Mother City Magic ~Cape Town

Mother City Magic ~Cape Town
Written and edited by Veronica Clark

Monday, 31 October 2011

Klein Optenhorst Part 1

Hi friends from a wintry Cape Town. It's freezing today. So much for spring. This time of the year in and around Cape Town it is "Open Garden" season and my favourite time of all. There are so many gardens to view. So just to remind you that this is not a gardening blog but I had to share some of them here to encourage you to visit a few next time.

On this occasion I drove to the lovely town of  Wellington about 45 minutes away. Well for me and Noddy its 45 minutes. There are mountains to see and photograph, horses in fields of purple, vineyards etc, so you understand.

There were seven open gardens. My first stop as always is Jenny Ferreira's garden,  Klein Optenhorst in the Bovlei Valley. It is a wonderful property and has a small vineyard from which they make Pinot Noir. I have been visiting the garden for years and it never disappoints. There is always something new. The view of the Groenberg Mountains is lovely, there is a dam in front of the beautiful homestead and Jenny has one of  the largest collection of Salivias. Apart from the gorgeous garden there is also a nursery that sells rare and unusual plants and I can never ever resist that!  

The view down the drive...

But, first up lets shop...

The nursery has a charming atmosphere.

Please click here to view the list of plants that is available at the moment.

There is a wonderful vegetable garden.


The roses are absolutely gorgeous and tower above my head.

Parasol pretty...

The colourful salad bar.

Enormous lemons...just the thing for a lemon sorbet.

Epatorium sordidum was looking magnificent. I adore the colour!

Take a closer the powder puffy beauty.

Peeking over the fence from the veggie garden, the trees are magnificent!


As an urn addict I will never pass one by without giving it its dues...

The path meanders past this lovely water feature.

Please note the canopy that the trees make... love it.

The round bed beneath the tree is planted with Aquleigas.

Birds abound in the garden and you must see the weavers over the dam.

There is a wonderful collection of Salvias to be viewed.

Some plants are just to large for my patch so it is wonderful to come here and admire them.

The water feature has a lovely patina and is classic with the two trees standing sentry.


I wish my Abuliton looked like the one below...but it seems to be coming into itself lately . The bloom is a little work of art.

I will be joining Our World Tuesday to share my piece of the Universe here
as well as Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time here
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House here
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer  here

A great big thank you to Jenny for opening her piece of paradise to us each year and for allowing me to share it with you all. For those who read my other blog
I just have to mention that I will post this garden there as well at a later stage, so no worries, you won't miss out!

That's it for now folks. Look out for part two when I will show you the beautiful terraces at the back of the homestead. If you have any problems receiving Mother City Magic by email please let me know at

Live the Cape Town vibe where ever you are



All images are my own and if you wish to use any please advise me and kindly link back to this site. Thanks for stopping by. Please regale me with your comments in the comment box below. Should you not have  google account you can just use the "anonymous" comment option and leave your name and email address. Thank you!


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Darling Town ~ Flowers

Hi to all my friend around our wonderful world... This is the last instalment on the Wild Flowers of Darling. For those of you who missed the previous instalments, please click here

 Well, I followed the tour buses into town purely out of duty, you understand, to get the full picture, so to speak. The fair was in full swing with loud country music blaring and the smell of gastronomic promise hung in the air...  This was mostly my reason for joining in the noise and to view the display of wildflowers in the hall.

Needless to say, that there were hoards of people and most of them were from various old age homes on their Spring outing. I felt a bit out of my age group, but nevertheless, I was equally intrigued by the visitors as with the flower displays.

I found the displays to be lovely, but was  already longing for the sounds of the veld . But, I have to say, that the old folks were all delighted with the displays of flowers, birds and animals since they are not able to traipse about the veld like I could. What with zimmer frames, walking sticks etc being their accessories of choice. I became so engrossed with my Canon that I managed to trip over a Zimmer or two and thankfully managed to duck in time when a gran  used her walking stick as a pointer and prodder to see if the stuffed animals moved!! Imagine the headline... "Blogger knocked unconscious by stick wielding senior citizen"...Oi!!

These were out of Gran's prodding range....

I did find a couple of flowers that I missed in the veld and was delighted...

I always find guinea fowls to be so comical!

There was even a bit of the beach....

At this stage we were joined by a kindergarten group and the dynamics between seniors and juniors became very intriguing as the teachers tried to distract the kids from the senior citizens walking equipment to interest them in the "Wild Life"

Towards the exit there were huge balls of flowers dangling from the roof and I wondered if they were out of the reach of the seniors walking sticks... how ever, I did not wait around to see the impact as the smell of freshly braaied boerewors wafted through the door and I followed obediently!

My beautiful lunch companion chewed on a leaf to illustrate his misery and eyed my lunch with every bite I took!

I could not resist and indulged him, with permission from his owner, in the last morsel and we were friends for life!

I hurried away and into Noddy to race to the Orchid Show at Duckitts Nursery to beat the seniors who were making for their bus with their equipment!

That's it Folks!

I will be joining...

 Our World Tuesday here
Tina's Pic Story for Sunday Higlight here

Live the Cape Town Vibe....Zimmers and all...



All images are my own and if any are out of focus please accept my apologies but survival and ducking was of the utmost importance! Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear from you in the comment box below!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Darling ~ Wild Flowers Reserves

Good morning friends.  It is alarming how the time flies by! There is so much happening in and around Cape Town that I wish there was a few clones of yours truly, racing about with cameras to capture it all !

The Whale Festival, birds, flowers, wine festivals, markets, and...and ..and... But first, let me finish up with the flowers. In my last post on my trip to Darling click here if you missed it, I forgot to mention that the wonderful wine farm Groote Post can be found on the R27 as well as another entrance from the dirt road, called Darling Hills Road that I was on. Well worth a visit and the reds are amazing!! Trust me...

Noddy still had all his wheels and I had made it over the fence, still in one piece, and the tar road was in sight....

The flower reserves are open and no entrance fee is charged. There is a box for donations next to the exit if you feel inclined to contribute...

Do stop and get out to walk in the veld to discover the tiniest of little treasures...

Blue flowers are a magnet for me....

I adore these! The colour is wonderful and I have them popping up in my garden from time to time. Most people view them as weeds here, but to me they are beautiful weeds and I never pull them up!

All along the track folks stop to take a closer look and admire...

The colours are amazing....

...some are very close to the ground....

The weavers have colonised this tree and the beautiful noise was deafening!!!

Insects aplenty!... and I was feeling sticky from the aloe gel by now...and  perspiration... Guess I was not smelling to grand either at this stage...

...but as you can see the insects very very active...

By the way, it is not uncommon to be so engrossed in your photographic efforts, that you stumble upon, or rather over, a fellow photographic enthusiast lying flat on the ground to get the required shot!!!! Um ..well no fine... a good laugh later and  on to some more treasure spotting...

Delicate pink....

I will be joining folks from around the World to show our piece of the Planet on Our World
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer here

Fences are made to climb?

A weaver colony of some proportions with a sound system second to none!!

The annual flowers are slowly coming to an end but the bulbs are all still blooming profusely in the veld. I reluctantly left the flower reserves to follow all those tourist buses into town. Well, I had to endure some discomfort, (hoards of people)  in order to view the orchids and the wildflower display in town.

Well worth the discomfort, I have to say....sigh...after the music of the veld and farms it was on the the music of the fair!!

Show you next time...

Live the Cape Town vibe, where ever you are...



all images are my own