Books! Web sites! Bottomists!
South African Wildflower Books:
The Gladiolus of Southern Africa will do the trick if you're hankering for gorgeous botanical illustrations and everything there is to know about glads in the wild.
Wildflowers of the Fairest Cape is a soft-cover coffee table book with photos beautiful enough for any flower lover, and intense botanical notes if you're so inclined.
The South African Wildflower Guide series (there are at least 11!) is a must if you're heading over there, or a trip if you're the armchair gardener/traveler type. I don't think you can get them in this country but you can order them from Silverhill Seeds.
The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs is going to be one of the hot new books of the year for South African flora freaks. Due date later this fall.
Shameless Commerce Books:
(Yes, I'm pushing the books of my bottomist buddies because I delight in owning every one.)
The Explorer's Garden
by Dan Hinkley
Gardening Success with Difficult Soils
by Scott Ogden
by Tom Peace
Passionate Gardening and The Undaunted Garden
by Lauren Springer
Shopping for South African Plants:
Silverhill Seeds, based in Cape Town, is without equal. I say that without prejudice, honest, even though its proprietors Rod and Rachel Saunders were our tour guides.
For bulbs (vs. bulb seeds), I've heard good things about Green Goblin Nursery in KwaZulu-Natal, and its proprietor Greg Pettit.
Closer to home, Jim Duggan Flower Nursery offers an impressive, O.K. mind-boggling bulb list.
And Odyssey Bulbs of Berrien Springs, Michigan just happens to offer that delectable angel fish of a flower, Spiloxene capensis.
If you don't already know High Country Gardens, what are you waiting for? After you've drooled over the plant list, check out Proprietor David Salman's article on cold-hardy South African plants. (Yes, he is one of The Bottomists).
I know you know Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, WA. Plantsman and fellow bottomist Dan Hinkley offers absurdly wonderful species from around the world.
One more plug for a traveling buddy: Starr Nursery, owned by Greg Starr, is the place to shop mail-order for aloes.
And If You're Still Jonesing For South African Flora:
When in England, put a visit to The Garden House, at the top of your list ("...the best garden in Britain..." say the English press). It's the personal wonderland of fellow bottomist Keith Wiley, who along with artist Ros Wiley, captured an abundance of African landscape ideas and translated them into parts of the garden.
Visit the country's Botanical Gardens, where you can see the Plant of the Day, the Plant of the Week, and all the hotties from A-Z!
The African Garden is a British Web site and a labor of love, dedicated to the conservation, culture and photography of South African plants.
Also in Our Plants of South Africa Series:
A Journey to the Cape Floral Kingdom
How to grow South African Bulbs
Uh Oh, Here Come the Holiday Snaps
South Africa at Froggy Bottom
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