September in our False Bay garden and Kataza the baboon


 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

At Kirstenbosch nursery I was looking for blue and white. Variegated white leaves - tick. Bright blue flowers - tick. But when I read the label at home, Blue Spires is commonorgarden from Australia - untick, sigh. Plectranthus parviflorus. Blooms from spring to autumn, water in summer, semi-shade or sun.

 

Come Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset.

 

Plectranthus parviflorus Blue Spires from Australia
Plectranthus parviflorus Blue Spires from Australia

Ding dong, the palm is gone! A little more mountain view. While our neighbour's tree, planted in the far corner, loomed over the embattled lemon tree, I trimmed the fronds I could reach.

 

Palm tree is gone!
Palm tree is gone!
 

Lemon tree can see blue sky. Searsia to the right I trim back layer by layer. Hidden in the corner is a wild olive gratefully claiming its space. Behind the lemon our neighbour's hedge looms.

 

Lemon tree has blue sky
Lemon tree has blue sky
 

Our garden is small so I make ALL the space work. I want the sections to invite exploring. On the East Patio coral tuberous begonia flowers screen blue and white Cornish Stripe (with the washing pergola and compost bin). Bookended by the lemon tree at the bottom and yellow daisies Senecio macroglossus across the trellis at the top. Pure white pelargonium. Kingfisher blue Felicia. Lavender topknot. Tiny feathered purple stripes on white Melasphaerula graminea. Lachenalia in soft mauve and Babiana in fierce purple.

 

Cornish Stripe in blue and white
Cornish Stripe in blue and white
 

Across the bottom of the garden Woodland Walk for the birds. I moved the Japanese maple to the shade of the carob tree. Froggy Pond. Water-loving soft yellow Gladiolus triste. Lemon yellow Bulbine frutescens. Vivid pink Pelargonium graveolens. In the shade Knowltonia vesicatoria, last flowers, mostly gone to shiny green berries. Dwarf papyrus Cyperus prolifer in our pond. For Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee.

 

Shady Woodland Walk
Shady Woodland Walk

Summer Gold gathers all the yellows. Euryops daisy. Lime gold and cream bells of Albuca. Yellow Bulbine. Rich orangey yellow Hibiscus.

 

Summer Gold
Summer Gold
 

Spring Promise in pink, white and silver. Looking down the layers of Spring Promise, past Summer Gold, to Woodland Walk. White Freesia leichtlinii and arum lily. Dusky pink Veltheimia. Shell pink bells of Dombeya burgessiae. Tillandsia blooming in pink and blue. Mauvy pink wild hibiscus. Pompom of garlic buchu Agathosma apiculata. Fragrant pink Pelargonium citronellum (have trimmed the height for potpourri and forfeited flowers) Commonorgarden shocking and salmon pink pelargoniums. Cut back and replanted the Dusty Miller hedge.

 

Spring Promise in pinks and white
Spring Promise in pinks and white
 

Rose Courtyard was inspired by inherited Icebergs. I added Melianthus major in a rich mahogany. Diospyros whyteana has glossy glassy dark green leaves.

 

Rose Courtyard inspired by Iceberg
Rose Courtyard inspired by Iceberg
 

Tucked behind the tapestry hedge on the verge, which makes a green velvet background. And hidden behind the gated wall, is our secret garden. My view thru the bay window. Autumn Fire on the Karoo Koppie. Four aloes politely taking their turn to be the jewel in the box. Aloe maculata bud. Chandelier of coral aloe. Spires of vivid orange climbing aloe emerge where they choose. Red commonorgarden pelargonium. Californian poppies, and nasturtiums. Five gold rings Euphorbia mauritanica. Golden Portulacaria afra. Coral stems Euphorbia tirucalli. Red Crassula Campfire. Tecomaria capensis hedge was knocked over by a winter wind from Antarctica - cut back by a substantial half, try again.

 

Secret garden Autumn Fire on Karoo Koppie
Secret garden Autumn Fire on Karoo Koppie
 

My month has been about Kataza the baboon. Capetonians who live on the urban edge in baboon territory can be problem animals. UNmanaged waste (but mommy will clean up for me). City of Cape Town employs Human Wildlife Services (for 14 million rand a year) to use live baboons as paintball targets. If that doesn't work, they are culled.

 

Shirley Strum, a San Diego anthropologist, was invited to Cape Town in 2011. She advised this protocol. Blames 'activists' for not behaving like people from that country called Africa (based on her work in Kenya 50 years ago)

 

Justin O'Riain ecology professor, and endorser of HWS protocol, complains about a middle class (WE pay the rates and taxes for you) storm in a teacup.

 

We held a silent protest on Sunday.

 

Thomas says - make yourself at home, put your feet up!
Thomas says - make yourself at home, put your feet up!
 

Thomas says - make yourself at home. Go forth in peace.

 

Turn to iNaturalist Southern Bioblitz. Snow in Sutherland this week!

 

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Pictures by Diana Studer

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Comments

  1. Your garden is amazing, a cornucopia of delights! I never knew that about baboons. Using them as paintball targets is horrible! But I would say better than culling to the baboon. Life is a struggle isn’t it when humans take over animals homes. It’s hard to blend the two. In our area of northern Canada humans have spread into black bear territory pushing them out of their natural territory. They cull them periodically with the horrid spring bear hunt,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You understand the same urban nature interface problems.

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  2. I'm sure you're looking forward to spring. It's lovely to see the range of blooms in your garden. Congratulations on gaining more light for the lemon tree! I'm sorry to hear of the treatment of the baboons in general and Kataza in particular. In my area, people are divided on the topic of coyotes, although they've roamed the area much longer than the people who live here. The loss of pets is very sad but I think people need to assume responsibility for protecting their pets while respecting local wildlife when they move to a semi-rural area like ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have urban caracal - but research on their diet shows they mostly eat rats (beware of poison) or birds (Egyptian geese or ibis). So hard to get urban residents to respect local wildlife!

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  3. You are entering my favorite season and I do so enjoy seeing your beautiful flowers. xo Laura

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  4. Love the Blue Spires even if they are from Australia. And a mountain view. Well worth the tree felling. So much colour in your garden this month. B x

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  5. Dear Diana,
    you write that your garden is small. Do you really mean "small" or do you mean "small by South African standards" ;-)? Because your garden seems big and diverse to me ... But of course I only see parts of it...
    Your cat Thomas seems to be a philosopher ;-)
    Thanks for your last comment - You wrote "the mystery statue may be a Game of Thrones character" - True, the lady would fit into the story very well :-D
    Best wishes and Happy October!
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2020/09/blogparade-violett-und-orange-in-den.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is small. But I am lucky that the house is in the middle, and the four strips on each side are ALL usable spaces

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  6. It is heartbreaking. I hope Kataza will be reunited with his family.

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    Replies
    1. We have a new service provider for October. Things are looking hopeful for our baboons.

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  7. Your garden always amazes me for a small garden you manage to pack so much in! Do you always try to just grow native plants? Good for you with the Baboon protest. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try, as gaps open up, to fill them with indigenous.But inherited with the garden, and bought by me, there is maybe a third exotic?

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  8. Poor baboon...
    I have tried using ivy leaves, not in the washing machine, but to make hand soap. Works a treat!

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  9. You do have the magic touch, Diane! Your flowers are fantastic.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden.

    ReplyDelete

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