Art in the Garden 2

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.

Advertisements

A simple, easy to maintain, succulent garden

Just an example (we use it for our nursery customers) of a simple, easy to maintain succulent garden. We made it within 4 hours (3 staff) including the sculpture. Plants used are diverse Echiveria species and Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera).

It’s ideal for people who want to have a different garden but don’t have the time for extensive maintenance.

At Soekershof, Private Mazes & Botanical Garden in South Africa, we are continuously busy creating new gardens. Some are simple to make (see picture); others can take a few years before they are ready. For the rockery at the entrace we count that we still need two more years to finish it. Partly because we are still growing plants which are still too young and partly because it’s very labour extensive to arrange rocks (different sizes and colours etc.) and gravel between it. The rockery (below an artist impression of how a part of it looks now) covers a surface of around 2000 sqm (almost 1 acre) and is divided in a caudiciform garden; Australian/Asian succulent garden; American succulent garden and an All Africa Succulent Garden. Yes; we are ‘Rocking the World’.

And enjoy the colourful ‘Green’ Life

We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Great 2008!!!

Herman, Yvonne & dedicated Staff

of

Soekershof

 Walkabout
 

Mazes & Botanical Gardens in South Africa

Klaas Voogds West, P.O. Box 291, Robertson 6705, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)23 626 4134    E-mail: soekershof -at- lando.co.za   Skype: soekershof


 

Website: http://www.soekershof.com    Blogsite: http://soekershofwalkabout.blogspot.com/     Soekershof Science: https://soekershof.wordpress.com    Dutch: http://www.dagboek.iblog.co.za    Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa 

Soekershof Walkabout is a rare combination of aesthetics, cultural discoveries and ecological balance.
A visit is a personal experience which is simply described as the “Largest Hedge-Maze in the world” and/or “a garden with more than 2400 different succulents from all over the world under the open sky”.
But Soekershof is more than that.
The original concept goes beyond all prejudice perceptions.

Walk, Wonder and be Inspired!!!

Just let it happen and take your time; a few hours at least.

Soekershof Walkabout is, globally, a unique and hugely entertaining exercise for Body, Mind and Spirit.

Mission statement:
Soekershof Walkabout is a sacred enterprise, based on an appreciation of nature, humor, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants that participate -employees and visitors alike.

Landscaping a rockery PART 3 (practical on THE spot)

During Festive Season (school holiday) 2007/2008:

At Soekershof Walkabout, Klaas Voogds West, Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa.

Daily at 11 AM and 3 PM:

Rocking the World; A succulent landscaping project in Robertson.

Designed for all (succulent) gardeners/landscapers who want to know more about the possibilities and impossibilities of waterwise gardening in South Africa with emphasis on the Western Cape. See this and that plus media release below.

R 150.00 pp including picnic and standard program with quest in maze and tour in succulent gardens (see http://soekershof.com).

Duration 3-4 hrs. Only prepaid bookings.

Number of participants per educational limited to approx. 10 PAX.

Subjects:    

1) Theoretical basics of landscaping rockeries (soil, composition, creating micro climates)

2) Landscaping a rockery in practice. Interaction between participants and the garden artists of Soekershof.

Discover that waterwise gardening is more labour extensive than generally perceived but also very much rewarding.

Info and bookings: soekershof@lando.co.za Tel: 023-6264134

Rocking the world

Robertson (Western Cape); November 13 2007 – Soekershof Walkabout, Mazes & Botanical Gardens, commenced excavagation works for two rockeries which will the ‘growing ground’ of approx. 1000 succulent species from around the world within two years. These new species are in addition to the 2467 registered different succulent plants in the existing succulent gardens.
The gardens of Soekershof Walkabout distinguish themselves from those of other botanical gardens in South Africa with all plants under the open sky (not under roof or shade cloth) and all plants are organically cultivated without the use of fertilisers and other chemicals. Furthermore is Soekershof Walkabout the only botanical garden in South Africa which is certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa (
http://www.fairtourismsa.org.za/).

Both rockeries are near the entrance; one will be the ‘growing ground’ of caudiciform plants (f.e. ‘bottle trees’, including several baobab species, from Australia, Madagascar and Southern Africa) and the other one will mainly consist of American succulent plants such as cacti, yuccas and agaves next to Brazilian ceiba trees (Choriosa speciosa). Most plants of the new collection are home grown from seeds and hardly or not on display elsewhere in South Africa.

The investment in the new rockeries is the first phase of a three year program during which all ‘gaps’ in the existing landscape of 10 hectares will be filled with different sphere gardens. In the beginning of next year excavagation works are scheduled for a very formal layout of sample gardens for the own nursery customers and the extension of the Langeberg Garden (in fact a maze without dead ends and home grown indigenous trees and shrubs).

Since the official opening in December 2002 Soekershof Walkabout is increasingly attracting (amateur) horticulturists, garden societies, botanists, etc. from around the globe. Locally Soekershof Walkabout is mainly known for its Klaas Voogds Maze which is regarded as the ‘largest hedge maze in the world’.

