Our False Bay garden in November

by Diana Studer

 - gardening for biodiversity

in Cape Town, South Africa

 

For my glass Advent wreath I take inspiration from what my garden offers each year. 2021 is an exotic trio. Coprosma repens from New Zealand - creamy green leaves to fill the gaps. White Iceberg roses (from Central Asia), because who can resist roses?! Bright colours in Alstroemeria Inca lilies from Chile.

 

Advent Wreath with exotic flowers
Advent Wreath with exotic flowers

Taken out to daylight for a photo by Froggy Pond. Come Through my Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset.

 

Advent Wreath 2021
Advent Wreath 2021

Posy for my sister who has no garden of her own. Fragrant Pelargonium leaves. And rosebuds that she can enjoy watching unfold. Bunch of lavender since she likes purple flowers.

 

Garden posy with rosebuds
Garden posy with rosebuds

South Africa has a dozen golden buds on this branch. Thuli Madonsela has ten pink buds across the bush. Very rewarding from Ludwig's Roses.

 

South Africa Thuli Madonsela roses
South Africa
Thuli Madonsela

Our banana has had a baby, since we feed and water. Pebbles are visual protection against this gardener who stomped off the first attempt.

 

Banana has had a baby
Banana has had a baby

My Cornish Stripe garden under the Washing Pergola Looked good this year with the blue / purple and white flowers I planned. My camera doesn't see what we do, sadly.

 

Cornish Stripe under the Washing Pergola
Cornish Stripe under the Washing Pergola

This is exploding with arms of vivid blue in the centre, lolling over the path then trimmed for a fleeting vase. Anchusa capensis. Cape forget me not. Now it is in my garden it seeds itself. Rough leaves for borage family with leaves as spinach and edible flowers

 

Anchusa capensis Cape forget me not
Anchusa capensis
Cape forget me not

It took me a few days, across a few hours, to cut back the dwarf papyrus Cyperus prolifer at Froggy Pond. I need one of those 'elderly' gardener seats. Cut, clipped smaller, and mulched into the garden. I have cleared the paved edge - but there is way too much covering half the surface. And it has eaten the blue waterlily. We need to cut back trees, shrubs, hedge on verge...

 

Froggy Pond with dwarf papyrus trimmed
Froggy Pond with dwarf papyrus trimmed

The Ungardener is nurturing and observing this carton nest of cocktail ants. We have had 3 batches of flying ants. They harvest the plant fibre as they need it - a gentle and precise topiary, bite, by bite.

 

Cocktail ants flying
Cocktail ants flying

White spotted chafer beetles seem to have been taught to Eat White Flowers to Grow their White Spots. Iceberg roses. Bauhinia bowkeri carrying its UNeaten flowers high against the sky. On the verge great white trusses of honey-scented (? smells ... funky to me) Buddleja saligna which are clearly equally enticing (also for bees, moths and then robins)!

 

Chafer beetles for White Spots Eat White Flowers
Chafer beetles
for White Spots Eat White Flowers

We have two Psychotria capensis - one in the boundary corner which gets more sun and bloomed first, and this one against the shady South wall of the house to hide the rain tank. Lemoenbos for perfectly lemon yellow flowers.

 

Psychotria capensis
Psychotria capensis

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Pictures by Diana Studer

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Comments

  1. I’ve never heard alstroemeria called Inca Lillies before. I shall remember that name. Glorious South Africa rose. Such a perfect colour. You have so much of interest in your garden as always. B x

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  2. The plants in your garden are just as interesting as those you find on your hikes. I've never seen nor heard of Psychotria capensis but I'm making a second try at growing Anchusa (although not the same species as yours). I'm glad we don't have flying ants - the thought makes me shudder as I already struggle with the fire ants (with their nasty stings) at the bottom of my back slope. Your advent wreath arrangement is perfect. Alstroemeria blooms are rare here this time of year but they do pop up now and then.

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    Replies
    1. The flying is brief, when the weather is just right. They fly high and swallows swoop in.

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  3. I absolutely love that shade of blue of your Cape Forget-Me-Nots. It's very similar to our Blue Mistflower or to common Borage. The froggy pond looks great. And your arrangement is stunning!

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  4. My father grows Inca lilies, they were still blooming in November. Beautiful Advent wreath!

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  5. Your advent wreath is lovely and such a contrast from our winter ones! Hope the flying ants are no longer visiting your garden! Visiting your garden always makes me smile especially when not much is growing in my garden. Sarah x

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    Replies
    1. Our ants are residents, part of the local biodiversity. With a busy life which is interesting to observe. But from a polite social distance, they bite intruders. Cocktail because they cock their tail up in warning ...

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  6. Your colorful garden is such a joy for me to look at now that my garden is sleeping for our winter. Your advent wreath is uniquely beautiful!

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