Plants of the future
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