28 Mar Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden: The Pride of South Africa
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is a unique botanical garden in Cape Town, South Africa showcasing five of the six distinctive biomes in the region—including savanna, fynbos, and karoo. When the garden was founded in 1913, it became the only botanical garden with the ethos of preserving the nation’s flora, though others have since followed this model. While the park was not founded until the early 20th century, sections of it date back to 1660 when a hedge of wild almond and brambles was planted as a natural protective barrier for the Dutch colony. Some of the hedges still exist within Kirstenbosch as a Provincial Heritage Site.
The land where Kirstenbosch now lies has passed through many hands, and it was bequeathed to the nation in 1902 by Cecil Rhodes. The founder of Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Henry Harold Pearson, was the first director of the garden, taking the position without pay. When he died in 1916, he was buried within the grounds.
Indigenous Plant Cultivation
Kirstenbosch is famous for its exclusive cultivation of indigenous plant life, which gained recent international recognition in 2008 at the Chelsea Flower Show with an exhibit entitled The Heat Is On featuring a quiver tree. Overall, the botanical garden has won 29 gold medals in 33 appearances at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Stone Sculpture Exhibits
In addition to the natural plant life of South Africa, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden features regular exhibits of Zimbabwean stone sculptures from artists associated with the Chapungu Sculpture Park.
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This article is part of our collection of The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World!