False Bay garden in October
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Between the red pelargonium and the lime gold Euphorbia mauritanica was an African monarch butterfly. For Through the garden gate with Sarah in Dorset
Three treasures found at the Constantia Open Gardens. Feverfew for my herbs and edibles. Maroon Scabiosa to the blues and purples. Second attempt at Dipogon lignosus - edible peas. I see it scrambling up thru shrubs when we hike - hope this will be a happier place for it. Indigenous Dipogon for Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee on Wildflower Wednesday.
Inspired by three heart pots displayed on gravel at an open garden, I retrieved my octagonal pot. Mine must shine on the table we seldom use. Dipogon, next to the Hoya, both sheltered by an old Coprosma. Feverfew between lemon tree and tiny spekboom hedge. New Scabiosa next to the edible banana sprout.
The Ungardener caught up with our tapestry hedge (planted in 2015, added bietou in 2017). We don't want fierce geometry, but we do want a clear path and driveway - with the top level with the fence posts, for privacy but not too much shade for sun-loving plants.
Since the cats also drink from the bird bath, they were defending MINE. We have had a burst of very welcome rain. Our nearest official weather station is Brooklands above Simon's Town (filtration plant and two dams which also supply us). Average October rain is 46 mm - before the rain we were on a frightening 4 mm - after the rain 88 mm (double!) Bringing Cape Town's dams up by 3% to 83%. But for the whole Western Cape it's 64%, farmers and some rural towns are still locked in drought with empty dams.
Cornish Stripe. Deep blue butterflies Rotheca and Anchusa capensis Cape forget-me-not. Fresh burgundy leaves on Japanese maple. Lifted by white pelargoniums along the boundary wall. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Purple spires on Plectranthus neochilus (powerful herbal pong) and gentle lavender.
Citrus pelargonium with stripy flowers and toothy fragrant leaves. That Spring Promise corner is looking lush and scattered with pink flowers. Barbie pink pelargonium. Gentle mauve wild hibiscus from Knysna.
Iceberg roses flourishing on food and rain. Papery white Syncarpha. Succulent pelargonium has delicate white flowers on tall stems - in summer leaves and flowers vanish, leaving fat bare stems.
Summer Gold. Psychotria capensis (or lemoenbos, lemon bush, for the flowers). Psychotria is Greek, meaning to give life and refers to healing properties. Enjoys shade and is covered in bunches of small flowers. That Gazania rigens lolls over the paving slabs - cut back hard, and I tucked cuttings in on the other side, where there is bare sand. Why such a difference only two steps away??
Karoo Koppie. Echoing the butterfly's bronze Californian poppy and velvety Leonotis leonurus. The rain seems to have turned the corner for our olive tree, which is looking green and happy, waving over the tapestry hedge.
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