October in our False Bay garden and resisting lockdown fatigue

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

I was fraying around the edges with lockdown fatigue. Our COVID laps around the garden focused my eye on changes for the better at each end of our laps. For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset.

 

I call this paved area inside the garden gate Rose Courtyard for the 2 inherited Icebergs. But Icebergs are not roses to make your heart sing, they are reliable workhorses, fragrant flowers to pick almost year round. At Ludwig's Roses (Chart Farm in Wynberg) Lorraine found me two that will be happy in pots, lots of flowers, long blooming and fragrant. Yellow, and pink, please. I came home with a blessing of roses.

 

South Africa rose
South Africa rose

 

South Africa rose opening from orange to yellow
South Africa rose opening from orange to yellow

 

'Sunny today in South Africa' smells fruity, orange buds open to golden yellow.

 

Thuli Madonsela rose
Thuli Madonsela rose

 

Pink edged white, with a light rose fragrance. Thuli Madonsela was our Public Protector, and part of the profit goes to her social justice project. Both are modern roses, disease resistant, will grow shoulder high and fill that blank wall space.

 

New roses for Rose Courtyard
New roses for Rose Courtyard

 

Now the garden has greened I no longer need the big square pots (moved across for the new roses!) as a physical barrier to prevent stepping off the drop from the patio. Now a tactful visual nudge, the steps, are here - with a few smaller and BLUE pots works. Two more on the sunny side, all with grey leaved Cotyledon orbiculata. Two more on the shady side for the tuberous begonia (which had again outgrown its new pot!)

 

Blue pots sunnyside and sunnyside up (shade)
Blue pots sunnyside
and sunnyside up (shade)

 

Coming and going on the steps with an embracing arc of cobalt blue pots.

 

Blue pots coming and going
Blue pots coming and going

 

The Ungardener wanted those 2 bits of wall covered. I removed the spekboom on the left, making space for a Searsia crenata, which I can prune up to fill the space and cover a window next door. To the right I carved out a space from Hypoestes and Barleria next to the banana. That will be yellow daisy, large shrub, Osteospermum moniliferum

 

New plants for the Ungardener
New plants for the Ungardener
(left the daisy, right Searsia)

 

October in blue. Ipheion uniflorum Spring Starflower from Argentina. Streptocarpus enjoying a new larger pot AT LAST! Purple Babiana. Yellow Psychotria capensis. And raspberry pink ivy pelargonium. Succulent Pelargonium carnosum delicate white flowers riding high with fragrant divided leaves. With spotted lichen moth, and a 'dead leaf' Achaea echo moth which I almost brushed off! For Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee

 

October flowers with moths
October flowers with moths

 

My Californian poppies are mostly orange and yellow, with some russet. And That One in ivory with velvety grey leaves.

 

Californian poppies
Californian poppies

 

Rotheca has lost ALL its leaves, but encouragingly Calpurnia aurea has leafed out again. I am clearing the backlog of small plastic pots from Porterville - a dozen pots of Albuca along the Summer Gold path. Moved inherited bluebells to the compost bin / lemon corner. Planted summer snowflakes Leucojum across from the rain gauge.

 

Ivy League laundry
Ivy League laundry

 

One good thing I learned (and truth doesn't need you to believe it to make it true, like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan) Laundry with saponins (in German) from ivy leaves. Collect 10 large, dark green, older ivy leaves. Tear into 2 or 3 bits. Tuck in a zippy laundry bag, or tie in a sock. One load of laundry done (in English). Not dyed green. Smells clean, but not of ivy. Inspired by Rostrose in Austria

 

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. Your dedication and passion for gardening is apparent in your photos and your words! I love roses too, only the hardy survive here and I’ve never had luck with yellow roses, they give me two seasons then that’s it, we are in the cold northern zone. I also share your love of blue pots, my eyes won’t let me see them but I know they’re beautiful!

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  2. Hi Diana, Your scented roses have brightened my day (looks as if England is going back into a full lockdown.) I can just imagine the scent and the flowers that you will enjoy! Your new planting for the Undergardener looks great too! I love the russet Californian poppy I have never come across one that colour before. That's an interesting idea using the ivy leaves for washing I will have to try that too! We use vinegar rather than conditioner, it does make the washing soft and has no smell. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't used any sort of fabric softener for decades. But, we don't have hard water (as we did in Switzerland)

      He planted his two, I chose.

      Delete
  3. The south Africa rose is lovely and I always adore wild flowers, too. I’m going to try ivy laundry. It’s a very good advice, thank you!

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  4. It looks like you've got a good start with spring, Diana. (I'm still waiting for fall to arrive here.) I love your new roses. Mine don't do well but then I don't give them enough water and rarely feed them so there's no real surprise there. I'm fascinated by the prospect of doing laundry using ivy leaves and will make a point of trying that soon.

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  5. As my garden goes to sleep, yours comes wonderfully awake with roses, poppies, and all types of October blooms. Lovely posting. P. x

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  6. Hi There
    I wondered where you bought those beautiful blue pots! Also, what was the reason for the 10 ivy leaves in your laundry? Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue pots - 3 from the Noordhoek Nursery and one from Liebermann at Kommetjie.

      The ivy leaves are instead of using detergent. Zero waste, sustainable, growing in my garden, good for grey water irrigation - ticks all my boxes ;~))

      Delete
    2. Laundry with ivy leaves, how intriguing! It reminds of the book Clan of the Cave Bear.

      Delete
  7. Buying new flowers always makes my heart sing too. I have never heard of using ivy leaves in the laundry. I do have soapwort growing that I once planted in hopes it would work as a soap replacement. However, sadly it didn't get the ground in dirt or filth from the clothes of three young boys.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far the ivy works, on sheets, towels, gardening and hiking clothes.

      Delete
  8. Your roses are gorgeous Diana, and I love the pop of blue of your plant pots.

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  9. Dear Diana,
    your roses look wonderful! I especially like pink roses. A yellow rose grows on our rose arch, but I bought it as a pink rose. (It was marked incorrectly.) Unfortunately, yellow (and white) roses are eaten by rose beetles here. (They don't like pink roses that much.)
    I am pleased that you have already tried washing clothes with ivy and that you are satisfied with it. Thanks for linking. One trick for Jeannie could be to treat her boys' laundry with gall soap or soda (depending on the type of dirt) - AND treating laundry with vinegar (preferably with WHITE vinegar) is always good: Against stains and lint, for brighter colors , for softer laundry and for a decalcified washing machine.
    Happy weekend
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2020/11/herbstzeit-2020-und-ein-paar-gedanken.html

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  10. I tried out the ivy soap, works a treat!

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  11. Hi Diane /waving to you from Florida/ :-) thanks for stopping by even though I am slacking off not posting lately.... Your blue pots look amazing, I especially like the silver plants with them. And your roses, so beautiful! The dead-leaf moth is an interesting find, my first thought was this looks like a very unusual flower ;-) I never knew of ivy as detergent, but buckeye. not that I ever tried it. Happy springtime to you :-)

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  12. So beautiful! So jealous of all that sun right now :D

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