29 October, 2014

October roses and baby swallows

- gardening for biodiversity

I look at boxes. We will be leaving Elephant's Eye and Porterville in November. My last Wildflower Wednesday for Gail at Clay and Limestone from this garden of 8 years in our life. But always there are flowers, even if only two roses in jam jars.

Moving with Duftwolke and Karoo Rose

We began the month with plum blossom, now there are little green plums. The apples trees bloom now at Apple Creek, even with tiny apples. For the first time we have a good crop of lemons. Tahiti lime we dug up, potted, then put it in the shade of the ash trees to recover - and it has flowers and teensy fruit.

Plum, apple
lemon and lime

The roses come in waves, heavy with flowers, then the next set of buds rise up. Nasturtiums are fading as the summer reaches us. Coral discs on the tuberous begonia liven their shady corner.

Autumn sage, Echevieria, Aeonium
lavender, Black Prince taken with silly phone, nasturtium
culinary sage, tuberous begonia, Mare's tails

My new silly phone has a camera that captures true colours and crisp detail. Still learning to use it.

Great North
and Tropical Sunset taken with silly phone

One day soon, we'll walk this path to our front door for the very last time. Turning from commonorgarden foreign flowers to our own South African wildflowers.

Front path
you can just see Black Prince

Pelargonium tomentosum I planted for its peppermint-scented leaves, but the delicate flowers dancing high above the leaves are a delightful bonus.

Pelargonium tomentosum
with white and salmon

Gazania and sour fig bloom low and buttery yellow. Rising up with purple spires of Plectranthus neochilus, mauve puffs on Scabiosa and tangerine spikes of Bulbine.

Plectranthus neochilus, Bulbine, sour fig
shore of Ungardening Pond, Scabiosa

Beach sage has dropped its flower trumpets leaving the long lasting bronze calyx. Melianthus burgundy flowers always with birds nectaring. Wafts of honey from Buddleja. Chartreuse Euphorbia. OTT pink trumpets on Port St John's creeper. A last dusky pink Veltheimia flower. The arum lily and wild iris Dietes bloom on.

Beach sage, Melianthus, Buddleja
Port St John's creeper, Veltheimia
arum lily, Dietes

We were worried about our greater striped swallows. The nest is firmly attached to the brickwork, but the tunnel was suspended just below the wood-panelled ceiling. The Ungardener propped it up ... and yesterday I was surprised to see a row of FOUR swallows on our garden gate. Two babies, a little fluffy and uncertain in the breeze, yelling FEED ME, mum.

Greater striped swallows.
baby and watchful parent

As we return to Cape Town we'll cross that magic line at the Gouda wind park which is using concrete towers that we've trailed on the road home. Turbine blades on road transport. 23rd October the first blades went up. Hopefield wind farm is already running. In Porterville a gentle afternoon breeze hints at the prevailing Southeaster we'll return to.

Gouda Wind Park
(blurred fence from moving car)

King Arthur slipper orchid is patiently waiting to get to False Bay, before he opens his flower.

Pictures by Diana and swallows by Jurg Studer of  Elephant's Eye
(in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa)

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Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
His Panasonic Lumix FZ100 (info from Panasonic)
My Canon PowerShot A490 (info from Canon)

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
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