Sunday, 18 November 2012

Gratitude Day 19 Joyous Jacarandas

Today I am grateful for Jacaranda trees. Whilst visiting Mum in the nursing home I look out over the verandah to two beautiful Jacaranda trees. I have been totally amazed at how quickly they are shedding there wondrous purples flowers creating a carpet on the ground and growing the new green leaves. Within only days a large proportion of the tree is now covered in green and eventually the hues of mauve will be gone until next year once again. We can enjoy there hues of purple for only a short while.

While the most common flower colour for jacarandas is the lovely purple-blue, there is a white-flowered form called ‘White Christmas’ which is very rare. I have never seen the white version. Life expectation may be up to 200 years if in private care. It is said that if you are walking underneath the Jacaranda tree and one of the trumpet blossoms falls on your head you will be favoured by fortune.

The Jacaranda is a flowering plant in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America. South America (Brazil and Argentina especially), Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas.It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal. It is found throughout the Americas and Caribbean, and has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, India, Fiji, Portugal and parts of Africa. 

Pretoria, The Jacaranda City, (located 50 kms north of Johannesburg) is noted for it’s 70,000 plus flowering Jacaranda trees.

Nursing Home Car Park
We drove through Grafton on our way home from the Goddess Conference of Australia in Queensland in October, discovering that the Jacaranda Festival was that same weekend. Running from the second last weekend in October to the first weekend in November. So we decided to drive around the suburb enjoying all the purple splendour. It is really breathtaking when you see rows of these magnificent trees, the colour is so vivid, I wondered if the people who live inside the houses on the street actually appreciate how unique these trees and their suburb is.

Inaugurated in 1934, this was the first of Australia's folk festivals and is based upon the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees which grow in Grafton's broad tree lined avenues. The longest running floral festival in Australia.

Streets of Grafton during there Jacaranda Festival.
The Festival starts with the crowning of the new queen in an open ceremony under the beautifully lit mauve canopy of Jacaranda blooms. Jacaranda Thursday has zany street theatre and madcap entertainment occupy the morning and Market Square is the venue for the lunchtime and afternoon program of live entertainment.
The Venetian Carnival sees live performances on a floating stage on the Clarence River and is watched by hundreds of spectators along the riverbank in Memorial Park, with a big fireworks finale.

On 2nd July 1879, Mr H. A. Volkers, a Grafton seed merchant, was contracted to plant trees for the Grafton Council. During the 1880's he was instrumental in supplying and planting hundreds of Jacaranda trees in the streets of Grafton.

In 1935, 55 years, after planting those Jacaranda trees, the people of Grafton held the first Jacaranda Festival, to celebrate the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees which grow in Grafton's broad tree lined avenues. This festival expresses the people's thanksgiving for the generosity with which nature blesses this part of the globe.

An absolute spectacle rows of wondrous trees in Grafton.
There are 1,931 trees - part of Sydney's ''urban forest'' - officially listed as being of historic or environmental significance to the city. They are on private property or scattered through the City of Sydney's public parks, reserves and streets

An 18-metre wide jacaranda, planted in 1928 by professor of German E.G. Waterhouse in the south-eastern corner of the Quadrangle lawn at Sydney University is a favourite of students who look to its beautiful lilac blooms in November as a sign final exams are looming and the summer holidays are not far away.


Rose and her PCOS battle said...

My Mum always loved Jacaranda trees and so I love seeing them around. They can make suburbs look so different during their blooming stage. Just divine Lee-Anne :)

Lee-Anne said...

Rose you are so right, the streets just look so beautiful when the purple pokes it head up high above the roofs, and everything looks so different and delicate.