Jacarandas, Cape Chestnut          - 4/11/2014      <--Prev : Next-->

Waxing Lyrical!
I know I wax lyrical about our Bulawayo trees every year but the sheer exhilaration that exudes from our city canopy must be recognized and saluted.

The jacarandas have been glorious as usual with the very first jacaranda having been spotted as far back as July!! They are not all flowering by any means, and I fear that they are becoming elderly like the writer, many of them are already entering straight into leaf mode and completely avoiding the flowering stage!!

With these recent very welcome rains we await in eager anticipation a rapid transformation, although the jacarandas in Suburbs could easily be 120 years old and although I know they live to be a venerable age, I fear for their very lives!!

In bloom as we speak are the fabulous Flamboyants. What a sight for sore eyes, what absolute joy these magnificent flowering trees bring to the wounded soul. I must admit I do wonder a little about our City Fathers though. What with the absolute slaughter of the trees outside the Railway House - Broadway - on 12th Avenue and then the 'massacre on Samuel Parienyatwa' outside the Borrow Street Swimming Pool, disguised as maintenance or 'pollarding' heaven knows who is now in charge of our city trees

Moving on from the magnificent scarlet Flamboyants, also in flower at the moment are the Frangipani!! AAAAH I love the smell of them, my rather Pinocchio- type nose can sniff out a Frangipani from as far as fifty meters!! The ice-pearl and golden buttercup ones will always be my favourite although the pink and magenta blooms are glorious at the moment. A rather overlooked tree is the frangipani, due to its ungainly and stubby nature, but one cannot overlook their fabulous scent.

We will move long seasonally soon to the Cassia, again a beautiful tree with an extravagant fragrance. Now here is a show off in the arboreal world, stretching its boughs well over the roads, especially Cecil Avenue, and offering a delicate dusting of canary-coloured blooms daily.

The Bauhinias are well past their best embellishing the Hillside Road, although they were alluringly beautiful again this year, the whites rivaling the pinks, the pinks rivaling the purples.

One of my very favorite trees, non indigenous sadly as are all of the above, but found almost from Cape to Cairo in Africa, is the Cape Chestnut.

Few people have as glorious a view as I, of the Cape Chestnut in my neighbour's garden, it is enormous and is literally shuddering manfully under its bounteous crop of sweet pink ribbonlike, cluster blooms. There are smaller trees in Suburbs, but I guard my own personal neighbour's vista very jealously!! It is well suited to its Latin name Calodendrum capense as kalos means beautiful, and dendron tree in Greek. Strangely enough birds are not attracted to its splendid blooms but butterflies abound.

I have not given due credit to our fabulous indigenous trees but we will save that for another day...