Gardens are per definition ARTificial; even if the gardener strives to let the garden look as natural as possible. We at The Green Cathedral of South Africa are very much aware of this and it is also one of the reasons we go beyond the general perception of a garden. Part of it is Art in the Garden. And it is easy to buy statues and other mass produced ornaments at the garden center. We rather challenge talented people to make something unique and preferable with material from the land or recycable material. An example of the last is the wooden cactus of 4 metres high made by local woodworker Marthinus Plaatjies from restpieces wood.
Recently land art artist Jody Joyner from Tucson, AZ, USA created is giant nest out of hibiscus twigs and a few years ago our own staff created the earthwork Mama Africa (we expect Mama Africa fully covered with succulent groundcovers within 1 year from now.
Here some pictures:
It’s easy to copy things you see on the way. For us it’s a challenge not to be the sheep that follow but the one with followers.
Cuttings rooted on H2O. Took 2 months to develop roots of 2 to 5 cm. These are Eurphorbia resinifera but also other Euphorbia species root well in water. Ideal temperature is around 20 degrees Celcius (=68 F). Just started an experiment with 2 Lophocereus species. Keep you updated.
The reason for this experiment is that there is an overseas demand for this rooted plant material and as it’s a regulation that no soil particle is allowed to leave the country.. (etc. etc.). At this stage we are rooting a few hundred Euphorbia cuttings (diverse species) in water.
We are no scientists (just make use of them) but we like to experiment and prefer to choose for the most unlikable things. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes not but when you never try you will never know.
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Most beautiful in Winter because the impressive caudex is uncovered by leaves of this Southern African caudiciform with a diametre of up to 35 cm. Locally it is also named ‘Bobbejaansgif’ (Afrikaans for baboon’s poison) for its high content of toxic sap (cyanogenic compounds). The genius Adenia (21 species) belongs to the family of the Passifloraceae. The specie A. fruticosa was first described in 1926 by Joseph Burtt Davy. The Adenias fruticosa and glauca are the best known species and grown relatively easy provided the right environment. It’s also suitable for cultivation in a container and is drougth tolerant but likes some extra water in Summer when in leaf. Hardiness: Zone 10a to 11 with minimum temperatur of minus 1 degree Celcius (30F). Well drained gritty loamy soil. Do not fertilise!!! The plant in the picture is grown from seed (2004) and resisted this year 5 months of no rainfall here at The Green Cathedral of South Africa.
Have a look here. Experiencing their flagrances is a different story. For that you will have to travel to this place by the British newspaper The Independent described as “Best Garden in Western Cape” (9 January 2010)
Every now and than we shoot in the garden; not with a shotgun but with a digital camera. Here 5 pics; one shows a part of the garden (totalling 11,000sqm and over 2500 different succulent plants outdoor); one showing an elephants foot (Dioscera elephantipes); one with a fruiting Pilosocereus lanuginosus; the fourth is a Adenium arabicum with flowers AND seedpods and the last is an overview of our retail nursery. It’s not all succulent here in The Green Cathedral of South Africa but that’s for you to find out; preferable on the spot where you can feel, touch, smell, hear and see.
Next week we are with both feet on the ground again:
The Independent (UK): “Best Garden in the Western Cape” http://ow.ly/11jQP
Warm greetings from the Hot Spot in Klaas Voogds,
Herman & Yvonne