Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a floral
treasure, famous for its beauty and the diversity of the Cape flora
it displays. The setting is magnificent, against the eastern slopes
of Table Mountain, and only 13 km outside of Cape Town.
The estate covers 528 hectares, and only indigenous
South African plants are grown here. A diverse range of fynbos flora
and forest grows naturally on the mountainside, and a number of
trails lead through the natural Garden. The cultivated garden (36
hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly
those from the winter rainfall region of the country.
Plants and Surroundings
The Botanical Society Conservatory displays South
African plants which cannot be grown in the outdoor gardens. The
conservatory features plants from a range of natural habitats, from
high mountain peaks and shady forests to hot, dry deserts. In the
main house, a large baobab tree dominates a display of succulents
from the arid regions of Southern Africa. Special collections of
bulbs, ferns and alpines can be seen in smaller corner houses.
The Peninsula garden features some of the 2 500
plant species found on the Cape Peninsula.
In the Water-wise garden you can learn how to create
a garden which requires far less water and maintenance than a conventional
Close your eyes and let your olfactory sense take
over in the Fragrance garden, which features plants with interesting
textures and scents.
The Medicinal garden demonstrates one of the oldest
uses of plants, and teaches about the medicinal values of South
African plants. The garden was redeveloped and extended to form
the Useful Plants garden.
The oldest part of the Garden is The Dell, a lovely
oasis of tranquility featuring Colonel Bird's Bath, tree ferns and
a variety of shade-loving plants.
The Protea garden is exceptionally spectacular
in winter and spring. During these months the proteas (family Proteaceae),
cone bushes and serrurias are in flower. In early summer, pincushions
provide a colourful display in yellow, orange and red.
The Restio garden focuses on the incredible variety
of texture and form found in the reed family (Restionaceae).
The Kirstenbosch Restaurant caters for breakfast,
lunch and dinner.
Musical Sunset Concerts are held on the lawns on
Sundays during the summer months from December to March.