False Bay garden in November

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

This November down Cornish Stripe I have a nice mix of indigenous blues for Gail at Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday. Rotheca myricoides with its blue butterflies. Violet in a blue butterfly pot. The architectural detail of Plectranthus neochilus (without its fiercely herbal smelling leaves). Vivid blue Cape forget-me-not Anchusa capensis. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Blue and purple Streptocarpus giving me a bunch of flowers in return for being fed. Our weather has finally abruptly tipped from spring chilly evenings to Must Remember to Water Streptocarpus, violet, roses, potted lime...

November blue flowers
November blue flowers

On one of those chilly days this Blue Emperor dragonfly waited patiently for a day outside our kitchen door - next morning with the sun - he was gone!

Blue Emperor dragonfly
Blue Emperor dragonfly

Little grey garden weevils only eat the leaves of the tuberous begonia. Black and white spotted beetles devour the Iceberg roses - they certainly smell good!

Nibbled leaves and petals
Nibbled leaves and petals

Can it be a year since we had the family to lunch? Delighted to gather four bunches from a garden which is not intentionally designed for cutting. For fun I also did an 'orange blanje blau' to echo South Africa's old flag. Orange Leonotis, white Pelargonium, and lavender's blue.

Flowers for family lunch in November
Flowers for family lunch in November

Five years have passed since we began gardening here. One water tank graciously hidden behind Bauhinia bowkeri. Lots of lush green enfolding the lemon tree for Through the Garden Gate Down by the Sea with Sarah in Dorset (October link).

November green garden
November green garden

The olive has bounced back nice and green. Spekboom Portulacaria afra is an appealing chunky succulent tree since March last year. Brachylaena discolor needs frequent determined pruning - I want it this side of the gate, neither over the wall, nor in our neighbour's driveway, nor bashing dings in our communal wall. Natal laburnum Calpurnia aurea has shrugged off that the previous leaves were stripped by caterpillars.

Trees growing and needing pruning
Trees growing and needing pruning

Satin perfection of Californian poppy. Picking Alstroemeria Inca lilies for vases. Rich russet Nasturtium.
Back to indigenous with tangerine Bulbine frutescens. White flowers in the pond are eel grass. Raspberry ripple inherited ivy pelargonium.

November more flowers
November more flowers

I have had the Merwilla plumbea (was Natal blue squill) bulb since I bought it at Kirstenbosch in 2009. Still waiting on flowers 'in October' but it needs watering in summer. Moved it to a bigger salt glazed pot, still on the shady side since it prefers damp. As ever in a mediterranean garden, mindful weeding in gravel and between paving slabs gives a steady harvest of vigorous seedlings. This little 'un is Brachylaena discolor. I may live to regret planting that outside my bathroom window.

Merwilla and Brachylaena seedling
Merwilla and Brachylaena seedling

I was engrossed in Patrick Gale's - Notes from an exhibition. A novel hung around the curator's notes for a (fictitious) artist. With each chapter fleshing out the chapter of her life as she painted that work. Overtones of why Van Gogh painted as he did, and how he saw the world.

from Patrick Gale Notes at an exhibition
from Patrick Gale
Notes at an exhibition

Vivid terracotta leaves in the annual display from my inherited and exotic fiddlewood Citharexylum spinosum.

Terracotta leaves on the fiddlewood
Terracotta leaves on the fiddlewood

I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
via Feedly,
or Bloglovin,
or Facebook 

Pictures by Diana Studer

Teal blue text is my links.
To read comments if you are in email or a Reader,

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...

I welcome comments on posts from the last 2 months.

Comments

  1. I love those tranquil blue flowers. Seeing the Rotheca once more in your garden had me making the decision to try it again, this time in a large pot (as planting it out in this garden has killed it twice). The eel grass flowers are intriguing, as is the fiddlewood, and I've posted a photo of the book by Patrick Gale on my Pinterest page for reference when it comes time to select my next novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rotheca needs to pretend it lives in a sub-tropical microclimate. Afternoon shade, protected from the worst of the wind - then you can enjoy the flowers.

      Delete
  2. Oh, those blues are really special...as are the floral arrangements. I enjoyed the Patrick Gale notes, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy the challenge of finding 'enough' for my row of vases.

      Delete
  3. Love those blues! Five years? Seems impossible. You have accomplished much. P. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. It has just brightened my day seeing your garden looking so fresh and alive after my garden this month! It is amazing what you have achieved in the five years you have been there. Love the description you shared too! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  5. The spotted beetle looks beautiful, its habits are like that of the green rose beetles her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like her elegant Christmas LBD
      https://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2009/12/little-black-dress-at-peace.html

      Delete
  6. Five years! Have you really only been at this house five years? Oh my. Is time moving quicker?
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your garden is such a happy place, Diana. I love the blue patch.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have an eye for colour in garden and blog. I have been scratching around for a drop of natural light today and I see these beauties. Gorgeous. By the way, through gritted teeth I should congratulate you for a magnificent rugby game. We were too confident and you showed true grit. Well done. I see quite a few of your stars in European club games.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I am mostly garden, embarrassed to say the rugby passed me by.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts