Tag Archives: garden

Beauty revealed


When I first arrived in my new Cape Town home, I really didn’t much like the plants in this garden – too many spikes, cacti and succulents. They seemed aggressive, harsh, not beautiful. I wanted to see more colour, more flowers, a softer beauty. I contemplated planting roses and other flowers. Until someone pointed out they are not indigenous.

That stopped me in my tracks.

I felt shamed by my unintended horticultural imperialism. De-valuing the unfamiliar and imposing my perception of beauty. Tempted to change it and dominate it, before I had really seen it and known it.

So I sat with it as it was. And watered it.

After a few weeks I now see more beauty and more flowers.

Maybe the flowers were there before and I didn’t see them, only seeing them now as my eyes are accustomed to this garden, its particular indigenous beauty, having stopped subconsciously but arrogantly expecting it to look like an English garden. I can see the beauty in the shape and structure of the African non-flowering plants too – different to the colourful, showy, soft beauty of flowers, but beautiful none the less.  

Or maybe some of the flowers have bloomed since we arrived, as we have watered the garden and loved it.

I think it’s been a bit of both.

Forgive me, my African friends for my ignorance and arrogance. I am learning.

Not wanting to stretch a point but this has made me think. Maybe the plants aren’t so dissimilar to us. Showing our beauty to those who truely see us, who care and nurture. Beauty seen in difference as the lens of expecting familiarity is removed.

Divine kisses


Within moments

Of sitting in the garden

A huge butterly swoops in

Large wings

Black and yellow patterns

Dancing, gliding, playfully

Around the garden

Nowhere to go

In no hurry

A sharp intake of breathe

And a smile


Then a red dragonfly

Pays a short visit

As if he knows

Red’s my favourite colour

As if he knows

Another of his kind

Years ago

Had been a means

Of God’s whisper and kiss

To me

An even bigger smile

A reminder


Then swallows

Stunning silhouette

Against bright blue

Three of them

Then one remained

Darting and soaring

Directly overhead


Black and yellow butterfly returned

Three times

Too swift

To be captured on camera

Not to share

Just for me


Three simple but beautiful kisses

Divine Kisses

Gratefully received

And treasured.