The Fairy Realm of Hogsback
I don’t really care that JRR Tolkien, creator of The Lord of the Rings and other Hobbitariana, never visited Hogsback in the Eastern Cape.
You just have to wake up one morning in this mountain settlement, stick your nose out of your duvet, and gaze out the window at the mist clinging to the evergreen trees of the Amatholes to know that the spirit of Tolkien walks here.
Movie director Peter Jackson could easily have filmed segments of his famous trilogy right here, I feel. Walk around the forests that flank the village. Was that an orc I just saw? Are those elves having sundowners? Is that Samwise busy with his third breakfast of the day?
And if you really want more of the same, just wander down to the Fairy Realm and take a path on the well-marked Meander.
Was that an orc I just saw? Are those elves having sundowners? Is that Samwise busy with his third breakfast of the day?
Meet a whole bunch of new friends, like Metatron, Archangel of Africa, who says: 'Light up Africa, so Africa can light up the world.'
There’s Kuan Yin, who embodies love, healing and compassion; and there’s Abigail, the fairy of abundance, and Abbarah, fairy of fun and magic. Further on, a little sign urges you to ask your Guardian Angel for peace and inspired guidance. And the angels – just too many to name.
This wondrously whimsical and touching garden space and its denizens are all the work of Patrick and Susannah Smith.
They’ve created fairies and angels to live in and around practically every plant in their flowering garden. Susannah draws them, Patrick makes them.
Patrick used to be a mining engineer, so most of their married life was spent in the utterly extractive environments of gold, diamond and platinum mines.
Now they live among lilies, irises, forget-me-nots, foxgloves, periwinkles and yes, lots of garden fairies...