COUNTING THE HOURS TO THE EQUINOX – part 1

The start of the Spring Fair has been rather like a typical Spring Civvies Day celebration at a school: after days of lovely weather, girls in strappy dresses and boys in shorts are blue with the cold, as nature sniggers at their enthusiasm.  This (accidental) photo manages to capture the ‘better indoors’ feel of Saturday, the first day of the Haenertsburg Magoebaskloof Spring Fair.  Luckily today has been drier, warmer and at times even sunny. Perfect in fact, and the garden has been full of people.

Cold and wet outside

One more Saturday photo, before we move on to brighter shots: the Salix cuprea of Alfred’s Arches are suddenly in bud, but this misty panorama shows that the overall colour, typical of Sequoia Gardens during the Fair, is drab, with splashes of bright colour and the earliest greens.

panorama across lawn Sat

In fact the next is also a Saturday shot, of the view to the left of this panorama and taken at the same time, but I’ve pumped up the brightness and the colour.

Looking across to the arboretum

Even though I wish the festival took place two weeks later, we are ready, the hedges are trimmed and everything is about as shipshape as can be in such a large garden.

Hedges trimmed

I have picked the first of the Clove Pinks, unassuming flowers but with the most intoxicating scent.  It stands with me in a tiny alabaster vase as I write this, one flower enough to scent my bubble as I look out on the late sun across the garden.

clove pinkLeaves unfurl – first our Horse Chestnut (a proud possession in South Africa, and this one flowered for the first time last year) and then one of the Japanese maples in the Japanese Walk.

Horse chestnut close-up

Japanese maple unfurling

Here is a view of the Japanese Walk.

Japanese Walk

 Blossoms are one of the great features of the Fair – but many of mine won’t flower till October.  The crab-apples are early though and this one is Malus purpurea .

malus purpurea

malus purpurea detail

malus purpurea micro detail

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