Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Secret Magical Desert Garden

A few years ago I 'discovered' a strange Magical Garden in Namibia's southern Desert, close to the mining town of Rosh Pinah:


The garden is on a hill which is capped by a snow-white Quartz outcrop.


Scattered along the sides of the hill are thousands of small quartz rocks, many with patterned black Lichen growing on them.


Many of the plants on the hill I've not seen growing anywhere else.


I've got no idea what the botanical or common names are.


Some of the plants are so small or inconspicuous that they can be easily missed, I usually find something new every time I visit here.


I think that this is some type of Aloe.


Such a weird looking plant, like fat fingers sticking out of the Earth - I was lucky to find them in flower once.


These are two plants, the thorny one on top with flowers and, underneath it a small succulent which looks like a Lithops or 'Living Stone'


These two plants have fat roundish stems with cabbage-like leaves.



I only tell trusted people where this Magical Garden is because, when I showed some images to one woman, she immediately suggested that I should dig them up and transplant them to my garden ... grrrr.

I haven't been here for quite awhile now and, in fact, I'm a little scared to visit in case some dingbat has discovered it and ripped some of the plants out.

.

44 comments:

  1. Wow,Wow,Wow. Graham that is just amazing. The variety of plants is something else, but with the quartz back ground it makes it very special. How could anyone suggest digging plants out of here just beats me. It is pure natural beauty. Let it be. Love this post. Diane

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  2. Thanks Diane - I don't know why people feel the need to possess beauty, sometimes it's for financial gain ...

    ... it's a very special place.

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  3. It is absoluteley beautiful and magical. I can't believe that someone suggested to you that you should dig it all up and plan it in your own garden! I mean that is so stupid. We don't go around in nature digging up plants for our own gardens. In some places this is also illegal.

    Anyway, I'm glad you're taking care about sharing the garden's location. Enjoy the garden and those you can trust can enjoy it too.

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  4. wow - the garden is beautiful. I would love to know what plants they are. My favorite is the cabbage leaf ones.

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  5. Thanks Penny - perhaps I'll go there this weekend and report back to you folks.

    I think it's illegal to remove the plants here too but people do strange things, especially where there's money to be made.

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  6. Yeah Jackie, there is a special aura here, i just call it magic ...

    ... mmm I really need to become buddies with a botanist ...

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  7. That apricot coloured alloe - just lovely. I imagine there aren't funds in Namibia to protect this sort of area because you'd have to pay human being to look after it, put fences around it... A sad reflection on human nature that you have to smother beauty to protect it.
    Caroline

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  8. I despair for the future of the human race Caroline - the verges of our roads are full of trash thrown from cars ... the empty beer bottle is now our national flower ...

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  9. Incredibly beautiful! The area, the rocks and the plants are so rare. Very good to know you are protecting the place. Hope your tree will recover from the frost. The septic tank looks great and was an amazing amount of work. Hope you are feeling great now.

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  10. Thank you for taking me to your secret garden. It is a magical garden, it chooses whom it wants to reveal itself to, and only special people can see its beauty.

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  11. I think you have to bury the map of this treasure garden on earth.
    I fear also that someone which wish to show his friends a desert garden at home could destroy this magical garden.
    Thanks for showing us this magic place Graham. You should knock at the National Geographic door. They would be happy to have you in the staff. What do you think about that?

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  12. What a stunning and magical place Graham!! I hope it remains a secret for eternity!!

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  13. I remember Graham when I lived in what was Bothuthatswana the countryside used to look it was growing plastic bags, scary! Where we live in France I am always surprised if I see as much as a piece of paper blowing around, it is generally spotless. We have to take our own bags when we go shopping, no supply of them here. Diane

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  14. Utterly entrancing, fairy garden indeed!
    Would love to sit there for a few days, really just become part of it.

    peace and love

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  15. Thanks Callie - my back is ok now ... I think the cause of my problems is my general state of unfitness ...
    I'm walking every day now.

    Yes, I think that some of those plants are quite rare indeed.

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  16. Thanks Fazlisa - I like that concept ... that the garden only reveals itself to certain people ...

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  17. Thanks for your visit and comment Field Of Gold.

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  18. Thanks Oswaldo ...

    hehe ... I'm expecting a knock on my door from National Geographic any day now ... I hear they're doing an article on Namibia's Living Fossils ... :)

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  19. It is stunning indeed Joan ... if you ever visit the Richtersveld or southern Namibia, I'll be glad to take you there ...

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  20. Yes Diane many town in Namibia are big rubbish dumps ...

