False Bay garden in August
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Come and walk thru our garden with me. The paved courtyard has beloved tiny sedge? greening the gaps - in summer we will add the bags of pebbles waiting patiently. At the corner near the first tank we have redone the path which is now wider and easier. At long last we moved the unwanted sun lounger on to TEARS (where we found Zoë). I can sit under the lemon tree and admire the garden up the double path beneath the Washing Pergola.
Time to go Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset. Her meme suits me nicely as we inherited the wall and gate dividing the garden in two. Out front is exposed to the wind and weather, with north facing sun all day. The red Lachenalia have faded and Californian poppies are invading. Turning away from the road, most of the garden is private, and green in need of constant pruning to keep the paths free.
I am flattered to have been asked, again, to open our garden to the garden clubs of Fish Hoek and Constantia! The camera always lies and I show the best side on the blog. The camera also points out that Euryops virgineus is nearly dead and must go. One Septemberbossie has survived and is full of flowers and carpenter bees. The partner pot I have planted lower, yellow Bulbine, dark-veined-leaf pelargonium and an ivy pelargonium.
Vlei lily - delicate flowers with luminous white petals and fine purple markings. Yellow Bulbine echoes the lemon tree. Curly Boophone leaves. Shocking pink Pelargonium. And white dotted along the East and South sides of the garden. Lime, lemon and cream striped Albuca. Heart leaves on indigenous Hibiscus. Happiness blue Felicia. Barely blue Romulea tabularis bulb. Lime gold and Fire Sticks euphorbias. Scarlet Pelargonium.
But I said maybe next year to the open gardens. We have a heap of soil where we should be able to sit by Froggy Pond. The Cyperus I have gratefully managed to grow to cover the outside plug, with its two different wings of Sansevieria - is now upstaged by all the rain pipes - below to link the two tanks, above to overflow into the pond. Pipes will be painted to blend with the house wall. The first tank needs trellises for indigenous jasmine and clematis, and both need some strategic planting.
The little black tank for the patio roof overflows, so we need a taller solution there. Also flexible roll up pipes for the pond overflows. Cape Town's dams will run dry in mid-February. Tenders are out for desalination.
Crashing thru the cat door came one sodden Zoë. We followed the wet trail back to pond. Hunting birds and they won?
I'm bemused by people who say - 'so sad. My garden is brown and dead.' I see a river of yellow Osteospermum moniliferum flowing down the slope that was on fire the day we moved in. The seedlings volunteer in our garden and I weed mindfully and moved two to the verge. This is our first year when the Bietou have been covered in flowers. They will be pruned back into place once the flowers and following berries are gone.
For Wildflower Wednesday a tiny bee pollinates Freesia alba. My truly wildflowers were at Silvermine.
Another first here are the scandent scarlet flowers of the climbing aloe. Aloe ciliaris is renamed Aloiampelos ciliaris. (I'll never remember that!)
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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.
Danke für sinnvolle Kommentare. Die werden erst veröffentlicht nachdem ich sie gelesen habe. Es können auch Bemerkungen sein die in eine ganz andere Richtung gehen.
The nice thing about blogging is that we can choose to show only the good parts. I don't think the camera lies. It just doesn't tell the whole truth. No need to show the ugly bits :-)ReplyDelete
The truth and nothing but the truthDelete
but, look here
Despite the misery of your drought, your garden is bountiful and beautifully green, Diana. I'm always pleased to see flowers I recognize from my own garden - you provide a preview of the spring that's still so far away here. Could the barely blue bulb flower be Ipheion uniflorum?ReplyDelete
It is very similar to your Ipheion, but I need to track down the name again.Delete
Thank you for joining me again this month. It was nice to virtually walk through your gate this month, I should do that too. It must have been flattering to be asked to open your garden it always looks wonderful! I had to smile at our blogs not showing the worse areas! That is a good idea to paint your water barrel pipes. It is frightening to see how quickly the water levels have decreased in the reservoirs, Have the new water tanks helped you? Sarah xReplyDelete
I am using some water for the washing machine.Delete
But we still plan a filter and pump, then we could go off-grid for weeks.
