December in our False Bay garden

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

December was a dry summer month. 6 mm of rain (sounds better than only a quarter of an inch) But as our second wave lockdown bites we appreciate that our garden is green on all sides for COVID laps and a soothing view. Looking down Summer Gold.

 

Summer Gold
Summer Gold

 

Winding along Woodland Walk for Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset

 

Woodland Walk
Woodland Walk

 

Christmas means Agapanthus. I have only one flower - soft grey blue - Storms River. For Gail at Clay and Limestone and her Wildflower Wednesday

 

Agapanthus Storms River blue grey
Agapanthus Storms River blue grey 

 

I don't want the Tapestry Hedge on the verge to be a chiselled green box (companion to roll on Astroturf). I trimmed back the octopus legs across the pavement, and thinned some of the bulk, reduced the height by careful feathering. Then set the Ungardener, with his ladder and longer reach to wrestle with what foiled me.

 

Tapestry hedge
Tapestry hedge

 

Halleria lucida is filling the hole in the hedge. Looking down Cornish Stripe to our lemon tree, the fronds of Strelitzia nicolai are ours. That top left bulk looms over from next door - difficult to reach (his task again)! My Brachylaena discolor kindly obscures next door's garage wall, those long sturdy arms need trimming yet again - but that I can do.

 

Work to be done in the garden
Work to be done in the garden

 

Two metal birds in our garden, the kingfisher at Froggy Pond, the owl in the olive tree. Border of Dusty Miller establishing. Blue pots of tuberous begonia outside the kitchen door.

 

Two metal birds
Two metal birds

 

We are still in the Twelve Days of Christmas and my decorations stay up till Twelfth Night, remembering my father's birthday. Flying Dutchman with choirs of angels and sparkly lights - I miss live music!

 

Flying Dutchman with choirs of angels
Flying Dutchman with choirs of angels

 

This year I arranged the straw stars as the Southern Cross, four stars with the two pointers at the left.

 

Southern Cross in straw stars
Southern Cross in straw stars

 

Black Friday brought me a new camera - and most of these pictures are from that Canon Powershot G5X Mark II, which the Ungardener is patiently teaching me to use. With a tilting screen and better zoom, then a little bigger and heavier. His pictures of Zöe sleeping, and Thomas who has grown into a distinguished white moustache.

 

Zöe and Thomas
Zöe and Thomas 

 

A handful of flowers from my December garden. Vivid blue Cape forget-me-not Anchusa capensis. Cyperus congestus volunteered. Lime gold and green striped Albuca. Picotee edge on Alstroemeria. Tiny bee on yellow Gazania rigens. Yellow starflower Hypoxis. Deepest orange nasturtium. Pink and white pelargoniums both delicately feathered.

 

Garden flowers for December
Garden flowers for December

 

This was our first Christmas just the two of us, no family. High summer, holiday season, but I feel like a bear hibernating. Head down and waiting. Wary and cautious as we step into the New Year.

 

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. Lots of lush green there. Beautiful photos of your furry friends too. Looking forward to warmer months. B x

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  2. Let's hope the waiting will be over soon so we can get out of this long hibernation.

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  3. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful cats and summer flowers. Agapanthus Storms River is gorgeous.

    Our Christmas decorations are still up too. There’s been too much muddy farm work for us to want to mess with that this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope you soon get a chance to use that new camera on a hike, Diana. Our "safer-at-home" order was extended as the situation in local hospitals gets worse and worse. California did well in controlling its curve in the spring but Covid-fatigue and the holidays combined to make things truly terrible now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a joy to finally see your gardens again. It has been too long. And as always I adore Agapanthus as I cannot grow it well here. That Woodland Walk is also such a wondrous sight. I applaud you learning how to use the camera already. I have had my fancy point and shoot and have still not got off Auto. Well maybe this year finally. I am leaving my Christmas decorations up until this weekend. They have been such a pleasant sight with this dark year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also auto here. But step by step. The new colours are better, truer to life.

      Delete
  6. Lovely portraits of your cats. Garden looks good!

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  7. Happy New Year Diana. You description of green cubes and astroturf made me smile.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. The flowers are so gorgeous and I do wish we had a slightly bigger garden to walk around during lockdown. I LOVE the Flying Dutchman too. I've never seen anything like it before 😍

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  9. Happy New Year! Zoe and Thomas are so cute! :D

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  10. Congrats! A new camera is always reason for celebration.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Diane,
    it is definitely good to have a garden. ALWAYS, but especially during the lockdown - regardless of whether it is summer or winter. Here the garden is now often shrouded in ice crystals. That is also attractive. Nevertheless, I like your green and blooming garden better, and you have restored the hedge in good shape.
    I hope you had a pleasant Christmas for two and a good turn of the year.
    Thank you for your kind words in my blog!
    All the best for 2021 🍀
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2021/01/weihnachtszeit-2020-und-neues-jahr-2021.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. PS: The cat-photos with the new camera are great!

    ReplyDelete

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