False Bay garden in March twentyTutu
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
As the year turns to autumn, cooler, shorter days we have fresh flowers. Gold sparkles on scarlet Nerine sarniensis. One pot blooming already, three more with buds. They are all bursting - I need to plant out some bulbs and only repot a few.
For Through the Garden Gate. With Sarah in Dorset. Sky blue Plumbago against a sparkling blue sky. With a soft yellow and blue Mandela's Gold Strelitzia.
|Plumbago and Mandela's Gold|
Moved the bonsais back to their cool home displayed on the table (much too hot and sunny there in summer). Cool and shady against the east-facing house wall in summer. Pruned the branch facing forward for the illusion of distant perspective.
Two gardening styles. I found a useful Australian TV garden programme (Southern hemisphere so the seasons are right, not too long, with a transcript) - How to prune your olive tree. The Ungardener cuts off, along his chosen line. That end looks dead, but isn't, we'll have to keep removing actual dead wood. I cut out leaving a green surface, but a bit lighter and further back. Metalasia muricata will loll in peace while those flowers smell so deliciously of honey.
|Tapestry hedge on our verge|
Wild olive is just outside our bay window, where I would love to see a gnarled and twisted trunk. The tree is ... about 10 years old. Clearing around the succulents and bulbs which are being swamped by Pelargonium and Euphorbia on one side, and Plumbago and Tecomaria on the other. Another slice off Brachylaena discolor.
Searsia crenata has lost a chunk to dieback leaving a space in the centre of this raised bed. Elbowing for space around that gap are Searsia leptodictya and Dovyalis caffra. Against the boundary wall Kiggelaria africana. Towards the lemon tree a humungous (the next pruning project!) Searsia crenata, with Indigofera jucunda and Diospyros whyteana.
Zöe was fascinated by this fat stripy caterpillar. Relieved to see her looking chirpy again, after her inflamed mouth was treated by removing all her back teeth! A fulvous hawk (would eat Barleria and Hypoestes, but came from Tecomaria. Web of life graphic at EOL.
|Fulvous hawk caterpillar|
Yellow Euryops daisies, one with grey leaves, the other lush Irish green.
Perfect pink rose Thuli Madonsela. Plectranthus saccatus covered in flowers across from our Adirondacks.
|Pink rose and Plectranthus saccatus|
Flashes of orange from velvety Leonotis and silky Tecomaria.
|Leonotis and Tecomaria|
Slowly retrieving the garden which got lost between lockdown gloom and then his knee.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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