12 April, 2013

Succulent dividend returns on our hedge fund

We live in a temperate mediterranean climate. No garden down time, although in summer some plants go dormant. But now it is comfortable, we've had some rain. As I prune lightly along the paths, I harvest cuttings and in they go and grow!

Red dragonfly


Jade plant AKA money plant or Crassula ovata is our hedge fund. One plant failed, the jobbing gardener stood on it. Thick stems are more water than wood, proof against drought but not stomping. One grew huge and provided a volunteer to replace the lost colleague.

yellow Tecoma capensis

Spekboom or Portulacaria afra gives me enough cuttings to cover a rugby field. Small leaves and it can be pruned to a formal shape.

Cotyledon orbiculata bud, sprouting bulbs
apricot Tecoma colouring

Between the blue border and the Karoo Koppie the seamless flow needed a SEAM. I added a line of spekboom cuttings. Then the volunteers from the blue Felicia I ripped out by mistake.

volunteers from Crassula ovata, first line of spekboom and Felicia

Jade plant cuttings were left in the sun for some days to form a callus on the cut end. Yesterday I planted them. First the line of Crassula ovata (jade plant) closes the third side of the triangle. We had a sad bit, where I did plant, but. In the bitter-sweet process of grooming our garden for sale, the Ungardener ripped out the winter grass, shredded the evidence and returned it as mulch. Skoon en netjies, clean and tidy, but sad.

freshly pruned kei apple with mountain, weeded under the fig trees

I did some more ripping and replanted the yellow Bulbinella to fill the extra triangle across the top corner. They now have a dedicated space, and I wait for grateful flowers. At the far end of the Karoo Koppie is our Mediterranean Sun Circle. Wandering back and forth thinking, I decided to plant formal – an echo of the low evening rays of sun - using the succulent ‘dividends’ from our garden.

Wanting to play with colours and textures and patterns, in the centre I added a line of pig’s ears Cotyledon orbiculata. Now I have fleshy ‘round’ leaves in small, medium and LARGE. Two large triangles left to fill. Two more lines of spekboom to repeat that fine texture (and I have plenty!)

Then something different. Tall spears of striped mother-in-law’s tongue Sansevieria. Now the pattern starts to sing. Closing the final gap is muishondblaar Plectranthus neochilus.

Succulents planted as Evening Rays

Planted now in the autumn coolth and ahead of our serious winter rain, the cuttings so dense – by spring my striped tapestry should be completely filled in. By morning sun today, yesterday’s full day of work looks … awesome.

No purchases, or waiting for rooting involved. And I know they are happy in my garden. A triumph for CanoeCorner!

Nandina, pineapple sage
dandelion, Burning Sky
(all foreign flowers)

April’s foreign and indigenous Wildflower Wednesday (April link) sings of yellow Tecoma, blue Plumbago, red flames on just one of my Nandina bushes - with grace notes from pelargoniums and roses, and shrieks from the pineapple sage. Both the Tecoma and the sage are feeding our sunbirds. Who sometimes yell imprecations at each other – Eff off, that bush is MINE!!

SA pelargoniums in April

Port St John's creeper, Ruttyruspolia
Dimorphotheca jucunda, Plumbago
(SA April wildflowers)

As I sit with my muesli at Rest and Be Thankful, I'm joined by a Cape robin, so close I could touch him. Yesterday I saw a blue bird of happiness. Since our wild birds don’t come so blue, it must have been an escaped budgie, living wild and free.

Pictures and text by Diana Studer
(also on Google Plus)
AKA Diana of Elephant's Eye

- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links)

27 comments:

  1. Will you be taking lots of cuttings for your new garden? Fantastic to see Mother in Law's tongue planted outside, it is a house plant for us, as is the Jade plant. I have just bought one for my dil but rooted 3 leaves from the base, so I now have my own plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. especially these succulents (altho he reminds me there won't be so much SPACE in the next garden)

      Delete
  2. Dear Diana,
    it is always amazing to see our indoor plants in the garden.
    Crassula ovata will indeed make a good hedge without frost.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Elke

