False Bay garden in August

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

Little lady Zoë has found a sunny balcony. Making the most of low winter sun. (Sigh as today is grey and drizzly and COLD 19C inside and 7C low last night)

Zoë on her sunny balcony
Zoë on her sunny balcony

We look cautiously back at our drought and Day Zero threat. The large bucket that stood here for grey water, is gone - but we have kept the lidded black tank. I still need to stop the Ungardener taking a shortcut NOT DOWN the steps. My mother's tuberous begonia was smothered by striped grass I planted at the same time. Now I can see and enjoy those large asymmetric rich dark leaves (not so enamoured of the coral shell flowers)

New blue pot and mother's tuberous begonia
New blue pot and mother's tuberous begonia

Blue and white for Cornish Stripe. Small cream thistles on Brachylaena discolor. Tiny lime flowers on Buddleja glomerata. Iceberg roses bloom steadily. White Freesia leichtlinii alba (Max Leichtlin found them in the Botanic Gardens at Padua) and Babiana. Spanish bluebells inherited with the garden. A few straggly flowers on Hypoestes aristata. Silvery groundcover under the lemon tree Helichrysum cymosum. White pelargonium another steady bloomer.

Blue and white flowers in August
Blue and white flowers in August

My potted lime tree has good fruit, fresh tender leaves and bunches of flowers. Lemon tree is recovering from battling thru the drought - trim, feed and water, more fruit ripening.  

Potted lime, and lemon tree
Potted lime, and lemon tree

Feeding the pollinators on Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee. This skipper butterfly is a gold spotted sylph Metisella metis.

Skipper butterfly Metisella metis
Skipper butterfly Metisella metis

Summer Gold has inherited Hibiscus in its deeper winter colours. Chasmanthe floribunda, yellow variety named for the Duckitt family in Darling. Tall wands of  Bulbine. Albuca bulbs flowering. New Psychotria capensis has its first flowers. Vivid yellow Euryops pectinatus.

Yellow flowers in August
Yellow flowers in August

Spring Promise in 'I like pink' vlei lilies and dusky Veltheimia. Shell pink with cherry hearts Dombeya burgessiae. Pink buds Syncarpha. Barbie pink Oxalis from South America (distinguished from ours by that, blink and you will miss it, dark dot above the notch in the leaf!) Pink and salmon pelargoniums.

Pink flowers in August
Pink flowers in August

Inherited shrubby Plectranthus ecklonii has bounced back to lush 'normal' and the Maidenhair fern has settled in below Rotheca.

But a gap has opened where the camphor bush should shield us from our neighbour. First the Grewia died back, now I see dying branches and lower leaves on Tarchonanthus next to the gap. Olive tree outside the bay window is a sickly yellowy colour.

Happy plants and sad ones
Happy plants and sad ones

On the patio with a good book, but the retirees are typically busy busy.

On the patio with a good book
On the patio with a good book

And out Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset to the Autumn Fire orange and red succulents on my Karoo Koppie. Climbing aloe Aloiampelos ciliaris var. ciliaris. Firesticks Euphorbia tirucalli. Burgundy spikes of Melianthus major. Lime and terracotta Cotyledon orbiculata. Russet nasturtium for my sister. Red pelargonium. Halleria lucida has so many berries this year that they are scattered and trampled on the patio.

Red flowers in August
Red flowers in August

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. Beautiful post as always. Your sweet butterfly looks like some of ours. Glad you are okay after the drought and it's good to hear that it's drizzly.

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  2. Beautiful flowers! I enjoy seeing them grouped by color.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. I am amazed at the variety of plants you grow in your garden!

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  4. If your feline friends allow, the patio looks very relaxing for enjoying a good book. I have just finished reading Jeffrey Archers Kane and Abel, best book I have read in years.

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  5. Cats always find the best spots! For my part, I'm looking forward to the return of drizzle and rain. As signs of fall continue to emerge, Mother Nature is showing us who's in charge this week with an extended stretch of hot weather; however, we've avoided any horrific heatwaves of the type summer usually brings, at least so far. I'm in love with your pink Veltheimia but, as neither of the 2 I have bloomed this year despite our heavier-than-usual rain, I'm not going to invest in more bulbs of that type.

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    Replies
    1. Try the Veltheimia in afternoon shade, or dappled shade under trees - they are forest lilies.

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  6. These color groupings are stunning, and I am particularly drawn to the pinks and corals.

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  7. I do so enjoy strolling through your garden with you. Wishing you recovery from the drought very soon. xo Laura

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  8. I love all the different colours in your garden the red ones look very striking. The cats have found the best places to rest! Sarah x

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  9. I am enamored of those flowers with the grayed tones in them -- the dusky pink Veltheimia and the lime and terracotta Cotyledon orbiculata. I hope the cats don't lose your place in the book when they're out on the patio reading. :-) At this time of year, our temperatures are not so different from yours, as our weather starts to turn toward autumn.

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  10. Love looking at all your plants and colours... I have been commenting but lately none seem to have come through. Hope this one does!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I have been doing a digital detox in September, but catching up now.

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  11. Beautiful posting but I'm sorry you have some sad plants. I have a few of those, too.
    Don't you just love blue pots? I have some also. P x

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  12. Your kitties are so sweet, and smart to take naps when they can. ;-) 19C is chilly for you--especially for a high temperature. That is what our October weather is like. Generally our September highs are 21C-26C, but we're having an extended warm spell with 27C-29C highs. I like it. I also like your new pot for your Begonia!

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  13. Delightful, calming photos!

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  14. Your mother's tuberous begonia is gorgeous. I agree; I prefer those fabulous leaves over the blooms. Your kitties know how to enjoy a garden! I would love some of your cool air. We have recently had some 100 degree days (37.7 C) and very little rain. So glad your drought has improved. Our drought is likely very temporary.

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