Portrait of a Fero Cactus

Good Morning! At last, after so many years, I succeeded in producing a flower. I’m a Fero Cactus and my ancestors originate from Mexico. They also name me Fish Hook Cactus and if you look closely you know why.

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Hibiscus

When we moved to Stanford one-and-a-half year ago we were lucky to buy a house that did not need any refurbishing but the garden did. In front there was an awful hedge that had to be removed. That took about a week. We replanted the strip with mainly water wise plants (succulents and drought resistent shrubs and trees).

One of the newcomers along the fence is a hibiscus. A few days ago it produced its first flower. Voila:

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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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The unhappy queen

Karuna has a new hat and Queen Beatrix of Holland is most probably very unhappy for she does not has this one in her collection.

 

P.S.: Rumor has it that after seeing this picture on Facebook yesterday Queen Beatrix went on national television to announce her abdication …..

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Again in the garden

Both, my wife and I, like flowers. Maybe it’s our Dutch background (“Dutch say it with flowers”) but more likely it has to do with the restoration and extension of a historical botanical garden in South Africa that has kept us busy between April 2000 and July 2011. Anyway you find me every day in our garden with my camera and virtually every day there is something new. We live in an area with a subtropical climate (climate zone 10); ideal for succulent plants including cacti. Here are some pictures I shot during the last week or so.

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