Our False Bay garden in February starring Metalasia muricata
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
February flowers for Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset
Metalasia muricata flowers in a gentle silver and gold, ivory and straw. Tiny flowers packed closely within dense layers of brownish bracts. The sprig on my windowsill from the posy two weeks ago is as appealing as ever.
|Metalasia muricata flower detail|
I have been taught, for an ID, always photograph the leaves (and growth habit) as well. Daisy family, Metalasia, is easy but the species needs to see those tiny hooked leaves. (Macro in a Mason jar technique) Gentle while they are fresh and green, more argumentative when they get old and crabby. My shrub is absolutely covered in flowers!
It volunteered in place to fill the gap in our tapestry hedge. Jewel in the crown when it flowers. Standing just a little taller than I do! Supporting biodiversity for Gail at Clay and Limestone and her Wildflower Wednesday
Edible banana has 3 lush leaves, with another doubtful little sprout emerging. Knee high already.
|Edible banana sprouting|
The Ungardener has been chewing slices off the carob. No longer do the branches reach for our house (we can see that neighbour's gable). Looking down to the pond, lightening the leafage, we have a glimpse of mountain, and more white wall.
|Trimmed the carob|
I deadhead the roses steadily, and have fresh flowers. Lots of life. Aphids. Predatory ladybirds and syrphid / hover flies. And preying mantis waiting with eager open arms. A looping caterpillar and black and white spotted beetles. Golden South Africa, pink Thuli Madonsela and white Iceberg roses.
Since I don't have a fig tree to worry about, this longhorn beetle was fascinating. Phryneta spinator.
|Figtree longhorn beetle|
From my window Clovelly Ridge at sunset, turning from carroty orange to beetroot red one evening.
|Clovelly Ridge in orange|
Australian Plectranthus parviflorus was stripped by caterpillars, but has forgiven me with the first flowers. Senecio tamoides is climbing up towards the trellis. Has soft stems so we will WAIT before tying it in. Deep purple Streptocarpus is bursting out of its newest pot.
Jacaranda blue Plectranthus spicatus has neatly chiselled leaves. Canary yellow Hypoxis has furry leaves arranged in three ranks. First orange tiers of Leonotis.
|Plectranthus, Hypoxis, Leonotis|
Still learning to use my new camera (with the new multifocals, sigh), which complained about the smoky haze. Last Sunday a fire started in the mountains above Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Over 13 000 hectares burnt. Inaccessible terrain. Two firefighters seriously injured. Planes and helicopters are being used, but not suitable for the burning cliffs.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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