Purple rain

Merry Christmas to all those who call into Sandra’s Garden … and here’s to success in the garden (or gardening success) in 2014.

With the jacarandas in full bloom right now I remembered to take my camera with me this morning for some images of the beautiful tree on the corner of 13th Ave and Fraser St in Tauranga.

Purple isn’t a colour traditionally associated with Christmas, but seeing the jacarandas at this time always reminds me of my clever friend Dorothy who, when we were both living in Qatar, a country that didn’t officially celebrate Christmas, one year themed her home in purple and silver, spray painting palm fronds to make a stunning, and original, Christmas arrangement.


Photo: Sandra Simpson

When I lived in Lebanon I visited one of the editors for whom I freelanced there and congratulated Peter on the gorgeous view of the jacarandas in full bloom outside his first-floor office window – he hadn’t noticed them!

South Africa’s capital Pretoria is nick-named Jacaranda City (see some images here) and many years ago I remember being impressed by the jacarandas lining the streets outside our hotel (the Jacaranda Hotel!) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The trees are native to the drier parts of Central and South America and were introduced to South Africa from Argentina in the 1880s. Although Pretoria has up to 70,000 jacarandas, the country’s eco-guardians have decreed that no more may be planted because they are not native.

To me, one of the most beautiful things about the trees is their “purple rain” (I wonder if that is what Prince was singing about?) and with rain forecast for Christmas Day here in Tauranga the trees are bound to be a picture with the blossoms lining the ground and in the air.

Find out more about growing Jacaranda mimosifolia (the one with the purple flowers) while this website includes tips on growing from seed.

Grafton, a town in New South Wales (Australia), has an annual Jacaranda Festival. Read more here.

Text and photos copyright Sandra Simpson and may not be reused without permission.

1 thought on “Purple rain

  1. Pingback: The Mamba arrives | breath, a collection of haiku

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