Water Lily at Stellenbosch Botanical GardenA dear friend of mine, Wanda of the award-winning South African Eco-directory and blog, Urban Sprout, sent me these photographs she took on a recent visit to the Stellenbosch Botanical Garden. She has very kindly said I may use the photos here on the blog to show our non-South Africa friends this very small but gorgeous garden tucked away in the second oldest town in the Cape. As I was born in Stellenbosch, this picturesque town has a special place in my heart, added to which it is utterly charming, lies surrounded by mountains and is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in South Africa. (In case anyone is interested there is lots more info here: Stellenbosch Attractions).

But the point of this post is not to wax lyrical about the town of my birth, but to share these lovely photographs and some information about the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens. The Stellenbosch Botanical Garden is the oldest university botanic garden in South Africa. The Garden is beautifully maintained and includes three glass houses (tropical-, succulent- and karoo houses), Lotus lily / Koi fish pond, Japanese Garden, Herb Garden and arboretum. The garden is widely regarded as an open-air laboratory and serves as a centre for training, science, conservation and recreation. For this purpose, rare plants have been imported from all over the world. The garden is small and compact, but time and again visitors are surprised by the atmosphere and the variety of plants and plant products found here.

The Photographs (you can click to enlarge them):

Entrance to Stellenbosch Botanical GardenEntrance to Stellenbosch Botanical Garden

Beautiful walkways in the GardensWalkways in Stellenbosch Botanical Garden

The Water fountainFountain in Stellenbosch Botanical Garden

Little boys watching the tadpolesPlaying in Stellenbosch Botanical Garden

Water ‘succulents’Water succulents

Echinacea and bedsEchinacea

Shady tables & chairsSBG

“Coffee shop”Coffee Shop at SBG

Wanda says … “One is immediately transported into a fairyland world of roses, ferns, herbs, medicinal plants, reeds, bamboo, bulbs, trees, shrubs, bromelias, asters, fountains, sculptures, aquatic plants, olives and koi fish. The small garden (only 1.8 hectares) is the oldest university garden in the country and prides itself on being an educational garden, with both indigenous and exotic plants in amongst the specimens at which you can marvel. And it’s a sight for sore eyes.”

So if any of our new friends from Blotanical ever travel to South Africa, you will undoubtedly find yourselves in the Western Cape. A visit to the Cape Winelands is almost mandatory and it would be my privilege to show you the Stellenbosch Botanical Garden. Just let me know!