by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa
A Swartland garden in January
As I look back thru January posts and pictures how our garden has grown and changed and developed. Ideas that didn't sit well and had to be redesigned. The garden has taught us about micro-climate, which bits grow with abandon, and which corners are problem children. 2012 reminds me of the disaster zones around and beyond the ash trees, where I have now filled the planters with a satisfying succulent geometry.
|2011 driveway olives and Pride of India|
This year I missed my chance to capture the shocking pink Pride of India, but 2011 was a good year. That photo also reminds me how the olives on the grateful shady side have grown in 3 years. We've lost a couple on the embattled full sun side.
From 2012 the Streptocarpus still flourishes in royal purple flowers on the shady verandah. Joined by the Clerodendron which gave up in the ash planter and is roaring up in its verandah pot!
Quiet gentle colours. White, soft blues, and misty mauves. Blue sage my signature plant at Elephant's Eye. Dietes blooming continuously, light against deep green leaves. Plumbago in that gentle blue of the sky on a perfect summer day, when it's not TOO hot.
|Hibiscus tiliaceus, pelargonium in pink|
and white, early March lily
The March lilies that came with us from Camps Bay, have bloomed here for the first time. In January, after good rain. The leaves are different to the plants I inherited in the garden. Different species? Pelargoniums in shell pink (grown from Kirstenbosch members seed), and in white (a cutting brought by my mother for our new garden). Hibiscus tiliaceus having remembered how to flower is kindly keeping the display going.
Sunny yellow was the colour my mother choose, when asked what flowers she would like. Buttery yellow Tecoma capensis was once a cutting from Camps Bay - now the plant is taller than me, and about 3 times my bulk.
lavender, Tropical Sunset bud
ripe figs, Paradise and Roses
Like my London-born mother there are foreign flowers in our garden. Mediterranean lavender for summer fragrance. With the luscious scent of ripe figs. There are roses still to pick, but I have to be quick, once the sun catches the opening bud, it's too late. 2010's collage reminds me of the flaming pink Salvia greggei my mother delighted in.
|Weird colours between sunset and an approaching thunderstorm|
We had a cool week in January with 30 mm of rain, very grateful after a December with no rain at all.
Joining Gail at Clay and Limestone for her Wildflower Wednesday as I do each month.
Pictures by Diana Studer
(If you mouse over brown text,
it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.
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