Various sections of the garden depict South African natural habitats, from a savannah where wildflowers, including gladioli, run rampant to the Dell, a forested area where cycads and tree ferns abound. There’s also a huge conservatory where tender species—notably a giant baobab—are grown.
But not all the plantings are in naturalized settings. There’s a 350-year-old hedge, a fragrance garden and a water-wise garden, among others. I was particularly stunned by the Protea gardens. We’re used to paying a fortune for individual blossoms of this spectacular flower; here they’re huge shrubs covered with dozens of blooms each.
Wildlife abounds at Kirstenbosch too: I saw sugarbirds, sunbirds and guinea fowl wandering at will.
If ever I do go back, I promise myself I’ll hike up Skeleton Gorge to the top of Table Mountain. I’m told it’s a strenuous three-hour trek, but well worth it. Imagine the view!
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