Depending on how much rain we get.
I enjoy seeing so many of the plants I have in my garden in their native home, s much came to Australia from South Africa.ReplyDelete
Next door has a tea tree which has just come into flower. Smells good when I run the lopped branches thru my chipper.Delete
It really doesn't look messy to me. I remember when you moved to your new place and you were describing the plans and things started taking shape. Your pathways are fabulous! That's something I'd like to do more in my garden--if not this one, then the next garden after we move someday...ReplyDelete
We made the best use of the paving, brick and slab, that was here.Delete
But we agreed when we were planning, that we would invest in wide and appealing paving slabs. In a no lawn garden with too many exuberant plants the paving is - our negative space for the eye to rest.
Diana, your garden looks fantastic and beautiful green even during a dought, my garden doesn't know droughts , we had 10 days of almost non-stop rain and now I have to wait untill the soil dries off to work again in the garden. I really loved the flowers of the Aloe ciliaris, I love aloe flowers in general because I consider them to be my alternative to lupines which are a plant I really like but can't grow in this subtropical climate.ReplyDelete
Here the lupines are a field crop. Interesting to see them as an aloe substitute. In Porterville we had heavy clay soil, concrete in summer, and suck off your shoes in winter. Sand is a pleasure to work with!Delete
Diana - thank you - your garden and home is an inspiration and I would love to see it - CarolynnReplyDelete
Wish I could inspire Cape Town gardeners to be green and water-wise. So wonderful to hike in the mountains and gather a wish list!Delete
Your garden looks so lovely. 😊 ours has suffered quite badly even the lawn because of the draught but I'm determined to be making the most of our grey water as we move into spring and summer this year. Hopefully that will make a difference.ReplyDelete
We did inherit lawn all round the house. After the builders had renovated, we removed what lawn was left - and enjoyed the garden. Grey water and a little from rain tanks was how we gardened in Porterville's flirting with 40 summer.Delete
I know you have a blog - I'll add the link when I find it.Delete
I like your flowers, very similar to the ones I grew when we lived in Sydney. I was very glad when we put in a very big water tank near the house, it makes gardening in drought conditions less worrying ...at least you know you can give everything a drink now and then. I love the Aloe ciliaris... but I wonder if it could survive the frosts we have?Delete
Been renamed - from the Eastern Cape - very light frost.Delete
I understand the need for name changes but, in my dotage, find it hard to remember new names. Umpteen brain cells used up for Aloe Plicatilis and it no longer exists. What are our acacias called now?Delete
Opening your garden would provide inspiration to many who may not follow social media.
Our acacias have been claimed by Australia (but Gerrie lives there with South African roots). I learn new names each week with the botanical hikers - makes my brain explode!Delete
I enjoy those distant hillsides when areas on them are in bloom or green, such as our last 2 months. Your Osteospermum drifts really show up far away.ReplyDelete
I always enjoy seeing your flowers. I have pelargonium growing in pots on the decks and the patio, but we treat them like annuals here. They will die with the first frost and be replaced with new plants next year.ReplyDelete
I have agreed to have my garden club here for a garden visit next year (nothing as ambitious as an open garden day), and I am already anxious about it. As you say, the camera always lies; it is much easier to control how people see the garden in the blog than in person!
Sometimes I regret that my plants are not cut back by frost. But I am slowly learning to - cut back hard, strike cuttings, and refresh my too vigorous plants as needed.Delete
Cold feet about opening our garden. It is also a tiny space if there are a group of people. The local garden club who share your conditions will I am sure be delighted to see what you have achieved!
Very impressive rain water barrels. To me, your August garden looks ready for a garden tour, Diana. P. xReplyDelete
I came home full of ideas and enthusiasm ... musical chairs is next. Which adds another layer of chaos ;~)Delete
"Greening the gaps" ... beautifully put, Diana. Could be a name of a blog, or a mission statement for living.ReplyDelete
I'll take the mission statement with you.Delete