and the seasons change again – sort of!

Yesterday it was cool (14 deg C) and Cape Town was treated to a lovely gentle rain for most of the day (I swear I could hear the roots of the plants stretching and yawning out of their hibernation). The day before, however, it was 32 degrees C and the sun was strong – not hot enough to fry an egg on the bonnet of the car, but enough of a signal of summer to book a pedicure and check the use-by date on my tube of sunscreen.

Level 5 water restrictions have just been implemented in the Western Cape so we know the overall water situation is serious, especially as we’re now officially in spring and have many rainless months to get through. In spite of that, and because I’m careful to keep my water consumption below the prescribed limit and use only grey water for watering, my garden is green. Very green. Too green? Is that even possible? Where is some colour??? Yesterday – the bleak, grey day – a tiny splash of cerise against the back wall caught my eye. I decided to investigate further, and find as many new pops of colour as possible.

Orange and lemon black-eyed susans; purple Myrtifolia; three shades of lilac simultaneously on the Yesterday, today and tomorrow; tangerine clivia; egg-yolk and white erigeron; purple lavender; ivory Arum lily; red-leaf spinach*; cerise bougainvillea. This cheerful evidence of survival and renewal has filled me with optimism.

* I forgot to mention that about a third of the spinach I used in the pie on Monday night was harvested from my own garden. Disclaimer: any edible produce is due to Peter’s efforts, not so much mine!

 

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18 thoughts on “and the seasons change again – sort of!

  1. katechiconi

    I think Yesterday, today and tomorrow is one of my all time favourite shrubs: gorgeous flowers and an even better scent! That clivia clearly enjoys a spot of drought, and I really must get some for the new bed I’m hoping the Husband will help me construct. I’ll put them in the shade of the big leafy things that are going in, so that should keep them happy, and the bed will be raised so they’ll stay nice and dry as they prefer.

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      There are other clivias in the garden, too, but this is one of three that lives just outside the lounge window, in a mean and narrow “bed” with clay soil and poor drainage. I had actually forgotten all about them because, to see them regularly, I’d have to make use of the washing line. Which I dont….(heh) :)

      Reply
      1. katechiconi

        I have a petrea vine that has been decapitated, allowed to dry out and look dead, hauled out of the ground and shoved in a pot – and STILL it grows and flowers with exquisite blue papery cascades of blooms.

  2. tgonzales

    Your garden is beautiful. We are getting ready for fall, with temperatures dropping to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a high today of 80. I love not knowing what to wear. :) Have a great day.

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I know what you mean about deciding what to wear. The best solution is LAYERS, so if the temp rises you can start peeling down. Also, being Cape Town, it’s best to keep a rain jacket with a hood in the car. I also keep one of those old plastic granny rain hats folded up in my bag – my absolute WORST is getting my hair wet!!!

      Reply
  3. insearchofitall

    Your garden is lovely. How do you get to your gray water? Ours goes directly into the sewers so there is no saving it. It must be wonderful to have a man that cares about growing food for you. :)

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Peter comes to work in the garden once a week, and the veggie plants were an experiment at his suggestion. He can take home whatever he can harvest – if the bugs haven’t got to it first! There was already a grey water system installed in my house when I bought it. Water from two of the bathrooms goes directly to a filter thing outside, sunk below the patio, and then the filtered water comes out of pipes when you press the button :) However, these two bathrooms are the least used ones in the house – most of our water gets used in the third bathroom and the kitchen. The pipes for those rooms all stick out outside the walls of the house (it’s an old house!) so Rob cobbled together some piping which links them all up and the water goes directly into a system of buckets. Then it has to be carried by hand round the garden – which accounts for my buggered-up right arm!

      Reply
      1. insearchofitall

        Oh, my word! That is quite some system. It would not be allowed here. Of course I would love to find some way to make use of all the excess water that goes into our sewer system. Sounds like a bit more inventiveness can solve your arm problem. :) Bet it can be done.

      2. Nice Piece of Work Post author

        One of the first things to consider is how to “gather up” the water you can actually see disappearing around you, e.g. the shower. Two buckets in the shower will easily fill up by the time you’ve finished showering (no-one here baths any more – too much water!) I recycle my hot-water bottle water (not a big thing, but it all adds up!), and of course if it rains, you can easily find some receptacles to catch the water :)

      3. insearchofitall

        I’m working on that. We get so much water in the winter. Finding inexpensive ways to store it without getting mosquitoes is the trick. So many rules around here. I’m very mindful of water use inside. We technically have plenty but I do not waste even then.

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