Our last garden was on a 45 degree slope, with lots of rocks, in
. So the Ungardener found this square, flat, featureless, rockless, ex vegetable garden Camps Bay
– a bit flat,
– and featureless.
We built a pond (see 6th and 7th Oct) with Pani’s Falls to the North East of the house. But on the South side, apart from a row of inherited fruit trees near the wall, the garden railway, and Apple Creek, we still had a large open expanse. We also had a problem. This was a newly built house, why is there so much builder’s rubble? Because first they built it. Wrong. Then they built it right, leaving a mountain of used and broken bricks, and a million bits of concrete. We chipped off the dry mortar and used those bricks to edge the paths.
Clockwise - Cotyledon orbiculata (large green leaves), spekboom Portulacaria afra, lost this name??,
Aloe greatheadii (with spots), Cotyledon orbiculata (grey leaves), Sansevieria (stripy),
Aeonium (wine-red leaves) and Crassula (orangey leaves)
Book aloe, tree aloe (A. ciliaris, a climber), Clanwilliam aloe, and nameless puppies
So we collected all the builder’s rubble, arranged it in an umpty-tump which looks “natural”, covered it with soil, and planted succulents. Our
Karoo succulents are adapted to winter rainfall, but they still don’t want to stand in sodden clay soil, so a raised bed with a well drained core works. It is also a good home for tree stumps, photogenic dead branches, and my always growing collection of rocks!
An earlier generation here, as in most country towns in
, had leiwater. There was a system of channels thru the town, and a roster, e.g. Tuesdays from 10am to 11am, the water is yours. It flows onto your small holding along your ditches, and waters your vegetables and fruit trees. The Ungardener collected our old sluice gates, recycling history, and arranged them on the Karoo Koppie. Nessie, a sheep’s head, or an eagle’s head? South Africa
Most of our garden succulents are South African, from the Klein Karoo (see 30th Sept). Two exceptions – Echevieria, for its Mexican roses, and because it spreads generously, and an Aeonium (also
New World) for its gorgeous wine dark rosettes (and it spreads …) And the Agaves, which are going, going, getting gone!
Yellow Aloe, modern cultivar, bought at Rare Plants Fair
Pregnant onion, chincherinchee, Ornithogallum
Sour fig, Carpobrotus, which Californians know as a firescape plant
We have a glorious sweep of deepest orange/red Kalanchoe, which started as a minor ingredient in a gifted pot plant arrangement. Now we have dozens of plants, which are currently covered in garlands of flowers. Since it is such a happy plant, I have bought a very gentle orange/yellow to add to the intensity going forward. Kalanchoe, Echevieria and Sansevieria all prefer afternoon shade, so they are planted at the East end, morning sun, then afternoon shade from the mountain ash trees.
August 2008 we did the first planting. Having just finished the last bit of path, have planted the new East section. This is covered in drifts and swathes of the plants which are already flourishing here. Inspired by the Lurie gardens in
?? There it was blue Salvias, on a far GRANDER scale. But the idea is fun, even in a domestic garden setting. Somehow soothing, and satisfying, and right. Chicago
Started in August 2008
Extended this week
Aloe speciosa, Aloe ferox, Sansevieria
PS A Koppie is a small mountain. Very small, in our garden.
Pictures by Jurg and Diana, words by Diana of Elephant's Eye