Autumn is not getting it right this year. Could we please try again. Not next year – NOW!

No, Jack. YOU stop. Stop finding fault. Stop expecting perfection. Stop that irritating gardener thing of “You should have seen it last week”. Or last year, in this case. Or, in fact, the year before. Because THAT autumn was ravishing. Last year was good and this year… well, so you are disappointed… Get over it. Enjoy it whilst it lasts; it is still far from over.

Looking up the Beech borders

But yesterday this was the view. And today, when the garden club was visiting, I brought them along here… and the effect had lessened. It should not yet have peaked, but leaves were browning and falling.

freddy's dam panorama

Yesterday morning before I went to work (a little later than usual, so there was time for a quick walk), this was what I saw. But this afternoon all of that side of the valley was already in shadow, and they looked across at it with the sun in their eyes. Yes. For once the sun was shining –  and  I moan about it.

Morning mist from the stoep

I must NOT complain. This is the view that made me set off with my camera yesterday. Not many people start their day like this. And one and all in the garden club told me today how lovely my garden is, and how blessed I am. They are right. So I should not complain. But please: may I KNOW? Know that this autumn is not the greatest. Know that both nature and I can – have – done better. One compliment, though, stands out above all the other: a dear friend who visits the garden regularly, whose photos in fact adorn my cards that I use with gifts and to welcome visitors, told me she had never seen the gardens look so cared for. Not manicured, because like me she likes gardens a little dishevelled: cared for. That compliment I must carry over to my staff tomorrow. They are the ones who achieved it, and every walk I take, I feel it too, and that makes me eternally thankful to them. I have told them so, but when I report back to them tomorrow I will make it abundantly clear how much her comment says of the success of their task.

mothertjie 2

This month the theme for Gardening Gone Wild’s “Picture This” photo competition is: “Light – look closely”; all about light in close-up and macro photography. I’m doing just that. This is my first study – the last rose of summer, an unexpected blossom on ‘Mothertjie’ where she grows into a tree at the waterlily pond. Study is the wrong word. It was really a snapshot to record the event, which I then prepared as though it was a competition entry. We are not there yet. But ‘Mothertjie’ is rather lovely, none the less.


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