False Bay garden in September
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Californian poppies bloom on our Karoo Koppie in a thick carpet! Yellow, gold, orange and russet for Through the Garden Gate.
One end has a border of golden Portulacaria afra. Euphorbia tirucalli Firesticks fights thru pelargoniums and poppies. Against the north-facing wall a red Crassula. Bells on Cotyledon orbiculata. Red Pelargonium. Barely yellow Lampranthus has faded. Euphorbia mauritanica covered in lime gold bronze flowers. Finely dotted margin of a Cotyledon orbiculata leaf.
Today I cut back two Osteospermum moniliferum on the verge Plectranthus neochilus ate the brick pavement and eyes the tarred road.
He relaid the slabs at Spring Promise, removing the zig zag that we stepped over - keeping the offset path curving off from the stone circle. I yanked out the Euryops virgineus - gone brown. Moved half of the white iris - wonder if they will bloom? From under the previous slabs I rescued bluebells and arum lilies.
Silver Dymondia margaretae carpet is offended by the burying. Trusses of pink Dombeya festoon the new rain tank. Five corners are anchored by Dusty Miller. Veltheimia settled in to bloom. Brachylaena has ivory and russet furry thistle flowers. Buddleja tiny flowers in ivory flushed with purple and an orange eye - waft honey thru the garden. Shocking pink Oxalis border Spring Promise.
I have perhaps a dozen pelargoniums. Each flower varies in size, shape and markings. The leaves are large or small, dark-veined, silver blue or green, almost a semicircle or finely divided - each with its own perfume.
In Summer Gold Albuca dangles lime gold and ivory bells. Yellow Euryops daisies. Garden hibiscus sparks the gold with terracotta and burgundy. Repotted my mother's cymbidiums - surviving my neglect are Venus, an apricot and a miniature. When I did King Arthur slipper orchid out fell a label in my mother's writing. In 1964 I was 9. Hibiscus tiliaceus russet new leaf. Neighbour thinned our fiddlewood = more mountain view. Rose Courtyard is dominated by huge burgundy black Melianthus flowers.
Moved to a focal point under the bird feeder is the gentle yellow Clivia. He is working on rain tank overflow to fill the pond. Filters and pump wait to be plumbed in. Our dams are expected to last till the third week in February. Farmers have their irrigation cut by 50%. Food inflation and unemployment ahead.
New focal point for Cornish Stripe is the large black caddy where I store grey (rinse) water from the washing machine, to reuse for the next load. I cut back the Plectranthus neochilus under the lemon tree for the variegated Felicia. Planted bluebells around that house corner.
Yellow lemons, Senecio climbing daisy and Bulbinella. My blues are on glazed pots, and purple flowers of Polygala myrtifolia both the pot and the sapling. White leaves of variegated mint, Cyperus albostriatus and Plectranthus madagascariensis. Dark leaves on a purple sage and a surviving crown of English violets.
Zoё and I don't do TV. Thomas and the Ungardener are fascinated. Thomas with feet overhanging the edge of his bed.
Since the Botanical Rambles my Feedly exploded with 300 posts ... I still have the last hundred to read.
... the extravagant warmth ... of those who see that something complicated, or obscure, that they have thought or made has after all been noticed and understood - from Still life by A S Byatt
Truly wild flowers for Wildflower Wednesday in my Sentinel to Redhill post.
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Diana, so many beautiful flowers! Springtime has arrived to our hemisphere! I love clivias, I have orange and yellow ones but unfortunately my chickens ruined the yellow ones and will have to wait till next year to see their flowers!ReplyDelete
About the best year mine has had.Delete
What lovely flowers, and the re-laid path looks really good, too. A comment of "extravagant warmth" in feeling if not in eloquence :^)ReplyDelete
Yes - as a blogger - my heart sang when I read that quote, and each comment!Delete
Your early spring garden looks glorious, Diana. I envy you your Clivia. I brought one with me from my former to my current garden but it has never bloomed here and, as it's been over 6 years now, I'm guessing that it's unhappy. I love the photo of the cats and the Ungardener. My cat Pipig frequently curls up in my husband's lap but I think maybe he needs another to keep his feet warm too!ReplyDelete
To be honest this is the first year my Clivia has NOT been underwhelming. Afternoon shade, a little watering thru the year, and I have been lightly feeding.Delete
How lovely to see your garden in full spring growth. It cheers me as I look at my gradually fading autumn garden. Love clivias, ours are indoors only. Gorgeous cats. B xReplyDelete
Neighbours have spent a couple of days carefully preparing a fresh front garden ... sigh ... another lawn in our drought!!Delete
Do the neighbours have no water shortage :-/Delete
The house sold recently. If they are new to Cape Town, summer will be a shock to their gardening. If 'you must have lawn' Buffalo grass can stay green without watering. Lawn is a NIMBY zone denial choice.Delete
Love the foreignness of your blog. That "carpet of poppies" should be doable here, but I am less than entirely successful in coaxing it into being.ReplyDelete
Not planned, but I pull the excess with revenge - and still have gazillions. Fascinated how each plant is ever so slightly different. When I was a child Californian poppies were all always neon orange.Delete
You have both been so busy in the garden this month no wonder the Under gardener needed a rest! The collages are beautiful I always enjoy seeing a mixture of plants that I grow in my garden and the more exotic plants that I can only dream of! Sarah xReplyDelete
The gardening and DIY we can pace, but his last hike!! Still, recovering.Delete
So nice to see the garden is full bloom, Diana, the photos are lovely.ReplyDelete
That last picture is Keith - he even has the same footstool. It nearly always has a cat on it and often he has to fight to get some space for his legs. Our cats don't watch TV though, unless there are birds on the screen!ReplyDelete
A cat watching a fish on a television! Now I have seen everything!Delete
Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com
Thomas is our first and only cat who watches TV.Delete
What a monster your plectanthrus is. I wonder how you sleep at night! Hilarious photos of TV watching cats.ReplyDelete
Your garden is looking wonderful! It is amazing, and it must be so special for you to find that plant label in your mom's writing from 1964! And it must be an equally amazing plant that has flourished that long. As for the cat watching TV, we all need our little guilty pleasures!ReplyDelete
Such beautiful flowers! I will never get used to some gardeners being in spring while we're dragging out our thermals and heavy boots. Lovely to see the cat watching telly... did you dare to change channel or was the cat in charge of the remote control?ReplyDelete
When Thomas comes to see what's on TV, my husband changes to 50/50 a nature programme. He is watching a jackal hunting in tall grass.Delete
I am also trying to catch up with a backlog of posts on Feedly. It's such a pleasure to see all your vibrant color at a time when my own garden is going dormant for winter. (Do you think the gene for TV addiction is on the y chromosome?)ReplyDelete
Could be, but Chocolat and Henry also didn't watch.Delete