A whirlwind dance, snapping away on Monday as the sun dropped low; an awareness all week that the true beauty of spring was now upon us; a longing to share the spirit of my garden in this mid-October week…

azalea view

Fifty five processed pics there are from that one walk. Some editing is called for… Let’s start with the expected: azaleas (other than the deciduous kinds) and cherries – the flowers which form the heart of the Magoebaskloof Spring Festival !

azalea with a face detail

Cheerful, hey! Smile

Prunus Kanzan

And having started with the brightest – here’s ‘ Kanzan’, brightest of the cherries…

Prunus Kanzan 2



‘Ukon’ – single, white shaded green and palest pink, is the subtlest and (sometimes) my favourite…

Fluffy Prunus 2

But this one, shot at very high ISO in poor light, whose name escapes me now, so I will call it the fluffy cherry, is really the prettiest – so here below it is again …

Fluffy Prunus 3

Everywhere there are azaleas…

Clematis in pinoak, azaleas showing through

Here they shine through a pin oak going into leaf, with a Clematis montana growing through it.

appleblossom azalea

Large mauve azalea

Pale pink azalea

Pink azalea

Pink rosebud azalea

Pinky-mauve azalea

In several photos I needed to adjust the brightness and light balance – but I made a point nowhere to bump up the saturation levels – what you see is what you get! (This time meant entirely positively, unlike last week Winking smile)

pink-tinted white azalea

But let us leave colour right out of it for a moment. Look at the subtle variations between the various white azaleas…

small white azalea

White azalea 2

White azalea 3

White azalea

      This last one is just beginning to show signs of doubling up –         a good flower to carry into a junior botany class to explain how this happens…

White garden

Whilst we are talking white – here is the white garden as seen from the side this week.

Ellensgate and White Gardens

And here it is again, not looking very white (work is needed) when seen through the Ellensgate Garden where – at last – the fountain has been refurbished! And below you see the fountain again, on the opposite axis, as seen from outside the living-room window. A trio of water-features now bubble and gurgle and splash. Eureka!

Ellensgate fountain refurbished

In what would have been part two of my October Fest post  – but since nothing is yet published a week on, we will combine the parts – I want to share with you my deciduous azaleas.

Pink deciduous azalea

This picture best illustrates how the deciduous azaleas differ from the evergreen varieties. In spring the upright tips erupt into either a rosette of leaves or a claw-like cluster of flower buds, almost always substantially darker in bud than in flower.

Salmon deciduous azalea

These rich subtleties in shade and the markings on the individual flower, make them of the most fascinating flowers I know.

Pale deciduous azalea

Add to that the brevity of their season, and you have something truly precious!‘

Dark pink decideous azalea

Pale pink deciduous azalea no 2

All most all of these deciduous azaleas are from a seed-tray containing literally hundreds of seedlings I received as a gift from my friends Erie and Laurie, owners of the nearby Sandford Heights Nursery at the top of Magoebaskloof.

Pink deciduous azalea detail 2

Unfortunately these azaleas are much more specific in their climatic requirements, and very difficult to grow in the Gauteng climate.

Yellow deciduous azalea in arboretum

Curry deciduous azalea in arboretum

Decideous orange azalea

Yellow deciduous azalea

Yellow deciduous azalea no 2 detail

Pink deciduous azalea detail

Pale deciduous azalea

Yellow-Pink deciduous azalea

Enough? Smile One more?

Yellow-Pink deciduous azalea 2

My patient companions on the walk also deserve mention – especially as for once all four featured in a reasonable shot.

dogs 2

And the clematis on The House that Jack Built deserves mention too.

The House that Jack Built




5 thoughts on “OCTOBER FEST

    • I cannot begin to tell you how hard we had to work to get the symmetry right, with the paths, the ‘turrets’ and the fountain. 3cm out was a total mess!

  1. Oohh – Heaven in South Africa!!! Wonderful pics, Jack; thanks so very much for sharing! Those dogs don’t know how lucky they are!

    Do any of your deciduous azaleas have fragrance? I have only one in my small garden, but whenever it decides to bloom (it’s pretty young so far) its fragrance will fill most of the garden! It’s one of the “Spicy Lights” series. I don’t know whether or not you have this family in S. Africa, but it’s definitely one to keep your eyes open for. Also, it is one of the most hardy of the azalea family, surviving winters that dip to -30C.


    • Thanks Gord! Many of the deciduous azaleas are scented, some very strongly. None of our azaleas are named; all, I think, having been grown from seed. And then mine are also grown from seed. Fine-tuned naming of plants is seldom found in SA anyway.

  2. Jack, I don’t know how I got so far behind with your blog, but I’m just reading this almost a month after you posted it. The azaleas and cherries are beautiful (especially so to my northern-hemisphere eyes where we are about 6 months away from a display like this). I really like the look of the fountain. And, of course, that shot in reflection of the House that Jack Built with its clematis is special.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s