24 February, 2015

Our False Bay garden before the builders start

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

The jack hammer tears up the garage floor (for an entrance hall and front door) and the sledge hammer works on our bedroom and bathroom. Look in the giraffe's window at tendrils of Ceropegia woodii against a reflection of the garden. March brings building chaos.

Ceropegia woodii

11 February, 2015

Stellenberg garden

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

I bribed the Ungardener to visit an open garden, with the promise of tea and cake. Stellenberg dates back to 1700 and Simon van der Stel. Today a huge estate set among the leafy suburbs and stately homes of Cape Town. The Ovenstone family has lived, and gardened here, since 1953. 

Tea at Stellenberg Garden
for the Lalela Project

February 2015 was for the Lalela Project which 'provides educational arts to youth affected by extreme poverty, sparking creative thinking and awakening the entrepreneurial spirit'. Manning the ticket tables and serving tea were young people from Lalela. I'd like to see the photos by a man in a Lalela T shirt who was making serious use of the photo ops in the garden.

03 February, 2015

Four well thumbed garden books

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

My Christmas book was published with gracious timing. Marijke Honig designed the Biodiversity Showcase Garden at the Green Point Urban Park. Blog readers around the world download our photo of their advice for a wildlife pond in your own garden.

Indigenous plant palettes
Marijke Honig

South Africa has both a wealth of indigenous plants and a diversity of climates. Distracted at the nursery by Shiny New, I was often disappointed by plants which quietly faded away. I can throw a question at Marijke Honig's book (published by Quivertree Publications in 2014) - Indigenous plant palettes, an essential guide to plant selection. Screen the neighbours, topiary, food for sunbirds who miss the bottlebrush???