Join us on a Tour of A South African Highveld Garden
We are so blessed to stay in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, where the climate let’s us enjoy Mother Nature at her best. I’d love you to join me on a tour of our Highveld garden. P.S. There are lots of photos so please stay a while and just absorb nature’s beauty.
And into the garden I go, to lose my mind and find my soul
The back garden – a shady paradise
So where does one start? Our garden is pretty well established and almost everything grows. We have lots of trees so shade-loving plants, like this water-wise indigenous Clivia. She grows wild in the forested woodland areas in South Africa and thrives in our garden.
A friend of ours, who sadly passed away, cultivated them and gave us some very rare yellow and peach seedlings. Damn, I miss his smile and his love of all things natural.
Another indigenous beauty we have in the garden is the Agapanthus. They have strap-like leaves and produce beautiful balls of purple or white flowers in summer. We’re lucky enough to have a rare hybrid that carries a mix of purple and white flowers.
The large Wild Iris is quite common in many gardens in South Africa. A perennial, evergreen plant that grows up to 1.5m can be found in full sun or partial shade. Ours is quite happy under a Queen palm.
We also have Siberian Iris growing. I honestly don’t know which is prettier. The white, yellow, and purple flowers of our indigenous Wild Iris or the delicate brown and purple coloring of the Siberian Iris.
Mother Nature is a master and combining colors in ways we could never replicate. Like this gorgeous Petrea and yellow Bougainvillea that have intertwined themselves around our fence.
Or the pastel shades of the Shell Ginger flowers with her throat of yellows and reds.
Or the gorgeous flower of the Aloe arborescens…….
And the pure white and red of the Bleeding Heart in Spring that changes to a deep wine red in Autumn before she loses her leaves and takes a break.
The indigenous Vaderlandswilg (roughly translated as the Willow of our Fatherland) is one of the biggest trees in our garden. She heralds each season by cloaking herself in the most beautiful colors. In Spring her leaves emerge as soft, pale green buds. In Summer she wraps herself in dark shady greens and in Autumn she dresses up in yellow, orange, and red hues. She’s our cat’s favorite climbing spot and the perfect place to cultivate our baby Staghorn ferns.
Talking about Staghorns, here’s the mommy plant.
Isn’t she stunning? And the little musical frog. I don’t know about you but I really love weird and wacky surprises in a garden. Like the chain of hearts, we made from card stock and aluminum tape.
Or the mossy pillow planters we made for our garden bench.
Or maybe a giant metal bird standing next to the Wendy house.
That little plant with the pink flowers in the hanging basket in the photo is called a Lidroos in Afrikaans. You probably know her as a Christmas cactus and every year she’ll be covered in the most beautiful salmon-pink blooms.
We call her bigger sister a Bladroos and we have quite a few of those in the garden too. Her orange flower is as big as my hand.
And this gorgeous cerise one lives under the weeping mulberry in our front garden.
The front garden
Our front garden only gets morning sun and lies on the frost belt so we need to be careful what we plant. But the Strelitzia Reginae or Bird of Paradise doesn’t seem to mind the frost. Native to South Africa, they prefer full sun and rich and well-drained loamy soil. Ours seems fine with a little morning sun and produces flowers all year long.
Another beauty that doesn’t mind the frost is one of my favorites; the Iceberg rose. She’s low maintenance and just seems to do her own thing no matter where you plant her. We have a few growing around our DIY drum water feature …..
And there’s a whole bunch growing in full sun along our western wall.
What would a garden be without roses 😀
There’s a family of Vlakvarkies (Bush Pigs) just below the roses.
This beauty, commonly referred to as the Icecream bush because of the pink and white splashes on the leaves, is stunning.
She has the most adorable, teeny tiny flowers that attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
Birdlife in our highveld garden
And the birds. OMW the birdlife in the garden – Weavers, Red Bishops, Cape White Eyes, Paradise Fly Catchers, Bulbuls, Louries, Sunbirds, and Fire Finches.
Oh and doves. Lots of doves 😀 At least once a month a Cape Eagle Owl perches on our roof and greets us with an HU-hu-hu. We love making feeders for our feathered friends too. Like this double-decker version that hangs near one of our water features.
There’s even a cute bird bath so our feathered friends can take a dip when the weather gets really hot.
