Here and there you see these in our village; an initiative of a few artists. Plants are growing in these living sculptures.
Per 1 April we will reside in an heritage house (Anno 1928) in Napier; 50 kilometers drive from Stanford and also in the Overberg region of the Western Cape in South Africa. Besides plenty of administrative ‘issues’ inherent at selling and buying properties there are many other things to think of. Take for example the garden. Luckily we took a precious collection of succulent plants (including cacti) with us almost 5 years ago from our previous residence and I can tell you that investment in the right plants plus some patience bears more fruit than putting money away in the bank despite the fact that we sell the plants 30 to 40% below nursery prices.. The past weeks we sold about 1500 of the approx. 2200 plants and still there are quite a few collector’s items left. Buyers were collectors from all over South Africa from Cape Town to Durban and from there to Pretoria. Even people from the own village had a nice share in the new super kitchen we are planning in Napier (that’s where the plant-money goes into). But it also means a lot of work. The new owners (a lovely German couple) of the house are no gardeners and so all the plants need a new home. Part of the collection (especially very rare caudiciform plants – see picture) move with us and get a place in their pots in the courtyard. It also means that we have to dig all plants up without damaging the roots. This Saturday we get help of a team of experienced gardeners to dig some of the long (pen) rooted plants which are bought by the owners of one of the best restaurants in South Africa for who we designed and created a low maintenance garden some years ago. This will now be extended with the additional collection. Before the end of the month a second truck load of large plants will make their big move to a new home. That leaves us and the dog …. Finding a removal company in the Western Cape that answers emails is like looking for a needle in a haystack so it seems. Most probably we will ask a farmer (like 5 yrs ago) for two staff, a driver and a truck. It’s cheaper and more fun especially when they know there is a BBQ (Braai) waiting as soon as the work is done. Now you wonder why we are selling all those beautiful plants. I will tell you. First of all this house became too small for our businesses; especially the jewellery studio of Yvonne since her work has a wide international interest. She will go from a cramped space of 12 square meter to over 50 square meter. My own modest studio will also be a bit bigger and above all there will be enough space left of a nice gallery (scheduled for 2018/19) next to a spacious living quarter. As there is not much time left for gardening (except every now and then a extraordinary prestigious landscaping project) the new garden in the back will be very minimalistic (root guard and gravel). So the coming weeks you will see less postings (47 archive pictures scheduled; 1 daily) from me but somewhere in AprilMay we catch up again.
First a few pictures of some of the plants we will remove this weekend followed by a gallery of our present house and as finishing touch a few pics (courtesy of estate agents Linda & Derek Souter of Napier Properties) of the Napier property. I promise you however that as soon as we are more or less settled you will see my pictures ….
Despite excellent sales during the past two Sundays we still have a few hundred plants for sale; partly in pots and partly directly from the garden. Amongst these plants are still some collector’s items. Prices are realistic (mentioned in captions and in South African Rand); we don’t deal in bargains. What we don’t sell goes with us to the new address (where-ever that may be 😉 ). This coming Sunday 31 January another sale. Buyers/collectors have to book in advance (greenc -at- omail.co.za) for we work with a time slot of 2 – 2.5 hrs pp.
Besides what’s shown in the pictures there are still many smaller and larger (>2 m high) cacti, agaves and other (mainly African) succulent plants.
Cycads date back a few hundred million years and survived the Dino- and other Saurussen. In Southern Africa alone there are 65 species; in our garden we have seven (all with an official permit) of which two species are threatened with extinction. There is a lively ‘trade’ in cycads; i.e. poaching in nature and exporting them as ferns or palms (what do customs know?). Seemingly economics are prioritised above nature by government officials and that is sad. Anyway yesterday I pictured a leaf of one of those pre-historic plants.