• Petra Vandecasteele

Fynbos... sexy and proudly South African

In 2008 Penguin Random House Struik published my beautiful coffee table book ‘In Celebration of Fynbos’ which in the meantime has long been sold out. All 3000 copies, a bestseller by South African standards. ;) Ever since, I’ve had many requests for a reprint and may well do so in the near future. Let me know if you think I should! The book is a treasure trove of delightful snippets of information and passionate photography which I will share regularly with you in my newsletters.

It all started with one of the largest fires on the mountain. I saw a spark in the starlit sky and 15 minutes later, the whole mountain was on fire. It could have cost us our home had we not fought fiercely to save it. The next morning there was not a trace of colour left in our once-dense garden. There was not a living creature for as far as we could see except for the ants, who came out by the zillions. The entire mountain was dark and covered with soot.

Soon after, the fynbos started sprouting out of the blackness, transforming the mountain into a bouquet of joy. I have never seen as many flowers as during that spring. With each new sighting my amazement grew, and the photography of this floral explosion took me on a journey of discovery during which I marvelled at nature’s most creative designs and her impressive ingenuity when it comes to the survival of the species.

My research has led me to some truly ‘fynbos-addicted’ people who have shared their knowledge and passion with me, and introduced me to a fascinating world of indigenous plants.

Fynbos guru Prof. Wim Tijmens shared the most delightful Fynbos stories and also taught me to see the fun in fynbos – like tricking carnivorous plants by feeding them cheese crumbs. Executive Chef Roberto de Carvalho spoon-fed me mouthwatering fynbos ice-cream and other fynbos-based delicacies and Pakamani Xaba at the Harold Porter Botanical Garden took me to the world of traditional uses. More people shared fascinating snippets with me on cosmetics, history and how the early settlers used some of the plants, but also on biodiveristy and the dynamics between fauna and flora.

What I find most extraordinary in all this is how the passion for fynbos creates a bond between people. One day I visited a renowned art gallery in Johannesburg and when I went back a year later, the owner vividly remembered me because we had both been so excited about the same fynbos flower.

I am truly fortunate to witness this incredible beauty on an almost daily basis and to have learnt so many exciting things about fynbos that I simply cannot stop myself from sharing them with you.

Check out our blog posts on flora to learn more about fynbos. Or even better, discover and experience the very best of the Cape Floral Kingdom and book your very own bespoke fynbos experience with Kids of Nature. Keen to try fynbos-infused gin or grappa and ride a horse in a fynbos hotspot?Enquire now!

+27 (0)83 230 1881

Cape Town, South Africa

©2019 by Kids of Nature.