Christmas time arrives just as we're entering our hottest months of the year and, along with it, we are battered left, right and centre by strong South Easterly winds, which typically arrive in the Mother City (Cape Town) towards the end of October and through November, picking up in both tempo and frequency through December and January and continuing, on and off, until the end of February and even into early March.
This wind is "affectionately" named, The Cape Doctor (by locals), as it keeps the city air free of pollution, blowing away almost everything in its wake (OK, so it's not a completely ill wind!). However...when it reaches gale force proportions, as it has been doing the last couple of days, it can be almost impossible to stand in places in the city centre and pedestrians are frequently seen clinging to lamp posts, as they desperately try to avoid being blown away. The highrise buildings in the city tend to funnel the wind, causing it to pick up even more speed and, at times, it can be quite frightening, if not exactly treacherous!
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The famous tablecloth on Table Mountain, seen in photographs at this time of the year, is a cloud mass which drapes the top of the mountain when the South Easter blows across False Bay towards the mountain. When Capetonians wake up to the tablecloth, they are forewarned of the type of day ahead...WINDY!!!
I have a stone engraving in my garden to remind me, on days when I'm loudly berating the wind, that I do actually love gentle wind, the kind that delightfully rustles the leaves of trees and coaxes ornamental grasses to come alive. It's the kind that cools the air, gently caressing ones face and hair, whilst softly fragranced garden scents waft sweetly past in the enveloping folds of the breeze. This is wind that stirs ones soul and reminds one of all the good reasons to embrace life.
I love the winds Longfellow speaks of in this quotation...
Through woods and mountain passes
The winds, like anthems, roll.
The winds, like anthems, roll.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
The South Easter is not such a wind! The South Easter puts me in a bad mood. It breaks my plants, rips leaves, snaps twigs, tears branches and then rudely deposits them all over the garden. If it dies back in the evenings and I'm able to make some headway with cleaning up the mess, it's really only teasing and taunting, because to be sure the very next day it returns with even greater strength and sets about its malicious destructiveness all over again. As a result, no matter how many times I sweep the entrances to our home, I'm in effect fighting a losing battle (and, yes, I know there are far worse battles to be fought, so give me a break!)
|View of False Bay looking over the boundary wall at the bottom of our garden - I'm hoping you can make out the "white horses" on the sea? - a sure sign that the good old South Easter is having a rip roaring time today!|
I may as well lead you to our front entrance, as the wind is not quite so severe on that side this morning...
|Approaching the front door from the driveway area|
|View towards our front entrance looking up from the adjoining, driveway garden.|
Turn around now, and this is what you see from the opposite direction...looking back towards our driveway area.
|My husband did the water feature himself. The pump is a restored Hungarian antique.|
|Coming in a little closer...|
|And a little closer still...|
|Now you can feel the cool spray hitting your face from the water feature!|
|This small water feature is on the opposite side of the front door, on your right facing the door from outside.|
|New clematis in flower - I'm hoping it will cover this spot nicely in time.|
|I very much wanted this bed to have a tropical feel - my husband set up an automatic irrigation line, which simulates rain forest type conditions, twice a day in the hottest months, keeping everything green and lush.|
|I love the leaf patterns, colours and variations - they provide year round appeal and beauty.|
|This delicious monster grows at an alarming rate - I have to keep it under control, but don't want to take it out, as I love the huge leaves and the interesting patterns on its trunk.|
|Such spectacular leaves!|
|Such interesting markings and variations...|
|Pretty schleffera...again, no two leaves are the same!|
|Now, raise your head and eyes, stand on your tippy toes and this is the view you have from the open front doorway...looking off to your left, front!|
|These two geese are carved from the root balls of coconut palms. They have so much character and no two are the same. Made choosing ever so difficult!|
|The maidenhair fern behind the geese is showing distinct signs of wind burn.|
|I love the detail in the wood carving and the rough, knotted look of the feathers!|
|Regular visitors to Driftwood Ramblings will recognise this little fellow from an earlier post - now you know where he resides! On the wall of the raised bed outside the front door. This spot of moss remains evergreen ;)|
|Standing at the edge of the tiled section outside the front door, here's a close up view of a gorgeously floriferous fuschia (actually, there are two different plants growing in the same tub). They always put on a spectacular show!|
|This tiled insert provides interest outside the front door. The surrounding tiles are plain.|
|Stepping off from this little entrance alcove, I'll now proceed to show you a bit of the garden bed alongside the larger of the two water features, as seen in the picture above.|
|You cannot visit my garden and not see another example of my driftwood collection! This is actually a gum tree root ball, with a carving of a face done on the trunk. It is untreated wood and has been here for well in excess of 15 years!|
|A closer look at the face.|
|This hydrangea was a potted gift many years ago from a very dear friend of mine. It reminds me of her regularly :)|
|Looking up from the far side of this little bed - towards the front entrance ahead. Again, I have lush ferns in here. They help to make these hot, windy days seem so much more bearable!|
In conclusion, I'll leave you with this delightful quotation by Kate Chopin...
I WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL DAY!