Sunday, November 20, 2011

The (Dutch East India) Company's Garden

Cape Town was originally founded in 1652by Dutch settlers to grow vegetables and fruit to replenish ships rounding the Cape on their way to and from India. It fell on hard times while rule of South Africa ping-ponged between the British and the Dutch, but has been restored since the early 19th century (a pear tree from the period still survives in the Garden):
The Gardens have a gorgeous view of Table Mountain:

Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) was a sickly grammar school boy sent to South Africa in hopes the climate would restore his health. That expectation was realized...and how! He consolidated all the small diamond holdings in the Kimberly area into the De Beers Diamond Company. An ardent fan of British imperialism, he also founded Rhodesia, which became the independent countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Naturally, the Company's Garden would have a towering statue of him:
Lots of beautiful trees and flower beds

Macaya bella, a beautiful shade-flowering shrub:

It's popular, even traditional, for wedding photographs.

Duck pair and brood:

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