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|
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.
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.
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.
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|
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|
|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|
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|
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.
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
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