Mary in South Africa

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Oh, my aching muscles...

Veltheimia bracteata--one of the beautiful bulbs of South Africa.

CLICK HERE to jump to my South Africa travelogue


My quest to go to South Africa began years ago and as these things often happen, it was a meandering series of events that took me there. The seeds of my journey, literally, came from Cape Town.

Over the years, I've grown to appreciate the versatility and beauty of bulbs. They are usually easy to grow, have a specific season of interest, and are perfect for squeezing in between the trees, shrubs and perennials that populate my garden. There are bulbs that bloom in spring, summer, fall and winter, allowing me to have spots of color in my garden regardless of the season.

My interests have drifted away from th tulips and daffodils of my childhood to the world of South African bulbs. I began my research of these fascinating plants in 2003.

I found suppliers of bulbs from South Africa to be scarce, so I set out to find seeds in order to grow plants for my small collection. I was pleased to find the website of Silverhill Seed Company, a family-run business in the Cape Town suburb of Kenilworth.

The hobby greenhouse that I enjoyed for "puttering" was pressed into service on a scale that I never imagined. Strange, wonderful plants have emerged--some have rewarded me with flowers; others are still years away from blooming.

In the late summer months of 2005, I was happy to find a new Silverhill Seed Company catalog in my mailbox. When I sat down to read it one evening, a colorful brochure dropped out--it was a brochure about the IBSA Symposium. Reading the brochure, I was instantly filled with longing to see the plants that I appreciate in my garden in their natural habitat. I feel fortunate that I was able fulfill this dream.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and reading about my adventures in South Africa.


South African plants I grow

South Africa is spectacularly beautiful. The geography, people, plants and animals are unique and wonderful. If you have the opportunity to--go!

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