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From 1 – 4 August this year, I had the pleasure of taking some big time gardening fans on tour with me to see the famous Namaqualand flowers. What a blast we had – such great people and loads of laughs. We frolicked in the daisies, visited the ruins of a old farmhouse (simply spectacular!).
The Namaqualand flowers are simply amazing – at a glance, it only looks like daisies but when you stop and look closer you find so many more blooms. I couldn’t stop taking pics – what beauties.
For me, this year’s highlight was the visit to the Knersvlakte. Our bus pulled over on the side of the road, looking on to this vast expanse of what looked like nothingness – just a few brown nondescript bushes that I don’t think a hungry goat would eat. We all gingerly all got out of the bus (it was freezing with a cold wind blowing) and we were all thinking ‘what the frig?’ but dared not say aloud as our tour guide Mike was very excited!
Stepping out, he called us all into a little circle and then started to expand on what we were about to discover…
There amongst the plains of white quartz stones, I discovered the most amazing little gems, hardened tough little succulents that can cope with temperatures soaring to 48 degrees and dropping in winter to below zero. I love this amazing place where life prevails over the elements to survive… eventually the bus driver was hooting for me to get on the bus. I did not want to leave.
Another heart stopping moment was the much talked about Quiver tree forest. We made our way up the Vanrhyns Pass , drove along a dirt road and there in the distance, emerging like little stars were the shapes of these resilient beauties, initially just specks and then – boom – not one or two but hundreds, a forest, a family, a community of these amazing trees.
Interesting enough, we emerged from the bus, quiet and still, entranced by this landscape, and then we simply all went our own way, disappearing into the rocks and wonder of the Quiver trees. This was a truly spiritual moment for me – beauty with presence against all odds!
Nieuwoudtville was also spectacular. We visited glacier tracks, rare bulbs, famous South African authors, and so much more.
What a trip! This is why I garden – to take what I see in Nature’s paradise, remember the images, and try and recreate my own paradise.