Here we are, well into week 4 of August. Cold blustery winter alternates with glorious sun; luckily the weekend and half-term included a perfect Sunday and Monday, with friends over – my first guests in the Big House – for a braai (barbeque) on Sunday. Today is miserable, but yesterday was the turning point of the seasons: whilst working in the garden I was suddenly overwhelmed by the magic scent of earliest spring on the farm: Buddleja salvifolia, native on the farm, flowers in August and the first heat brings out the typical honey scent of buddleja, as potent as first love. Buddleja salvifolia is one of the major affirmations that God exists, for the injection of promise of a brighter future that the scent carries is a truly religious experience.
But it is not the buddleja I write of today (I’m saving it for a Wildflower Wednesday post tomorrow, I hope) but the Sweet Violets – Viola odorata. I remember them growing under the roses outside my bedroom window as a kid – green and perfect, in full flower, together with the roses… not quite possible I guess; not when I look at these, flowering their hearts out among last summer’s hydrangea detritus and their own frosted leaves in the very week in which we are pruning the roses. But I found them on Sunday behind the house, too late to work into a salad or a table posy (truth is we ate off our laps in the sun around the fire) so I could only show them to my guests in situ, most magical of all anyway.