Urban Dinosaur Jungle: visiting a dream garden

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On Saturday, My succulent society had its end of year social event at a garden that's been created by one of the members over the last 35 or so years. He said there was nothing but lawn and a swimming pool in the yard when he bought it and he soon set about remedying that. I thought I had too many plants but clearly, I'm a noob.

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Cycads grow very slowly and I've only seen trees this old and tall in pictures. He has every type of indigenous species of cycad in the garden and he propagates them too. Cycads were considered living fossils but genetic testing shows that they re-evolved after extinction during the time of the dinosaurs.

A local name for these plants is breadfruit and this cone of seeds is apparently edible. They can be roasted and ground into flour.

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Although it makes many seeds, not many are viable and many get eaten by insects

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A mix of aloes, cycads and pots of succulent Euphorbia. Cycads grow under the same conditions as most succulents so they do well together.

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The trunks get a very reptilian look over time.

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Close up of the flower below, Huernia hystrix

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It was inspirational to see how he has planted cycads, indigenous trees and succulents to create a forest with microclimates for orchids, bromeliads and other shade-loving plants. Below are a variety of Tillandsia and bromeliads.

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Pitcher plants next to the water feature

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Plenty of bromeliads, some with flowers

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Streptocarpus growing in baskets along with orchids and air plants

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I have come to realise that I need to introduce more shady areas into my own and this garden gave me some great ideas. I also decided that there really isn't anything such as too many plants! All you need is time.

If you are interested in the garden journal challenge, take a look here: https://peakd.com/hive-140635/@riverflows/the-last-garden-challenge-of-the-year



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47 comments
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I had forgotten the title by the time I was halfway down the post.... and started thinking how I could imagine seeing dinosaurs walking about such a place! :)

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Hehe, it is very primeval in there

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I got a similar feel from the place. I find myself very curious as to how that breadfruit would taste.

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Hint: apparently, it's fermented first so who knows?

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Wow! thats an impressive garden. Never too many plants 👍 I always take away from well done gardens that I need to do more space planning. Plan levels, shady spots, spacing, etc. Lovely inspiration post 🙂

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Thank you. Space planning is the first thing if you want a garden that stands out. I'm guilty of impulse buys and making it up as I go along

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My goodness that is really extraordinary! So beautiful. He must work constantly in that garden. Could be worse!

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It definitely could!

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Oh you really had fun visiting that garden. Their plants look so good this time.

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Oh! Impressive photography. I am pleased about visiting your best photography.

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This dream garden is very big and has almost every thing. The first picture showed that it has water, it is calm and cool. The plants looks healthy. Looking forward to see more that will come out of your garden

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wow, what a beautiful place and pictures! <3

I hope you can share your ideas with us soon:)

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You must have felt like you were in heaven. It may have taken him 35 years, but what's the rush? That's what hobbitizing is all about, getting lost in an activity that induces so much peace, time doesn't matter.
I'm sure you've come away with some great ideas for your own gardens. One thing you realized is that you could have a lot more shade.

I never realized just how beautiful and unique succulents are until I made your acquaintance. That makes me a lucky gentleman.

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I'm glad my obsessions have served a useful purpose 😄

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Wow thanks so much for sharing this! And well done on those post rewards too!

they re-evolved after extinction during the time of the dinosaurs.

Wow, fun fact! I love cycads and always expect to see a dinosaur behind them, but if this is the case I'd be wrong! What a stunning garden.

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Thank you, the last vote was a good surprise, yes 😁
It seems kinda weird that such a primitive plant would re-evolve. Some have gone extinct again....

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at first glance it looks like a pineapple 😊

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Now that you mention it...

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I can't wait to see more of your work and what an interesting this post you have shared with us. Wish you a wonderful day

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Wow! So many strange looking plants in this garden. He really did an incredible job of creating a wonderland of plants and succulents.

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My country is home to many strange and beautiful plants!

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Wow I love those Cycadidaes, in a biology practicum I read that they are one of the oldest plants on earth, they belong to the carboniferous era, so they are about 250 million years old.
Some of them are venesous for animals, and I know that some others are commercial, since they are cultivated to sell their edible seeds, but it is really difficult to work with these plants because their pollination periods are too long, just like the pinaceae.

My professors tried to germinate several cicadicas and palms, but it has taken them years to get them to the size they are now.

Excellent photos.

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Thank you! They aren't well adapted from an evolutionary perspective

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I have never seen a Huernia hystrix before. Now there is one more plant to add to my collection.
Love the bromeliads, the tillandsias and the pitcher plants.
What a wide collection of plants.
Thanks for the great share @nikv

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Thank you! Huernia hystrix is an easy one to grow, I love mine

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This is such a beautiful place your friend created @nikv, thank you for sharing these amazing captures with us.

When I look at all of the plants mother nature produces, I feel like quite a noob myself. I'm discovering new plants every single day that I've never even seen before and it's tough to even remember all of them.

If we discovered a new plant every single day of our lives, would we discover every plant on this planet?

For some reason I think the answer to that is no, and after a quick internet search of known species of plants, one a day would take about one thousand years of discovery. We'll simply never know how many plants there actually are :D

I always enjoy your posts, keep them coming!

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I'm glad you enjoy them. What makes me sad is the number of plants currently going extinct

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That’s an amazing garden there. When riverflows mentioned cycads I was thinking of cicadas 😅

Which country is this in? It’s my dream to be able to grow orchids in the garden, but climate here, in England is way to harsh for them

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I'm in South Africa. Certain parts of the country are subtropical and even Phalaenopsis can be grown outside on trees but here in Johannesburg, fewer orchids can manage but epidendrum can survive outside

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I have a bit of outside growing envy 😉

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To be honest, I don't know how anyone can bear to live with snow

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It’s not that bad really when you wrap yourself up in warm clothes. The air is so different, crisp. It can be lots of fun too - frosty/snowy pictures, ice skating, sliding from the hills. I have beautiful memories from snowy winters back in Poland in my childhood 💙

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Wow it must be so warm back home right now! Beautiful garden, I hope you enjoyed your succulent gathering 😁

You know most names by heart or you cheated?

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I did enjoy it and yes it's much warmer than where you are 😁

Sad but true: I know all of these names - I'm a walking encyclopaedia of useless information🤓

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