This is the longest I have ever gone without posting. And the most my life has ever changed in two weeks…

Early morning blossoms

Sure – spring has kicked in during this time. Possibly more successfully than at any time since I saw spring from here in 2009 when I was nursing my mother.

Spring from the veranda

Late cold held things back, and winter rain sped things on, with the result that spring is not as bitty or as schizophrenic as it can be at times… But with the Spring Fair only a week away, I wish, as usual, that it all happened a week later: yesterday’s pic shows how early in spring it still is on Sequoia, which is several degrees colder than Cheerio, a few hundred meters higher up the valley…

Early days of spring

What makes the wish more urgent, however, is that this is the first year that Sequoia Gardens is listed alongside Cheerio Gardens (where the fair originated back in the seventies) as an open garden. So let me tease you too with some of the more springy shots I took yesterday …Winking smile

Pink azaleas

The old spring war horses: azaleas …

azaleas and L formosanum

…and  blossoms – pear against crabapple…

Pear and crabapples

Pear blossoms

Luckily there are a few alternatives, unique to Sequoia Gardens, that I hope people will enjoy as much: this combination of a bright red azalea with rosemary is different from the usual soft pastels  of spring.

Rosemary hedge

In fact, I rather like that shot, which looks back to where visitors will be entering Sequoia’s gardens. The following combination is also rather lovely, but needs to be repeated elsewhere for next spring. I’m none too keen on people peering at these flowers inches from where I rest my weary feet on the wall of my veranda! Smile

Aloe saponaria and diarama floriferum

The combination I am most excited about relates to the feature which at this time of year is already  my best draw card : wisterias, especially the first to flower, those in the Anniversary Garden.

Wisteria in Anniversary Garden

For two years I have been watching one powerful shoot from a japonica (Japanese Quince or Chaenomeles) which decided to grow creeper-like into the pillar of the pergola. This year there is the most beautiful combination of rich red and deep violet against the pillar. A triumph of nature over nurture indeed!

wisteria and japonica 2

wisteria and japonica

Right at the beginning I mentioned change. Big change. I won’t be returning to teaching next year. Instead I have bought the marketing trio of our local webpage, map  and quarterly tourist magazine/pamphlet/newspaper, which I have been promoting at the top of my right column since I started the blog. In addition I have updated my information pages and posted a host of pics in the photo gallery which you can reach from the green buttons above my header pic. The rest of the weekend will include writing the information sheets which visitors to the garden will collect on entry, and generally getting ready for the arrival of tourists  which gets under way next Friday…



  1. A new stage of life, and it sounds so exciting, Jack! We wish you well in this endeavor, and from the looks of your garden, good tidings will be yours. That quince and wisteria….sublime.

  2. All of your changes are so exciting, Jack! The best of luck with them!

    I really liked your pictures once again! Some of them remind me very much of what early spring looks like here on the west coast of Canada, but the winners for me are the ones with the glorious red Japanese Quince combined with the lovely wisteria! Wow!


  3. Agree with fairegarden and Gordon! The quince and wisteria are a gorgeous surprise together, and exquisitely beautiful!

    Are you still President of the Rotary Club? Will you have more time, or will it be something more appealing to be doing with your time? And your writing is definitely a forte!!

    Jack. Your garden is too expansively beautiful for you to have to worry about a temperature differential. . . .

  4. Maybe it’s because fall is coming on strong here, but your spring garden looks lush and wonderful to me. I especially love the wisteria. Your big changes are exciting. I’m looking forward to following you out of teaching in a couple of years. (Right now, I’ve got a killer course load, am working 70 hours a week, and am fantasizing about more time for both gardening and writing.)

    • People don’t believe teachers when we talk of the long hours we sometimes work. My worst was the two weeks of over 100 hours when we produced ‘Romeo and Juliet’. But no other career offers the long paid holidays.. I am really going to miss them! 🙂

  5. Thank you Bonny – your enthusiasm is always so contageous! Rotary presidency only lasts a year. I then had a year as secretary and this year I am taking a back seat, giving attention to all the changes in my life!

  6. Your garden is unique and exotic to my mediterranean and Cape Town attuned eyes. I wonder how your surprise garden is coming on?

    Your changes sound as if your life is coming together, as you wish it to be.

  7. Jack, many good wishes for the big changes in your life. Your garden looks beautiful at the moment, with those signs of the arrival of Spring. It is all so majestic. And like Jean, I am feeling the summer just start to slip away here in Delhi, and am rather envious of your new gardening year.

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