25 November, 2015

Our False Bay garden in November

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Two great heaps of sandy soil at the bottom of the garden from the Ungardener digging the pond, and me each time I dig a hole for the next plant. After Camps Bay days I am loath to garden on even a tiny slope. I dug my heels in for concrete retaining blocks and raised beds. Two layers of neatly lined up fluted columns. Ivy pelargoniums will cascade down from the blocks, and 3 little trees wait patiently. For End of month view.

Raised bed using concrete retaining blocks

18 November, 2015

Noordhoek open gardens in October

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

I have followed garden blogs as they prepare for an open garden. A busy year for Pam at Digging in Texas. I was shocked when one of the Noordhoek gardeners told me they had just two weeks warning for October!! Noordhoek is a suburb in our wide False Bay valley. With guest houses and equestrian estates. Granted these are upmarket gardens with a regular garden service, always ready to show, but still.

We meandered thru new to us areas, up the slopes, into housing estates - looking for the bunches of blue balloons as we hunted down the next garden on the confusing map.

Hunting for blue balloons
at Noordhoek open gardens

11 November, 2015

Pelargoniums and Margie

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

The second plant in my False Bay Dozen for Diana is the white pelargonium. When we sold our Camps Bay house and moved to Porterville my mother was already old and frail, but she wanted to see the town again (she remembered going to a spring flower show years before). My sister Margie brought mother to visit us. Mother brought me a gnarled little cutting which I carefully divided into 3 greenish bits. We waited and waited for our builder to start. Finally I could start planting the first bed outside our new front door.

White pelargonium from my mother

04 November, 2015

CHocolat the CHatty cat from CHurch Street

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

He would have been nine years old.

When we said Hullo Chocolat he would answer. When I went to bed and he was curled up on one of the living-room sits Goodnight Chocolat and he would murmur back. In the evening when I was reading or tapping on the laptop, the cherry on top was Chocolat sighing - isn't it deluverly to be home, safe, warm and comfortable, with my family! At the end of the day we called him in. Either he came from the bottom of the garden chirpeling a long story all the way. Or it was a laconic 's OK, I'm here, and you can go to bed ...

I hear his toenails tapping on the laminate floor and expect to see him walk round the bookshelf. Or to hear him whup thru the cat door. We come home and look for the cats. We had to take the black cat shadow board from the windowsill - it made our heart turn over to 'see him there'.

Chocolat as a wary kitten in January 2007