A vivid purple-pink tibouchina, festooned with blooms, frames the garage at the manor.
It seems these flowers are native to south-east Brazil, where people use the massed purple blooms to decorate the churches at Easter time. Here they make quite an autumn statement, with their prolific blooms and velvety petals.There's another small tibouchina in our garden which sports a sparse bouquet of shocking pink flowers: together in a bunch the pink and purple look stunning.
When my parents bought the manor, the garage had been rather inexpertly clad, so our handyman, Sven the Norwegian sailor, set out to strip it. His deafening cry, somewhere between a shriek and a bellow, brought us running to the garage, in time to see a retreating 6-foot diamond python, who had been living in the garage roof cavity and had fallen down onto Sven when he removed the ceiling paneling!
We haven't seen it since, which is a shame, since pythons are beautiful, essentially harmless and keep the rats away.