I was just looking at the prompt photo again and the fact that it is in a garden and comes from Queensland suddenly brought to mind this oil painting that I loved seeing last year when I visited the Art Gallery of Queensland in Brisbane. It was painted in 1903 by English immigrant R. Godfrey Rivers and depicts the painter and his wife Selina being served an elegant afternoon tea under a spectacular jacaranda tree in full bloom. They may well have been acquainted with John Nicholson and his wife Anna, as they lived in the same city around a similar time period. According to a former curator of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, this tree was planted there in 1864 and was the first jacaranda to be grown in Australia, from seeds obtained from a visiting South American sea captain. Click here for more information about the history of this tree. It was blown down by a storm in the 1980s but many jacaranda trees in the Brisbane region have been grown from cuttings and seeds originally taken from it.
Jacaranda season in Australia runs from October to December, depending on the location. They are not as prolific down here in Melbourne as they are in Sydney and cities and towns further north, but I took this photo locally in December last year. Purple has always been my favourite colour! There's an Australian magpie enjoying it too.
Happy Valentine's Day!