Plants of the fu­ture

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The re­spected Sheilam Cac­tus Gar­den and Suc­cu­lent Nurs­ery near Robert­son fea­tures more than 2 000 suc­cu­lent, cac­tus and cy­cad species – hardy plants for which wa­ter shortage isn’t an is­sue.

Cat­tle browse peace­fully next to more than a thou­sand golden bar­rel cac­tuses, also known as mother-in-law’s cush­ions. Sheilam feels more like a farm than a nurs­ery, although you’ll of­ten spot brides and mod­els on a photo shoot. Here you pretty much stop and bend down ev­ery few me­tres to take in a colour or shape or fra­grance that you don’t en­counter ev­ery day. The nurs­ery started out in 1954 as a suc­cu­lent col­lec­tion and has been in the Sch­weg­mann fam­ily’s pos­ses­sion since 1967. For the past 13 years, Minette Sch­weg­mann has been at the helm here.

“My de­gree in botany from the Univer­sity of Stel­len­bosch comes in handy,” she says, “but I’ve learnt many lessons along the way. I’m here ev­ery day and don’t have time for tea par­ties. All plants in­ter­est

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