There’s a Swallow family that builds a nest under the eves. Meet Spikey, the young one who tried to fly before he was ready. He survived BTW and has made many little babies of his own 😉
The fae folk in the Highveld garden
Birds aren’t the only winged creatures that live in our garden. We have lots of fairies too. But shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. They’re quite shy 😉 If you’re really quiet you may spot them relaxing under the Ficus bonsai …..
…. or having a picnic under the mushrooms.
We often see them chatting to the branch man ……
….. and they love doing a rain dance on this tree stump.
The littlest ones really enjoy playing hide and go seek and seeing how high they can fly without wings on the swing we made for them.
But we don’t just have fairies 😀 There’s a wood nymph hiding in amongst the leaves ……
and a curious goblin too.
He watches over the garden and makes sure everything is eco-friendly and balanced. From our succulent mushroom planters ….
….. to our mossy mannequin, I love our highveld garden.
And if I’m not mistaken, I think I can hear that goblin tell me to stop sitting in front of my laptop and get outside. So if you’re looking for me I’ll be wandering around in the garden 😉 And if you enjoyed the tour of our highveld garden, don’t forget to pin it so others can come and visit too 😉
Thank you so much for taking the time to join me on a tour through our Highveld garden. See you again soon.
24 thoughts on “Join us on a Tour of A South African Highveld Garden”
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Thank you, Linda. I’m so happy to hear that
Just beautiful. I always imagined the highveld of South Africa to be dry and full of thorn trees. 😅
You’re not wrong Jeanne. The natural highveld does appear dry with lonely throne trees dotted all over the place 😉
Michelle your garden can rival any of the greek gardens. It is full of such a big variety of plants. You must definitely have a green thumb because they would not survive if I were in charge. And the artwork just adds to the beauty of your oasis!
Thank you Mary, that’s such a lovely compliment. We are really very lucky with our garden, she’s become self sustaining and because we have such lovely weather in South Africa we tend to spend alot of time outdoors so having a pretty garden helps.
Michelle, what a stunning garden! I love it’s beauty, everywhere you look there is another gorgeous plant or flower. There are so many blooms that I’ve never seen before, and they are a work of art. It’s amazing to me how each flower and plant has it’s own architecture and style. I love the way you have added pieces of the unexpected here and there, that bird sculpture is incredible!
Thanks for the tour, now I think I’ll go with you on your walk and enjoy the beauty you’ve created!
You may come walk in our garden anytime you want to Nikki. Thank you so much for the beautiful comment
Such a lovely tour of your garden, I know South Africa is a beautiful country with very nice climate. I lived n Pretoria for one year wth my son and lived many years in Botswana.
Hello Sadhna, the lady who makes the most beautiful Indian food. Thanks for coming to say hi.
I want to spend a day exploring your garden! The flowers are beautiful, and I love all the little surprises. It looks like a very relaxing place to spend time.
Yay, thank you Tara. Our garden is definitely our little piece of heaven. She’s suffering a little bit at the moment with the heat and water restrictions but they’re predicting rain so let’s hope.
OH my goodness that Spikey…my heart! So cute. haha. Thanks for this tour. I love gardens and love seeing how they are done around the world.
Isn’t he just the cutest thing and his mom and dad were so worried about him.
What a beautiful, well-established garden! A few of those native plants are VERY popular in Australia, but I’ve never seen the blue/white agapanthus before (and want some). I’m impressed by the huge staghorn fern, and I also have a cat that prefers an actual tree over cat-trees.
Aaaaawwww Steph, thank you for coming to say Hi 🙂 I must say I really enjoyed seeing all the things you’ve done in your garden and the floating buffet you guys made is just brilliant!!
Visiting from Hometalk. Your garden is really beautiful.
Welcome!!!! So glad you clicked through for a visit. It makes my day when people come say hi, even anonymously 😀
Michelle, thank you for the tour of your beautiful garden in South Africa! What enchanting surroundings. Love all the flowers especially that bleeding heart in the spring. It looks like the birds like your garden as well. That little swallow is too cute!! 🙂
😀 We are so fortunate, I love watching how the seasons change in our garden and the swallows have started moving north so if you see Spikey please send him our love.
What an incredibly beautiful garden and the pictures are stunning
Thank you Anon. Most of the close up photos were taken by my hubby. He’s super talented. Thanks again for visiting our garden.
Exquisite! You have some beautiful plants, they look really healthy, I love your ‘ornaments’ – in fact it is all absolutely stunning!
Thank you Valerie, our garden is our refuge . Give me a big garden and a small house and I’m in heaven.