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|
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|
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|
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 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|
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.
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|
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|
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|
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.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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