Thursday, September 28, 2023

A random nursery in Stanford (South Africa)

I don't know about you, but when I stop to gas up, I don't expect to find a variety of pincushion flowers (Leucospermum) in gallon pots for sale for under ten dollars a pop.

Which is precisely what happened when we stopped at this gas station cum agricultural supply store that happened to have some posies for sale in Stanford, South Africa...

Of course, I had to check out the posies--and found a pretty vast nursery wrapped around the whole shebang full of treasures. I realized at some point I better take some pics: I wish I'd taken ten times as many--the place oozed treasures. Like a whole table of pincushion hybrids!

I don't know about you, but if I saw a husky plant like this in a gallon pot selling for peanuts I'd buy it, even though there's not a chance in a billion I could grow it very long!

Just look at that table: you could have the whole dang thing for the price you'd pay for a hum-drum tree in a five gallon pot at most US nurseries.

To prove my point, at the time I photographed this 169 Rand equalled $8.83 US.

Or how about some Cancer plants (Lessertia [Sutherlandia] fruticosa) for 85 Rand ($4.44 US)

I wonder if this colossal fig tree bonsai was for sale? I hate to think what it would go for...

There was an extensive lath house full shade loving plants: why not carpet bed with mother-in-law tongues?

And even evergreen azaleas--you don't want to know the price on these!

Steve Brack--one of the world's great succulent experts--is wishing he could take this Drosanthemum thudichumii home: price--$2.87 USD.

Honestly you don't want to know what they were selling these spectacular Haworthia for.  Even our South African tour leaders had to buy some!

I'm not huge on garden sculpture (which the store boasted plenty) but I'd probably plunk down $14.37 for this charmer!

Unlike US box stores, where nurseries usually resemble morgues, every plant here looked fresh and happy--despite some recent frosts nearby.

Okay, okay. I'll take a pass on the little  cheezy blue palm trees.

This was a heartbreaker for me: I'm a sucker for anything blue, for bulbs and especially irids. I saw this down at my feet...

How tempted was I to imagine smuggling this Babiana angustifolia home (only $3.40 for Heaven's sake! I'll take them ALL!)

Enough of this fiduciary nonsense: the bottom line is 1) South African nursery plants rock 2) the exchange rate for Rands to dollars is insanely unfair to the South Africans 3) Our US nursery offerings at Box Stores and suchlike idiocies are incredibly boring and crass compared to this random visit to a small town in the middle of South Central South Africa hours and hours away from any big city.

Enough of my preaching: just get a gander of a few more things there--a tiny tithe of what they had...

 I just realized I must still have pictures in my phone that didn't download--including a spectacular miniature rooster (live) that strutted around the nursery like he owned it...

Can you see why I've gone to South Africa nine times and am planning a tenth? Soon!


  1. This is amazing! I am jonesing for every plant pictured. Nearly 100 houseplants, but now feel like I need 100 more.

  2. Such a spectacular find but cruel and unusual punishment at the same time.

  3. I don't know how you resisted.


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