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South Africa - Western Cape (5)


By AndrewR


Our next visit was to Flower Valley. This is a project where local people are shown how to grow South Africa’s native flowers sustainably for the cut-flower trade. This includes schooling for their children so the next generation have an education and can hopefully improve their lives

I have seen psoralea pinnata on a previous trip to South Africa. It makes a ten feet tall shrub covered in blue flowers – if it was a little more hardy, it would rival ceanothus for a place in our gardens

Among the other plants growing here are pseudoselago serrata


And oxalis massonia, which grows for me in Bracknell

We moved on to Hermanus, originally a small fishing village, but now full of luxurious des res houses

Just outside the town is the Harold Porter Botanical Garden. Originally the home and garden of a single man, it now expands into the pristine mountain area behind the garden and down to the coastline as well

Restios are grass-like plants, much used for thatching in older houses

An old specimen of aloe plicatilis, known as the fan aloe because of the way its foliage is arranged

As well as the large shrubs, you need to keep a watchful eye for small plants too. This is geissorhiza schinzii, a spring flowering bulb

Did you recognise this lobelia? It is lobelia pinifolia

Or scabiosa corymbosa, another common garden plant in the UK?

Local wildlife, baboons can often be found in and around the garden

To be continued ….

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another well written and informative blog. thanks for sharing Andrew.

6 Feb, 2017


Am enjoying your S Africa blogs, especially in small episodes, gives one the opportunity to enjoy fully. Thank you for pointing out the plants we can grow outdoors in the UK, if we give them suitable conditions. Like the Oxalis.

6 Feb, 2017


We tried growing Restios about eight years ago, before they became popular, unfortunately the plants were much to small, and should never have gone in the ground, so we lost them all!! another fascinating blog Andrew...

7 Feb, 2017


Thank you Andrew. I laughed, the way the Geissorhiza is
flowering in a queue.

8 Feb, 2017

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