Our False Bay garden in October

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Top centre where you can just see the square gable of our boundary wall, which is also our neighbour's garage wall - is where the Ungardener cut back Brachylaena discolor. First session up a ladder with a bow saw was hard on his back! Second time he leant the ladder against the walls.  

 

Our garden facing into afternoon sun
Our garden facing into afternoon sun 

Come Through my Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset. Now the tree is where I want it. Obscuring the expanse of blank wall but not glooming over us and my roses.

 

Brachylaena discolor against the wall
Brachylaena discolor against the wall

Looking out we can pretend we are gazing into the heart of the forest - instead of at their garage wall.

 

Brachylaena discolor from the window
Brachylaena discolor from the window

I have taken a first slice off our tapestry hedge. That bietou on the corner has a huge dead branch buried in it. Cutting back the front means I have to trim out exposed dead stuff. But there is plenty of vigorous life in Osteospermum moniliferum. Still need to bring down the top so the succulents in the front garden get their sun.

 

pruning bietou hedge
pruning bietou hedge

Saturday was my middlest sister's years mind. South Africa rose opened 3 flowers for her sisters. Today there are 7 more buds showing colour (daughters, nieces  and granddaughters).

 

South Africa rose for my middlest sister
South Africa rose
for my middlest sister

We visited a permaculture garden in neighbouring Kalk Bay - and learned that our banana wants 25 litres a day. Since then it has unfurled 2 more lush leaves! Rotheca myricoides which was dead, has pushed up a fresh sprout from its stump. Still revelling in the fragrance from Buddleja salviifolia. Glossy yellow flowers on Psychotria capensis (Rubiaceae). Intense blue from Cape forget-me-not Anchusa capensis (borage family). Seeds and dripping nectar on Melianthus major. Alstroemeria looking happy after rain.

 

October flowers from my garden
October flowers from my garden

I seem to always have pelargoniums in bloom. Pink graveolens with dark veined leaves. Pink with pointed citrusy leaves. Pelargonium x hybridum (was ex hort) in white and salmon (also Barbie pink and scarlet). Ivy pelargoniums in almost white, and raspberry. (More pink with new P. betulinum)

 

Pelargoniums from my October garden
Pelargoniums from my October garden

On the pelargonium a geranium bronze butterfly

 

geranium bronze
geranium bronze

Quick and easy meal for hungry gardeners. Homemade tomato sauce garnished with shiny deep green spekboom leaves.

 

spag spekboom
spag spekboom

I have a backlog of blogs to read. Have been beetling down, buried in iNaturalist and the Great Southern Bioblitz (identifiers) (Cape Town wins on biodiversity - leading at 800 species when I first checked, now 2,500+) I enjoy IDing, but, 4K down ... and 6K (insects, and plants for Africa) to go!    

 

monkey beetles on Euryops
monkey beetles on Euryops

Zoe enjoys warm. Yesterday for our elections was cold and wet so we had a 'last late' fire.

 

Zoe loves warm!
Zoe loves warm!

Lunch and a sunny garden calling.

 

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Comments

  1. Cats always find the best sunny spots. I'd never noticed the "Beware of the Cat" sign on your wall before. I'd get one if I still allowed Pipig to roam outside but the coyotes' current practice of hunting during daylight hours put an abrupt end to those excursions. The Osteospermum moniliferum is interesting - I've never seen an Osteospermum anywhere near that large but then even that fact substantiates Cape
    Town's win when it comes to biodiversity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Beware of the cat' is first time on the blog. Memories of (many cats and) travelling in North England, mounted on Cape driftwood.

      Delete
  2. Love the shape of Brachylaena discolor - is that natural or have you trained it so? I always think of you when my pelargoniums flower - and what a gorgeous rose for your sister. Am charmed by the monkey beetles and their pollen burrowing ways

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tree is all elbows and knees, each place where it was pruned. It grows incredibly fast. Have seen some treated as tight topiary. This is me trying to compromise on fitting it into available space.

      Delete
  3. Oh I love that butterfly, what a beauty. Gorgeous October colour in your garden. B x

    ReplyDelete
  4. It must have been hard work for the Undergardener, mine add to tackle a 8ft neighbouring hedge with a telescopic eclectic cutter and he found it hard going! Lovely to see your South African rose bloom for your sister's birthday. It was fascinating to read about spekboom and how it is helping climate change as well as adding an addition to your meal. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are creative with your plant placements and selections. The South Africa rose is spectacular. I'll be right over for the pasta with the spekboom...

    ReplyDelete
  6. The South Africa rose looks very beautiful, a wonderful flower for your sister.
    The pasta looks tempting. I think I’m getting hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do birds nest in your tapestry hedge? It must be great for biodiversity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have chosen flowers for nectar, and berries.
      But the hedge is perhaps not quite enough shelter for nesting - they prefer the taller shrubs and trees.

      Delete
  8. As always your posts include interesting items and links. I rather like the look of your Specboom garnished pasta, and had in mind your previous post when I saw a little plant last year in the market. I have plants and flowers in the garden which I like to use, and now there will be a 'houseplant'.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Even though it is nearly summer there, you must be in quite the warm climate, as I saw no slow down in blooms all winter long! It’s always enjoyable to see what a South African garden looks like.

    ReplyDelete

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