Walk
Wonder
and be
Inspired!
 
Soekershof Walkabout
Mazes & Botanical Gardens
 
Primary Unusual Destination
Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa
 
Klaas Voogds West, P.O. Box 291, Robertson 6705, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)23 626 4134
Skype: soekershof
E-mail:
soekershof@lando.co.za
Website: http://www.soekershof.com
Blogsite: http://soekershofwalkabout.blogspot.com/
Soekershof Science:
https://soekershof.wordpress.com
Dutch: http://www.dagboek.iblog.co.za
http://www.travelpod.com/members/soekershof

Mission statement:
Soekershof Walkabout is a sacred enterprise, based on an appreciation of nature, humor, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants that participate -employees and visitors alike.

Soekershof Walkabout is a personal event which is simply described as the “Largest Hedge-Maze in the world” and/or “a garden with more than 2400 different succulents from all over the world under the open sky”.
 
But Soekershof IS more than that.
The original concept goes beyond all prejudice perceptions.

Walk, Wonder and be Inspired!!!

Just let it happen and take your time; a few hours at least.

Experiencing Soekershof Walkabout is, globally, a unique and hugely entertaining exercise for Body, Mind and Spirit; not to be missed.

Daily Tours: 11 AM and 3 PM (sharp!!!)
See website for more details.

For once and for all

Not very ‘scientific’ this time.

Just the notification that we just opened a new blogsite: Soekershof; the funny side.

It shows that gardening does not (always) have to be serious. Soekershof Walkabout has a concept which thrives on thoughts, local folkore and jokes. We very much value the personal interaction between ourselves and our guests; partly very serious about things as ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘when’, etc., and partly the ‘lighter stuff of Life’.

This site contains ‘popular scientific’ content. In our own area, strange enough, Soekershof Walkabout is known for it’s giant hedge-maze in which visitors can walk from one amusing story to the other; visualised with objects towering above the hedges as orientating points.

Next to this (serious) blog, the general website and the new blog there is also a blog about the latest developments in and around Soekershof.

And of course: you may bookmark them all!

Indigenous versus Indigenous

Thought during an early Sunday morning:

Sometimes visitors insist on buying indigenous plants. But what is indigenous? Is, for example, a quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) indigenous to South Africa or to Namibia? For sure is that many succulents in the Richtersveld and other parts in South Africa, including the quiver tree and other ‘indigenous’ aloes, originate from Namibia but that these South African ‘habitats’ are distribution areas. Another example: if it comes to the point; the Western Cape hardly has any ‘indigenous’ (read: endemic) trees but is home to many fynbos-  and succulent species. One of the baobab species (Adansonia digitates) is indigenous to Zimbabwe and the far Northeast of South Africa but does that make the tree indigenous to the Western Cape. The sausage tree (Kigelia africana) is more ‘indigenous’ to Tanzania than South Africa but it also grows well at many places in the Western Cape. A more local (Western Cape) example is the Euphorbia crispa. This plant is ‘sourced’ to an area near Clanwilliam but one of the distribution areas is here in Klaas Voogds (unfortunately poaching has practically diminished their numbers!!!). To make a long story very short: we always tell visitors that if we talk about ‘indigenous’ we talk about plants which originate from Southern Africa which includes, more or less, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and even Madagscar.

End of discussion!

Second thought:

Many customers want to see (buy) a ‘halfmens’ (Pachypodium namaquanum) which originates from Namibia but is also distributed in Namaqualand (South Africa). This is a protected plant and one need to have a permit to possess, to propagate, sell, etc. To do our garden and nursery business we have a total of 9 official permits of Cape Nature Conservation but forget about that. Many nurseries sell ‘halfmens’ but what they sell is not the Pachypodium namaquanum but the Madagascar relative Pachypodium lamerei and that is a fast growing member of this family. A ‘halfmens’ grows, in optimal conditions, about 1 centimetre per year. The annual growth of the P. lamerei sometimes exceeds 50 centimetres. Reminds me of a nursery which was selling these Madagascar ‘half humans’ as “Sudanese halfmens”. If one, at any nursery, can buy a real ‘halfmens’ with a length of one metre or more one may, in 95% of these cases, question the source of this plant. Poaching is, unfortunately, a ‘national hobby’ and although, via media publications, one might have the idea that only foreigners are involved (including a CEO of a European botanical garden which was busted in the ‘veld’); the naked truth is that the ‘bulk poaching’ is done by real professionals, emptying acre after acre of their valuable vegetation for the export. Since economics is involved authorities seem to close their eyes for this phenomena.

Hello world!

Soekershof Walkabout is not just fun. There is a scientific part behind the ‘screen’. The Soekershof blogspot keeps visitors informed about actual developments in and around a very unusual garden in South Africa. In this blog we will briefly write about and link to sites with more (popular) scientific content.

Don’t expect glossy pictures, smooth text, etc. but more serious content for especially the succulent lovers.