29 October, 2014

October roses and baby swallows

by Diana Studer
- 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 stays, but apple
and lemon will make way for the new people's plans
Tahiti lime is potted to come to False Bay

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)

(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.
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  1. Ah, my dear, a poignant time for you, but excitement ahead none the less. I wish you well for your move - the packing is the worst as the unpacking can be done at leisure.

    Good luck Diana and Jurg - you're in my thoughts.

  2. All my best wishes for a trouble free move! Sad to be leaving your beautiful garden but wonderful to be beginning a new one!

  3. When I read this post I was getting sadder and sadder. I can imagine when you walk in your garden along all your beloved plants you are nostalgic. It is the garden you made, but on the other side so exciting to go to False Bay and start a new life and new garden.
    Wish you a lot of success with the packing and moving and of course a lot of happiness in your new home.

  4. from the Western Cape, Italy and the Netherlands.
    Thank you. You know how it feels to leave a garden, a home, changes ahead!

  5. Best wishes, Diana. I'll be thinking of you in the weeks ahead. You'll have plenty to keep you busy, but I'm sure the "goodbyes" will be challenging. Still, so much to look forward to. This post is so beautiful, with so many lovely past remembrances, today's blooms, and tomorrow's promises. Cheers!

  6. Good luck with the move. I've left gardens before but have never been able to take plants with me to my next one. But starting a new garden is always fun. I hope the move goes smoothly. :o)

  7. That's some camera on your phone! Expect it'll be used more and more now you have it. Interesting that your nasturtiums fade as summer comes. It's the opposite for us on the south coast of England. It will be sad to leave but imagine it is exciting too since you were looking for a False Bay home for such a while. All the best with your move and new life.

  8. from Wisconsin, Virginia USA and Dorset UK.
    Thanks for - past remembrances, today's blooms, and tomorrow's promises.
    Lucy, the new phone camera makes me nervous. I'm getting the photos into my laptop, not on purpose but by hidden magic as I battle ...

  9. Best wishes on your move. I look forward to seeing your beautiful new garden. It's nice that you can take a bit of Elephant's Eye with you to get started.

  10. Ah, that sight of piled up boxes is all too familiar to me. After all these months of waiting, it will be sad to leave. But so much to look forward to at False Bay. -Jean

  11. I was surprised to read that you are leaving Elephant's Eye, Diana. I felt a pang of sadness reading your post, and I wish you all the best in your new home.

  12. Dear Diana,
    Oh I love to see the lush bloom in your area! As you know autum has his last breath in Austria!
    So, looking at your pictures warms my heart and boddy!
    Have a happy happy time

  13. from Texas, Maine and Rhode Island USA, and Austria.
    It is sad today, the apple trees are down. so glad I picked a branch with 4 tiny apples for my vase yesterday.

  14. Hi Diana... I imagine you must be having some mixed feelings about leaving such a beautiful place... nevertheless, I wish you good luck with your move... and of course, I look forward to seeing your new place too... :-)

  15. Dear Diana, I'm feeling sad too, through your blog it's been quite a few years of involvement with the garden. Still, that's life, isn't it, change is inevitable, and your new garden will be wonderful in a different way. I wish you all the best for the move.

  16. from Japan and Australia.
    Today the old and the new, we 4 walked around the garden finding a new home for the 5 year old lemon tree.

  17. I'm glad you found time to blog in the midst of your busy packing and moving, Diana, to take a bittersweet look at the late spring garden you are leaving behind. Wishing you all the very best in your new life. P. x

  18. Yay! baby swallows! Ours have not even finished building their nests....

  19. from Pennsylvania back to the Western Cape.
    We think there are a second set of swallow babies in the nest.

  20. The last few images from your precious garden are lovely! I wish you all the luck with your new place. Onwards to new adventures!
    Ingrid xx

  21. A lovely post but sad you have to leave. Hope those baby swallows manage without you...
    All the best with the move and in your new home :)

  22. Good luck with the "Groot Trek"! And as for the open gardens - ek watertand! Oneday I too will see them, but with a bit of luck I will be gainfully employed (besides having also moved!) this time next year. May swallows find you in Somerset West. All of the best. Jack

  23. Lovely, just lovely. Beneficent winds to you....ah, change.

  24. from London, Wales, Limpopo Province South Africa and Oklahoma USA
    Squirrelbasket we are delighted that after the long wait, our buyers share our love of gardening with our birds.

  25. When I moved almost 10 yrs ago, it was in fall and it was easier to leave my garden not in bloom. I will think hopeful, good garden thoughts for you as you make this move.

    1. today Apple Creek lost its apples, the leafy entrance has been cut back for the removal vans. Time to go and make the new garden our own!

  26. Sending you some of Perth's finest weather to help all your (very blessed) plants along. If I come back to earth as Flora of any kind I pray that it is within your garden. ♥


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.

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