From profession to hobby

Between April 2000 and July 2011 me and Yvonne owned Soekershof in Robertson. We restored and extended this historical botanical garden (with the oldest cactus -Anno 1910- of South Africa) and ended up with one of the world’s largest outdoor collections (>2600 species/subspecies/varieties/etc) of succulent plants including cacti. The garden was globally recognized in botanical/horticultural circles (except seemingly in South Africa). We were very honored when all the VIPs of de Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (USA) spend a day with us on their tour along all known South African botanical gardens and even more honored when they published about their South Africa tour and unanimously declared Soekershof as “Best Garden Experience” in South Africa. It was hard work; 7 days per week from 6AM to 10PM and all together we had in those 11 years 2 weeks holiday. We even succeeded in maintaining the first blog in South Africa with guidelines about water wise gardening with succulent plants. The blog is still online and still foresees in a need although we stopped submitting new items since the sale of the farm. The new owners (German/Italian couple) are not really gardeners. The garden, still beautiful though, serves now as ‘decoration’ for their guest house and restaurant but the number of different plants has strongly declined. Plants need care; especially water wise plants. Anyway with our removal we took our private collection of (merely) rare plants with us to Stanford. We still love gardening but also a more quiet “Quality of Life”.

Here a visualised update of flowers in our garden (most of our ‘secrets’ are small and hidden….):

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Just some shots along the lagoon

I can’t tell enough how privileged we are to live in Stanford (“Best Village Destination in South Africa”; for all who dare to discover the real South Africa beyond Cape Town). One of the ‘attractions’ nearby is the lagoon which is not only a bird lovers paradise but also a place to consider by travelers who prefer quality of life.

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Toes

Photographing toes is a subject with endless possibilities. There is even a blog dedicated to toe pictures and this blog inspired me last Sunday to picture a few toes moving around along the Grotto Beach in nearby Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa.

The first toe subject is that of the “Beach Boys” (life guards) and the second are the toes of our dear friend Beatrice Pooke (best Masseuse around and this is not exaggerated) who came with us from Stanford for a long walk  along the beach and the lagoon.

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Horses in the mist

It rarely happens that I go out without my camera to take pictures where-ever I go (except shopping and parties). Yesterday we were at the Grotto Beach in Hermanus (near our village in South Africa) and I shot some images in the mist. The next days you’ll see more pictures I took during this hike along the beach and the lagoon.

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