Our False Bay garden in January

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

I lost January, a very quiet month. Catching up with myself now. Sky blue Plumbago enjoying summer. Wine dark tuberous begonia leaves. Shell pink Crinum (confusing gardeners who say - March lilies are early??) Always pink pelargoniums with their vivid feathering on the petals. January flowers for Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset

 

January garden flowers
January garden flowers

Our fruit trees. The olive out front has greened in nicely. (Great excitement one day - soft knocking at the door, which we didn't answer - then Zöe shot off the chair, as he vaulted over our palisade fence - and slunk down past the bay window - I stomped out and yelled at him - sorry sorry sorry - and he vaulted back over the fence, then took off down the road like an Olympic sprinter!) Potted lime is responding happily to being fed. The lemon tree (with next door's palm gone), I trimmed the top again, trying it keep the fruit where can reach to pick it.

 

Fruit trees
Fruit trees
 

Our banana had lots of fruit in 2018, then just a few this year. We ate the last 2 yesterday. That new sprout has been lurking dormant forever. I peeled back the brown leaves and could see it was still green. Now the main stalk is dying back, sprout is coming up as we watch! Original plant was a gift in Porterville around 2014.

 

Banana sprout and another leaf today
Banana sprout
and another leaf today
 

Senecio tamoides planted last August to climb the trellis at the rain tank, got nibbled and chewed, but it is, finally reaching for the trellis.

 

Senecio tamoides
Senecio tamoides

I had always thought these two varieties of Sansevieria were indigenous. But last week I discovered the one with the broad gold border is Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' from tropical West Africa. Still, from that country called Africa.

 

Stripy succulent Sansevieria leaves
Stripy succulent Sansevieria leaves
 

My Icebergs always have flowers. (There is a huge iceberg heading from Antarctica to South Georgia Island) Lonely flower a yellow South Africa, with clusters of buds on pink Thuli Madonsela.

 

South Africa rose
South Africa rose

Thuli Madonsela rose buds
Thuli Madonsela rose buds
 

A little wary of a new to me ladybird. Is it the invasive one? No Cheilomenes sulphurea is from Sub-Saharan Africa, adult and larva busily eating aphids.

 

Cheilomenes sulphurea ladybird
Cheilomenes sulphurea ladybird
 

Our water lily is bravely pushing out 2 tiny leaves - needs space and light! All I achieved this month is two days spent cutting back the mountain of dwarf papyrus Cyperus prolifer, which had swallowed our hippo. Supporting biodiversity for Gail at Clay and Limestone and her Wildflower Wednesday. Our 'beach' needs a fresh layer of pebbles, also to cover the liner exposed by summer water levels.

 

Our hippo with dwarf papyrus at Froggy Pond
Our hippo with dwarf papyrus at Froggy Pond
 

While I was working there, I looked up and realised that the carob needs serious pruning. Much too close to the house. In 2016 serious wind swirled the heavy top branch and brought it down to rest - not broken off but in a different place. It is planted against the boundary wall off to the left, and should really be cut back to the path at least. The Ungardener has been up the ladder and taken off a first slice.

 

Carob tree
Carob tree 

We had a dove nesting outside our bedroom window. Fledged their baby!

 

Kataza, lives, but our Cape baboon has been exiled to Limpopo. Sad solution is 'dead but still breathing'.

 

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Pictures by Diana Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. Such a calming post, the photos and the words. Froggy pond, the hippo, that’s bliss. I respond well to being fed too! 👍❤️

    ReplyDelete
  2. What about Zoe! Did he return? Did you hunt for him? Is he safe????

    I have a horrible time with invasive lady bugs and hate them. These are the ones that have invaded my area, southern middle Tennessee, USA. I hope you don't have them too. If you hear of an organic, safe way to get rid of them, let me know.

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2017/11/invasion-of-asian-ladybugs.html

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No - she is fine, it was only - don't come so close, we haven't been introduced.
      The Asian ladybugs are here too, which is why I wondered about these.

      Delete
  3. Lovely to see blue skies and summer flowers. Are bananas like apples where they have a productive year followed by a very lean year? Sorry Kataza was relocated.
    Sarahx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep reading how to banana, and have been feeding and watering more, which is needed.

      Delete
  4. A quiet month for you perhaps but not for your garden. Your trees look great - my own citrus are badly in need of fertilizer too. I'm not sure I've ever read one of your posts without looking up at least a plant or two. This time it was the variegated Senecio tamoides, something I'd love to find here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A banana plant...yum! Thanks for sharing your summer views; we are about to hit some very cold days next week, and I needed some encouragement.

    ReplyDelete






  6. So much new life in your January garden, Diana - a banana shoot, rosebuds, waterlily leaves, a baby dove. Your lush Sansevieria puts my skinny houseplant to shame.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely to see your beautiful blooms for January.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a difference! We are having a giant snow storm here, which is a rare sight since snow had been completely missing for the last 10 years..

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your ladybird, we hardly see them around here anymore. Other than that, we are seeing a lot of blooms, looks like spring is finally making an appearance.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete

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