31 August, 2016

Verlorenvlei spring flowers

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

We went to live in Porterville to be nearer the West Coast spring flowers. Namaqualand is a little further north.

Along roadside verges, at the edges of fields, and in abandoned fields. Winter rains came? Right time of day, 10 to 4? No breeze or cloud to close the fair weather daisies? You have your back to the sun, looking into the flower’s faces?

Gate to spring flowers in August 2010

Come thru the gate with us in August 2010. In a good year the rain daisies Dimorphotheca pluvialis are spread so thick they look like a snow drift. Bottom right is a sand dune.

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.

17 August, 2016

Wildflowers at Cape Columbine

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

From Porterville in July 2010 we went to the West Coast Mall for a mammoth food shop, and on to Cape Columbine. The Ungardener missed the sea, and I love to see what is in flower.

Beachcombing at Cape Columbine

Combing the shore for treasure. Sea shells and sea urchins empty green pumpkin shells, a handful of pebbles. Kelp washes up on the beach after winter storms. Lives out its life underwater, rooted on the sea bed. An underwater forest - which can be seen again as far away as the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Did I mention that our ocean is cold? Bringing fish and penguins. I was sadly combing the shore for plastic flotsam. Discarded snarls of nylon from weekend fishermen. It is a picnic site - there are bins to put the garbage in!

10 August, 2016

Chocolate, cocoa and … Dombeya?

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Members of the Sterculiaceae family. Dombeya burgessiae is named for Joseph Dombey, a French botanist who worked in Peru and Chile, collecting plants. And there once was a Miss Burgess of Birkenhead, which invites a limerick.

Dombeya in a vase with their faces to the sun
supported by Pelargonium leaves


05 August, 2016

Winter day at Rocher Pan

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

He prefers to choose his days out in brilliant sparkling sunshine, his Swiss roots showing. August 2013 I revelled in a grey winter day, low cloud, heavy sea fog – a world of our own enclosed in grey and damp. We went to CapeNature’s RocherPan Nature Reserve, counting on birds as the pan had filled with winter rain.

We returned in November 2013 to sun and Cape fur seals.

Greater Flamingo at Rocher Pan