Pretoria does not have any striking geographical features. It is situated on the highveld or high grasslands of the interior of South Africa. Lying in a hollow, surrounded by rocky hills, the environs are pleasant but not spectacular. However, it is a city of garden lovers and March is the month of open gardens on display. I visited two last Saturday. This new and most imposing house is found in a new upmarket estate, Cornwall Hill. The latter is a development, which like all similar ventures, has the potential of destroying more of the natural environment. Fortunately in this case the owners limited their formal garden to a small perimeter around the house. The remainder of the huge estate has been more or less left to showcase the indigenous grasses, shrubs and flowers.
Meandering stone paths take you through the rocky grassland. At first I felt let down. Was this all that I had come to see? Then I began to discover the treasures.
A succulent growing in a crack of multi-coloured rock.
Plectranthus spreading at the foot of a knobbly rock whose grooves were filled with spiders' webs and tufts of grass.
Grasses turning to seed.
Indigeous pelargoniums among the stones.