After plenty of cloud cover, the sun has been shining a lot more of late, and on yesterday’s walk I was photographing in the golden light when I suddenly realised: our dinner guests were due in 5 minutes and I was still on the opposite side of the valley… Today it was the midday shadows in the plantations that caught my eye. But then 12.07 noon on 21 December and 51km south of the Tropic of Capricorn (I know, I’ve just measured it on Google Earth) is about as close to the sun directly overhead as one is likely to get. Thus the above photo. And the one below.
Sunday morning – and last night was the shortest night of the year. Another perfect day today, as was yesterday, with a lingering sunset from friends’ west-facing terrace followed by a starry starry night. All of which is represented by this orange dahlia:
Seen here against my favourite foliage combination which has featured so often over the years…
Everywhere there are signs of the garden recovering after the hail, with the first roses in Trudi’s Garden starting to flower again, covered in buds and healthy foliage.
The bank of hydrangeas in front of the old barn, knocked to bits by the hail, is flowering, although the flowers are not the huge heads of a really good year.
Plants I considered discarding are recovering and soon will be ready for reconstructive surgery.
But the poor tree ferns will continue to look like well-used feather dusters this summer, although a little judicious pruning won’t do any harm!
High summer is the time of green. After plenty of gentle rain and lots of TLC from my wonderful staff, the last few walks were ripe with the fullness of summer.
Most beautiful of all the greens is a particularly green Gladiolus dalenii, our local wild gladiolus which tends to greenishness; I have over the years selected plants which stress the green, or are more brightly mottled red.
I just love the limey greens of this plant, and the subtle contrast with the flower stalk.
Here is one of the redder plants.
I can’t resist one last detail from this plant. Then I post, and go off on my Sunday afternoon walk. There are plenty more pics from the last days clamouring for a post…