June in our False Bay garden

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

in Cape Town, South Africa

 

My middle sister and I have mid-winter birthdays. I collected a posy for her from the garden. Iceberg roses are her first choice. With white pelargoniums. Festive Centaurea cineraria Prince of Wales feather leaves. If that became clothes - figured silver velvet gown to display in a box at the opera. Those colours say mid-winter, grey and cold. I added a flash of summer sunset Tecomaria capensis in original orange. Linked the silvery white to orange with Cotyledon orbiculata var. dactylopis - flowers in a very mellow terracotta, further softened by the greenery yallery grey calyx. Supported by citrusy pelargonium leaves, and celebratory fireworks of Cyperus prolifer. Hand tied to keep each stem, just there, where I wanted it. Trimmed straight across the base to stand firm.

 

Winter solstice birthday posy
Winter solstice birthday posy

 

For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset. Succulents on our Karoo Koppie. Coral edged Aloe striata bud. Pink Joy Crassula ovata. Faded Aloe marlothii, missed my chance, between cold fronts, when it was full of bees with an opportunistic preying mantis hunting them! Climbing aloe Aloiampelos ciliaris. Cotyledon orbiculata var. dactylopis. Ruby Lachenalia bulbifera.

 

Karoo Koppie June flowers
Karoo Koppie flowers in June

 

Knowltonia vesicatoria (ranunculus family) shadeloving in a pot under the carob tree for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee. Spotted leaves of Haemanthus coccineus. Fan of frilled leaves from Boophone disticha. Bietou Osteospermum moniliferum defied regular hedge pruning to bloom and make berries! Euryops in winter sun.

 

Knowltonia vesicatoria and June in our garden
Knowltonia vesicatoria and June in our garden

 

Two years ago we grew our first bunch of lady finger bananas!

 

Ripe bananas June 2018
Ripe bananas June 2018

 

This year we have a flower bud and hope for more bananas. Compost volunteer tomatoes are little plums.

 

Banana bud and volunteer plum tomatoes
Banana bud and volunteer plum tomatoes

 

Cape Town has remembered how to winter. Days of rain. Storms with floods and trees down causing electricity outages. (Grateful for our solar) Thomas LOVES the rain. Comes in sodden. We rub him down. Where's Thomas? Sleeping out in that garden!

 

Mid-winter weather
Mid-winter weather

 

11th June we had drifts of hail. Followed by sad messages on Facebook garden groups. What is wrong with my plant?? Cape Town gardeners aren't used to seeing hail damage. But I reassure them - see - the new leaves grow out fine.

 

Hail on 11 June
Hail on 11 June

 

We are allowed to walk outside (between 6 and 6) I wait for the kinder blue sky and sunshine winter days. This is a pleasant mostly green urban edge route from our home along Silvermine River to see the beach (but beaches and parks are still closed)

 

Walking outside during lockdown
Walking outside during lockdown

 

We walk along the coast road to Kalk Bay fishing harbour. Looking up at the mountains where we used to hike.

 

Kalk Bay fishing boat
Kalk Bay fishing boat

 

One sad subdued Thomas. He came home from his first fight with a puncture and a tear. The second round left an open wound which he washed and washed. Antibiotic, painkiller, wound cleaned, and our first collar. He HATED that. Kept bashing into furniture since the 'collar' is not on the radar of his whiskers. Just another two days ... himself very carefully hooked his claw in ... and yanked it OFF. We managed to replace it. For another 2 minutes. Wound has healed nicely and he has a silvery velvet waistcoat on the right side of his blue tuxedo. His ruff, the impossible will take a little LONGer.

 

fighting Thomas in a collar
fighting Thomas in a collar

 

Some gentle kindness against that virus

The enduring romance of the night train

Take courage with VOX virtual choir

 

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. Lovely blooms in the garden Dianna, Hope that Thomas is feeling better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has already forgotten his collar episode.

      Delete
  2. Oh poor Thomas. Hope that collar comes off soon. Love the birthday flowers, an excellent arrangement. So many unusual flowers in your garden. Worlds apart literally. B x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thomas made sure it was OFF and stayed off.

