After two weeks on Samaria, my cousins’ farm which is today part of the Mapungubwe Nature Reserve and World Heritage Site, the (very excited) dogs and I took a late afternoon walk when we arrived home.

Aloes after the frost

Observation no 1: there has been frost, and it has done damage… (collapsed aloes x 3  in foreground, returned 4×4 with borrowed caravan in background)

Observation no 2: there are still signs of autumn about: Cornus florida with a bud promising new life in spring. Most photos were taken on auto, with flash, although it was not yet 6 pm; the  winter solstice is upon us…

Cornus florida in June

Observation no 3: it is easy to say it is winter, and I’m told last night the frost was HEAVY, although I was comfortable in short sleeves still at 5pm.

Red plane in June

For my friend Jo, whom I owe a letter: the red plane, with a waxing moon behind it and below, a fallen leaf.

Red plane leaves in June

The walk was about the dogs; below Monty – growing white in the whiskers – tries for once to blend in unobtrusively in a patch of fallen leaves.

Monty among the leaves

The rear approach to the Beech Borders, below, with a  semi-circle of lime trees planted as a hedge, and accidentally interspersed with witchazel (an amusing mistake) forming a backdrop to the beech tree.  This is a picture which needs near winter conditions and flash lighting to differentiate the elements. It is one of the most self-consciously contrived and classical effects in the garden and I love it.

Beech Borders from rear entrance

But I think I must end with a picture from my vacation – a sight as far from a contrived garden as can possibly be imagined: a pair of giraffe passing in front of a baobab tree.

Giraffe on Samaria


4 thoughts on “HOME AGAIN

  1. Wonderful post as ever Jack – I love the reds in your photographs they are so intense. And the dog – splendid stuff, such a contrast to here in blighty were its grey and damp… Happy gardening Ursula

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