Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Continual State of Inelegance!

Toby has had to be my stand-in as I couldn't possibly allow myself to be photographed, today!
Once upon a time...Jane Austen exclaimed, as only she could in her perfectly clipped, Queen's English:

"Oh dear!  What dreadful hot weather we have!  It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance!" 

I know exactly what she was talking about, as that's precisely how I've been feeling for the last couple of days.  It's been very, VERY hot and muggy.  The wind has dropped completely...WONDERFUL, YES! But wearing anything, however little, is far too much and I'm permanently sticky and dishevelled, no matter how often I splash my face with, or dunk my head in, cool water.  Even the pool is too hot to do a proper job of cooling me down!

I know, I know!  How can I possibly complain when so many of you are in the thick of freezing wintery weather, longing for a spot of sunshine to brighten your dark days.  Please hear me out.  I was thinking of you all!  While it was far too hot to bother with getting myself respectably dressed to do the grocery shopping that I should have done today, and far too hot to spend the day gardening, I amused myself (instead!) by quietly strolling around the garden, taking pictures to share with you!!!  Now, don't you think that's thoughtful of me? 
Please click the read more button below to continue ;)

Today's blue heavens...glorious, but HOT!

I tried to keep to the shady parts of the front garden, as any time in the baking sun had me breaking out in rivulets (see what I mean about inelegance?)  At least Toby managed to look as dapper as always!  That's why I asked him to be my "stand in!"  
In this heat, the water fern (azola) is growing far faster than I'm able to harvest the excess growth...which I add to my compost heap.

It might be nice to start our walk from here and work our way round the top terrace, along the path and then end up along the front of the house.
I cannot fathom why these pictures are so grainy.  Perhaps I had inadvertently triggered the wrong setting?  Or the contrasts are just too sharp?  Who knows!  I took them for you, so up they go...pretend I'm deliberately trying to achieve this effect ;)

Seated on the top terrace to admire the view a while.
Let's zoom in a bit - just look at that mountain, today!  It's a bit hazy because there's no wind about.  It will be glorious lit up by the setting sun tonight 
  OK, let's continue our stroll...

Looking down on to the pool past a branch of the yellowwood.
The pathway is mostly in shade, which is ideal for summer strolls around this section of the garden.

Looking upwards through the bars of an ornamental birdcage that hangs here.
I am unable to resist mirror images...the fencing visible on the lawned area is our attempt to keep the dogs off that piece - we're battling to get it to stay healthy, as they always gravitate to that spot when they get out of the pool.
Still playing around with mirror imagery ;)
At this time of year, our water features are at their best in terms of adding coolness and tranquility to these very hot days.

View of the pond from further back along the approach path.
Seating area outside the greenhouse - one of my favourite places to sit and sip something ice cold!  The cicadas are very loud today, too loud to stop and rest awhile beneath the shade of the willow tree.

Same seating area, but viewed now from beside the pond. This is the view I enjoy from my bedroom.

I must have had the settings wrong, today.  Clearly the heat has affected my brain as well ;)
Ah, this is better - had to adjust the setting for a close in shot, so at least I know I got it right this time!  I bought these boulders a few years back and have delighted in them ever since.

Blue flowers are my favourite for summer - look how exquisitely delicate these lobelias are (they are indigenous to SA), the most perfect shade of blue and white.
Oops!  Back to grainy, again.  Do you think my camera is perhaps trying to tell me something?

At this time of year, our umbrellas and trees do double-duty! 
I know you've seen this view often, but it's a favourite of mine.
Back under the shade again - it's just too, too hot out there!  We often sit out here to enjoy a glass of chilled, white wine or a light al fresco meal of an evening.  The garden lights turn it into a magical place.

I'll walk you down this way, a bit, so you can see our antique Hungarian woodbench up close.  It's my husband's prized possession - he restored it himself and had to ensure it will be well-protected from the elements (rain and heat), as it lives outdoors permanently.  It doubles as a wonderful serving area if necessary.