      Delete
  3. So many beautiful things, including the choir. (Do you have connections with the choir?) Lovely to see the water and the fishing boat and the mountains as well as the plants. Best wishes to the recovering and forgetting Thomas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I listen to Fine Music Radio, they are promoting local musicians who have no income during lockdown. The leader of that choir is one of FMR's volunteer broadcasters (now as I listen). I no longer sing in a choir. Altho I love music, I don't have the training for a professional choir.

      Delete
    2. What a lovely bouquet for your sister, a winter bouquet from here would look very drab in comparison! What a change in your weather from last year, I hope your water barrels are full. So sorry to hear about poor Thomas it does look very sad. It was lovely to see your walk and Kalk Bay it must be so frustrating to see the mountains and not go up them.

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    3. Yes thank you, tanks are full and the house is on rainwater.
      We would be allowed to hike, in groups of four.
      But still very wary, and I prefer to wait.

      Delete
  4. Poor Thomas! I hope he and his nemesis have declared a truce. I'm glad you're able to get out for walks, even if your usual hikes are still off. Your arrangement for your sister is lovely and I hope both of you enjoy your birthdays. Seeing your Boophone has me missing mine, which disappeared during our remodel activity last year _ I found the crushed pot but not the plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How tantalising to find the empty pot!

      Thomas is now under a curfew, since we presume the fights were at night. He can sit on the windowsill and grumble into the night.

      Delete
  5. What a sweet posy. Happy Birthday to you both.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very colourful pictures and wishing your family good health . Stay safe

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  7. So lovely flowers! I can’t take my eyes off them. I hope Thomas will get better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Poor Thomas! Give him my regards and tell him I said to behave. Although, he will probably ignore my advice since it is boring.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually he seems happy to stay in overnight, by the fire. We will see how summer plays out.

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  9. Very happy for you about the rain! Hooray! No better birthday present, that. Must have done wonders for your garden. Hope your reservoirs are filled to the top.

    Thomas and his cone--he looks pretty grumpy. Glad he's healed well. Boris here patiently endured the cone when he had to wear one, while Natasha blithely popped hers off in 2 seconds. The best moment was Boris turning around, accidentally knocking Natasha flat with the cone. It was hilarious.

    The spotted Haemanthus leaves--wonderful. My precious Boophone dropped all its leaves--then grew a brand new set. ?!?!??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Natasha was NOT amused?!
      Boophone must be very happy, catching up on growth for your drought.

      Delete
  10. Thomas is lucky to have such caring loving humans, having to wear the cone of shame certainly knocks our furry friends down a peg or two but that’s one thing about cats, they are survivors and usually live to tell the tale lol,, I’m sure you look longingly at the mountains where you hiked, life is so topsy turvey at the moment. Take care,

    ReplyDelete
  11. Such a beautiful posy and you have some wonderful plants in your garden.

    I hope Thomas is OK! Depending where the wounds are, sometimes baby clothes can be used to stop cats getting to the wounds.

    ReplyDelete
  12. No boring, scabby looking borders in your Winter garden.. Glad to hear Thomas is better.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your winter solstice birthday posy is beautiful as well as thoughtful, Diana. Your garden is lovely as always. Hard to believe you had hail!
    Your walk to the harbour is the perfect way to combat lockdown blues.
    I'm glad poor Thomas is fully recovered. P.x

    ReplyDelete
  14. A lovely post to read :) Glad to see from the comments that Thomas is well again. I popped by to answer your question on my blog about the beetle - the rhino beetle in the postcard is Oryctes nasicornis which is a European species

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_rhinoceros_beetle

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your flowers are always a treat to see. I'm glad to hear you have been able to get out and move around outside. That has made all the difference to me during this pandemic. A friend and I were visiting on my front porch last week and strategizing about what we will do when winter comes (not as forgiving for outside exercise here). My sympathies to Thomas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your winter exercise is as daunting as summer lockdown trapped in a Hong Kong highrise. I wonder what you will decide to do?

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