Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

A walk up the valley to other gardens

9 Oct '06 5:14 pm
In the late 70s when I was a student we discovered the neighbours’ gardens. Up till then our visits to the farm had been sporadic for various reasons, and neither my parents were keen hikers or gardeners. But we had heard of the Spring Fair (‘Cherry Blossom Time’) when Box Thompson’s amazing garden was opened to the public –se we wandered up to have a look. By then the immediate neighbours – on Cheerio – had gardened all the way down to the dam which filled the bottom point of their triangular property. We were greeted by crab apple avenues and thousands of azaleas. We passed through to the lower end of Box’s property: flowering cherry trees lined the valley. Then we reached her dam – and were captivated by the Japanese maples softly hugging the water. We did not yet know what they were… The overwhelming first impression was of the endless acres of azaleas. It was a cool damp spring, and there were many trees, mainly various blossomers, to shade them. It was spectacular – and crazy. ‘The woman is mad,’ my father said, ‘her whole farm has become a garden!’ Today we laugh guiltily at those words…

She - or her niece Jane who today owns it – still have a 40 year head start on us, the garden is still the centre of the Haenertsburg Spring Fair, but in the next years I need to get my act together and join in… on the other hand I have done little about spring (my father has done much more) and instead concentrated on the other seasons. The expansion of the gardening tourist season is where the focus must be in time to come. We are several neighbours with beautiful gardens and a beautiful natural setting; each has had a different focus and time scale to work with. As a result there are many and varying hectares of great beauty to explore. Above Box is perhaps the most fascinating botanically, for the owner was a Johannesburg based botanist, like me a passionate gardener, but one who never lived here permanently, and I am still discovering amazing treats on forages into the more neglected parts of her garden. That is were I went to check on the old roses about which I write in the rose forum, and the main reason for my visit.
1 Waterlilies on the neighbour's dam.JPG
2 Cherry Blossoms overhead.JPG
3 Cherry blossom detail.JPG
4 The Japanese maples that started it all.JPG
5 Mollis azaleas - decidious, scented, slow growing, seed only.JPG
6 An old mollis - perhaps 3m high and 50 years old.JPG
7  Mollis azaleas - elegant, even in decay.JPG
8 Assorted beeches - weeping, copper and green.JPG
8 Assorted beeches - weeping, copper and green.JPG
9 I come across the white rose for the first time in years - covering a huge area now.JPG
10 It is glorious, voluptious, but not really scented.JPG
11 I don't think I've ever seen such a lavish display, thriving on neglect.JPG
11 One more - I can't resist.JPG

Liza
gardening consultant
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Waterloo, Belgium

A deligtful Springtime promenade!

9 Oct '06 11:00 pm
Cherry Trees, scented Azaleas Mollis! A beloved Spring landscape, really! And those Maple Trees!...Isn't this lovely white beauty "Boule de Neige"??

Your..."mad" neighbour! What an admirable lady gardener, really! Loved the whole garden story!! Thank you -again- Jack!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

GardenGnome
Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

WOW Jack!

11 Oct '06 6:35 am
Really nice photos.

Christopher :shock:
A Gnome's at home in his garden.

jacqueline
Thankful Gardener
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

13 Oct '06 10:52 pm
Lovely walk to a lovely garden, great pics and nice garden story! Thanks, Jack! :)


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