Our False Bay garden in December
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Spent our anniversary felled by flu - but with this lovely bunch of fynbos lighting up the hearth in front of a summer dormant wood stove.
A Cape Town Christmas, reading in the garden with Thomas. Stitched tree ornaments from my niece and sister. Little German style wooden ornaments come with my niece's memories of Jo'burg days when her kids were small.
This year's hadeda junior is the usual lonely only. On enthusiastic snail patrol!
|Junior hadeda 2021|
Garden is a bit thin on summer flowers - but I did find three pink roses for my sister who could host a family Christmas lunch again this year. I leave lots of dandelions and Hypochaeris as those yellow flowers ALWAYS have pollinators feeding.
|Pollinators on yellow daisy|
This small aloe has been in its pot for about 30 years. When I worked in the science library at UCT, Mike Picker who wrote my insect field guide - gave me a bag of tiny succulents. This pair has survived.
White garlic buchu. Two pink fragrant pelargoniums. Sky blue Plumbago. Fending off Cyperus albo-striatus so I can see my cobalt blue pot. Anchusa capensis echoing vivid blue. That Euryops always looks chewed - someone enjoys it. Tangerine Bulbine frutescens. Pincushion from my bunch. For Through my Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset.
|December garden flowers|
The turning year shocked me into realising how overgrown our garden has become. A few days of hard pruning - by me, and the Ungardener does the chipping and taking carloads of hedge shrub tree ivy for municipal composting. First clear the Cyperus and make space to spread out Streptocarpus (also confined to a pot for decades). Tie up the sprawling Anchusa capensis to make a focal centre on the obelix. Keep going, open up the dual carriageway for Thomas to patrol.
|Open the paths for Cornish Stripe|
Our banana is as tall as I am - should get bananas from it this year. Disgruntled Streptocarpus - but I can see my blue pots again.
|Banana and blue pots|
Second, on the other side of the house. Summer Gold and Spring Promise. Open up the paths and trim the Bauhinia so it doesn't shade the afternoon solar panels. Need to find some more yellow for the bare patch - plants are either TOO much or where has it gone?
|Summer Gold and Spring Promise|
then up the garden
Third our tapestry hedge is my Firth of Forth bridge. One brick cleared, will need ... 3 more slices off? Next year, the bottom of the garden, and the front garden.
Looking backwards to the old year, and forwards to the new year.
I wish you, my readers, a happy New Year!
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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