False Bay garden in April and City Nature Challenge
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
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April garden vignette is this view from our kitchen door. For Through the Garden Gate. With Sarah in Dorset. Lively golden green of happy banana leaves as a counterfoil to lush autumn purples. Tall Hypoestes aristata (ribbon bush) behind and lower Barleria obtusa (Autumn violets).
|Banana with autumn blues|
I inherited both purple and pure white Hypoestes aristata. I prune, chip and mulch which gives me lots of volunteer seedlings. And gentle variation in the colour on the stripy petals. The much whiter one is a seedling. Hypoestes is a sharp purply pink, but Barleria is a delightful mellow mauve.
with Barleria obtusa
Volunteer sedge left to go to seed and spread, feeds a large flock of tiny waxbills. Some perched delicately on the bending stalks, others on the ground hoovering up.
|Waxbills on sedge|
Lavender has volunteered under the succulent pots. Plumbago auriculata coming in the gate!
|Lavender and Plumbago auriculata|
On the Euryops daisy a glossy fly busy feeding and pollinating.
|Euryops with pollinating fly|
Putting in my token observations for 'one more observer in the Challenge'. Oxalis caprina is a wild volunteer, a delicate one in a barely there pink.
The Leaning Tree of Fish Hoek is a landmark. To my surprise not yet on iNat so mine is there now. Cook Island pine Araucaria columnaris. The islands lie halfway across the world between Australia and New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean, the country now called New Caledonia. These trees lean. 8 degrees towards the Equator (so North for us)
|Cook Island pine leaning to the Equator|
This week I will be identifying photos on iNat for the City Nature Challenge (as I write La Paz in Bolivia has 4000 species, against our 3000!) Our Cape Town species range from the humungous to the miniscule. From 1 kilometre down in the depths of the ocean to 1 climbing up to Table Mountain. From the kraken of legend washed up on Kommetjie beach. To the still unnamed Table Mountain red strawberry spider I found while trawling thru MANY thousands of Unknowns.
I use my April - this month in my garden post - for an annual look back. But rolling over my garden history for May.
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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer
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