Six years in this garden
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
After two years our garden displayed bones planned and built by the Ungardener. My shrubs and trees showed what they are made of. Step Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down By the Sea in Dorset
Out front on Karoo Koppie, the aloes I planted are hip high with fierce pokes if I get too close. Willowy olive sapling would shield our bay window, without the tapestry hedge on the verge.
|Summer Gold and Spring Promise|
Graceful offset path from Summer Gold to Spring Promise is getting blurred.
|Woodland Walk and Froggy Pond|
Winding past Froggy Pond (frog IS still behind the dwarf papyrus). Birds roost in our carob overnight, he trimmed another slice. Next door's palm was small in 2017, our lemon happier pre-drought.
|Cornish Stripe and Washing Pergola|
Edible banana at this end, is coming up fresh. Tallest section of distant Strelitzia nicolai is on the cutting back list. Washing Pergola freshly painted on its weatherbeaten top.
Two bonsais, seedlings from the Camps Bay garden where I grew up. Five cypress trees - trimmed the top, sorted the stones to an 'outcrop'. Cotoneaster had been trained with exposed roots, trying to work in stones to make the 'cowboy with no horse' look as if it grew that way.
|Swiss cat ladder in 2017|
Back in 2017 when the Ungardener was teaching Thomas to be a Swiss cat and use his ladder to climb the wall. Since he jumped down the other side ... he cut a cat flap in the gate. At first a Perspex flap so they could come home, but not get out (but, see 1 above, ladder!) Now no flap and they come and go as they please, reserving the ladder for neighbourhood watch stints.
|Cats occupewing our pies|
On Sunday they were occupewing our pies. They liked to sleep under the overarching grass, which I cut back from the path.
|2021's junior hadeda|
This year's junior hadeda keeps a wary eye on us, as he digs around pots for beetle grubs or snails.
|Waxbills eating purple sedge seeds|
Mine is not an I Didn't Choose It, I Didn't Plant It, OUT, garden. Purple sedge Cyperus congestus volunteered. Waxbills need soft (green growing) seeds. Feeding on the arching stems, with others collecting what they drop.
|Warm April flowers|
Our April has been dry and sunny. Photographing a hummingbird hawkmoth, I found a disgruntled preying mantis who lost her lunch. Spires of delicate white flowers on red-leaved Crassula capitella. Scarlet and gold sparkles Nerine sarniensis. Wary of this cluster of smaller flowers reverting on my South Africa rose, I cut that stem back. Under the trimmed carob, an apricot Tecomaria. Next to velvety orange Leonotis. I leave most of the dandelion / Hypochaeris; flat yellow daisies are perfect for rescuing tired hungry honeybees for Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee and her Wildflower Wednesday. Euryops with green, and silvery, leaves - with pollinating fly.
Fire on Table Mountain, began next to the freeway on 18th April. Swept up thru 'heritage' pines. Exploded gas tanks at Rhodes Memorial restaurant. Swept down to take out Jagger Library and the top floor of the biology building at the University of Cape Town. Finishing with Mostert's Mill burnt to the ground.
Walk with the firefighters (Facebook album Day 1 with text for each photo)
We had a new weapon this time, manned drone, eye in the sky
Hermes the caracal alive and well after the fire
Devastated library, African Studies with films and documents from the Struggle years, and New South Africa. Everything at the Plant Conservation Unit.
Aerial photos after by Jean Tresfon
|Cool April flowers|
The weather has turned, we have had our first fire. Hypoestes aristata in white, and purple humming with bees. Pink Thuli Madonsela rose. White Iceberg. Softest sky blue Plumbago auriculata. Commonorgarden pink Pelargonium (with the tiniest bee my camera has ever seen). Autumn's moody blues - Plectranthus saccatus, Barleria obtusa - April violets, blue Australian Plectranthus parviflorus.
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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer
Teal blue text is my links.
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