by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
Our first nesting swallows. In October we have TWO BABIES! Greater striped swallow has white earmuffs. 'Common summer visitor and breeding endemic'. On summer evenings we have always seen and heard them swooping over Ungardening Pond hawking for flying beastlies.
|Greater striped swallow|
|Greater striped swallow|
One beakful of mud for the nest over the front entrance, and 'one for the road' dropped at our front door. Such slow progress, there's now a fist-sized lump of mud and miles to fly before they are done.
|Greater striped swallow with a beakful of mud|
waiting outside the kitchen window for those PEOPLE to go away!
We have seen our bat. Just one. And only half the size of my palm when he's tucked up asleep. Deeply grateful for all the mosquitoes and flying irritations he eats.
|Paradise and Roses in February|
February flowers for Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone. A bit meh after a long hot summer. No rain promised except a Sunday shower, and flirting with forty till then. Not inspired to pick for the vase, but the camera got a good haul - tomorrow we'll 'stage the house' for the next maybe this time? I have been picking Aeonium, Moroccan rose. Tight red leaf buds open to emerald and burgundy tipped splendour. Waiting patiently for March lilies to rise up.
|Australian brush cherry, Kei apple|
Altho we don't deliberately set out to grow our own it is a year for fruit. We had a few plums. A good crop of figs, now done. Generous harvest of indigenous Kei apples, despite me realising that the patter of little feet as I pruned, was the new crop falling. The guavas we tried to remove have sprouted again from the roots, and they are starting to produce. Australian brush cherry has pendulous bunches of glossy long fruit, with the fallen fruit carpeting the gravel driveway. The olives are coming.
|Pearl of Bedfordview, Hibiscus tiliaceus|
Tecoma capensis, pelargonium
I have the gentle buttery yellows I love in Hibiscus tiliaceus against a vibrant blue sky, and yellow trumpets of Tecoma capensis with nectar for the sunbirds. Pearl of Bedfordview with an attendant butterfly and steady flowers from the pelargoniums. Three South Africans with an exotic rose.
Another colour I love, and really hard to capture with camera, is gentle sky blue Plumbago (again indigenous). With the buds precisely furled, as if designed by an architect. Tiggers hate Plumbago; it has little sticky velcro teeth and Chocolat HATES being tidied.
|Karoo Rose, Alec's Red|
pelargonium, pineapple sage
Karoo Rose and Alec's Red are gently beginning the autumn flush. I'll feed the roses once we have autumn temperatures. There are pink, salmon and red pelargoniums too. Today I noticed the pineapple sage is flowering, another for the happy sunbirds. Our Pelargonium with three foreigners.
|Tangerine Bulbine frutescens|
And a last glimpse at the South African Bulbine frutescens I've planted outside the garage, dancing tangerine plumes against the brick wall.
Pictures by Jurg and Diana 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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