July 31, 2012
I’m loving the winter colour in the Upper Rosemary Border. It was particularly noticeable after the slightest of drizzles a few nights back, the wet and the even light intensifying all colour. Unfortunately immeasurably little rain fell and we end July with a record 3 month period with absolutely no rain recorded. Two days, one in January and one in Feb, of over 100mm each (4 inches) have given a deceptively optimistic impression; without having counted I would say we have had less than 20% of the average number of rain days in the first 7 months of the year…
The next pic was taken early on a sunny morning when the pale trunks and branches of the big bluegums and the many naked trees in the arboretum caught my attention.
But what I really wish to share with you is a photo of the gate from Ellensgate, the house in Pretoria where my father grew up, which was recently posted on Facebook by a cousin; we have been having international chats about old family photos, not only family gatherings from our youth, but even pictures from our parents’ youth. One recent pic even led to over 100 comments as cousins chattered away across the continents and the years. Here is the photo of the gate:
And here is this very gate photographed for today’s post:
And thereby hangs a tale, one which has featured before, but never with the evidence attached as here! It is the story of how the Ellensgate Garden, the first of the ‘formal gardens’ I added on Sequoia, came to be; of how this gate was central to the development of all my thinking.
In fact I quite co-incidentally referred to the Ellensgate post as the first on my blog in my previous post, and gave you a link. At the risk of being repetitive I do so again, for I tell the story in great detail and with many picture accompaniments there. If you read it last week, then see this as a postscript. If you didn’t, then here it is again. And please take note that the gate was recently sanded down and oiled, and is looking very chipper again. (Oops; bad choice of word where wood is involved…)
January 2, 2012
After a rather dull festive season, the New Year dawned bright and I gathered a few photographs in case it all clouded over again. However, today – the day many people return home to start the new year – is again perfect. There are many grumpy people on the road, I guess!
Summer is going fortissimo, with the rudbeckias and local agapanthus (A. inapertus) beginning to bloom along Alfred’s Arches and the red pineapple lilies expanding in the Upper Rosemary Border.
In the good light I even decided to haul out my disappointing long lens to try a detail-from-a-distance shot of the Upper Rosemary Border, but the pineapple lilies I chose were shot through the foliage of Alfred’s Arches with the standard lens.
The two hydrangeas (H. ‘Blue Wave’ and H. quercifolia) that grow beneath the Golden Rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) – which is also in flower – are looking lovely.
Here they are again, with a detail of ‘Blue Wave’:
As they day warmed up yesterday and we sat with friends on the stoep, the migrating butterflies became more and more active, until it was as though we had snow gently falling across the landscape as the myriads of fluttering butterflies made their way across from left to right.
These butterflies were the subject of a biggish post in November
last year 2010 which you can see here. And so our version of snow brings my festive season to a close. Have a great year!
June 30, 2011
I told ya I would, didden I !
And whilst I was out – with Mateczka, as you’ll see – I took a few more… Enjoy!
December 5, 2010
Here we are on the 5th of December, and still I have not posted. But the academic year is over and the holiday season is upon us. 50mm in a magnificent storm on Friday night made me think of a watery pic this week, but I was not too happy with the photo of the weir at the Makou Dam. Mateczka’s expectant expression as she stood IN the flower garden at the beginning of a sunny walk late on Saturday won the day. With the penstemons coming into bloom, the Rosemary Border is doing exactly what I intended it to do – provide a long frame for the Makou Dam behind it, when seen from the house.