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.
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.
Tucked in two shady corners across Froggy Pond is Psychotria capensis. Lemoenbos, not for fruit but the gentle colour of the flowers.
Under our bedroom window I have 3 clumps of Eragrostis curvula. Weeping love grass. Again more appealing to the human eye than the camera.
Reined in some of the exuberant Californian poppies pairing the red pelargoniums on Karoo Koppie.
Brought the owl forward as the olive tree has recovered (grey water = fresh leaves)
Thomas goes on duty late afternoon with his little clipboard and ticks off our neighbours as they come home.
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.
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.
A parting glimpse of some pictures, books, and bits gathered down the years - each with a story to tell.
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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