In a Vase on Monday and mountain flowers
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
Since our garden is manageable, I don't have beds or plants dedicated for cutting. I do always have colour. I am unwilling to cut unless they are pruning volunteers or to gift a posy. Chosen to provide habitat and food for wildlife, I prefer to let the plants play their role in the web of life. I do choose for foliage first, which always gives me the option of a generous sheaf of texture, shape and colour - cream, silver, all the greens, glaucous blue or even orange and red. I could have picked purple and white flowers, stripping the garden, but I will leave those to shine in the March garden update. For Foliage Follow-up.
When we lived in Porterville the 'garden' club was half floral art demonstrations. I have got out of the habit of exercising the skill I gained. For In a Vase On Monday I chose tall and delicate stars of dwarf Cyperus prolifer - always one of my first favourites for my garden, and vases. A lush groundcover lighting up the shade is the green and white striped forest Cyperus albostriatus as focal starbursts. Bonus of fragrance from the little sage green beach sage Salvia africana-lutea, and the large velvety ruffled leaves of rose Pelargonium. More height and contrasting colour from Brachylaena discolor with bottle green shiny and silver matte surfaces. The vase is rectangular IKEA from wide eyed visits to Spreitenbach outside Zurich. We still, don't have IKEA shops in South Africa. Filled with glass pebbles to hold the stems, just there, where I placed them, thank you!
His February moon bridges the gap to his February hikes and my preferred wild flowers on our mountains.
Red disas we first found by accident when we walked along the Pipe Track above Camps Bay. And again hiking in the Groot Winterhoek above Porterville. These Disa uniflora are in Echo Valley on Table Mountain living up to their Pride of Table Mountain name.
In Bainskloof near Wellington he found blue flowers. Nivenia corymbosa ??
Looking down at Simon's Town, the naval dockyard (more sheltered than Table Bay) and our church on Sunday. The last layer of purple-headed mountain is Table Mountain under the Tablecloth with Devil's Peak.
He was climbing on Simonsberg. (No wonder he comes home bruised and bloody to recover for the next round)
Up Little Lion's Head looking across Hout Bay to Chapman's Peak Drive on that almost unbuilt sweep from the mountain to the sea. Upmarket Tintswalo Atlantic Lodge is tucked out of sight down on the shore.
They hiked down to Sandy Bay on another route.
For something completely different - architecture, history and art in my previous post.Hiking with U3A both for the company (safety in numbers) and to discover more of our mountain nature.
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Great display of interesting textures.ReplyDelete
I love the subtlety (how hard was that word to type!!) of your choices. Lovely textures and tones. It's also nice to see plants I don't know out and about on your walk.ReplyDelete
Who needs flowers when you have foliage like this? It is hard to imagine a drought in the frozen north at the moment. Hope it ends soon.ReplyDelete
The variegated cyperus pulls the other elements together, unifying the shades of green. Thanks for sharing your precious IKEA vase and its contents as well as your other photographic snippetsReplyDelete
A treat to see your wildflowers....and I can understand not cutting flowers. Your vase is a perfect view of the varied and lovely foliage found in your garden, and reminds me that once the snow melts, I will look for some foliage and dried seedheads for a vase as flowers will still be a long way off.ReplyDelete
No IKEA shops in South Africa? Why not?ReplyDelete
Not enough middle class customers to support it?Delete
Your composition in shades of green is lovely, Diana. I always find flowers I've never before seen nor heard of in your posts too, like this month's pretty disa. Your husband looks to be a very intrepid climber - if I saw my own doing that, I think I might have a heart attack.ReplyDelete
It works well that he hikes with the Curious and Adventurous 'I'd rather die' and he enjoys it! About 16 in his group and some are experienced leaders.Delete
My fynbos / botanical ramble goes up and down. Following actual paths. Slowly for the cameras and discussion about ID.
Red Disa deserve the name Pride of Table Mountain....beautiful. Great photos, especially the scenes of the Cape, across from Simon's Town, and also from Little Lion's head...oh the memories they bring back for me! I don't think I have the stamina for those big hikes, but is must be a wonderful way to see the country.Delete
Thanks for your help naming the New Zealand flowers.
A very well-composed vase. I do not miss the blooms at all, and I particularly love the Cyperus prolifer. https://tssoutherngarden.comReplyDelete
Extremely diverse post. Colourful blooms, lunar magic, rock climbing and wonderful scenery.ReplyDelete
You do have the most marvelous wildflowers...! I love your vase with its refreshing, soft greens. I have to laugh a little about only cutting flowers that need to be cut back, as I'm in just that position with my Justicia californica. It was not until after it had grown about twice as large as advertised that I found that... yes, sometimes it gets enormous when happy! How it does it with scarcely any supplemental water - even when temperatures head up over 45 C and there is no rain - I don't know. I wonder whether it is ever available out your way? The hummingbirds and lizards love it!ReplyDelete
I did see Justicia in an open gardenDelete
It looks like our Tecomaria, until you take a second look.
Okay, I just saw your earlier post with the Justicia - I would think that was J. brandegeana, a much different plant and one I've not grown. It's an intriguing genus, seemingly; I should research it a bit more. There are one or two other species that will grow here. I've got the drought-tolerant tropical J. spicigera as a winter-flowering foil for Caesalpinia pulcherrima. So far a not-altogether successful strategy!Delete
I like the divergent adventures in your natural world, though knowing my limits I would not dare replicate scaling cliffs like "him" / "he" / "Ungardener ". That view of Simon's Town is stunning, though.ReplyDelete
That photo of the moon! Magic indeed.ReplyDelete
A lovely varied blog post. I like your gardening and arranging ethos. The peeps onto the wilderness areas in South Africa are a treat too.ReplyDelete
Such beautiful foliage! I rarely cut my flowers as well, as I prefer to enjoy them outside where the wildlife and more can enjoy them too. The coast looks so pretty!ReplyDelete
Love 'pruning volunteers' and the blend of greens -especially how the Stars and Stripes complement! I am recycling jam and cucumber hars for vases - Ikea I avoid at any cost!ReplyDelete
The ungardeners impressive hikes brought a wealth of wildflower and the view where your church nestles below Devil's peak.
That was from early IKEA days when it was folksy Swedish. I have also hoarded greeting cards with art filled with Nordic light.Delete
Your vase of foliage is beautiful. I'm impressed by your creativity.ReplyDelete
What wonderful countryside (I'm sure I've said this before but never stop admiring the scenery where you live). I like those muted colours for a change in the vase.ReplyDelete
Beautiful landscape as usual. Loving the blue. Reply to comment- No not carved, some kind of resin by "willow tree" . Angels are good.ReplyDelete