13 June 2010

Kirstenbosch: Mid-garden Stroll

12 June 2010

Location: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Walkers: Michele and Helen

Previous visits to the garden here, here, here and here.

After a delicious lunch at the Kirstenbosch Tea Room we took a stroll down into the garden. There was plenty of lovely green and grey foliage in the beds on either side of the main walkway. We also noticed that a couple of beds, here and elsewhere in the garden, have been cleared. I expect they will be replanted soon for the summer season.

We walked along the Braille Trail, a path that loops through some indigenous forest. There is guide rope and several information boards, with braille on the reverse, along the route.

We then meandered along the main path, past the useful plants section and the pond, into the rockery, down the camphor avenue, back up into the forest and then along the edge of the fynbos section higher up.

The trees in the garden were looking particularly gorgeous. The autumn leaves of the ginko were such an intense yellow!

We stopped to look at flowering plants at every opportunity.

The Mandela Gold strelitzias were at their finest.

And the aloes too...

... every shade of red, orange and yellow...

... with perfect flower spires.

And the sunbirds were having a feast on the aloe nectar.

We also saw a mongoose!

He was hanging around with a gang of guinea fowl.

The birds seemed unconcerned. There was a bit of a birdie conference going on on the steps. What funny birds they are!

On a grey day some of the flowers looked like jewels.

We saw this strange pod? fruit? I took a note of the name of the plant, but now I've forgotten it!

We swung past the buchu garden. Many fynbos plants flower in winter, so there was lots to see. However, we had to cut our explorations of this section of the garden a bit short as it started to rain.

Before we left we saw a rescue helicopter head up into the misty and wet Skeleton Gorge. We watched anxiously as it came out with a stretcher. It is always scary when someone gets into trouble on the mountain. As we left we saw an impressive number of emergency services (police, ambulances, search & rescue) on the scene but didn't know what had happened. It was with sadness that we read in the news the following day that a young tourist had lost his life when he slipped and fell in the gorge. How awful!

(Photos by Helen)


Caroline said...

A sad event indeed. poor family - what a terrible thing to happen.
I did enjoy your photos of Kirstenbosch. Suddenly looking coourful.

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

I always enjoy visiting Kirstenbosch when I get the opportunity. Awesome place and a real gem in Cape Town's crown. I read about the boy. It is tragic, but people need to understand that they are on a mountain and that it is dangerous.

Helen said...

Accidents on the mountain are a sad reality. I saw today that over the weekend another person else got into trouble, fell 50m and had to be rescued from Woody Buttress. I salute mountain rescue personnel - they do a great job.

And as for Kirstenbosch - I agree that the garden is a treasure. I love it there!