False Bay garden in August
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Little lady Zoë has found a sunny balcony. Making the most of low winter sun. (Sigh as today is grey and drizzly and COLD 19C inside and 7C low last night)
We look cautiously back at our drought and Day Zero threat. The large bucket that stood here for grey water, is gone - but we have kept the lidded black tank. I still need to stop the Ungardener taking a shortcut NOT DOWN the steps. My mother's tuberous begonia was smothered by striped grass I planted at the same time. Now I can see and enjoy those large asymmetric rich dark leaves (not so enamoured of the coral shell flowers)
Blue and white for Cornish Stripe. Small cream thistles on Brachylaena discolor. Tiny lime flowers on Buddleja glomerata. Iceberg roses bloom steadily. White Freesia leichtlinii alba (Max Leichtlin found them in the Botanic Gardens at Padua) and Babiana. Spanish bluebells inherited with the garden. A few straggly flowers on Hypoestes aristata. Silvery groundcover under the lemon tree Helichrysum cymosum. White pelargonium another steady bloomer.
My potted lime tree has good fruit, fresh tender leaves and bunches of flowers. Lemon tree is recovering from battling thru the drought - trim, feed and water, more fruit ripening.
Feeding the pollinators on Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee. This skipper butterfly is a gold spotted sylph Metisella metis.
Summer Gold has inherited Hibiscus in its deeper winter colours. Chasmanthe floribunda, yellow variety named for the Duckitt family in Darling. Tall wands of Bulbine. Albuca bulbs flowering. New Psychotria capensis has its first flowers. Vivid yellow Euryops pectinatus.
Spring Promise in 'I like pink' vlei lilies and dusky Veltheimia. Shell pink with cherry hearts Dombeya burgessiae. Pink buds Syncarpha. Barbie pink Oxalis from South America (distinguished from ours by that, blink and you will miss it, dark dot above the notch in the leaf!) Pink and salmon pelargoniums.
Inherited shrubby Plectranthus ecklonii has bounced back to lush 'normal' and the Maidenhair fern has settled in below Rotheca.
But a gap has opened where the camphor bush should shield us from our neighbour. First the Grewia died back, now I see dying branches and lower leaves on Tarchonanthus next to the gap. Olive tree outside the bay window is a sickly yellowy colour.
On the patio with a good book, but the retirees are typically busy busy.
And out Through the Garden Gate with Sarah in Dorset to the Autumn Fire orange and red succulents on my Karoo Koppie. Climbing aloe Aloiampelos ciliaris var. ciliaris. Firesticks Euphorbia tirucalli. Burgundy spikes of Melianthus major. Lime and terracotta Cotyledon orbiculata. Russet nasturtium for my sister. Red pelargonium. Halleria lucida has so many berries this year that they are scattered and trampled on the patio.
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