Saturday, June 28, 2008

Madikwe Gardens - An Oasis in the Bushveld





Whether you have been on safari, browsed through a coffee table book or watched a African wildlife television program - this is the African bushveld we all know and love. On the Eastern side of Madikwe there is an oasis that is a stark contract to the semi-arid conditions which houses Africa's natural heritage.





I have, in the past, heard about the Madikwe Gardens but as it was to far to travel from the West of Madikwe and the fact that it is on a private concession made it very difficult to follow up and see what the story is.




Adele and I have for the last few weeks been helping out at Morukuru which is on the same property as Madikwe Gardens and this gae us the perfect opportunity to visit the Gardens.




Amazing.




The old couple who take care of the Gardens, Frikkie and Gerda, have been living on the property for more than thirty years. Originally their own propety, they recently sold the Gardens to an American who asked them to stay and 'manage' the property.




When speaking to the old couple, who are almost eighty years old, knows exactly when each tree was planted as they took the Gardens from what you see in the first image...







To this...










The talk with passion about how they planted all the plants, except for three trees, from seeds or seedlings.  Amazing!  They also have a vegetable garden which feeds about fifty people a week.

 



Adele and I went to visit the Gardens to walk around and try and capture some of the beauty of this oasis in the middle of the African bush.


































































When walking through the Gardens it feels more like you are in  tropical jungles then in Southern African bushveld.  They have been able to accomplish this by pumping water from the nearby Marico river and as a result of the successful expansion of the gardens they have had to increase the size of the fence around the property five times.





It was an amazing experience to walk around the Gardens and get the history of this beautiful place.





Next Blog will be the Weekly High Five and I am still looking through all the images, more than 100, before I upload!  Make sure to check back soon!





As always I look forward to hearing from you!





Gerry

1 comment:

Ner said...

i simply love Gerry van der Walt's macro shot of the dew. (that's dew, right?) i love water elements in pictures. perfect ^^