May in our False Bay garden
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
The camera always lies. Take two steps into this and you will stand hip deep in the middle of Froggy Pond! The straw worked like a charm and we can see clear down to the bottom now.
Remembering Rasta Pani in Porterville, Ungardening Pond and Pani's Falls
Advice from photographer Saxon Holt. I battle to take 'wide' views of our garden. Four narrow strips along each side of the house, make it hard to stand back. Half in brilliant sun, and half in what the camera doesn't see in deepest shadow. I take morning photos and afternoon photos then collage together Sunnyside and Sunnyside Up. Find some soft light. One evening as I was making supper I glanced at the garden. And thought - now! No shadows and the detail shows up. Today's wide views are taken in gentle evening light. Point and shoot needs to learn about tripods and slow shutter speeds. Good garden photography.
My collages are usually Picasa (which Google has retired, but if you have already downloaded the software, you can continue to use it). When I do the more complicated and crowded flowers, I would prefer to choose where each image goes. Three colour themes of flowers I did in Picmonkey.
At the sunny windy front I have planted mostly succulents - who appreciate the good drainage from the terrace. Orange and red flowers, and leaves, and chillies. Lachenalia rubida flowers are just emerging.
(Foreign flowers Bougainvillea, Aeonium and the chilli)
(South African spotted leaf aloe, pelargoniums, coral aloe, Lachenalia rubida, fire heath, Bulbine, firesticks, climbing aloe, Tecomaria and Crassula)
Down the afternoon sun side one end is pink and white with grey leaves. The other is all yellow.
(Foreign flowers Salvia greggii, the lemon, green slipper orchid, variegated Hypericum, Santolina, Dusty Miller, Iceberg rose, lamb's ears, Coprosma and Hibiscus)
(South African Erica glandulosa, golden-leaved spekboom, lavender star, Dymondia carpet, Sansevieria (two), dandelion, wild hibiscus, garlic buchu, Senecio climber, Pelargonium, Bulbine, Nerine and Euryops)
Morning sun is funereal purples and blues. Cobalt blue pots. Lifted with white in leaves and flowers. The edge taken off the chilly blue and white with lemon yellow Senecio daisy climber echoing the lemons.
(Foreign flowers Mexican sage, tuberous Begonia, lavender, blue grass, Abelia, bronze fennel, Prunus nigra, Liriope)
(South African 'Oxford and Cambridge' Clerodendrum myricoides 'Ugandense', variegated Tulbaghia, succulent pelargonium, Hypoestes, Melianthus, spotted leaf aloe, Pelargonium, Plectranthus, kingfisher daisy (flower and variegated leaves), Boophane fan of leaves, variegated forest sedge, Septemberbossie, variegated Pelargonium and Plectranthus, white Hypoestes, Plectranthus and Crassula)
When the SPCA inspector came to ask Thomas - if he is happy here? He found Thomas tucked up happily on his Jacob rug. Aragon our creaky old lady feels the cold, and is enjoying her new 'sheepskin' nest.
Birds appreciate the carob tree. At the top catching the evening sun is a fiscal shrike, butcher bird who catches littler birds and lizards with his cruel hooked beak. Investigating the hole in the Cotyledon orbiculata leaf was a paper wasp Polistes fastidiotus.
We walked up then along at Kirstenbosch, continuing around a planted forest of silver trees Leucadendron argenteum. Now I know why we lost our plant in Camps Bay - they prefer cool slopes. Lion's Head down to Camps Bay suits them perfectly. But not our full sun exposure at the foot of the Twelve Apostles looking over the Atlantic Ocean.
For Gail at Clay and Limestone with her Wildflower Wednesday a wider selection than the flowers I gathered in May 2015.
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