False Bay garden in July

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

I score ten out of ten for our Karoo Koppie. For Through the Garden Gate with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset. I want Autumn Fire in mid-winter, flames of orange and red. The camera is underwhelmed but the merely human eye sighs with happiness.

Karoo Koppie in July
planted in 2015

Fuzzy picture thru the window of a sunbird on Lachenalia rubida. The orange and red trumpets are clustered here for the sunbirds to enjoy.

Sunbird on Lachenalia rubida

Aloe marlothii with its burgundy stems reminds me how imposing it was in our Porterville garden. Just outside the bay window I can enjoy watching the buds open.

Karoo Koppie with Aloe marlothii

The aloe spike towers up. Joined by 3 clumps of orange Chasmanthe. A scattered ribbon of scarlet and coral pelargoniums. Clusters of bells on Cotyledon orbiculata, terracotta with the green and red-rimmed leaves, a gentler muted salmon with the grey leaves.

Red flowers on the Karoo Koppie in July

On the Karoo Koppie - spotted leaf aloe, the fan aloe adding more fans, rippled leaves of Boophone and tiny elaborate flowers on a volunteer sedge. Inside our gate flowers on Brachylaena, fresh toothed leaves on Melianthus, and a harvest of berries on Halleria for the birds. Spring Promise is focused on the trusses of bells on Dombeya. Under the lemon tree one Felicia is, happy.

Leaves and July flowers

The yellow leaved Portulacaria grows out front but it fits Summer Gold with Chasmanthe and Euryops.

Yellow flowers in July

My mother's slipper orchid King Arthur came in to be enjoyed - two of the four flowers survived overwatering.

King Arthur slipper orchid

The littlest tank has a new tap. I need an attractive pot to carry the pink white and silver theme and camouflage the fugly plastic. The second 750 litre rain tank is standing. We spent four legged time moving the water from the full old tank to the new empty one - so he can sort out connecting them - and we can capture rain tomorrow (dam levels). So far, only the old tank is connected to the gutter. This colour is Wintergrass - surprisingly unobtrusive with the trees around it.

The new rain water tank

We like to walk, just the two of us, at our own pace, in Table Mountain National Park. Sadly there have been incidents of mugging, and we are advised to walk in groups. We have choices ranging from serious all day hikes with the Mountain Club or Friends of Cape Point, and of Silvermine. We turn to U3A where the walks range across ALL fitness levels.

Glencairn hike in July

We started with a Fynbos Ramble, Nature Walk. Caterpillar is perhaps - the cherry spot moth or lily borer. Erica. Bud on Leucospermum conocarpodendron protea. We were walking above Glencairn in what was Solole private nature reserve, now part of TMNP. A ford across the stream remembering farming days, and heavy rain. Tiny treasure with purple edged petals is Wurmbea inusta (crocus family). This double Oxalis! Podalyria argentea which I battle to keep alive in my garden, covered in pink and purple flowers with grey silky leaves (pea family). Low vivid red Babiana ringens. Many protea reminders of the fire that raged here in 2015.

Cape witch orchid and carpenter bee  

We found a Cape witch orchid Disperis capensis. Later I read with stunning photos, about carpenter bees (also in our garden on Plectranthus neochilus) and how they are confused between Muraltia with nectar and this deceptive orchid which uses the bees for pollination. For Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone in Tennessee.

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Pictures by Diana Studer

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Comments

  1. Your Karoo Koppie looks wonderful, so full of colour, I think orange and red colours against green foliage look wonderful in winter. I think your winter garden is much more impressive than ours! Very nice water tank, and I hope you get some rain to fill it.

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  2. I love the different leave formations and your wonderful assortment of red flowers. The bird is so well camouflaged! It must have been such hard work moving all the water, your new tank looks massive. What a shame that you can no longer walk alone. Sarah x

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  3. That orchid is incredible! Sorry to hear that the favorite hiking spots are becoming unsafe--that's sad. I think your camera did a great job of capturing the warm colors in your garden. Gosh, it's so much better than white, gray, and brown for months on end. :)

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  4. The distant mountain view (Table Mountain?) with the clouds and rock outcroppings is stunning, but terrible on the muggings. Winter color like that, and a shiny rain tank - perfect.

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    Replies
    1. Constantiaberg is at our end of the Table Mountain range.

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  5. Your garden and the natural areas surrounding you are absolutely wonderful, Diana! That Wurmbea is incredible - I've never seen anything like it or the aptly named cape witch orchid before. Your sunbird is a jewel too and I enjoy every sighting of the handsome Thomas as well.

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  6. Very cool :D

    With all the trips between tanks, you'll agree - who needs to go to gym? 700lts = 700 kgs - you're poor shoulders must be aching today...

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    Replies
    1. We are fine - it wasn't far, just around the corner of the house.

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  7. I also sigh with happiness looking at your garden, so rich and colorful and yet so neat and tidy. Beautiful.
    Amalia
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Oh the neat and tidy is thanks to the camera always lies. (Don't look at this bit ...)

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  8. Amazing strong colours for the end of your winter. How sad that you can no longer walk when you wish. Thanks for taking time to wonder where I was; your kind thoughts were very much appreciated.

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  9. The sunbird is beautiful! Its throat matches perfectly with the flowers.

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  10. the garden's looking wonderful, amazing how much it's grown in such a short time. What a shame you can't safely walk unless there's a group.

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    Replies
    1. True, but since the hiking group is interested in flowers I am learning new names. Every week!

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  11. Your July garden is stunning, Diana. We have 5 rain water barrels, but each is much smaller than yours so very manageable. They have been full all season because of the uncommon amount of rain this year. P. x

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    1. Enough (kind) rain to keep the barrels full sounds perfect.

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  12. I love your Karoo Koppie ! It looks very much like a summer garden to me, so it seems our seasons are upside down all around. It is amazing that your winter garden is full of vibrant color and character. I wonder, with all that bright red, do you have hummingbirds in your area?

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    1. Not hummingbirds, those are reserved for your side of the Atlantic. Filling the same niche with long curved beaks for nectar, and a love of red and orange trumpet flowers are our sunbirds. Ours are bigger than yours, so the flowers have evolved to provide a sturdy perch. The largest is the malachite sunbird.

      http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.co.za/2011/01/sunbirds-malachite-and-collared.html

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  13. Although the camera doesn't pick up all the drama of the flowers in your Karoo Koppie, that bank of lush foliage is gorgeous. (And it was nice of Thomas to provide a sense of scale. ;-) )

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    Replies
    1. Among the zone denial gardeners battling drought - yes - I am proud of that (unwatered) lush foliage.

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