False Bay garden in November
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
This November down Cornish Stripe I have a nice mix of indigenous blues for Gail at Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday. Rotheca myricoides with its blue butterflies. Violet in a blue butterfly pot. The architectural detail of Plectranthus neochilus (without its fiercely herbal smelling leaves). Vivid blue Cape forget-me-not Anchusa capensis. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Blue and purple Streptocarpus giving me a bunch of flowers in return for being fed. Our weather has finally abruptly tipped from spring chilly evenings to Must Remember to Water Streptocarpus, violet, roses, potted lime...
On one of those chilly days this Blue Emperor dragonfly waited patiently for a day outside our kitchen door - next morning with the sun - he was gone!
Little grey garden weevils only eat the leaves of the tuberous begonia. Black and white spotted beetles devour the Iceberg roses - they certainly smell good!
Can it be a year since we had the family to lunch? Delighted to gather four bunches from a garden which is not intentionally designed for cutting. For fun I also did an 'orange blanje blau' to echo South Africa's old flag. Orange Leonotis, white Pelargonium, and lavender's blue.
Five years have passed since we began gardening here. One water tank graciously hidden behind Bauhinia bowkeri. Lots of lush green enfolding the lemon tree for Through the Garden Gate Down by the Sea with Sarah in Dorset.
The olive has bounced back nice and green. Spekboom Portulacaria afra is an appealing chunky succulent tree since March last year. Brachylaena discolor needs frequent determined pruning - I want it this side of the gate, neither over the wall, nor in our neighbour's driveway, nor bashing dings in our communal wall. Natal laburnum Calpurnia aurea has shrugged off that the previous leaves were stripped by caterpillars.
Satin perfection of Californian poppy. Picking Alstroemeria Inca lilies for vases. Rich russet Nasturtium.
Back to indigenous with tangerine Bulbine frutescens. White flowers in the pond are eel grass. Raspberry ripple inherited ivy pelargonium.
I have had the Merwilla plumbea (was Natal blue squill) bulb since I bought it at Kirstenbosch in 2009. Still waiting on flowers 'in October' but it needs watering in summer. Moved it to a bigger salt glazed pot, still on the shady side since it prefers damp. As ever in a mediterranean garden, mindful weeding in gravel and between paving slabs gives a steady harvest of vigorous seedlings. This little 'un is Brachylaena discolor. I may live to regret planting that outside my bathroom window.
I was engrossed in Patrick Gale's - Notes from an exhibition. A novel hung around the curator's notes for a (fictitious) artist. With each chapter fleshing out the chapter of her life as she painted that work. Overtones of why Van Gogh painted as he did, and how he saw the world.
Vivid terracotta leaves in the annual display from my inherited and exotic fiddlewood Citharexylum spinosum.
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I love those tranquil blue flowers. Seeing the Rotheca once more in your garden had me making the decision to try it again, this time in a large pot (as planting it out in this garden has killed it twice). The eel grass flowers are intriguing, as is the fiddlewood, and I've posted a photo of the book by Patrick Gale on my Pinterest page for reference when it comes time to select my next novel.ReplyDelete
Rotheca needs to pretend it lives in a sub-tropical microclimate. Afternoon shade, protected from the worst of the wind - then you can enjoy the flowers.Delete
Oh, those blues are really special...as are the floral arrangements. I enjoyed the Patrick Gale notes, too.ReplyDelete
I enjoy the challenge of finding 'enough' for my row of vases.Delete
Love those blues! Five years? Seems impossible. You have accomplished much. P. xReplyDelete
It does begin to feel like home here.Delete
It has just brightened my day seeing your garden looking so fresh and alive after my garden this month! It is amazing what you have achieved in the five years you have been there. Love the description you shared too! Sarah xReplyDelete
The spotted beetle looks beautiful, its habits are like that of the green rose beetles her.ReplyDelete
I like her elegant Christmas LBDDelete
Five years! Have you really only been at this house five years? Oh my. Is time moving quicker?ReplyDelete
Your garden is such a happy place, Diana. I love the blue patch.ReplyDelete
You have an eye for colour in garden and blog. I have been scratching around for a drop of natural light today and I see these beauties. Gorgeous. By the way, through gritted teeth I should congratulate you for a magnificent rugby game. We were too confident and you showed true grit. Well done. I see quite a few of your stars in European club games.ReplyDelete
I am mostly garden, embarrassed to say the rugby passed me by.