Rock Art from Sam

The Indonesian born artist Sam Siyahaya, nowadays living in Holland, painted this rock for us during his stay with us sometime ago. We named it Sammy and Sammy is cool.. People who are acquainted with the Klaas Voogds area near Robertson (our previous place) will recognize the Langeberg Mountains in that part of the Western Cape.

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THE Garden at Fraai Uitzicht 1798

Today I checked the garden we created 2 years ago at Guesthouse Fraai Uitzicht 1798 (4* rated) in the Klaas Voogds Valley near Robertson in the Western Cape, South Africa.

It still looks good despite a little backlog in maintenance (due to ‘awesome busy season’) but at the moment 2 staff members weeding. Soon we plant the ‘filling up’.

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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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On the Road in South Africa

This week we made a road trip via Matjiesfontein, South Africa’s own ‘Grand Canyon’ (even South Africans have to discover this little gem) and Barrydale, to Robertson. In Robertson we did some maintenance in the cactus garden we created last year at Fraai Uitzicht in the Klaas Voogds area; Klaas Voogds East to be more precise. This is one of the rare guesthouses in South Africa where owners and staff succeed in adding an extra dimension to ‘ordinary’ great hospitality. Real Value for money; surely in comparison with the accommodation rates in Cape Town. And now we mention the Mother City; the real South African journey begins 100 km beyond Cape Town. See for yourself. What you see is just an impression and elements from some of the pictures I will use in future ‘Elementary Posters’.

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