False Bay garden in January
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
When this couch potato is reading that is my view. A glimpse of mountain. Brick paving outside the palisade fence for parking, and inside for the garden path, exposes me to passing traffic.
We have two Searsia crenata. I rescued the one outside the front door from smothering by exuberant Plectranthus neochilus. Fed and watered it has revived. In a new terracotta 'egg' pot, that one has visibly grown since I planted it!
The first garden blog advice I remember, is to concentrate on ONE part of the garden, so you can see a difference from your hard work. In January my camera never saw the garden. We spent many days on our front verge, I prune, he chips, I spread the mulch.
Thomas inspecting the Osteospermum moniliferum. Volunteer seedling with delusions of eating our neighbour's parked car. Cut back hard, down to ugly wooden twigs. Thomas shows how MANY more days the garden staff needs to work. Sob.
Parchment flowers on Metalasia shrub, another enthusiastic volunteer, which adds colour and texture to my planned tapestry hedge. Groundcover is succulent Plectranthus neochilus. Funky smell and spires of elaborate purple flowers. Hacked back bietou shrub is rewarding me with yellow daisy flowers.
For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset. My Karoo Koppie is themed on Autumn Fire and succulents. Flowers in orange and red. Red Pelargonium blooms year round, but I should cut it back now. Golden orange Californian poppies and orange Tecomaria from earlier gardeners. Red foliage from Crassula and firesticks Euphorbia tirucalli.
I will let the Tecomaria and sky blue Plumbago grow to the top of the fence for strategic privacy from passing traffic and neighbours.
First yellow Natal laburnum Calpurnia aurea compound leaves, pea family, small tree growing in afternoon shade. I battle with the glazed cobalt pots which get VERY hot. Now using the empty pot for the blue focus, and have rescued the Liriope to join the others in the shade at the Japanese maple. Turning gratefully green simply from roots in cool ground.
Pale pink Crinum opened while I was collecting photos. Hoya is blooming happily since I rescued it from its pot. Yellow Hibiscus would like the carob tree to let in more sun - that needs men with chainsaws.
The Ungardener kindly removed the flap from cat-door on the gate. Sitting listening at the vet I realised it is not good for Thomas to have steps up the inside ... then leap down the wall outside. Two cats can come and go as they choose. The pond was sad but bonus rain filled it up again. Spekboom hedge on the kitchen patio is reaching its target height. Graciously hidden behind Bauhinia is a rain tank.
(Minus the Hoya, Hibiscus and Californian poppies) for Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee.
Three years since we watched the Peers Hill fire through our bay window. In January we had three awful fires. Betty's Bay started with an emergency flare fired at the mountain - for fun on New Year's Eve. One woman died, 31 houses destroyed, 13K hectares (half) of the nature reserve around Harold Porter Botanical Garden burnt. Firefighter's account (click translate to English). Then Groenlandberg near Elgin. Third Lion's Head along the suburban edges of Cape Town.
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