Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For Michael and Hanne

Sunlight catching the large fleshy strap leaves of the Clivias that grow beneath the shade of the Swamp Cypress in my garden. Each season has its own particular brand of beauty!

This post has been prepared with Michael and Hanne in mind. They are the authors of Penticton Commentary, a marvellous Canadian blog that features their travels and the landmarks both in and around Penticton, where they are based. They refer to themselves as 'Retired Travellers' and they certainly have lived and travelled all over the world. Michael is orginally from the UK and Hanne is proudly of Danish origin.  They remain true to their roots, yet totally united in their obvious love of Canada.  They spend their days cycling, enjoying wonderful walks, scenic drives and visiting and entertaining their friends and family from around the globe. Please do visit their blog... 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Symphony of Cymbidiums

One of the best things about this time of year is the annual gift given to me by my beautiful cymbidium orchids.
We had four orchid plants just short of two years ago. Two were given to us as gifts by my Mum and Dad before they emigrated in 1996 and I'd bought two others since. They grew in the garden outdoors and flowered quite well, although somewhat sporadically, through the years. Often, the snails would get to them before the flowers had properly opened. This was disheartening, but try as I did, I never remembered to put down snailbait in time.

When I got my greenhouse in October 2009, we spilt and repotted them, happily ending up with quite a few plants, all of which survived and have been growing very contentedly in their new pots in the greenhouse ever since.  Unexpectedly, they flowered well last year. I'd read that after splitting and replanting, they can take two or three years to settle down before flowering again. Naturally, we were delighted and this year, they have been determined to outdo their efforts of last year...we have fed them and looked after them with much greater care and attentiveness since moving them to the greenhouse and this has obviously been beneficial.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

How do you amuse yourself on a Sunday afternoon in winter?

Hi everybody! Coco and I thought we'd do a combined post to show you some of the ways you can amuse yourselves on a lazy Sunday afternoon in winter...

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Precious Droplets

Winter time in South Africa is when we receive the bulk of our annual rainfall in the Western Cape, where I live.

By the time the first rains arrive, our dams are usually very low and the grassy verges lining the roads are parched and brown. Seemingly just days after the first good soaking, everything changes into the most beautiful shades of green. At this time of year, when the sun shines and the air is crisp, fresh and clear, our vistas are even more beautiful, enhanced greatly by the clean air and softer, gentler light. It is one of my favourite times of the year. 

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Friday, June 17, 2011

San Rock Art and Sublimely Sensuous Spa Treatment at Bushmans Kloof

One of the paintings we saw in the cave we visited. Some of the detail has been lost through the ages, but what has been preserved through time and careful management of these sites, is still remarkable. I'm sure you can all recognise the large shapes as elephant and the narrow forms as depictions of men with bows and arrows.

On the morning of our second day at Bushmans Kloof, we were collected by Jaco bright and early at our appointed meeting place, in order to participate in one of the highlights of any visit to the Cederberg...that of being able to view the ancient Rock Art painting in the numerous sandstone caves found throughout this vast region. The Lodge itself has several caves on site over which it serves as custodian. These are frequently visited by archeologists and students from locally and from abroad and can only be accessed for everyone else, provided you are a guest at Bushmans Kloof. As my guest, you're able to accompany me to the cave we visited. Sadly, we were not able to join the group on our last day, as we had to leave early to head back to the terminal at Cape Town International, where Carol (my sister) was to connect with her fowarding flight to rejoin her husband in Johannesburg before leaving South Africa the next day. 

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bushmans Kloof...Earthly Paradise!

The landscaping at Bushmans Kloof has been thoughtfully planned to complement and enhance the natural beauty of the area, creating an almost seemless transition from formal to natural. The estate is not fenced off around the Homestead and this invites exploratory amblings to be done at leisure and on a whim, provided your stay there is long enough! You really do need plenty of time to be able to fully participate in all that is on offer here!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We Have Arrived At Bushmans Kloof!

First impressions of Bushmans Kloof are considerably enhanced by the wonderful greeting accorded to all guests upon arrival. The car is quickly whisked away and parked under cover out of sight and luggage is promptly delivered to ones suite while the requisite paperwork is being completed. Thereafter, refreshments are offered, either a glass of sherry or iced Rooibos tea, followed by a gentle, guided stroll around the Lodge in order to become acquainted with the various mealtime venues. Breakfast is usually served in the thatched boma (unless it's very cold and raining) and dinner is served in the formal diningroom of the Manor House. Light luncheons can be taken on the terrace overlooking the heated pool of the Manor House and, in inclement weather, breakfasts will also be served inside the Manor House. High Tea is served daily in the boma. Our arrival coincides perfectly with this occasion and after our trip, is precisely what we're looking forward to.

We agree to meet up after we've checked out our rooms and had a quick "freshen up".

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Day We Set Off To Bushmans Kloof

Bushmans Kloof, an idyllic getaway surrounded by the splendid Cederberg Mountains.
I have decided to split this journey into three parts starting with the day we set off. If you want to enjoy the whole experience, you will have to return to Driftwood Ramblings twice's that for craftily 'snagging' you! 

Actually, it's once again a case of having too many pictures I'd like to share and not being able to limit my choices to only a handful. So, for anyone who finds my posts too long and drawn out (yes, I know you're yawning, already eager to click off to the next site on your long list of potentials!), there are hundreds of bloggers who routinely keep their posts of the short and sweet variety. I most heartily welcome the few of you who don't mind hanging in there with me for the whole ride :)

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bushmans Kloof

The notecard with sealing wax seal that welcomed me to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat

Yes, yes, I know! I have been a bad, BAD blogger these past few days, but I'm sure you'll all forgive me when you hear that I have just returned from an unforgettable three day and two night adventure...which, of course I'm about to share with you, too :) 

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