Caledon Wild Flower Show, Western Cape, September
Every spring since 1927 the Wild Flower Garden on the mountain slopes above the town has drawn visitors from Cape Town to see its masses of proteas, ericas, daises, gazanias and other fynbos species. The flower growers in the area display their best home grown examples at the indoor Wild Flower Show.
Darling Wild Flower Show, Western Cape, September
In spring, Darling is a showcase of West Coast flora. There are indoor displays and a display by the largest orchid nursery in the Southern Hemisphere. But the real grandeur is in the Darling Wild Flower Reserve and four other private reserves around the village. Wear waterproof boots for exporting the various environments.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, all year
This landscape garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain boasts that in spring the whole garden is a flower show. In addition, throughout the year, various plant societies organize indoor flower shows here. They feature the best examples of particular flowering plants, such as proteas, clivias, orchids, roses and fuchsias.
Elgin Rose and Garden Festival, Western Cape, November
An extravagant display of more than 10 000 blooms is put on display every year by the Elgin Grabouw Country Club. There are also craft stalls, beer gardens and farm style lunches, a magic garden for children, and scenic views of this fertile valley with its surrounding forests, fynbos and apple orchards.
Hermanus Wild Flower Show, Western Cape, September
The Botanical Centre of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve puts on this four-day flower show, displaying arrangements of indigenous flowers, some in natural settings. It also has a children’s section, a conservation display, plants for sale and a tea garden. September is a good time to see the coastal montane fynbos along the reserve’s 15km of well-graded paths.
Bredasdorp Flower Show, Western Cape, September
The biennial show held in this attractive Strandveld town features the fynbos of the local coastal and mountain areas. There are also all sorts of arts and crafts stalls and the delightful walk in the Heuningberg Nature Reserve.
Addo Rose Day, Eastern Cape, October
The village population swells by several thousand when visitors come to see more than 30 000 rose blooms gathered from local gardens and displayed in the village hall. The proceeds from this two-day show, with its beer gardens, picnic lunches and rose-scented air, go to charities in the Sundays River Valley.
The Bloemfontein Rose Festival, Free State, October
South Africa’s biggest rose show is held in King’s Park, where about 3 500 rose bushes come into glorious bloom. There are also rose displays and rose-related events all over the city. Rose garden competitions are hotly contested and there’s even a Miss Rose. The sights and Scents are memorable.
The Natal Witness Garden and Leisure Show, KwaZulu-Natal, October
This Pietermaritzburg gardening and leisure show is on an excitingly large scale, involving gardeners from municipal parks and recreation departments, commercial nurserymen, landscapers, floral growers and arrangers, botanic and wildlife societies and many more. The leisure section exhibits anything from 4X4s to hiking gear and camping equipment.
Namaqualand, Northern Cape, Spring
The most astounding thing about Namaqualand is the contrast between the dry, rocky countryside and the glorious floral blanket that covers it for just a few weeks every year between early July and late September. Accommodation is available in towns and on farms, but you need to book in advance.