June and our False Bay garden

  

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

June saw me in the garden. Ticking off my long list. Walked down to the Silvermine wetland. The City cleared reeds, dredged silt, created new islands. We saw a heron and blacksmith lapwings - one enjoying a bath in that perfect shallow water.

 

Silvermine wetland rehab for the birds
Silvermine wetland rehab for the birds

I coveted a habitat sign for our garden. Comes from Fynbos LIFE nursery for my lowland fynbos.

 

LIFE garden
LIFE garden

Interesting caterpillars on Streptocarpus and pelargonium. We have our new GNU cabinet. DA (devil's alliance) won the environment portfolio 'transformation of our economy from a high carbon economy to a green economy'

 

Garden caterpillars
Garden caterpillars

This side of the garden, Cornish Stripe, works best. Bananas are ripening very slowly, turning yellow towards Sunnyside Up.

 

Cornish Stripe
Cornish Stripe

For Through the Garden Gate Down by the Sea in Dorset with Sarah. I moved the biggest blue pot, from hidden among tall Cyperus to be a focal point where 2 paths meet at the lemon tree. Coleonema should be flowerier with more sun. Carved a lot off the shrubs which blocked our view - so we can see the house lights across the valley as evening falls.

 

Blue pots as focal point
Blue pots as focal point

Blue and white intended, altho the Icebergs grow on the other side. Bit of yellow to take the chilly edge off. Albuca blooming in the wall planter thru the kitchen window.

 

Blue and yellow garden flowers
Blue and yellow garden flowers

Working on the silver leaves and pink flowers for Spring Promise. I added Podalyria sericea and Chironia baccifera. Helmet sedge likes seasonally wet and lives in a pot on the pebble beach at Froggy Pond.

 

Silver leaves
Silver leaves

For Summer Gold the inherited hibiscus is responding well to - cutting back the carob etc for more sun, fed and watered. We have flowers and buds. Squares and octagons are my favourite shape. I moved this pot, again hidden among green stuff, to be a little focal point below the bird feeder. Paved it with golden stones while I wait for the forest sedge to bulk up. 2 different Sansevieria leaves. Thinned them out from overlapping the paved edge of the pond - they will make a lusher impact here too.

 

Yellow hibiscus
Yellow hibiscus

New yellow flowers. Euryops pectinatus flowers with enthusiasm outside our bedroom window. Roepera flexuosa under our bedroom window to catch the afternoon sun. Cineraria geifolia, I think of those leaves as kidney-shaped - but geifolia means leaves like Geum?

 

New yellow flowers
New yellow flowers

But in winter Karoo Koppie out front, catching sun all day, comes into its own. Dangling bells of soft terracotta with lime silver Cotyledon orbiculata. Red aloe appreciates the slice I carved off the top of the olive tree. Twirled Boophone leaves, no flowers this year? Bees humming around yellow aloe flowers (need to prune more around that one). Lachenalia bulbifera flowers are fading slowly. Halleria lucida has its flowers on the trunk - called cauliflory (stem + flowers, easy to remember with stemless plant species called acaulis). Moved a substantial chunk of Euphorbia tirucalli - will see if it survives. Steadily removing Euphorbia mauritanica - clipping the bits to 'chop and drop' and dry out in our garden. Then he cleans the latex off my secateurs and I UNstick my fingers.

 

Winter aloes
Winter aloes

Potted lime is struggling. My yellow rose is sulking - perhaps too deep and wet, but the stem is still green. 'We' need to prune the Brachylaena, and I will nibble away at the ivy monster and our neighbour's toppling hedge. Also fighting back against the gloom as our nearly ten year old garden grows up, and closes in!

 

Garden year month by month here, back to November 2014.

 

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Pictures by Diana Studer

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Comments

  1. It must be a fascinating time in the garden for you--always something growing, unlike here where we have true winter and everything goes dormant. Bees humming around year-round: How nice!

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    Replies
    1. I envy you the down time to catch up with other things. But not the cold!

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  2. Always so much to enjoy and take in in your garden Diana - I like the Cornish stripe not least because the parallel paths force the visitor to 'take in' the plants there one side at a time
    "where 2 paths meet at the lemon tree." so poetic!

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    Replies
    1. And that is inspiration to rethink the planting on the sunny vs the shady side.

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  3. The photo with the blue pot, path, and cat--is the pot the focal point, or is it the beautiful feline? ;^) That's where my eyes rested. Karoo Koppie--gorgeous color!

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    1. I almost caught Thomas in the previous photo, but he was too quick for me. Zoe was willing to pause, and pose.

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  4. Always astonishing to see our house plants thriving in a garden outside like the Sansevieria!

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  5. So beautiful, even (or especially) in winter. Your posts inspire me to live one day in a green space - I've always lived in urban or suburban settings. At least now I have a nearby marsh and some lakes to walk around

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except for the ten years in various Swiss flats (had a passing thru / hotel feeling there), I have always had my own green space.

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