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!