After my last long post, heavy on history, this one is much shorter on words, and more garden focused.
It begins with a tribute to Jessye Norman, singing below the third of Richard Strauss’ wonderful Four Last Songs – Beim Schlafengehen (“When Falling Asleep”). The American soprano died about a fortnight ago, and although I’ve featured the second song “September” in a post a couple of years ago, this one is equally beautiful. Click here for an obituary, in The New York Times, for the hugely talented and popular Ms. Norman.
I’d suggest starting the You Tube below, and then slowly scrolling through the pictures taken this week, which are indeed an autumnal swansong from the garden here. If you like the music, here’s a link, click, to the classic recording made by Ms. Norman with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, conducted by Kurt Masur.
In spite of having a very disappointing last 4 weeks of weather, with only 1 day without rain, we have had brief sunny interludes, and autumn colour still seems to be developing well.
Is it just me, or do others enjoy autumn more as they get older?
It seems that every day brings new colours and shades. Some subtle, some vibrant and we’re now fortunate to have several trees and shrubs coming into their prime and creating ever more impact year on year. The drama goes on for several weeks, for which we’re really grateful – a consequence of our benign climate here and several seed grown Acers which, by chance, colour up sequentially over a prolonged period. And always, without early frosts, the white froth of Saxigrage fortunei to complement the fireworks.
Even in poor light and although the dreary month of November looms, this is a wonderful time to pause.
To look and see.
As the garden prepares to rest a while.
And so too can the gardeners.
Click here for more background to how Strauss came to compose this beautiful series of songs, which was intended to include a fifth, but he never heard them performed, dying before he could compose the last one, at the age of 85. The series was premiered in 1950 at the Royal Albert Hall, in part thanks to the generosity of the Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahudar, who put up the huge guarantee of $4,800 for the performance, so that they could be recorded, and he could receive a copy of the concert, since he was unable to attend in person.
For anyone interested we might try to hold a final garden “pop up” opening of 2019 next weekend, but we’ll wait a while to see how the weather forecast progresses.
If you’re not already on our email list for pop up openings, and would like to come next weekend if we do open, I’d suggest emailing us now to let us know of your interest: