In the vineyards the vine leaves are changing to gold and scarlet, oak and liquid amber leaves are also changing colour and starting to fall – some liquid amber leaves are almost a deep vermilion tone; and the mountains seem clearer with deeper purple shadows. The days are still hot, and the heavy scent of ripening grapes hangs in the air, but the nights and early mornings have a definite chill.
The gardens of Babylonstoren are full of autumn crops – aubergines, pumpkins and squash of every possible shape and size, late runner beans, quince hedges laden with plump fruit, persimmons and pomegranates. Waterblommetjies are starting to flower in the fish ponds, getting ready to be added to winter bredies.
Fat, contented chickens potter about, some investigating newly planted seedlings, and a little field mouse is glimpsed gathering feathers for her nest. Thousands of clivias grow quietly alongside the river – what a sight they must be in Spring. This is a garden full of interest at any time of the year.
The Farm Shop is full of tempting things to buy – cheeses, breads, cold meats – the colours of the juices seem to echo the colours of the autumn leaves.
Contributor: Leonie Twentyman-Jones
Photos: Margaret Richards