24 August, 2016

August in our False Bay garden

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Our garden is mostly exuberant winter green, with a gentle echo of Sissinghurst White Garden. Arum lilies and follow your nose to the pots of Freesia alba.

Freesia alba 

I found a (cabbage white?) butterfly on the Zantedeschia and a praying mantis patrolling the lime flowers.

Butterfly on arum lily
Praying mantis on lime tree

First the flowers that whisper quietly. Iceberg roses, their gentle perfume wafts on the breeze. Spikes of Albuca in limey yellow and green. Nutmeg pelargonium with clusters of white flowers delicately lined with purple. Grey Echevieria was once pinkish.

Whispering flowers in August

China flower Adenandra sp. is a buchu in the citrus Rutaceae family. The buds in cherry, then the petals unfold to a white that sparkles with the hidden cherry support. This one is for Gail @ Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday.

China flower

Oxalis pes-caprae

Second the flowers that talk clearly. The sharp yellow of Oxalis pes-caprae, a generous and beautiful flower - as it rolls out a carpet to cover the world. But you can eat the leaves. Climbing yellow daisy with leaves like fleshy ivy is Senecio macroglossus. Tiny yellow daisies are a shrubby Euryops virgineus. Shimmering lime gold Euphorbia mauritanica. Golden trumpets on Ifafa lily and Clivia. Soft mauve pincushion of Scabiosa. Clear pink pelargonium. Spikes of vlei lily bloom by Ungardening Pond. Pink Erica glandulosa.

Talking flowers in August

Thanks to the terrace outside the bay window I have been able to watch poppy flowers as they unfold, and drop, their tissue paper petals. Such a dark cherry red it is almost black.

Cherry red poppy

Third the flowers that sing out loud! Golden leaves on Portulacaria afra. Gazania rigens is a border for Summer Gold. Crassula firesticks glows coral and orange. Melianthus flowers are loud in size and OTT detail. Three pots of succulents. Coral aloe with a candelabra of fierce orange flowers. Heartsease tiny flowers with loud colours once you are face to face. Two potted Septemberbossie are recovering from neglect, with trusses of bizarre flowers. Pineapple sage needs to offer more flowers for the sunbirds. Through the garden gate for Down By The Sea in Dorset.

Singing flowers in August

We have been away for 3 weeks - 600 photos to sort and then the blog posts will come. Back for two more as I appreciate that the garden is small enough that a few hours work makes a worthwhile difference.

Plectranthus neochilus, on the verge beneath the tapestry hedge, is sending up purple spikes. A woman walking past stopped to pick and sniff a bit, it whiffs of unwashed gym socks and spilt herbal aftershave!

Verge with Plectranthus neochilus
Karoo Koppie

Karoo Koppie has filled in green - with orange, gold and red sparks.

Spekboom hedge on the East patio is now waist high. Strelitzia nicolai is as tall as the Washing Pergola. Edible banana is shredded from summer's Southeaster. My herbs are looking battered and the Felicia in the round blue pot whooshed up and has exhausted itself, sadly. Curved path winding thru Woodland Walk is my next pruning task. He wants the blocks hidden, and so they are!

East Patio, Woodland Walk
Strelitzia nicolai, Cornish Stripe

I hold some open water against the dwarf Cyperus, for blue sky reflections on Froggy Pond. We have a gazillion water snails in all sizes and two shapes. At night a lonely frog clicks hopefully ... Blank garage wall is half covered by silvery Brachylaena and dramatic Melianthus. Summer Gold is quietly yellow with Bulbine, Euryops, Ifafa lilies, Albuca and Gazania. Spring Promise rests on its four silver corners and pink Dombeya.

Summer Gold, Froggy Pond
Melianthus and Brachylaena, Pink Promise to Pond

I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
via Feedly,
or Bloglovin,
or Facebook

Pictures by Diana Studer
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red.
Those are my links.
To read or leave comments, either click the word Comments below,
or click this post's title. If you are in email or a Reader, first click thru to the blog)


  1. I love the blooms that emerge as spring gets its start. Your garden is looking altogether fresh and lovely, Diana. I hate to think what my garden would look like if I left if for 3 weeks - not nearly as great as yours I'd bet!

    1. It is definitely a - keep pruning! - time of year.
      Tomorrow we collect the replacement bit for the chipper, which has been chewing the prunings, instead of making nice mulch.

  2. Poppy flowers in winter, whiffs of unwashed gym socks and spilt herbal aftershave... you have a fascinating garden Diana.

    1. that passing stranger was braver than I am.
      Not wafting those leaves under my nose!!

  3. I am so envious that you have so much in bloom in a winter garden! I just looked at your weather tab and it does seem to be a very comfortable climate.

    1. walking on the beach in shorts and a T shirt today ;~)) in winter

  4. I can almost smell the delicious scent of the fresia, and I love the name of your climbing yellow daisy. Is it the fleshy leaves that look like big tongues? -Jean

    1. I'd like to make the climber into a plant portrait - but the young plant only ever has a few flowers - not enough for a blog post.
      The leaves are three cornered like ivy, but fleshy. Well worth a photo ... for September.

      The tongues? Probably the Clivia.

  5. I've said it before and I'll say it again--I wish my winter looked like that! Jealous. :)

  6. Yes, your garden is looking very green, you have done a good job in a short time. I love the talking flowers, especially the Ifafa lily. Does the praying Mantis eat the lime leaves?

    1. the mantis is lurking for the bees and butterflies that come to the lime flowers.

  7. Wonderful photos, and I love the colours you've planted! The whites add so much sparkle; seeing yours, I am doubly glad I have begun my little white/silver garden, though little is blooming there as yet... It must be wonderful to come back to such a lovely garden!

  8. So many wonderful flowers for your winter garden, your climate is certainly wonderful for growing year round flowers, it is almost like a summer garden here!

  9. So very beautiful, a sight for sore eyes in much need of hope. Simply adore the white flowers and oohhh freesias. This is where I wish to run away to and hide xxx

  10. Exuberant winter green and singing August flowers! Your garden looks like a lush retreat, so refreshing to the soul. I wonder if the lady truly thought of gym socks and aftershave!

    1. I battle to get the smell off my hands, sticky resinous oil, when I have been pruning. Have now learnt to start with a generous layer of hand cream. But an actual nose to leaves sniff - NO, thank you ;~)

  11. Your spring blooms are so pretty, Diana. My August garden was boring with mainly pink flowers. I would love an all white garden but it would be a lot of work to make. P. x

    1. I prefer indigenous species - and I mix the white either with pink, or blue on the other side of the house.
      That spectacular Sissinghurst effect is WAY beyond my garden skills!