Bergview petrol station, Harrismith, South Africa

Mrs Jelliman-Brunzlaff had a keen sense for the seasons. August – late winter – is a good time to divide and transfer plants. If not then, again in March – but before 20 March. The first planting for summer starts by 20 October, after the last late frosts have passed, until November. The next planting takes place in February, this time for autumn. Thereafter the other important month is April: a good month to plant roses; their roots grow through the frosty winter soil, and they’re ready when spring comes.

Spring would come around 20 October for Harrismith - fifty days after official spring day in the Southern Hemisphere. Jo Jelliman-Brunzlaff died, three years ago, just before the next summer planting.