False Bay garden and water in December
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
When my camera agrees to see low evening rays catching the lemon tree's twisty branches and the great fronds of Strelitzia nicolai. I can't pin down why THIS corner of the garden works so well - it has the same issues of gaps need filling and monsters need pruning. In December 2014 we had been here a month.
Beneath the lemon tree in May I planted four Helichrysum cymosum.
Moved my mother's Hoya to climb up inside the Coprosma hedge. I saw 3 flowers. Clivia gardenii which got chewed to a stump by Porterville snails is behind the Frog.
Having admired foxtail fern on USA garden blogs - I have bought 4 cat's tail fern Asparagus densiflorus Meyersii. Planted around the shaded curve of our paved circle next to Froggy Pond. Around the table was a messy drift of fallen leaves from the carob.
Froggy Pond has appreciated topping up from rain. The Ungardener built the pond in 2015.
Thomas likes to drink buckets of fresh rain water, but he was early and had to catch the drops. December 2016 was about the Ungardener's pneumonia.
Blue indigenous flowers for Wildflower Wednesday with Gail in Tennessee this December. Sky blue Plumbago has returned from buried roots to fill a chunk of the front garden. Happy blue stars of Felicia. Deep blues doubled for Rotheca. Blue and purple trumpets of Streptocarpus. Azure Cape forget me not Anchusa. Stoep jacaranda the buds opening to a soft mauve flower Plectranthus.
Step Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset for December. Exotic Fuchsia, Alstroemeria and commonorgarden Forget Me Not came with the garden. Helichrysum cymosum pairs silver leaves with gold flowers. Butterfly (common Hottentot skipper?) on Plectranthus. Orange spike on Haworthia. Pelargonium in pink, raspberry and crimson.
Zoë posing with Pickwick our first cat. In 2017 we had our own bananas!
From our December municipal accounts in litres per person per day.
250 litres in 2015
215 litres in 2016
37 litres in 2017 (using raintanks to make up the difference to 72 litres)
2018 on our latest account 74 litres.
This December we have used 81 litres (80 lets us live comfortably with washing machine, showers and even a weekly bath!) Without our rain tanks it is 67 litres of municipal water. Only 6 days were off-grid using our rain water.
Domestic users are continuing their water saving practices - says Tom Brown. Orange Free State fields of mielies (corn) are drifting sand blocking railway lines. Beaufort West had a desperate weekend with watershedding. The people of the SW cape are to be congratulated on this wonderful outcome and for removing excess demand from the system. If this pattern is maintained into the future then it will allow business activity to climb and agriculture to resume its important contribution to regional economic activity and job creation.
Our Christmas decorations stay till Twelfth Night. Turquoise glass pine cone is about as old as I am. Cat from Liberty's cross-stitched for me by my sister. Snowflake a breath of coolth from a Swiss friend! We left the yacht with the straw stars and I added a choir of angels.
2018 was the year of living gratefully with water. In 2019 my monthly garden posts will be 'finishing' the bits that still / again need work.
Happy New Year to each of you as you read!
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