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's delightful to see photos of your garden; the succulents you grow I can only grow as houseplants. And a number of the plants you show are completely new to me. I look forward to learning more about them.
    Happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I sometimes wish I lived where I could garden year round...then I could spread out the chores, not rush kill myself and never get to half of the chores....oh well. I love seeing so many pretty flowers especially the pinks as they have not shown themselves yet nor have many flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Plumbago is a wonderful flower, and with the warming weather here it is becoming fully hardy in this area.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely photos! Chocolat seems to have found a refreshing spot. I am impressed with your sansevieria growing in the ground! Strictly a house plant here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You really get some interesting plants, here they live indoors. Your climate must be wonderful year round. Nice photos, Diana.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your gardening sounds like quite a workout. Amazing that you can keep up that enthusiasm all year round.
    Thanks for the tip - I didn't know about drying out cuttings.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Mother-in-law's tongue made me smile. I haven't seen that plant in years. It used to be a very popular houseplant when I was a child. I'm not sure what they called it here, but we did give it the same name in England. I remember when I first asked how it got its name, I was told that "nothing is sharper than a Mother-in-law's tongue" ;) It's quite different seeing it planted out of doors, but I like it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I confess, mine was a neglected potplant dumped in the garden and ignored! Garden blogs made me think more about the permanent beauty of foliage form and colour, and I fell in love with my Sansevieria. Gratefully accepted a neighbour's discarded bunch with a wide cream margin to the leaves.

      Delete
  10. "You really get some interesting plants"

    Very interesting to say it, and it is indeed very lovely..

    ReplyDelete
  11. I finally got back and started clearing out part of the old garden now that the building at home is done. Starting to formulate a plan what to do with it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I'll see some work in progress photos, somewhere?

      Delete
  12. That looks like a wonderful garden! The colors are lovely and I'm glad you are getting new plants from the old.

    ReplyDelete
  13. More and more I'm appreciating the serenity of formal plantings--which is nothing against exuberant, informal ones, of course. I like the textures and patterning of your evening rays. They are formal without crossing the line into "clean and tidy, but sad."

    ReplyDelete
  14. Money plant, mother in laws tongue, house plants my grandmother always had. Nandina I often see in the garden centres tempting us to give it a go, will it look as good as it does at your place, well only one way to find out. All looking spic and span for prospective buyers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect Nandina will flourish happily for you, with glorious autumn colour. It comes from Japan, I think.

      Delete
  15. How fabulous that cuttings root so easily for you. :o) In our climate they need more coaxing. This also allows you to take plants with you to fill in your new beds. Very economical!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spekboom is elephant food, and grows naturally where there is year round rainfall and kind temperatures. When the elephant knocks a branch off, even the tiniest fingernail sized cluster of leaves GROWS!

      Delete
  16. like Pauline said, Mother in law's tongue is a houseplant here (in my house) but it is so tough, now I think of it, it will do equally in the garden. As long as it has good drainage. I love the idea of creating a garden bed like a tapestry. look forward to seeing the same beds in a few months.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Diana, as a Brit, I can only echo what others have said about the joys of seeing plants that I know as houseplants being confidently planted outside! Those mother-in-law's tongues look fabulous in the ground. Here in Delhi we have lots of sun and no frost, but it get so hot in summer that most plants just can't survive. Your climate seems much more forgiving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No frost here either, and the summer is tough ... but not brutal.

      Delete
  18. Diana, I don't think I could cope with year-round gardening. I don't have the stamina any more -- you are an amazing gardener! Black Chocolat makes a nice contrast to the silver dusty miller. P. x

    ReplyDelete
  19. Our plumbago must be a different variety. I fell in love with it because of it's lovely cobalt blue flowers and copper tipped leaves in Fall. Fell out of love when after a year or two it began to take over everything else. Roots underground are massive and so invasive. Been digging it out the last few weeks, will have to keep at it up all summer to be sure it's doesn't take hold again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ours is Plumbago auriculata. It does sucker, and seed itself around a little, and will climb up thru tall trees. I keep mine cut back, out of the paths. I think there is a North American species? Royal Cape is a deeper blue, but not cobalt.

      Delete
  20. Oh Chocolat:) Looks like the kitty is adapting well to the new world. I've loving all your different plants you've put around the area. Quite the exotic group of plants including Mother-in-law's Tongue. Wish that one would grow outdoors for me.

    ReplyDelete

Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

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
For real time, click on the map.