To be honest, I can hardly say that the sun ever really left! Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with very mild winters.
Here I’ve photographed my Poinsettia in a little morning mist. The plant is a good 6 metres (20 feet) tall, so basically a tree. I have to shoot from underneath and with my arm high above my head to try to capture the red leaves, technically called bracts.
Right now my garden is full of plants and shrubs in bloom.
The Sunbirds have returned to the Honeysuckle; the Camellia is filling up with large pink blooms; and of course, the Poinsettia is a lovely splash of red in a mostly green world.
Still, it takes some getting used to, after growing up in the North of England, where you had real winters!
Also, most of my Readers live in the Northern hemisphere, where you will have just experienced the Summer Solstice and your longest day. Hopefully you have many more summer days to look forward to!
Autumn and Spring are so brief here that you have to look at the calendar, rather than the weather or flora, to know what season it is.
Although there is a chill in the air, during the day it is warm and pleasant, usually around 20C, (26C on Wednesday!); what I would call a nice Summer’s day in England!
Right now in my garden, I still have roses in bloom, as well as the honeysuckle, plumbago, hibiscus and frangipani. The camellia is absolutely covered in buds ready to unfurl into massive pink flowers.
So yes, one golden leaf fallen from the grape vine is as good an indication as any that it is actually Autumn.
After all, the 20th of next month is the winter solstice!
I have several plant pots on my stoep with a variety of succulents growing in them.
Mostly my succulents just grow bigger, becoming simply larger versions of themselves. I have had this particular plant for decades, but it’s never done anything like this before.
So I was surprised when I suddenly noticed these flower-like things sprouting out of it, which seemed to happen overnight! How marvellous!
My plants are obviously very happy situated here, with plenty of sun, shelter and water. And I remember to water them because I fill up the dog water bowls regularly for our garden birds to enjoy a nice bath!
I hope everyone is keeping well and surviving being cooped up for weeks on end during Countrywide Lockdown?
To cheer you up, here are some photos of a tiny pink Geranium I am nurturing in my garden. It looked like it was on its last legs, but then produced these lovely flowers.
Pink Geranium 2
In South Africa we went into Countrywide Lockdown on 26 March for three weeks. This has just been extended another two weeks to the end of April; and may be further extended. We are not allowed out for a walk, not even to take the dog. We can only go to the local shops for essentials, such as medicines and food. No alcohol or cigarettes are on sale for the duration of the Lockdown.
Only fifty people are allowed in a shop at any one time. As a person leaves the shop another is allowed to enter. So we queue up outside, keeping our social distance of two metres. By carefully choosing my time to shop I can keep this wait down to about 30 minutes. Inside the shop everyone seems to forget about the two metre rule and just shops as usual! Fortunately, by limiting the amounts you are allowed to buy, there is stock on the shelves; though you might have to eat a little differently for a while.
Pink Geranium 3
Our Coronavirus stats are low compared to most countries, but we are heading into winter and flu season, so anything could still happen.
Thank goodness for the internet and many light-hearted clips to get us all through this difficult time.