Hello, I’m home…!
And in celebration I took several hundred photos today, selected 68, and will now weed them down to a story… But the very first – above – captures the sunny exuberance of this Indian summer quite perfectly. There was some frost in late April, but night-time lows have been above 5 degrees with day-time temps in the low 20s. More or less what those of you in Britain are hoping for from this summer, I’d guess. We are having a memorable late autumn.
In fact we could say we are having an ideal year for aloes. For now, anyway. The aloe on the left often has one bloom turning yellow, the one on the right seldom gets this advanced. Watch this space. The next 10 nights are still forecast to be well above freezing. Except we go to Samaria – the game farm on the Limpopo I’ve at times reported on – towards the end of the coming week. So I might not see the ‘end of the aloes’ after all. Or I might return to a once-in-a-decade show!
Another morning shot (afternoon ones will soon be included) showing Alfred’s Arches nude and gnarled, and the pots emptied of their summer stock – soon to be replaced with winter stocks (BAD pun )
This picture of the top end of the Rosemary Borders makes clear the name – below the lawn a hedge of rosemary and above it many rosemary bushes give rhythm to the border.
Here we are looking at the furthest third of the Rosemary Borders, with rosemary bushes spilling over the wall on either side of the stairs and beyond Flora’s Path – the row of Chinese maples I’ve referred to in recent posts about the early days of the garden – in all their silver seedy glory. Each tree has hundreds of thousands of seeds and they are all keen to germinate.
Another shot, taken from along Flora’s Path and looking down onto the Entrance Fountain Pot. Periwinkle in the foreground and the furthest part of the rosemary hedge beyond that.
One final shot in the opposite direction, taken this afternoon as we returned from our walk. Flora’s Path started life as a screen between the Plett and the newly built staff houses of both my father and my uncle, each three times the size of our caravan-home. It was one of the first features to be named – after the indolent and slovenly wife of an early employee whose young sons nearly burnt the farm down when playing with matches. My mother always commented that the least loved person ever was best commemorated! On the opposite side of the big lawn Alfred’s Arches commemorates a cheerful and capable young man. Our paths diverged when his kleptomaniac tendencies – a source of some frustration – led to him stealing a camera in full view of the owner on the neighbour’s farm…
Well that was a bit of a tangent. Whilst in this general area, here is the Mothers’ Garden, still consisting only of hedges, although these now nicely established. My thinking on these four beds – first discussed here – grows ever simpler. Before summer I want to plant the roses and perennials that will fill them!
Ninety degrees to the right and you can see the young abelia hedge under the maple tree that will eventually mirror the one across the big lawn outside the Ellensgate Garden. And an impatient dog. The stones to the right are the steps to the platform from where a bench looks over the Mothers’ Garden.
That same young hedge and its maple are to the right in this picture, an unusual angle I took to capture the Sequoia Avenue. Paler and softer in texture beyond them is a Kashmir cypress -Cupressus cashmeriana – a very lovely tree and one of the many I can remember in detail how when and where I acquired it! The garage wing (and the window of my office) on the left, with the old stone barn giving texture through the stems of the sequoias and Croft Cottage to the right of it. In the foreground yet another area which should have been planted this summer but wasn’t. We will replant here this coming week and add Namaqualand daisies for colour at the time of the Spring Festival.
We seem to have strayed somewhat from the topic which, rather loosely, was about where we stand with autumn now that June is here. The Japanese maples are mostly over, but not all are, as these photos of the tree behind the Anniversary Garden show.
However these leaves are falling fast, as the richly coloured carpet below the tree testifies…and here I will stop for tonight. Remaining photos will have to wait for later in the week…