Friday 1 February 2013

Summer garden crushes

Summer in the gardens and homes of Cape Town's suburbs will always have these associations for me ... 

Red, pink and white bougainvillea against white-washed, sun-faded walls; the iconic flat-topped Table Mountain as a backdrop

The lushness of my mother's cottage garden, planted only with indigenous shrubs and flowers that thrive with little water, with concealed places to sit and enjoy ...

... grape-vines frame the stable-door entrance to the house and a collection of succulents thrives beneath the green window shutters.

The sound of water; unstructured, informal gardens with love and care in the nurturing of them

(a not so polite injunction to dogs)
deep blue agapanthus

Europe meets Africa everywhere ...

a pair of French garden urns stand beneath a vase of bright pink proteas, indigenous to the Cape 

Ex-colonies also meet: at India House, a typical Cape Victorian style semi-detached cottage with covered porch and shuttered windows, stands colon (typical colonial African wooden sculpture popularised in Ghana and the Ivory Coast).

 Near a French-style table and chairs for outdoor eating, a wire bokkie lurks in the foliage (this one seemingly a not-so-African reindeer!).


  1. Exquisite, Karen! Just what I needed, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Flowers, light, whimsy, dreams of sipping mint juleps on the porch, in a rocking chair, going to the beach ..... wait, I get carried away here! ;-)

    The reindeer is way cool, all in white!

    How long until crocuses and blue bells will appear in English gardens?

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

  2. Oh Karen, as I type this, I can hear very chilling winds blowing just beyond my NYC windows. It's an immense treat to see the sunlight and imagine the resulting warmth in all your photographs from a much warmer place. The gardens are Beautiful!

    Thank you also for another glimpse of that flat top mountain. It's an amazing sight. Is the top really, really flat?


  3. Beautiful images..I just need to close my eyes, feel the warmth and think of spring to come. The gardens are so vibrant and charming.

  4. What a treat for sore eyes, lately accustomed to brown grass, dirty white mounds of snow, and steel gray skies!
    I am going to share this post with two new friends who are expatriates from South Africa, it will be a present from me in gratitude for the great gift of your blog to me and so many people.

  5. I can feel that sun on my skin, smell that soil and experience the light. The mix of styles and cultures is one of the aspects of South Africa that makes it such a special place. You have brought it all to us. Thanks xo


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