The wooden buckets are antique milk pails (How did you guess? Yes... Hungarian!).  My husband also treated these for living permanently outdoors.

Star jasmine growing in the pot to the left - heavenly perfume hangs on the air at night. 

Would that this bench could talk!!!

And, indeed...these milk pails.  What stories they could tell us! 
 And now, a couple of pictures I took of my peace rose...



  1. O picture profile !! listen quick ...hahahahha!! what a lovely dog !! and that rose........please sent something warms to is verry verry cold here.....i am freezing........lovely post your garden is like a love love

  2. Ria:

    So glad you enjoyed my offering today - do wish I could send you some warmer weather, but unfortunately that's not in my job description ;)

    Stay snug!!!!


    Des xo

  3. Thanks for the walk around the shaded parts of your garden today! I'm sure you were deliberately trying to approximate the effect of a hot hazy day with your camera, right? I know what you mean about inelegance, I turn into a fountain as soon as the weather warms up too.

    I absolutely love that big solid wooden workbench!

  4. Alison:

    Oh, goody! If that's the effect that was achieved, then we'll pretend it was intentional ;)

    My husband will be delighted to know his workbench has won some admiration. Now he's restoring a very old, wool tool (picker) - also from Hungary :) Some enterprising businessman in our area has been travelling across to H to source and buy up old farmyard and other artefacts to sell locally. Guess where my husband's favourite scouring spot is!

  5. Well, I would like it warmer here - but not that hot! Actually the place I'm comfortable exists in a narrow range of about 10 degrees and I don't know where in the world I would need to live!

  6. Hi Jenny:

    Why, CAMELOT, of course ;)

  7. Toby is very handsome. We used to have one of those when the children were little. Your garden is a tropical paradise. The heat can put a stop to outside activities but you have a lot of shade around the garden. This summer we haven't had to many super hot days because we have so much rain we have slightly cooler temps but high humidity.

  8. Thank you, Diane!

    We are really enjoying Toby - our other German Shepherd's have all been female - he is our first GSD male.

    Heathcliff won us over to try another male & we seem to have landed with a real beaut in Toby, too. He's so intelligent and listens so well. At not quite 10 months, he's amazed us all!

    I WISH we could share some of your rain!!! My garden looks the way it does, because I have to water it! The trees are truly a blessing & the extensive use of mulch & bark chips helps a lot with maintaining it, despite the hot, dry summers.

    Today is VERY humid...but won't bring rain :(

  9. I missed this post, which was very remiss of me. What a beautiful stroll around your garden this has been. Thank you.

  10. Sweet Desiree...nothing is ever perfect, I guess.
    Actually here in Southern Californa, there is no humidity, its been around 58 t0 62 degree's...and with the fireplace's wonderful. Cozy. I stayed in my jammies until nearly noon today...but then got curious enough to put on jeans and a T to peek outside to see what was going on. Curiousity got to me! :)
    The humidity is what got me about Florida and Georgia. It sounds as though yours may be as bad. Still..that mountain! :)

  11. Actuall for as hot as it is, YES, I think it is thoughtful of you. You BET!! :)
    Your German Shepard has the sweetest face!

  12. Picture #11 from the top (not counting Toby) is my favorite. So, you live in a botanical garden. Do the tourists know about this place?

    Thank you for the MULTIPLE, wonderful comments about my blogs. As I am sure you know, comments are the fuel that runs the blog.

    No, I never wanted to be a comedian. I am having a hard enough time putting myself out there this way. But, I do like to laugh and I prefer to see the funny side of life. And, I have had so many goofy stuff happen in my life that I have learned to laugh at myself.

    So both of us have a TOBY! I will start posting on mine soon. But, I wanted to let you know what happened to Luke (since you commented on him). See my blog #102-MEET ME ON MONDAY. But, don't go there unless you feel like a good cry!
    (Also, ignore the stuff after the song video...I had a little run in with Java). kt


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