About The Fynbos Blog

Ever since we moved to this farm near Paarl I have gone running, usually in the mornings, and been enchanted with the variety and quantity of flowering shrubs, plants and bulbs, collectively known as fynbos.  The Cape Floral Kingdom is the most diverse of all and it seems that many of the plants we know and love in our gardens began live here, perhaps on this very mountain.

The flowering season starts just before the first rains when the luscious white Protea Repens bursts into flower and continues all winter and spring, slowing down only in the height of summer when the searing heat and dryness send plants into defensive mode.

I plan to record as many of these flowers as I can and to publish the photos on this blog. Photos are taken on my run with the dogs using an iPhone and I don’t pretend to be a great photographer but I dare say I’ll get better.



  • Hi there,
    I am listening to CapeTalk on my computer in the UK and have just heard your phone call. Thank you for the link to your fabulous blog! In September , I am coming to Cape Town and am doing a talk at Kirstenbosch on the 3rd October. It is my 4th talk there and this year my title is “The RHS flower shows”. I don’t suppose there is any chance I could visit your farm???????


  • Hi , I heard you talking to Africa Melani (sp) on the radio about your blog whilst in the car on my way to town this morning and decided to pay it a visit … wow wonderful photos you have taken and with a phone camera to boot ! Lovely.!! . To quote Dave and Colin from their book titled FYNBOS….. ” Nowhere else on earth are so many plant species crammed into such a small space” and ” ‘Fynbos’ – the smallest floral kingdom on the world, yet for it’s size it boasts the largest number of species. This Botanical wonderland has intrigued botanists for years and delighted all those who explore it”.
    I enjoyed your photos and your blog. thank you !


  • Your blog is such an easy way to escape to South Africa , for just a few minutes , and to be with you both on this beautiful farm .. It makes me feel like booking a ticket to Capetown very soon …. A French friend who misses you . JF


  • please can i join your blog site i live in hermanus and love the outdoor life but am just learning


  • I recently received an email from my family in Italy with 20 of their flowers that grow in the cliffs and valleys and wow today I have found that we have a blog with some wonderful wild flowers of our own. Thank you for all the lovely photos and the blog I will definately be sharing this with Antonio.


  • Hi there, I took a photo of a yellow flower with red stamens up in the mountains above Paarl (near the head of the river leading to Spitskop) and for the life of me I can not find out what it is called. Have trawled through the web to no avail. Could you be of any help? Happy to send you the photo.

    I enjoy your site. Have found through my hiking in the last year around this area that even with our extreme drought the spring flowers in the mountains have been stunning and it is fun to try and identify them.



  • Lovely pictures! Where exactly is the farm? There are a lot of problems around Paarl and Wellington with invasive aliens. Was disappointed on my last visit a year ago to see how the black wattles were spreading up the Bain’s Kloof pass road, for example.

    Anyway, I love the fynbos and have a small (nearly 50 species) collection of Cape plants growing here in East Scotland near Edinburgh. Most have to be sheltered in the green house or kept heated in the winter, but some are just outside. For example the Cape River Lily (Shistostylus Cochinea) does very well just in the garden. My pride and joy are 20 Widdringtonia Cederbergensis which are now just starting on their fourth year. Not far off a metre tall for the biggest now and they have been outside all the time with it down to -10 C on occasion.

    Don’t do so well with Proteas though as they tend to die in our long dark winter. Looks like just my 2 King Proteas (three years old now) and a couple of P. Eximia seedlings are going to survive this winter.

    It is not far from you so if you want a fantastic hike get a permit from UCT for the Witels River. Magnificent Disa Uniflora if you go in late Dec / early Jan.


    • Apologies for not replying sooner – been a busy month so far and I’ve only just got back to the blog. We are in Paarl just under Du Toitskloof pass. You are right about the aliens. They were taken out in last years fires and are coming back in the millions all along the kloofies. We do what we can. Wonderful that you are growing fynbos in your Scottish garden. I am Irish and it’s a joy that things I grew up with, like Helichrysum grow in wild profusion here on the farm.


  • Pingback: What did YOU see on your run today? #3 is from South Africa – Running In India

  • Pingback: What did YOU see on your run today? #3 is from South Africa – Run With Christine

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