Kirstenbosch: A visitor's guide, by Colin Paterson-Jones and John Winter
Visitors to Kirstenbosch will find Colin Paterson-Joneses and John Winter's visitor's guide extremely useful as they explore the garden, while ardent Kirstenbosch-lovers will enjoy being reminded of why they love the garden so much, and perhaps be inspired to once again explore those hidden corners of South Africa’s most famous garden.
Kirstenbosch is one of the world's most famous botanical gardens, and its situation on the lower eastern slopes of Cape Town's Table Mountain is spectacular. The gardens, which attract some 750000 visitors a year, are just 40 hectares of an estate that occupies 532 hectares of mountainside. The balance is a nature reserve that supports fynbos, forest and a variety of animals, and extends to Maciear's Beacon, the highest point of the Cape Peninsula. The estate and gardens are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). Kirstenbosch is the largest of SANBI's nine botanical wardens throughout South Africa. The main lawn, established when the area was first cleared in 1913, is a central point of the garden below Castle Rock. The lawns were all originally planted with 'Buffalo', a hardy coastal grass. However, 'Kikuyu', an aggressive grass originally from the highlands of Kenya has gradually taken over many of the lawned areas. In 1916 the pond was created in the main lawn, fed by water that flows from Colonel Bird's Bath through the Dell and down the centre of the main lawn. Some of the aquatic plants that can be seen in the pond in summer are the Cape waterlily with flat leaves that float on the surface and with large, blue, star-like flowers; Nymphoides indica, which produces small yellow flowers; and vlei lily Crinum campanulatum with tall spikes bearing pink flowers. Two large oak trees on the main lawn are remnants from the days when Kirstenbosch was still a farm. In late winter and early spring, the lawns are splashed with colourful oxalis blooms of pink and white. The Arboretum, also known as the Enchanted Forest, was established in 1994, using local trees and shrubs as the basic framework, among them Bastard saffronwood Cassine peragua, Ironwood Oka capensis, White stinkwood Celtis africana and Wild Olive Oka europaea subsp. africana. The largest tree in the forest is Aloe barberae, and there are also Rothmannia species with their fragrant flowers, as well as Heywoodia lucens, which can grow to an impressive height of 25 metres. The forest's situation above Mathews Rockery on a warm northern slope with deep soils explains why trees and shrubs from the summer-rainfall regions of southern Africa grow so successfully here. Many pathways crisscross the forest, allowing visitors access to the entire area. On the north-eastern edge of the forest is a remnant of Van Riebeeck's hedge, its enormous stems sprawling on the ground. The forest floor is vibrant for many months of the year. Clivia miniata blooms in spring, followed by Crinum moorei, Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae and a Streptocarpus groundcover, ensuring a rich display of colour throughout the summer. Many species of Plectranthus, with pale blue, white and pink flowers, create a vivid show in autumn. Serious consideration is being given to constructing an elevated walkway through the forest canopy. This will create views over the garden and provide another dimension for those visiting this special place. (...)
This is an excerpt from the guide: Kirstenbosch: A visitor's guide, by Colin Paterson-Jones and John Winter.
Title: Kirstenbosch: A visitor's guide
Authors: John Winter; Colin Paterson-Jones
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781775840220 / ISBN 978-1-77584-022-0
Softcover, 21 x 28 cm, 32 pages, throughout colour photos and maps
Paterson-Jones, Colin und Winter, John im Namibiana-Buchangebot
A colourful and highly informative visitor's guide to South Africa's extraordinary park, Kirstenbosch.
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