round, the colours taking turns.
Step Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset. Flying the flag to celebrate, and welcome guests. Gifted pot of Mexican roses Echeveria enjoying the afternoon shade with other tender succulents.
From the garden I gathered posies, which went home with our guests. A sprig of ivy - the Ungardener likes it, I battle it - into each life a little rain must fall. Lighten our darkness with Cyperus albo-striatus and Marble Chips Coprosma (New Zealand). A few Prince of Wales feathers from the Centaurea (Mediterranean). Lavender for the fragrance. Colour from Alstroemeria (Chile), three pelargoniums, and a spark of Californian poppy.
Forty years, our Ruby Anniversary. Google says the flowers are nasturtiums! Red nasturtiums (Central America). The Ungardener is a septuagenarian. Oy, how did that happen already?!
There have been seven cats in our life, one for each decade. In Camps Bay Pickwick, Sparkles, Henry and Aragon. Henry and Aragon came to Porterville, where we added Chocolat. Aragon and Chocolat came to Fish Hoek. Now we have Thomas and Zöe.
Sunday will be the First of Advent. I have the Cyperus and Coprosma for light, and red pelargoniums for our rubies.
From our November municipal accounts in litres per person per day.
281 litres 2015 garden after the first year.
241 litres 2016 garden Advent wreath is ALL pelargoniums. He was recovering from pneumonia.
50 litres 2017 garden Yellow limbo between the sold Land Rover and the new electric car (an early gift for the 40 and 70 celebrations)
2018 on our latest account 65 litres.
So far in November we have used 77 litres; without our rain tanks it is 63 litres (nicely under the 70 litre target) of municipal water. Only 5 days were off-grid using our rain water.
We await a formal announcement that the water restrictions will be eased on 1st of December. Tom Brown - one is absolutely appalled at the reports of water mismanagement emerging in other parts of South Africa - it makes one glad to be living in the Western Cape where water management is generally so much better.
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