Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Van Den Berg Garden Village...A Remarkable Place!

A while ago, my trusty camera and I spent a couple of hours viewing a rather eclectic (and new to me) nursery, up close and personal.

The two of us had a wonderful time, unable to decide what to photograph and returned home with well over 300 pictures. This window frame has been propped into a gap in a hedge...a clever idea, I thought!

I've been wanting to upload a post featuring this rather delightfully quirky place, but have stymied myself, not knowing which of the many pictures I  have to choose from, to share!

I really do want to show you as many as possible in order to give you a feel for this lovely nursery, but I don't want to risk overwhelming you!

I know my lengthy posts probably have that effect! Anyway, those of you who dislike long, drawn out posts packed full to the brim with far too many pictures, now's your cue to bow out gracefully.

Any hangers on who are prepared to test the waters, as it were, are welcome to leave at any time you find things becoming tedious.

If anyone stays to the bitter end, I might just have to think of a way to reward you. Anyone have an old, tin trunk? Turn it into a water garden!

There has been no real method to what I've selected for uploading here...once again, I've simply applied my trusty technique of eeny-meeny-miney-mo!

So, as you may have noticed, there's no logic or order to the sequence...aren't these "soccerball heads" a novel idea?

Nevertheless, I think that it works with this particular nursery...

Because, although it has been laid out fairly methodically, so much grabs ones attention, simultaneously...

So that ones eyes (and companion camera) are quite literally gazing and pointing in several directions at once!

Do you see what I mean? Look at this wonderful hanging garden, for instance...this Nurserywoman is very big on hanging gardens! She tries out all kinds of different techniques paired with excitingly different plantings. It's her "speciality" and she's been doing it for 30 years!

Hey! Where have you gone? Ah! Admiring the rusty wirework, I see...

Oh, do look over here, quickly! A beautiful Yellow-breasted Weaver is eyeing this huge Staghorn fern...I wonder if it is considering its crown a good nesting spot?

A dried pomegranate shell, used as a planter? This you've got to see...

But not before I show you what I've found right here...come and have a look! I know Alison will be ever so excited!

What an unusual place for this little hen to have elected to lay her eggs. Bet if I hadn't pointed her out to you, you'd have missed her completely!

Wonder who this old gent is, seated in amongst the Azalea and Orchid display over here?

No, I don't think this African carving will easily fit into your hand luggage!

Here's a novel idea for putting an old mirror to use in the garden...turn it into a water feature!

Everywhere we turn, something catches the eye. I love the extensive use of driftwood hitched up amongst the rafters. This bit is home to a witch, just in time for Halloween! We don't celebrate it here, but I just had to add this for my Northern Hemisphere readers, especially Mona!

Here's a gardening assistant with a difference! I wonder if she'd help Friko out of her compost-turning plight this year?

This blog would not be worthy of its name if we didn't focus on gnarled and knotty pieces of driftwood and roots, bleached and aged by the sun...isn't this a beauty?

Ah, I see you've rushed outdoors to gaze at the succulents, Diane.

Is she singing in ecstasy, or snoring loudly, I wonder? I bet Melynda would have a good take on this!

There is a whole Greenhouse dedicated to this nursery's extensive Orchid collection...if you beg hard enough, I'll take you inside in a subsequent post.

Right now, we'll stick with enjoying the sunshine for those folk  who live in the UK and those who live in Canada, since they are already getting quite chilly with the rapid approach of winter.

This bust is huge and carved from stone, so don't even think about trying to get it into your suitcase!

These Bonsai trees would also be far too tricky to transport! Orchid is so lucky, because she lives in the Land of Genuine Bonsai!

Here's a lovely, cool, quiet spot to gather your thoughts. Any takers? Dee?

This succulent covers itself in the most delicate fairy-like sprays of softly hued pink flowers at this time of year.

They are in stark contrast to the thick, thorny, fleshy leaves of the Aloes.

Speaking of thorns, have you seen the size of these on the Acacia overhead? The birds absolutely love these trees, as I can't imagine what foe wishes to impale themselves on these impressive needles!

Just in case you've forgotten where you are...a quick reminder! Just beware of the trumpeting elephant in the garden!

In these times of waterwise gardening, succulents are all the rage. I thought we'd find you here, Tom! Diane was wanting to buy you a gift at another succulent display way back over there!

Here's another bench to rest those aching feet. I'm always drawn to benches. I just have to try them all out for size and comfort. Rita and Sandie, you might want to rest up a bit?

