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Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

A botanical garden is a special type of place. It’s a garden but it exists for scientific purposes and not for beauty. Yet I think that most people visiting a botanical garden expect to see a beautiful place, a landscaped garden where plants are displayed with artistry. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden achieves both of these…

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The Fynbos, a unique community of plants

South Africa’s national flower is the protea. Most of us are familiar with the king protea — it’s available in florist’s shops around the world. But finding it in the wild is a totally different experience. Wild king protea growing in the fynbos, east of Cape Town. The area around Cape Town, South Africa, is…

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A Breakfast of African Trees

For a week I’ve been out of the loop — no internet, no email, no phone. (It’s been frustratingly wonderful.) Instead of posting blogs, I’ve been touring game parks in southern Africa, seeing amazing animals and even more amazing trees and shrubs. Here’s a sample of some of the vegetation — a tasty buffet, as…

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Following my Tree

I was hoping that on this, my second ‘follow a tree’ post, the Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’ would have shed its winter coat.  After all, the first week of April is over. But that hasn’t happened. Along with all the individuals I met up with, wandering around Montreal last week, (and wrote about here) his…

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Season’s Wrappings

In a cold climate, even the trees wear coats. A few days ago, on the 15th day of spring, this elderly woman was putting a brave face on it. Is it just me, or do others see a resemblance to Gertrude Jekyll? These little guys, though, looked so dejected I wanted to give them a…

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