Our False Bay garden in June

By Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

The bay window opens to the road and passersby. The yacht was bought when we lived in Aarau in Switzerland. It hangs in the window, softening the view out to our neighbours, and in from the street. At night, backlit thru the drawn curtains, it is a ghostly galleon, the Flying Dutchman.

Flying Dutchman yacht flew from Aarau to Cape Town
Flying Dutchman
yacht flew from Aarau to Cape Town

Winter weather is kind. Today we had good rain in the morning, this afternoon the sun shines. Succulents on the Karoo Koppie are filling in.

Karoo Koppie
Karoo Koppie

Karoo Koppie and verge
Karoo Koppie and verge

Plectranthus neochilus will be a haze of purple spires. When this peculiar succulent was given to me in November, it was green fingers. Then the fleshy triangular leaves came. Now tiny delicate shell pink daisy flowers Senecio articulatus. Harvesting lots of lemons.

Left Senecio articulatus Right - lemon, Plectranthus neochilus
Left Senecio articulatus
Right - lemon, Plectranthus neochilus

In December we planted Brachylaena which already waves its silver and green leaves just above my head. Halleria lucida or tree fuchsia blooms on the trunk. It DOES have flowers for the sunbirds - haven't yet seen if they know it is there for them. My Inspire has found its new place where I can sit and lift my eyes to the quiet hills.

Left - Halleria lucida Brachylaena
Left - Halleria lucida
Brachylaena

I was inspired by Cindy's garden in Rwanda to build the washing line as a pergola. The frame is standing (thanks to the Ungardener) and painted in garnet red to echo the gate and front door. Those square slabs will be in a double line (between the hanging washing). We need some negative space for the eye to rest, since we have no lawn. We've chosen large (Chocolat for scale) concrete slabs from Revelstone, the surface texture 'York stone' and the colour Quarrystone to echo our brick paving. They wait neatly stacked at the pergola. My map of Africa that we found walking on Chapman's Peak Drive, now comes full circle as we see that mountain from our bay window.

Washing pergola and paving
Washing pergola and paving

King Arthur my mother's slipper orchid is trotting along with 5 slippers this year. I'm delighted to find masses of white arum lilies Zantedeschia aethiopica. The flowers make a peaceful circle around the birdbath off the west patio. Along the Terraforce retaining wall of the Karoo Koppie pots of Lachenalia rubida scatter my path with rubies. Our Porterville garden was carpeted in lemon yellow Oxalis pes-caprae. I'm leaving this one with the potted lime.

Lachenalia, Zantedeschia slipper orchid, Oxalis
Lachenalia, Zantedeschia
slipper orchid, Oxalis

The white roses and magenta Bougainvillea are now being joined by the Hibiscus, rich yellow in summer, in winter the flowers are laced with burnt orange. The inherited plant lurks in the shade of the carob tree, and I will establish cuttings on the sunnier side. Two potted Septemberbossies still need to move to the pergola. Bright pink pelargoniums wait to be planted. Sunny yellow Chrysanthemoides monilifera line the roadside on our journeys and will light up our garden one day.

Hibiscus, Pelargonium Septemberbossie, Chrysanthemoides
Hibiscus, Pelargonium
Septemberbossie, Chrysanthemoides

Mid-winter and we walk along the False Bay coast.

Mid-winter on the False Bay coast
Mid-winter on the False Bay coast

For Wildflower Wednesday everything but the lemon, the hibiscus and the slipper are Proudly South African. June garden for End of Month View.

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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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Comments

  1. I love all the colorful flowers you are planting and your garden is looking great in what seems like such a short time. The washing pergola is brilliant!

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  2. Hello, down there!

    I like the concept of the Flying Dutchman in the window at night very much. I wonder if you could photograph it as a ghost? Also I like the style of the wooden gate and the stucco arch.

