I have, I truly have been revelling in the coming of spring, even if four days may go by without a walk. And this is only my third post in this fastest changing of months. What is more, I last had so few visitors to my site in August 2011. As spring gains momentum, my blogging is loosing it. Ah well…

Spring greens

At least I do have several 100 pics to record this spring, even if I have not done any editing for nearly 3 weeks. And tonight I am stealing time to write a rather disjointed post. Lets start at the end – sudden cold and 17mm of rain over two days after a bone dry and often sweltering September.

Finally rain

Actually last weekend, when I took most of my photos, we also had 40 hours of damp cold, but it was not much more than mist, an immeasurable amount, though it made for rather lovely photos early the next morning… I was planning a post called ‘Evanescent Spring’, but it never got written. These pics explain.

pink and white azalea

pink and white azalea 2

White cherry supposedly Tai Haku

Siberian iris

It was of course the Spring Fair these last 10 days. I always lament the unreadiness of my garden, but our work paid off this year – we had annuals in the ground, and in pots, and there was more green after the milder than usual winter…

Blues purples and yellows in a planter

I’m very taken with the pair of matching planters at the steps below the Ellensgate Garden: Petunias in pink, pale mauve and deep purple and pale blue lobelia combined with soft yellow foliage and flowers.

Pots on the stairs

After spending the winter in the greenhouse, these pots, previously from the area near the entrance, were redeployed on the next set of steps down from the Ellensgate Garden just above the Rosemary Terrace.

Sweet Pea threaded through rosemary

Some cheating. Sweetpeas in pots grown in the greenhouse were placed in the Rosemary Terrace, hidden behind and threaded through shrubs such as this rosemary.


On Sunday, the damp and cold day, we took a daytrip (3 hours either way) to Samaria, the game farm on the Limpopo river where on holiday we camp under the trees by the river. Here it was cloudy and mercifully cool. (The trees along the river form a dark strip in the middle right of the photo.)


My cousins whose family Samaria belong to were visiting from 800km away for the weekend. For the first time in her life Sylva was a day visitor to Samaria! A rock-fig many years ago found a pocket of soil in the rock, then sent roots down to find more moisture below; and in the photo above that: an ancient baobab in a dry landscape.

Samaria bleached bone and stump

The harshness of the climate here is always a shock after the softness of our Mountain. Near each other on the beautifully striated rock were this stump and bone. I brought them together and took several photos. The texture of the veldt is beautiful, full of vastness and vignettes.

Big bed above lawn

I really must record that in the week before the Fair two important bits of planting were done: in the Anniversary Garden we sorted out the two side beds, a project I have been dithering about for five years. And the big bed above the big lawn, the last step in the layout around this area, has finally been replanted with blocks of perennials and rivers running through it. Hopefully both areas will mature successfully this summer…  But we are known for our OTT spring colour, so let’s play out on that note, shall we?

Avenue azaleas


4 thoughts on “SNAKES AND LADDERS

  1. Its not how often but what you blog! I enjoy keeping up with the changes, seeing how/what has evolved over the many years and hearing about your adventures. Oh and yes, there are flowers to ogle too -just when we are going down the snakes, you are up the ladder.

  2. Thankful for Laura’s comment, had been puzzling about the non-appearance of snakes or ladders. . . . The flowers and vistas look glorious, and was most impressed that petunias got a mention in a south of the equator blog! They are summer essentials here, one of the few blooming annuals to stand up to the Texas sun. Love the baobab, it brought a twinge of regret as had seen a wonderful hand-crafted one of grass and twigs in a gift shop in Nairobi, but could not get it due to lack of luggage space. Sigh.

  3. Jack, We both seem to be in a place where big changes in our lives are taking their toll on our blogs. This is the first year where my weekly and monthly stats are consistently lower than last year’s — not surprising, since like you, I have not been posting as often as I would like. Thanks for taking the time to share your spring color — I especially love that iris.

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