    ... one of the problems here is that there is no deposit or refund on beer bottles so people just trash them wherever they finish the drink

    ... some say education is the answer but, how do you educate people who are always under the influence of alcohol?

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  21. Thanks David - it is a place for meditation ...

    I have no proof but my intuition tells me that this area, extending into the northern Cape and Karoo is the cradle of mankind.

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  22. Thanks for the offer Graham, I will keep it in mind. Those areas have always fascinated me but up to now I have mostly gone to Etosha. Same for me .... if you are ever down Pretoria way let me know. I get many fellow bloggers from all over the world staying with me for a couple of nights or me taking them places. I guess the "tour guide" in me will never die. :)

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  23. Thanks Joan - I like to show Namibia off because visitors see things that I overlook, things I take for granted ...

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  24. Those are gorgeous and you are wise to keep its location a secret. We experience it here with orchids. Once people find out a nice spot to see orchids, they are gone within a month. Plants that grow on or amongst quartz are very hardy cause a quartz environment can get quite hot under the sun.

    I hope that magical garden is there for many more generations to enjoy.

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  25. yeah Calvin, I didn't think of the heat reflected by the quartz - the climate is very arid and the tenacity of the life forms which survive here is amazing ...

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  26. Omw Graham, that certainly is a magical garden. I hope no-one insensitive has discovered this beautiful spot and removed the plants. They are truly amazing. Have a great weekend. Jo

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  27. Thanks Jo - you have a great weekend too - I need to go visit the garden again but I'll be devastated if some vandal has been there ...

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  28. Stunning, Graham! What a very special place - I think you must go back !
    For me it brings back fond memories of my trip to the Richtersveld in 2005. Have to get back there one day......

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  29. Stunning indeed Coral - August/September are probably the best months to visit this area.

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  30. What amazing and beautiful gems that grow in petrified soil. I always learn something new about Africa from your blog.

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  31. Yeah, they are gems hey Monica ... jeepers, I can't sleep tonight ... maybe I should go check out the gems in the sky ...

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  32. Life every where, even in that dry place. Stunning pictures. Fortunately most people will be too lazy to climb that hill.

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  33. You sound a lot like me Graham, SA has so much beauty and I love to share it with people especially those from overseas.

    The area you are in has a special kind of beauty found nowhere else. My problem is if I ever got up there I would be more interested in looking for insects and surise/sunset pics which are so spectacular. :) I have to admit though that not much in nature passes me by, from the smallest to the biggest. I am willing to bet the night sky is magnificent too.

    Have a great weekend Graham.

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  34. Thanks for the visit and comment Phillip - I think you may be right there ...

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  35. The night sky is awe-inspiring Joan and in the north I've seen some insects only once and never again ... sadly I don't have a macro lens ...

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  36. amazing plants and rocks. Is this a well known place?
    The black Lichen on the white quartz - very striking.

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  37. Wonderful Place!
    I agree with you:never say anything to anyone if you find something magic.
    I have my special place in Botswana,where you can see the wild dogs drinking in the morning (second time this year) but,since it's not in a Park,it's better not so many people know...

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  38. hello Graham, visiting again, I feel I did not do justice the first time around. at least not in my comment. I wonder how did the quartz got to be there. what is the geological story? and what made the plants thrive on it? (some of the plants look like they survive off the granite. some plants look like they live in between the quartz that may offer some shade and moist). it is truly amazing, almost magical but would be interesting to understand some.

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  39. Hehe lisleman - there are so many pieces of lichen-covered quartz lying around it's difficult to decide which to photograph.

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  40. Indeed Andrea - and given the endangered status of the African Wild Dog it's best to keep their location secret ...

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  41. hi Fazlisa and thanks for your questions - unfortunately I don't know enough about geology to even begin to explain the existence of the Quartz outcrops, I can only speculate that they formed beneath the Earth's crust and were exposed after millions of years of erosion of the surrounding rock ... there are quite a few such outcrops around this area ...

    Yes, the lichen, for example, only grows on the white quarts so it seems that if there were no quarts there would be no lichen ...

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  42. Hiya Graham!

    Beautiful pics and so good to lay eyes on you in one of your other posts :)
    If I discovered anything as beautiful as your Magical Desert Garden I'd keep it secret too. Hope you, Stoffel and your family are all well. Tom sends best wishes.

    Much love, Tanya Xx

    PS: We're all mad here.

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  43. Tanya!! .. wow, what a nice surprise ... it's probably about 7 or 8 years since I've heard from you guys ...

    ... Hope you are all well too ... please tell Tom I say howzit ... when are you bringing him to Africa ... and Namibia specifically?

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