This one is pretty, but definitely needs a nice puffy cushion! Jenny, you're so good at sewing, perhaps you'd like to knock one together, quickly?

A pretty display of mixed plants. The Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) are indigenous to South Africa. I think they are quite magnificent!

If I am not mistaken, these are Cabbage trees. I wonder why, since they don't look like cabbages to me.

Another bench tucked away in this hidden corner of the nursery. I know Pam won't be needing it...I see she's walking briskly around in those shoes of hers, with Tucker straining at his leash.

There are so many bowls and vessels containing water carefully tucked in amongst the plants throughout this nursery...the birds clearly feel very much at home and welcome, here!

And since it was early Spring on the day I visited, I had to include these Anemones.
I really do wish I could show you a lot more, but I suspect you'd never visit again! I doubt I've even come close to doing justice to the talents of this Nurserywoman, but I really did enjoy the time I spent there and look forward to further visits.


  1. What a peaceful treasure you found!

  2. Wowwwwwwwwwww this is great !! what a beautiful place to be !!!...love from me...xxx..

  3. I just never get tired of looking at your pictures. They are truly beautiful. I love that gnarly driftwood root. It took on a life of its own.

  4. This is a fantastic post and you have put so much work into it.

    I loved the photos they were just beautiful, sunny, bright and cheery.

    The highlight for me was the pic of the gnarled and knotty pieces of driftwood and roots - gorgeous.

    Thanks so much for taking me on this wonderful visit.

    Fiona z

  5. You and I are both enthusiastic about our blogs and it is revealed in the length of our posts, Desiree. As the old advertising slogan for king size cigarettes used to state, "It's not how long you make it, it's how you make it long." I took the entire journey with you through this enchanting nursery and loved how you worked in my name, Thisisme's, and the names of other friends along the way. That was a nice touch. It was delightful to see such a busy display. Nurseries that have everything neat and tidy and the plants displayed in rows on tables are boring compared to this. I was amazed by those huge chunks of twisted driftwood, especially the one cloaking a witch. The yellow bird was beautiful and I wish I had that trumpeting elephant and some of the other statuary to add interest to my own garden. I have a bird of paradise in front of my home that grew to a height of 15 feet before it was hurt by a frost one winter. It survived but had to be cut way back. I never saw a mirror used as a water feature but it's a great idea as long as they keep water running on it. I had a pet finch that was killed when it flew full speed into a mirror. What a wonderful post - so colorful, so many surprises, and excellent commentary from you our host. Thank you, Desiree!

  6. Lovely pictures - and beautiful flowers. I long for the spring and summer already. Enjoy your evening!

  7. I would NEVER skip out on one of your posts for fear of missing something totally delightful! You provide much eye candy for the beholders and a poetic voice for the readers! I will never tire of your pictures of how many people see art in found objects in your neck of the world! I LOVE that! It truly bothers me that we have so much 'stuff' just sitting around and there y'all go and have so many wonderful folks who can see art in the 'stuff'---excellent! Today's post had me also fascinated with the trees--the cabbage trees and the Acacia and the ones above the bench where you asked Rita and Sandie if they wanted to rest up a bit? What are those? Tucker and I would love joining you on any of your ventures and we would even sit on the bench with you...but just for a minute---you're right about the shoes...they don't like to sit still for long! LOL

  8. Awwww.. a witch for me? :) You are so darned sweet! I loved the tour..so..when can we go inside and see the ...oh..darn..what was it? Orchids? Yes..that was it!
    I love benches also. Especially while touring a lovely and interesting place like this..and now the question..DID you BUY anything?? Hmmmm??? :)
    Hugs and love,
    Oh..by the way..I was sort of concerned about my "Tale"..that some would NOT like it. I always worry about things like that.

    Those (like me) that love this fantastic blog, will never worry about the length. I take my time when I come here...

  9. This indeed is a place for that many pics. I find it magical and mystical. I would love to explore it. The chicken nest is very cool I love the driftwood it is massive and very beautiful. This looks like more than a nursery it looks like an adventure in a visual paradise. B

  10. Oh Desiree, What an awesome nusery. I am excited for you to be starting your spring as we are just going into our fall. I can't wait to see your garden as spring progresses!

  11. Amazing place...wonderful flowers. behind this beautiful things are amazing people who really take alot of effort to make it a perfect weekend gateway.