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  3. Diana, hello. I love "life my eyes to the quiet hills." I went back and read that elegant post. A washing pergola, what a grand idea! It looks very nice. I also took note of your handsome stone as we are looking at doing something like that in our back gardens. What does False Bay mean? I keep wondering...time to ask.

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    1. Comes from days of sailing ships heading for Table Bay, safe harbour below Table Mountain. Cape of Storms blew them around Cape Point and they found themselves in False Bay. Or they were coming from India and turned in past Cape Hangklip.

      I need to work on my False Bay page

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    2. There's a thumbnail map on my sidebar, a larger one on the False Bay page

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  4. It is so neat reading about and seeing photos of your part of the world. You are settling into your new place, gardens are filling out and blooming. It's all lovely.

    FlowerLady

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  5. The pergola is beautiful! -- especially with the finials at each corner. I'm pinning it as an idea for my Washington garden (in the future).

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    1. pinned with your original Rwandan one?

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  6. It is so interesting to see what is blooming in your area. Amazing that there is something blooming during winter.

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  7. My goodness it's gorgeous there Diana...the color of the rocks on the beach so warm and inviting. And to have flowers in what is your winter, a absolutely unbelievable treat...have you ever seen snow? White, frost, icy cold fingers all winter long?

    I think I am starting to prefer your part of the world...as much as I love winter.

    Jen

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    Replies
    1. I've lived unhappily with Swiss snow. Cape Town gets it right, we keep the snow to garnish the mountains ;~)

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  8. I always say that one day I want to live somewhere where palm trees grow. But a mountain view and lemons from my own garden ... also sounds perfect.

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    1. there is a palm tree next door, whose fronds I cut back when they interfere with my lemon tree. Thinking of your garden as my ferns are sprouting.

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  9. I love the idea of the pergola. I think every garden needs negative space to rest the eyes along with a beautiful view. I would love to grow lemons but our winters are too cold.

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  10. Wow! I feel like I've just been on a mini-break!

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  11. Lovely and interesting to know. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. The False Bay coast looks like a beautiful place to be. It's great to see how your new garden is taking shape. The washing line pergola is a very clever idea; I can't wait to see it completed. -Jean

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  13. I love your inspire space and view....so much growing in now....and fresh lemons such a treat that would be here.

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  14. It's lovely; so many gorgeous blooms, and what a pretty view of the sea...love the yacht in the window!

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  15. How very lovely and how different from me. It is hard to imagine garden and plants and sunshine and then come up with two such stunningly different versions as your garden and mine. What an interesting place the world is.

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    Replies
    1. getting nudged to stop admiring the lemons on the tree, and use them.

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  16. What a lovely mild winter you have. Your gardens are really coming along. xo Laura

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  17. Love the red pergola for hanging wash! No reason functional can't be gorgeous!

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  18. I'm also an admirer of your elegant washing line holder! AND I'm so glad to see the pretty Oxalis pes-caprae get its due in its home place - unfortunately we in California have come to hate its ubiquitous blanket of yellow flowers in early spring!

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  19. 'Exotic' comes to mind as I peruse your new plantings. The pergola is art. Where did you get that marvelous idea?

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    Replies
    1. It was Cindy's garden in Rwanda.
      Her blog is called enclos*ure

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  20. Hi Diana - I was interested to check out your new garden. I like the way you name different parts of it. I look forward to seeing what you have planned for your Karoo Koppie.

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    1. I've planted what came with us from Porterville. Added what we bought at the Kirstenbosch Plant Sale.
      After years of 'the garden is finished, or full at least' ...
      I can enjoy exploring new nurseries.

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    2. PS my comments on your blog are bouncing

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  21. It truly is like visiting another world, visiting your blog. A feast to the eyes, so many succulent greens and stunning bursts of colours. What a clever idea with the pergola and I love that colour so much. I'd love to see your Flying Dutchman at night floating in the window :) x

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  22. I love the pergola washing line :)

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