I was very hesitant when we got into the car – it has been raining for so long and the clouds didn’t seem willing to go away on Friday. And who knew if there even would be any people at all. As we found our way into the venue we saw way more cars than I expected parked in front. All my hesitation was gone the second we walked through the gate.The beautiful Botanical Garden of Pretoria was the perfect place. There were people talking, pushing their little carts filled with plants and pots and stuff. The interesting talks given by the editors of The Gardener and other passionate gardeners paired with a wide range of seeds offered for sale and stands with delicious food that lured you in by the lovely aroma made it all extremely exciting and well organized.
I felt like I was walking on little puffy clouds from the gardener’s heaven, so happy that at one point an assistant came to me and asked me if he could help me but when he saw the maniac smile on my face he just quietly backed away.
With our tummies slowly being filled with roasted caramelized cashew nuts with cinnamon, we walk around the stalls looking and looking, collecting samples, being impressed. Even Dr Pickled Pink Cucumber found a few places where we got stuck – irrigation systems, water collecting systems which look absolutely fabulously next to your house, very pretty and elegant.Dr Pink Cucumber had a tough job – keeping me calm and composed. I just couldn’t help myself but walk around, hold my gardening notebook tightly in an awe thinking how many things I want to need. In the end the little bit of rational me present had been satisfied with seeds and two new orchids.
Did I ever mention that just a little while ago I hated orchids? Then Dr Pink Cucumber’s sister gave me one for Christmas and the mania began. All our orchids are called Bob, so we have Bob number 2 and 3. I wanted (wanted!) more, considering they were 50 to 70 bucks each and the variety of colours, oh my goodness!, but I calmed myself down. There will be another expo next year, we need to think ahead.
At one point I was just freaking out over the orchids, Dr Pink Cucumber walked away with his cashew nuts as I was picking my dark purple one. I found a beautiful one at the cashiers so determined I walked up to it and grabbed it and then I was stopped – it was already reserved. Oh well. But Bob number 3 is very pretty anyways. As you can see in the picture, bullterriers also appreciate orchids!The section of exotic flowers was fantastic – beautiful black orchids and fly eating plants of all sorts – absolutely amazing. Maybe in a few years when I won’t be absolutely terrified that I’ll kill this gorgeous (and expensive) plant we’ll get one!The friendly Living Seeds (http://www.livingseeds.co.za/) family made us smile and enriched our garden with six packets of beautiful heirloom seeds, all of which were on my 2014 wishlist – buckwheat, chocolate habanero pepper, pink Egyptian garlic, green globe artichoke, brinjal and country gentleman corn.Lovers of furry friends would also feel at home – a big Royal Canin stand and others offering everything from chunks to toys and beds for your fluffy pets!
It wasn’t all just about special prices and bargains – everybody was so friendly and made us feel so welcome I already cannot wait to go again! I will definitely try to get better pictures, hopefully it won’t rain, but with those levels of excitement I don’t think it’s possible.