Not the best photo I’ve taken lately, you’ll be pleased to hear – but the sprouting of our endemic Scilla natelensis and the sudden honey scent of Buddleja salvifolia on a recent warm walk signify the change in season at Sequoia Gardens – spring is here(ish). This morning we we woke to soft, measurable rain – 25mm in fact, the first rain to speak of since April!
The dominant colour remains wintery, but the first spring colour is beginning to show:
Few azaleas are ready for full-length portraits, but detail opportunities are becoming plentiful.
And as you might have noticed – we had a few drops of rain before last night’s decent downpours.
But back to the somewhat wintery: I have three Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ in pots. I got them from Sandford Heights Nursery, our wonderful local source of all plants happy here, and fast becoming one of South Africa’s top sources of a huge variety of Japanese maples. Yes, this is a plug, but not paid for; owners Erie and Laurie’s mom, Gub, is my gardening guru. Had it not been for her back in the 80s I don’t think I would have had more than a passing interest in plants. And last night I attended the 40th birthday party of their daughter, one of my good friends; friendship across three generations!
Sango-kaku is my favourite amongst these, my favourite species of trees. Also know as the coral-bark maple – for reasons obvious from these pics – it has small, neat leaves with yellowish veins and stems, and buttery autumn colour; the way the corals and yellows combine is truly magical. Here one last leaf speaks of late winter, not a long gone autumn.
Step back from these details and the view widens. We are at the public entrance to the garden, the wintery seats early in the post mark a resting space near the entrance, shaded in summer. The pots with ‘Sango-kaku’ form part of this area.
The pots are behind the tree to the left. We are looking down the length of the Rosemary Terrace, much foreshortened in this view. Stand back, and the proportions become clearer.
Here we are now, looking across the guest parking towards the garden. To the right the avenue of Sequoia trees along the driveway to the house form a visual barier. Ahead the Chinese maples along Flora’s path separate the garden from the parking area; and below – since we’ve been reversing – the boys, the dogs and I set off down the Sequoia avenue at the start of a recent walk. We are halfway through the photos I have prepared…