    Looking by this pictures give me a breather..I feel like I'm with you guys( you and your perfect camera)

    Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures:)

  12. MONA: Actually, no, I didn't buy anything at all, although I was tempted.

  13. PAM: The trees you queried are Yukkas.

  14. What a fabulous nursery/garden village. I loved all the photos. It is so hard to choose photos to post when you have so many. It takes me hours of umming and ahring over all the shots from holidays. The text was good too the way you incorporated the names wit their interests.

  15. I love nurseries that have chickens and ducks and other critters in them! I used to go with my Gramma to one in particular that was so much fun, 'cause you'd never know just what leaf they'd be hiding under or around what bend they might flap their wings around! I love they used a witch even though y'all don't celebrate Halloween...who knew?! The trumpeting elephant was so huge! Thanks again Des for a lovely tour de force!

  16. I could have looked at all 300 of them. GORGEOUS. What a great nursery - it was a lot bigger then it looked from the front.

    Loved your photos and story. Loved the knots in the driftwood...


  17. I love the driftwood, but I especially liked the water feature mirror.

    You're right, I wouldn't have spotted the hen unless you'd pointed her out!

  18. What a great post about an amazing nursery! I loved it, every photo. I kept trying all day yesterday to load it, and couldn't get the pictures to show up (so frustrating!) I will never tire of your long posts. Thanks for the shout-out, and the picture of the chicken! I loved it! That trumpeting elephant is cool, and the driftwood too. Oh, I just loved everything!

  19. really beautiful, and yes, very eclectic! :)

  20. When it comes to your posts, more is always better Des.. :D :D
    What an absolutely delightful garden you've showed us around! When someone says nursery, I always think of tiny little plants in tinier containers arranged in tidy little rows. But this was such a beautiful, artistic and fun place.. :D :D
    Fairy tales are born in places like this. I so wish I could visit!! It's amazing.. :) :)
    Loved every single one of those pics!! Particularly the animals that keep peeking out through the grass.. :D Wouldn't mind a longer tour next time either.. :D

  21. Hi Desiree, I always find nurseries like this with lots of displays very inspiring.There are many garden display and design ideas in your pictures. My favourite however was the photo of the driftwood. I stopped and marvelled at it for a few extra moments.

  22. What a wonderful wander through this amazing nursery! That huge piece of driftwood is wonderful!

  23. Dearest Desiree,
    I'm SO sorry my really belated comment!!!
    Wow, what a wonderful nursery and garden; where never tire us to SEE especially with your pictures♡♡♡
    And as Mr.Shady said, I really respect the way you kindly appear our name in your post!!!
    My goodness, I shouldn't miss what you said "There is a whole Greenhouse dedicated to this nursery's extensive Orchid collection......". Oh,I beg hard, hard, my friend!!!!!!
    I truly AM looking forward to your subsequent post of Orchid♬♬♬
    Much LOVE and hope you will have a wonderful weekend in your lovely place, Orchid*

  24. The lady appears to be slumbering my friend! lol So a loud resounding snore must be the object! I love these pictures. I think they might be some of my favorites to date. I loved the wood structure that makes one think of a jungle gym. My kids would love climbing all over that. Ok I lied. I would. I would sit on the top and read a book in the sun. mmm feeling content just thinking about it. :)

  25. This reaaally makes me want spring to be here! What beautiful photos!

  26. Ah, so much of greenery and natural beauty with the lovely colourful flowers to give company...I really envy your space...beautiful captures!

  27. Oh the tedious drudgery of enjoying your photographs. Puhleeze. Thanks for the show. Loved it and thanks for the camera info too. Hugs!

  28. Did you have to do that? Show us the treasures available in sunny SA when we are already feeling the cold?

    I have a good mind to come over and burn all your driftwood!

    And no, the assistant you have found for me looks far too feeble to help with my compost. A nice, burly chap would fit the bill.

  29. What a lovely series of pictures. I especially like the driftwood and the anemones. I have not seen anemones in gardens around here – they really are pretty flowers.

  30. So beautiful.I am new to your blog .

    Follow each other.

  31. As I said I loved the previous post with all the flowers but honestly this is what I like most about your ramblings. All the interesting statues and wood shapes. This was totally amazing and I can't wait to show these to Aunt Katie. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

  32. wOw!! what a magical place!! i LoVE the driftwood and the mass of gnarly roots...and the old rusted piece...but my favorite is the baboon!! beautiful pictures...so much to see!!

  33. OH...and i forgot to mention...the water mirror!!! like something out of Alice in Wonderland...loved that too!

  34. Truly a place to inspire one to do something special in your own garden.


I would love to hear from you!