No new pics after 5 days in Johannesburg on business, and nursing a cold; Friday evening by the fire; and tomorrow I can count 50 000 visits to my blog. In need of blogal celebration – but what? Ah! History!

The view from my house late yesterday afternoon

No, not this one. ANCIENT history! This was taken in February 2008, and accompanied a post at Moosey’s on some early photographs I had scanned and published. To celebrate 50 000 visitors, let us look at where it all started…

View from my house - early 1990

Here is the exact same view, taken 18 years earlier, in 1990. Less than six months before I had planted most of the trees that now dominate that opposite bank; only three oaks predated them by a few years. A quarter from right the pin-oak, tallest of these, reaches up to touch the stems of the gums.

Spring '93 with the 12 year old Water Oak in flower

This photo from 1993 features the water oak outside The House that Jack Built in flower – and the opposite slope looking much more ‘treed’; taken at the same time, the photo below features the newly planted white azalea bank.

Spring '93 - the area directly opposite my house, left of the Carpet Garden

And here it is in spring of 2008…

Before leaving for work this morning

Below we take a faded look across towards The House that Jack Built; it is early 1990 and the house is still not complete, as the scaffolding around the not-yet-blue bay window testifies.

Early 1990 - the house not yet complete

And here it is again in 2007…

My Cottage in autumn

By now I am on a serious nostalgia trip, and digging up ever more pics from old posts at Mooseys… so let us indulge in one of my all time favourites, which I swear comes to you straight off the camera… I remember looking up from where I was in my cottage and realising the way the sun was coming through the mist was unique and could never be repeated. Luckily the camera was at hand…

artificial lighting

There were many special moments – try this one for drama.

The autumn colour on the dam is from my '89 planting, those above are in the arboritum - mainly tuliptrees and liquodambers

Or this one in contrast to the cottage under construction…

My house

But back to those early shots; here is the big house and its gardens as they appeared in October 1990.

Oct 90 - the garden-to-be

It was five years before the axis from the front door was conceived, long before the Ellensgate Garden, the Rosemary Borders… in fact almost all that today defines the garden. The oak with the bench underneath, which featured so prominently in my previous post, is a pale-green sapling one fifth from the left. I think I have posted so many latter day versions of this view that one is not required here. Or is it?


So what now? How to end this post? Well lets get back to the season. Winter. Over the years I have taken some lovely shots of the winter trees reflected in the dams. Let’s tune out on this one, from the winter of 2006; about the time we suddenly realised that the garden had become mature…

Winter reflections

Welcome to the 50 000th visitor to my blog tomorrow – whoever you might be. I salute you.



  1. Sal dit nie nogal ‘kinda cool’ wees as ek dalk jou 50 000ste browser of jou blog is nie? Thanks Jack – die fotos van jou amazing tuin het selfs vir my mooi memories…

  2. What a milestone, Jack – I bet it will not be long before the 100,000 visitor logs on! Loved the reminiscent look at the gardens – some amazing pics. Much love to you and Louis.

  3. Jack, Those are wonderful photos. (I don’t know about you, but I think I took better pictures before digital photography made it oh-so-easy to just take frame after frame.) I especially love the golden maple leaves over the water; the colors in that one are fabulous. Congrats on 50,000 visits!

  4. Congratulations on 50,000 visitors! I really enjoyed looking at the photos of your garden through the years. I love the misty shots with the bridge! It is wonderful to plant and then see a garden mature through the years. Our society is so mobile these days that I think many, if not most, people miss the opportunity.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s