April and our False Bay garden with bonsais
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Step out of our back door to this. In autumn my Cornish Stripe lives up to its blue (mauvish) and white intentions.
|Moody mauves in April|
Looking back for Through the Garden Gate Down by the Sea in Dorset with Sarah.
|Mauve and white in April|
Perfect blue Felicia. Barleria obtusa - New Zealand cousin called them April Violets <3. Hypoestes aristata in mauve and pure white.
|Purple garden flowers in April|
Lavender always blooming. Sky blue Plumbago auriculata. Iceberg rose a constant companion. Plectranthus saccatus performs for our Adirondacks.
|With Plumbago blue in April|
Lift that purple gloom (with white and) yellow flowers for bees. Ivy-leaved climbing daisy Senecio macroglossus. Oxalis pes-caprae. Lush petalled dandelion. More teeth on Hypochaeris radicata petals.
|Yellow garden flowers for bees in April|
Garden birds as my contribution to Cape Town for our CNC23.
|Dove and pigeon|
My Swiss Ungardener taught my family to eat dyed hard boiled actual eggs for Easter.
|Real Easter eggs|
Dyed by the Swiss
Bonsai show at Kirstenbosch
Like a conductor of a symphony the bonsai people sit, consider, then prune ... eye to eye with their tree where they can gaze into its heart. Lesson one, dip down - so you can look into the forest, sit in the shade on a hot day, on the rocky outcrop the tree is scrambling over.
I have 2 bonsais. About 20 years old, 2000 is an easy random date to remember. Broad leaved Cotoneaster, which will have tiny flowers and fruit one day. A copse of 5 conifers, one day cones like peas with corners on.
Before and after nipping off outer leaves
Cotoneaster. Can I do bonsai without wire, prune to shape? Yes. Lesson two, nip off the leaf with your fingernails to encourage that bud to make a new, smaller branch with smaller? leaves, there. I took off about 24 leaves hoping for a denser canopy, but not factory perfect umbrella. Tucked in a leopard, waiting alertly in dappled shade among the rocks ... Lesson three, look down onto the tree and open up the canopy to let the light into the lower branches.
|Chinese arborvitae bonsai|
Before and after trimming for bark view
Conifer - Chinese arborvitae (tree of life) cypress family. How do I prune a conifer? Lesson four, for the conifer you want to see the structure, trunk, branch, bark - delicately trim away - Michelangelo sculpting his statue, you just trim away what's not angel.
Trimmed with my middlest sister's tiny bonsai shears. I think, it must have been Margie who took me to a bonsai show when I was still at school. Still have some pots from then. Now fed little, and watered carefully. Will repot again later this year, and try to get the roots and stones better coordinated. The cotoneaster's exposed roots (cowboy who lost his horse) I have to nurture over a rock. Conifer might work along an 'exposed ridge'? Will investigate how the two might grow in their own wild nature.
Must dash! Back to identifying for the City Nature Challenge hosted at iNaturalist.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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