by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Before we hurtle into having the house renovated, I look back at January's garden. In December we removed problem trees, in January the patios were sorted.
|East patio to lemon tree|
Breakfast on the East patio with our lime transplanted and potted in Porterville. It has managed to hang on to one fruit thru the upheaval. The spekboom hedgelet under the kitchen window continues under the garage window. That patio needed lifting - first from next door's former * Brazilian pepper tree, second the 2 steps DOWN and then another UP to the washing machine. We added a proper planter against the garstigly green wall. A zigzag row of my tallest (spekboom) Portulacaria afra with a row of yellow Bulbine at their feet - and that comfortless space has become inviting. Going to prune next door's overhanging green * invasion!
|East patio with 3 spekboom hedges in waiting|
Walk thru the house to the West patio, where the Ungardener had complained about feeling seasick as the bricks sloped enthusiastically down to the bottom of the garden. Instead of the patios crumpling off to a ratty lawn, we have a gentle shallow Step Down. The silly small planters have been edited out and my pots are thinking about where they will settle. Succulent row waits for the front garden Karoo Koppie.
|West patio Adirondacks in morning shade and afternoon sun|
I'm clearing the inherited pots. We've ditched the ugly column my sister's sculpture stood on, the Lady is now with the * roses. The giraffe sees * Japanese maple and * tuberous Begonia, which will acquire sea green glazed pots once the builders are safely out of the way. Their corner is one of the few bits which are sheltered from afternoon sun and summer wind (but, they'll catch the winter weather!)
|Checkerboard and Chocolat|
Resisting planting, especially against the house walls. Wooden window frames must be replaced, and the walls painted. But two grey leaved shrubs, a camphor bush Tarchonanthus camphoratus and a Buddleja salviifolia, are in the tree down gaps where I plan a pink and white border.
|Camphor bush and Buddleja |
either side of Coprosma
The * carob Ceratonia siliqua has no pods so I presume we have a male tree. At the bend in the path, if the wind is mischievous, you get WHACKED in the head by this * lemon. As soon as it is yellow I'll harvest it, with the few ugly elbows around the bottom of the tree. Plumbago hedge out front has flowers now it isn't pruned with revenge. Wafts of evening perfume I've tracked down to tiny white flowers on the * fiddlewood Citharexylum spinosum. In the verbena family!
I've always loved scented and ivy-leaved pelargoniums and have inherited these for Wildflower Wednesday.
|Pelargoniums I found in the new garden|
Two potted (Septemberbossie) Polygala myrtifolia at the gate are greening up and flowering as I clear dead wood and include them on the monthly feed the roses and lemon tree route. * Alstroemeria Inca lily is responding with fresh flowers to ripping out the faded stalks from the base.
A little flock of waxbills has discovered the feeder.
The first Ungardening project is a water feature off the West patio. To be linked to a wildlife pond at the bottom of the garden. My End of the Month View.
|Trenches and pipes for the water feature|
* marks the exotic foreign commonorgarden plants
Our False Bay garden before the builders start in February.
Pictures by Diana Studer
of Elephant's Eye on False Bay
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red.
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