WHERE The Darling Wildflower Show (14 – 16 September) is one of the oldest in SA, where you can see some of the 1 200 species found locally, such as in the Tienie Versveld Wild Flower Reserve (022-492-3361). HOTSPOT West Coast National Park and its aquamarine lagoon get an added attraction when the neighbouring private Postberg Nature Reserve opens its gates to the public in August and September (daily 9am to 5pm) to share its floral bounty and remarkable views. Entry in flower season is R76 pp. The park closes later in September, at 7pm (excluding Postberg). 022-772-2144 BACK ROAD It looks almost like snow when the chincherinchees bloom on the hills between Darling and the R27 near Grotto Bay. Follow the farm road past Groote Post Wines. SPECIALS Clumps of deep pink Darling froetang ( Romulea exima) bloom in the local flower reserves. LOCAL CURIOSITY Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout is Darling’s most exotic bloom, thanks to satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys. A visit to Evita se Perron is a must. evita.co.za
SECRET SPOT The 85-hectare wildflower reserve at Waylands Farm outside Darling (on the R315) has been preserved by generations of conservation-minded farmers. 022-492-2873 EAT HERE Hilda’s Kitchen in Groote Post’s gracious manor house is a tribute to Hildegonda Duckitt, South Africa’s doyenne of country kitchens. Open 12pm to 2pm, Wednesdays to Sundays. Booking essential. 022-492-2825 STAY HERE At Duinepos, each chalet has its own braai, but there’s also a communal braai area down at the pool – nice for groups. From R372 pp sharing. 022-707-9900, duinepos.co.za
One of the joys of spring is exploring the Postberg Nature Reserve on foot, only open to the public in August and September.