As part of the spring festival in Canberra, many Embassies have opened their doors and gardens to the public, and South Africa is one of those Embassies.
The South African Embassy is one of the oldest in the diplomatic circle in Canberra. The beautiful Cape Dutch building was established in 1956, and the gardens were designed at this time. The elegant buildings and grounds reflect the era in which it was built.
It is surprising these lovely long lawns have survived the drought. Nowadays many embassies, including this one, have very large water tanks to store rain water. Some years ago, Canberra suffered 10 years of drought, and since then there have been permanent water restrictions for watering gardens.
However, this year we have had plenty of winter rainfall and everything is looking very green and lush.
The Galahs have found some tasty seeds in the lawns of the Embassy, and, a Magpie is making a nest in one of the many trees nearby.During nesting times, Magpies become very territorial, and I’m watching her, watching me…..
In the front of the building is a wonderful bush full of proteas, the emblem for South Africa. My mother spent her childhood in South Africa, and she felt homesick every time she saw a protea…(or a Red Hot Poker, or Flame Lily)
The plants in the garden are a mix of those that grow well in Canberra and those that represent South Africa..
and some flowers that seem to have strayed in from Monet’s garden…
As one of the South African waiters said to me…when I mentioned that she had given me a very large serving….
“‘ What are you worrying about?……you can go on a diet when you get home….”
I’m using this logic today at the Embassy cupcake stall…even though home isn’t very far away.