May in our False Bay garden during COVID lockdown
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
We had good rain in May and fierce windy storms. No flooding, filling our dams nicely. But parts of South Africa wait for rain with empty dams. Hypoestes aristata a haze of purple flowers, feeds bees, that furled petal so intricately spotted. Blue grey leaves of Cotyledon orbiculata work well for my blue and white Cornish Stripe. For Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee
|Hypoestes aristata with bee|
The weather suits the aloes which are, wait for it, wait for it, in bud. Flaming red aloe torches against snowy mountains epitomise our Cape winter for me.
|Aloes in bud|
Cotyledon orbiculata bottom right
May garden flowers for Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset
Blue Felicia, mauve Plectranthus saccatus, deepest red Lachenalia bulbifera.
Tiny white Crassula capitata, white fragrant trumpets Jasminum angulare, lime gold terracotta Euphorbia tirucalli.
Soft yellow Hypoxis, chrome yellow Euryops daisies, golden orange Tecoma capensis.
|May garden flowers|
Mystery caterpillar waits hopefully on iNaturalist, but has disappeared from my garden.
Cucullia sp. perhaps??
We removed the dead Searsia. Chipped and bagged to solarise. We have three Halleria lucida in our garden. Large one across from the Adirondack patio. Medium one already in the tapestry hedge on the verge. Among the pebbles on the beach at our pond was a volunteer sapling. Potted up and it flourished. Waited a couple of weeks for the sand to settle, and planted tree number 44 in that gap.
|Halleria lucida for the tapestry hedge gap|
We have lemon flowers and tiny Tahiti limes, a steady supply of Iceberg roses (and one rosehip). Perennial basil planted for bees is constantly in flower.
|Exotic May flowers|
Paired shell of a giant clam is a souvenir from his travelling days. Thomas, no accounting for taste, finds it a PERFECT pillow. He has his missiles ready, if we move away before he has had enough cuddles, he hurls his weapons after us, with a very satisfying THWOCK. Protea seedheads brought home from hikes, are perfect cat toys, the right size and weight to chase.
|Thomas on his shell pillow|
with missiles ready to fire
Zöe dwarfed by Marie Antoinette's towering powdered wig.
|Zöe in pompadour|
And sitting pointedly peering into the fire. Something wrong here! This is usually warm?
|Zöe waiting pointedly for the fire to be lit|
We wait patiently for Monday when our lockdown lifts to Level 3. We can walk, while the sun is shining! Instead of with vampires from 6 to 9 on a winter morning - we will have 6 to 6. Giving working people some chance of fresh air and exercise. Beaches and parks are still Look but No Entry.
|Gazing wistfully at Look but DoN'T Touch sea|
in COVID haircut and underslung mask
Last two library books, still waiting for them to reopen. Maybe July??
That was fascinating - escapism from lockdown. A young English woman is commissioned to paint the plants in the exotic garden of Villa Manzoni near Milan two hundred years ago.
Kathleen BARBER - Are you sleeping - when you wake up your nightmare begins.
(Could be a tagline for us and COVID) A journalist investigates an old murder case. Her progress is on the web in But WAIT There is More daily posts. Addictive ... until our heroine realises it is about HER.
Trawling my own bookshelves
Laurens VAN DER POST - The Seed and the Sower
A Christmas trilogy. Japanese prisoners of war. Intense, but beautifully written with deep empathy for every character, both the 'good' and the 'bad'.
Edith WHARTON - The Age of Innocence
My father's mother came from New Zealand to visit the family, their two little girls. She stayed for the Duration, as there were no ships home during the Second World War. I never met her, but this solitary book has survived, passed from her son, to his wife, to my sister, to me. I read with double pleasure - for the fine writing, and lingering to wonder why my grandmother cherished this book. Written in 1920 and yet it seems timeless.
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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer
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