23 May 2012

Kirstenbosch: Behind the Garden and Magnificent Golden Mimetes

Date: 29 April 2012

Location: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Walkers: Helen and Dorothy

The Kirstenbosch archive is here.

We went in to the garden at the nursery entrance and took the road to the right signposted Skeleton Gorge. This took us up into the forest.

The trees here are enormous.

And the rocks are covered with lichens and moss.

We emerged from the forest onto the main jeep track above the garden. Cloud was low on the mountain and it was cold and blustery.

We walked in a southerly direction. I always enjoy the silver trees here. They look especially pretty on a windy day when their leaves glint silver as they're ruffled by the wind.

We paused to look out to the southern suburbs and Cape flats...

... and then headed back down into the garden.

It is really very unusual for Kirstenbosch to be windy. In the restio bed all the reeds and stalks were being tossed about in the gusts.

Proteas are in flower now...

... sorts of different varieties.

But the main reason for my visit was to find the Golden Pagoda (Mimetes chrysanthus) in flower. And we were in luck!

The info board informed us this species was only discovered in 1987 (!) and is found in only two locations, Gamkaberg and Perdeberg. It is rare and vulnerable in its natural habitat, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to see it in Kirstenbosch. Isn't it amazing?

Also spotted on our meanderings around the garden: cycad cones...

... gingko leaves just starting to turn yellow...

... and a new sculpture near the tea-room.

We ended our walk with a look-see at the plant nursery.


1 comment:

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

Kirstenbosch and its surrounds really is worth exploring. I think so many people just take the "formal" walkway and miss out on so much else.