False Bay garden and water in March
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Our giraffe has a new view. I couldn't bear to look at the struggling standard Iceberg any longer. Such an unsuited choice of the previous gardener.
Today he looks at a spekboom (flourishing specimen harvested from near our compost heap) with a cutting of yellow Gazania to spill over. Now it fits.
It has taken us three years to replace the glary white quartz chips with river pebbles. We need another bag or two. Boophone is fanning out its ruffled leaves for autumn. The spekboom hedge outside the kitchen, which was sad little twigs in December 2014, has almost reached the full height to the trellis.
Despite coming from Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, after our drought summer - the afternoon shade, with grey water from the kitchen when I notice, suits Rotheca myricoides. A generous shrub with swags of blue butterfly flowers guarded by resident carpenter bees.
I love ferns and am nurturing the few that survive. Broad-leaved Rumohra adiantiformis (seven weeks fern). Maidenhair fern is happy at the feet of Rotheca. Tough Asparagus fern came with the garden. Softer green Asparagus macowanii is a survivor from Camps Bay.
The compost volunteer tomato looks good but has a tough leathery skin. Still a few lemons to harvest. Bananas for shipping are harvested "three-fourths full". Three fourths of the bananas have filled out and do not have the predominant ribs on the sides of the fruit (from an expired Texan gardening website). We wait, and water, then will cut them to ripen indoors from starch to sugar.
From our March municipal accounts in litres per person per day.
2015 garden 483 litres while we were renovating (that lasts us 9 days now!) Still no March lilies sadly.
2016 garden 327 litres normal life as it was. Plants along Woodland Walk have filled in with a vengeance. Time to replant the border of yellow Bulbine. (Scabiosa and Tulbaghia have dwindled almost away)
2017 garden 160 litres on the learning curve down. That sun bed is gone; the second heap of soil is cleared. A chair awaits some new plants where he lifted and reallocated two paving slabs around the new tanks.
2018 on our latest account 37 litres. For March today, we have used 60 litres. Without our rain tank, we average 43 litres of municipal water. 8 days off-grid using our rain water.
|Santolina, Iceberg with spider, Ivy pelargonium|
Dusty Miller, Plumbago, perennial basil
Cyperus albo-striatus, Sansevieria, garlic chives
Tom Brown reviews our dam levels each Tuesday (26th March) 'The first desalinated water should enter the system in April. CoCT will issue a tender for clearance and removal of >100 Ha pine forest in the Steenbras catchment by 2020 to improve rainwater yield. Households consuming more than 20 KL of water per month are down from 80,000 in March 2017 to 12,300 in March 2018.'
'At the end of April, if we are above normal, it’s likely we’ll have above normal rainfall by year end' - Will there be more rain in Cape Town this winter?
For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset
and Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee.
|Pelargonium, Nerine sarniensis, Halleria lucida|
lavender, Hibiscus tiliaceus, purple sage
Limonium perezzi, with Plectranthus
Signs of hope as Nerine sarniensis buds open, with a folded heart on Hibiscus tiliaceus.
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