23 April, 2014

A Swartland garden in April

- gardening for biodiversity

When we left Cape Town, passed thru the Wheat Curtain, and began gardening in the Swartland with its Renosterveld - I battled to find advice, or appropriately indigenous plants. I tried and failed with the fynbos plants I knew and loved. Only the Erica baccans survived that lesson. Now growing with determination across the path, NOT in the bed. If I would start again now ... I'd turn to the gardens and nurseries at Biodiversity and Wine Initiative wine estates for ideas and plants.

Yellow Tecoma capensis

Yesterday brilliant sunshine. This morning under a grey blanket, the mountains cancelled. In the afternoon just a few wisps of cloud and a hazy autumnal quality to the light.

Paradise and Roses with Olifantskop

Plumbago Walk with Spirulino's times two

When I plant for colour it isn't trays of annual seedlings, it's shrubs. Swathes of colour where my eyes and hands can enjoy them. White, sky blue, and periwinkle of Plumbago, yellow and apricot from Tecoma capensis, electric pink from Phyllis van Heerden. Purple Dimorphotheca below a pink Pelargonium.

April flowers
Pineapple sage, lemon verbena, Hypoxis
Dimorphotheca jucunda,
Pearl of Bedfordview, Tecoma capensis
Burning Sky, Pelargonium, Oxalis

Our foreign flowers in April - South American lemon verbena (my mother and I love the citrusy leaves), vibrant pink pineapple sage the sunbirds fight over. The roses begin to bloom again as autumn restores them from pruning. Joining Gail at Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday - as my record of what lights my garden each month.

Nerine sarniensis

Pots of bulbs are green. Nerine sarniensis Jersey lily that bloomed at the beginning of the month has already gone to seed. Yellow Hypoxis with its three ranks of leaves. Palest pink Oxalis with delicate burgundy lines.

On Google Plus I joined Five Days. Pictures from your daily life. Day 1 Cornish striped mug of tea. Day 2 fortnightly grocery shopping. Day 3 packing a garden as our home is for sale.

Day 4 my day desk. Day 5 line drying our washing. No tumble drier needed here. In winter a clotheshorse by the fire.

Monday was my mother's birthday and I have 
flowers from her garden.

Rest and Be Thankful

Spirulino (our rescued house sparrow, a cock sparrow) has been promoted to a new, as in bought then customised, home. The Ungardener gets engrossed in his DIY projects, tweak and adjust. The blue bars echoing the clear sunny skies blue of the Plumbago Walk, beside the ash trees where the bird cage lives. Since half of our granadilla plants are fading on us, it's good to know we can offer him Plumbago leaves instead. Most days our bird has a sand bath first, then rinses the sand off in his little bath tub. The feeding tray reaches into the cage so he can dine with his friends. We try him on various fruit and veg but a nibble of apple with a granadilla leaf is his accepted quota of meh rabbit food! He retreats into his 'forest' of dangling strips of shade cloth - when the world is too much with him. He has a new proper wooden birdhouse inside - but not sure if he's learnt to use INSIDE yet.

Spirulino enjoying his new home

Spirulino dining with friends

Pictures by Diana and 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)

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Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
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