July in our False Bay garden and my first lockdown hike

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

in Cape Town, South Africa

 

This week was my first lockdown hike, our Fynbos Ramble. We began at Slangkop lighthouse in Kommetjie and hiked up the slope to Slangkop and the ruined WWII radar station. A timeless view across to Hout Bay magically rising out of the morning mist. Pristine nature except the path we walked on (I will ignore the trig beacon my laptop found)

 

Slangkop to Hout Bay
Slangkop to Hout Bay

 

The mountainside scattered with gold. Daisies and proteas. Low mounds covered in lime gold bracts Leucadendron salignum. Prickly leaved Cullumia setosa. Snaking along the ground Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron.

 

Yellow July flowers at Slangkop
Yellow July flowers at Slangkop

 

A blue and white day. Disperis capensis, orchid posing next to the path for a photo. Staavia radiata with its central pink flowers was our clue. Lobostemon montanus a soft smoky blue like rosemary, which glowed true blue in the landscape when the sun caught it.

 

Blue and white July flowers at Slangkop
Blue and white July flowers at Slangkop

 

We aimed for Audouinia capitata. We knew, what it looked like (seen at Cape Point - where we may drive, but not hike now), a friend had seen it blooming, and my group knew where to start looking. Eight of us quartered that valley. Audouinia grows with that Staavia. Surprisingly difficult to actually find those tall flowers, so vivid to the camera up close!

 

Audouinia capitata
Audouinia capitata at Slangkop

 

We were greeted at the top of the slope by the skull roaring at us Where Is Your Mask (but we all did!) The leopard was fun. Beware of leopards in Africa.

 

Beware of leopards in Africa
Beware of leopards in Africa

Our hikes are listed on my page.

  

I like that slice of mountain view, which I also see thru my bathroom window. Next door's palm had four large fronds, which had to go. Then I trimmed a lot of the Searsia behind the lemon (after that neighbour had trimmed it back for her line dried washing). Hoping that, fed and watered, the lemon tree will improve. I also stripped out most of the Coleus neochilus at its feet, opening a circle for feeding.

 

Lemon tree
Lemon tree

 

New plants from Good Hope Gardens Nursery. Under the lemon tree two Felicia aethiopica. And the grass with the golden curls from our hikes Pentameris curvifolia. Leucadendron salignum (seen yesterday) for my Summer Gold bed.

 

New plants from Good Hope Gardens Nursery
New plants from Good Hope Gardens Nursery

 

Flowers in our garden this July. Shimmering lime gold below the carob tree Knowltonia vesicatoria. Green and white spikes, pregnant onion, Ornithogallum bracteolata. Chincherinchee bud with first Albuca flower. Soft pink bells Dombeya burgessiae. Lime and terracotta Cotyledon orbiculata. Gold orange and green striped Chasmanthe. Orange and green delicate spikes on coral aloe. Aloe ferox lighting up winter and feeding bees (for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee). Inherited commonorgarden Hibiscus below birds roosting in the carob.

 

Garden flowers in July
Garden flowers in July

 

As the bracts lift, five rows of bananas have emerged. The flowers drip nectar and smell delectable! For Through The Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset.

 

Banana flowers and young fruit
Banana flowers and young fruit

 

Zöe likes to drink from the pond. Thomas likes to give swimming lessons. He sits out in the rain and comes squelching in, we rub him down. He is nicely warm and dry underneath. Water off a duck's back! Zöe came in sodden, soaked to the skin. NOT willing to be towelled off, that is how the vet restrains her to check her sore mouth. I followed the trail of evidence. I am quite sure Thomas couldn't resist shoving her in, again.

 

SWIM Zoe
SWIM Zöe! 

 

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Comments

  1. That first hike since lockdown must have been so special and it must have been wonderful to find the Audouinia capitata they look fantastic on mass. Naughty Thomas giving Zoe a soaking! Wow those bananas look amazing I would love to smell them! LSarah x

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  2. Are there a lot of leopards? I think more of lions in Africa, but I guess leopards are there too!

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    Replies
    1. We have Cape Mountain Leopards
      https://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/cape-mountain-leopard-cub-mied-se-berg.html

      Delete
  3. The countryside must have looked even more gorgeous after such an absence. The range of flowers is truly stunning, and I admire you for listing all their names too. Hope you are able to enjoy more rambles soon.

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  4. I'm glad to see that you got back to hiking and could share some wonderful photos. Your shots of your own garden are great as well - I love the combination of orange and lime tones. I hope you enjoy the bananas. As to the cats, poor Zoe!

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  5. I love seeing all the different plants you have in your part of the world Diana. That is great that you were able to get out for a hike. We have been venturing out a bit too.

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  6. All the more enjoyable because of the lockdown, I'm sure. Your cats are hilarious. P. x

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  7. Drama in the family!
    The purple orchid is extraordinary - like a secret listening device.

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    Replies
    1. They call it Cape Witch orchid, so it seems like a tiny endearing character from a children's story.

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  8. It's nice to get out and about a bit more now with a walk or a hike, isn't it? Wonderful photos and beautiful plants :)

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  9. Face Masks on the washing line? Are they mandatory everywhere outside of the home?

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    Replies
    1. Leave your home? Wear a mask. Malls and shops have - No Mask No Entry - signs. But once in, some people cheat and expose their nose.

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  10. My favorites of all these wonderful flowers are the glowing oranges from your July garden. (Some people cheat on masking and expose their noses here, too. I saw a woman going into the audiologist's office today wearing her mask that way. Fortunately, I was just waiting in my car for curbside service of having my hearing aids cleaned, so I didn't have to share office space with her.)

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  11. A lovely hike, so unique to my midwestern United States eyes, flowers unknown to me!

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