Tonight’s pics are a few days old – and here is the reason why:

bougainvillea at The Ranch Hotel

I have been away at the annual Rotary District Conference at The Ranch Hotel near Polokwane, some 80km away. Their lovely gardens too were hit by the recent extreme cold, but this pot which we all walked past at least twice a day was pretty well protected. It stands next to a functional but featureless path (at this point) where it skirts a building, and is one of the most effective examples of simple but striking design I’ve seen. It is a bougainvillea, a woody creeper, grown to tumble gently out of a huge rounded pot, over one meter  in diameter and almost a meter high. It flowers for many months and reminded me of nothing as much as the magnificently trained roses at Sissinghurst: ultimate artifice appearing artless. (For a spectacularly beautiful series of  8 photographic posts on Sissinghurst, visit my friend Tatyana’s blog posts at )

Barbed grasses Barbed grass

Do you know that moment on a walk when you can’t resist hauling out your camera, and after that it becomes a photography walk? This was it. On a warm afternoon nearly a week after a severe frost turned autumn to winter, these grass seeds caught my eye and set the tone for the rest of the photoshoot…

End of a dandelion

frosted bracken

Frosted Bracken

Little yellow daisy weed

Frosted creeper

Vernonia in seed

Rough grass seed

Old Gold Everlastings

Yellow everlastings turned to old gold by the cold.

Fallen leaves

Grassy measdow

Zinnias after frost

Zinnias and marigolds

Marigold in winter

Wilted aloe

Mushy aloes, and below – the hydrangeas in front of the old barn: I do like the clarity of our seasons!

Winter view of the old barn



  1. Jack, these winter pictures are so touching! There is a beauty in old age! The 5th picture from the bottom is my favorite, with the layers of green, brown and blue – as life itself with its layers of old and new, beautiful and ugly.

    Thank you for the link! I answered your comment on my blog, but I gladly repeat it here:
    “Dear Jack, your comment made me very happy! I am so very glad that you were able to appreciate my emotional feelings as I toured Sissinghurst. Thanks not only for taking the time to comment but also your empathy and understanding of my pictures of this special garden. I am so humbled that such laudatory words came from a person who himself has created a beautiful garden and who has visited Sissinghurst in person”.

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