I hate winter! It seems that the older I get, the colder I get.

Spring romps in and tantalizingly entices the seeds to germinate and plant the seed of hope in the planter. Besides the hardiest and easiest to grow, one is never absolutely certain of success. With considerate care, the garden flourishes and reveals a myriad of fascinating flowering hues. It's really amazing when one considers the amount of hues of green. How can green contain so many shades and tints of itself? Prior to the onset of annual rains, the lawn is prepared. Mowed close and then peppered with generous amounts of fertiliser, its well watered. Bone meal and potassium is dosed in the flower beds.The exotics are spoken to and reminded as to how well they did last year.

Summer sees the garden bursting at the seams. Dahlias have reached their full, divine potential...Agapanthus vie with Hydrangeas and the exotic banana trees cast welcome pools of shade for the masses of Impatiens that appear as if they want to jump out onto the emerald carpet of lawn. The pool is like a giant blue white diamond. Crystal clear and flawless. The sun dancing on the rippled surface and reflecting as if on a cut gem's facets. This sight is enhanced by the surrounding plethora of tree ferns, cycads, cycas, red bottle brush trees, two cypriot firs,burgundy blossomed bougainvillea and a silver birch. Bird song fills the air. My spaniel is ecstatic and we swim together.

Summer's melody has dimmed. The morning and evening temperatures have taken their toll.Fragile banana fronds begin to wilt, dry and brown. The dahlias are cut to the ground. The garden awaits the onslaught of winter.

Mid autumn sees the huge stretches of clivia, which have been waiting patiently for this moment to begin their wondrously beautiful revealment. Winter will be able to be borne with a degree of tolerance when one basks in the splendour of these masses of orange and yellow flowers.The cycads are now in beautiful, strong contrast to the softer shades surrounding them.The birds eat at the now dead and drying bunches of three quarter grown bananas.

I still abhor winter though and ideally, I could quite easily pack up and leave my home for balmier climes, until summer comes around once again. But then, who would tend to my beautiful winter garden?

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