False Bay garden and water in October

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

Step Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset. Wrestling to get my camera to see what I see. This corner of the garden, which we see when we step out of the kitchen or the garage, is currently the best bit. Lemon tree is getting dedicated extra grey water and making more fruit. Blue and white flowers for Cornish Stripe are Strelitzia nicolai, white pelargonium, deep blue Plectranthus neochilus and lavender, kingfisher blue Felicia, a scattering of selfsown pansies, buds on Limonium perezii.

Cornish Stripe with lemon tree
Cornish Stripe with lemon tree

I have retrieved the Summer Gold Spring Promise zigzag that the camera no longer saw. Cut back the Salvia africana-lutea by half, as it had eaten a large pot of Hypoxis. Cleared grass on both sides. Replanted cuttings of Dusty Miller.

Summer Gold to Spring Promise
Summer Gold to Spring Promise

Tucked in two shady corners across Froggy Pond is Psychotria capensis. Lemoenbos, not for fruit but the gentle colour of the flowers.

Psychotria capensis lemoenbos
Psychotria capensis
lemoenbos

Under our bedroom window I have 3 clumps of Eragrostis curvula. Weeping love grass. Again more appealing to the human eye than the camera.

Eragrostis curvula weeping love grass
Eragrostis curvula
weeping love grass

Reined in some of the exuberant Californian poppies pairing the red pelargoniums on Karoo Koppie.

Karoo Koppie
Karoo Koppie

Brought the owl forward as the olive tree has recovered (grey water = fresh leaves)

Metal owl garden art
Metal owl
garden art

Thomas goes on duty late afternoon with his little clipboard and ticks off our neighbours as they come home.

Thomas the cat
Thomas the cat

Today our neighbours trimmed the kitchen end of the Great Glooming Hedge, probably for their solar panel. That Australian brush cherry will bounce back in weeks unfortunately! Grewia which should screen next door is looking sad - I have cut back the dead bits and there are fresh green leaves. We'll see. We emptied one rain tank to top up Froggy Pond. Lime tree is also looking perky.

October in our garden
October in our garden

A handful of October flowers from our garden. Inca lily Alstroemeria. Groundcover Gazania rigens. Climbing Senecio macroglossus lights the view from our kitchen window. First Rotheca myricoides. Huge and nectar-filled with a polite bird queue Strelitzia nicolai. Pansy. Citrus scented Pelargonium. Seedlings of tiny yellow plum tomatoes. Deep red nasturtiums. Gazania, Senecio, Rotheca, Strelitzia and Pelargonium for Wildflower Wednesday with Gail in Tennessee. Truly wild flowers from our October hikes in my next post.

October flowers in our garden
October flowers in our garden

A parting glimpse of some pictures, books, and bits gathered down the years - each with a story to tell.

Years of memories
Years of memories

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

266 litres 2015 garden. Gardening for biodiversity.
234 litres 2016 garden. Trees can be 'sat under'
  64 litres 2017 garden. New path and poppies.
2018 on our latest account 18 litres. (We are charged only for full kilolitres used, the difference rolls over to next month)

In October we used 82 litres, without our rain tanks it is 60 litres (nicely under the 70 litre target) of municipal water. Only 8 days were off-grid using our rain water in a dry month.

Tom Brown is moving us from hysterical Day Zero to thoughtful sensible use of water. His weekly report - our dams are at 65% compared to 36% a year ago. A new monthly report expecting our water restrictions to be further lifted.

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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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...
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Comments

  1. Beautiful and I love the metal owl.

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  2. Diana, I had never seen a Strelitzia with those colors, it's really stunning! I have a small one with blue/orange flowers.

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    Replies
    1. I do prefer the blue and white, but be warned it grows tall. VERY tall.
      http://pza.sanbi.org/strelitzia-nicolai

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  3. I believe that Thomas and the owl have the exact same expression on their faces! I am glad your water situation has improved. Congratulations for meeting the challenges presented by chronic water shortage. Your October garden looks beautiful and lush.

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  4. I smiled at your statement that you wrestled with your camera to get it to see the garden as you do - I often feel the same way, especially when there's a stark contrast between sun and shade. In any case, your garden looks lovely and I remain in awe of your command over your water use. Thomas, as always, is very handsome.

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  5. Glad there is better news about your water restrictions. It must be a big relief. Clever how you use all your grey water for watering plants. Love the owl and Thomas of course :) B x

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  6. I enjoyed this first visit (linked from Foxglove Lane and Catherine's newest post). Sadly, I have not visited Western Cape since 2011, which was my 10th trip. Looking at the map just now was a bit of nostalgia for all those big and little towns where I spent time--sometimes a lot of it, and sometimes a little, but always learning and exploring.

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    Replies
    1. I am enjoying reading your South African blog posts - but sadly, I can't comment there.

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    2. Wordpress default is the first one has to be approved; I was overwhelmed at work today, but your comment is now visible and henceforth, you can comment. If it is on the old Lottabusha County Chronicles, it only required permission after a few weeks. I retired that blog (and then resurrected and then retired :) it.

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  7. Oh, that is good news that your water restrictions likely will be reduced! I always enjoy seeing the broader views of your pathways and your garden hardscapes. The memory wall is sweet, and the metal owl is cute.

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  8. Once again, your flowers are stunning, such an amazing variety! The blue and white Strelizia is stunning, so unusual. I'm very fond of owls and very fond of sculptures, so an owl sculpture is just the job!

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  9. I love the yellow of the Lemoenbos flower and also your fantastic bank Karoo Koppie. It does look so green, what a relief it must be to have your water restrictions eased. Your memory wall is a lovely idea too. Sarah x

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  10. That's great news your dams are more full than last year. Besides the flowers, I love your pond, handsome Thomas, and the owl!

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  11. Loving all the green, Your yard is so full of life, of course the colorful flowers put a smile on my face. Thomas your guard cat is way to cute. You have a clothesline ...I need one of those, just can't figure out where to put it. Trying to get a new bed started before winter (no plants) just cut out and then fenced in so the dogs don't have it all dug up by spring.

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  12. I love your metal owl and Thomas the cat who looks very contented. As always your garden is full of colour

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  13. Our dams are half empty now and still no proper rain over some weeks that would fill them up. In a few days it's summer again - in November!

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