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|
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 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|
Two years ago we grew our first bunch of lady finger bananas!
|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|
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!
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|
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|
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|
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|
Some gentle kindness against that virus
Take courage with VOX virtual choir
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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer
Teal blue text is my links.
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