April in our False Bay garden with COVID kilometres
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Who would have thought, when we planned this garden from Porterville, how deeply we would appreciate three things. We live in a broad valley with a borrowed scenery glimpse of mountain on each side. Down to Cape Point then Antarctica, or up to the City and Africa. No dead wasted space here. No lawn, no green desert, I want interest and biodiversity habitat. A reason to explore. Sun out front or shade under the carob. Bird song and bubbling water, reflections of blue sky in the pond. A path to stride out, or step carefully, a gentle slope with a few stairs. Bricks or varied paving slabs. Straight, curved, or turn here. Five years of gardening. (Looking back to four years)
A spritz of jasmine each time we pass this corner. Each lap, there and back, is a hundred metres. Ten makes a kilometre. He runs and counts his laps, three kilometres usually. Five yesterday!
I tried twice around the circle, made me dizzy. Once, clockwise up, and anti-clockwise down, works.
Froggy Pond has two frogs singing at night. We think they are in that large clump of Cyperus prolifer, which I trim just a few stalks at a time. The hippo is hidden underneath.
For Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee Cotyledon orbiculata comes in many leaf varieties. I prefer the grey, and the interesting leaf forms. First choice is these reindeer antlers! That tall blue pot is the view from our glazed kitchen door, and the turning point. Previously with a ratty purple sage. I am stretching my Cornish Stripe blue and white theme to include glaucous leaves now.
No wasted space again. We moved the new wooden compost bin to the corner, where it divides Cornish Stripe from the Woodland Walk. Also that ugly black tank for grey water is now tucked behind a small spekboom hedge.
For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset. This pair of hadeda ibis was digging together in that Iceberg pot for a while. I start my loop in the sunny front garden with weight-bearing stair climbing, 100 to 150 each day. Then I walk laps till my half hour is up (about one and a half kilometres)
One day, we will draw a line under this, a wobbly line. Our COVID lockdown warden on high alert. This is BOR-R-RING, nobody ever goes anywhere!
In autumn the garden turns purple Hypoestes aristata, Plectranthus saccatus and Barleria obtusa. With blue Rotheca myricoides and Felicia. Pelargoniums in pinks, white, red and coral. Red Halleria lucida and Nerine sarniensis. Orange Tecomaria capensis and leaf edges on Aloe striata. Yellow daisies Euryops and Gazania.
Easter seems so long ago. A posy of gifted plants inherited with this garden. Variegated Coprosma repens, white Iceberg roses and Hypoestes aristata. In a blue glass vase from my middlest sister, on a striped plate from my niece whose heart sings with colour!
Typhoid Mary no longer washes dishes. They are jetsetting, country club, members. TMI? Those first 100 days. We hope to follow in the steps of New Zealand and Portugal as they lift lockdown. On the 1st of May we go to Level 4 - cloth masks if we leave home, curfew from 8 at night to 5 in the morning, slowly back to work. COVID feelings from First Dog on the Moon ;~))
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