Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flowers on Doornberg

Back to the Karoo. Put Brooklyn on pause, wake up in the Vleihuisie, smell fresh coffee perking, sit outside on the patio to eat the last of the fresh rolls we brought from Cape Town with my mother's apricot jam, watch the white horse and its boss arrive to work the lucerne field where the storks are already patrolling.

We made a quick stop at the farmhouse to see if we could find some lamb for supper. Of course we could. Hanna was in the kitchen, making melktert for some Dutch visitors at a nearby farm. The Aga was hot and the tarts were at the rolled-out pastry stage. These red roses were in a bowl on the dining room table. Melktert, Aga, red roses. Storybook perfect.

After our now memorable trip into Nieu Bethesda, we decided to go and look at the private airfield Peet had told us about.

Above, the Compassberg watches over the farm.

It was clearly signposted.

The veld around the rough strip was full of flowers. Daisy inside a Karoo bush...

Bulbine abyssinica, so similar to the bulbine in my mom's aloe garden. Beautiful, tall geophytes. Occurring from the western Karoo to tropical Africa.

Moraea polystachya, with its unmistakable 'butterfly' spots on the petals stood slender above the shorter mat of growth, its delicate petals easily ruffled by the light wind sweeping from the hills.

They grew every twenty feet or so, two feet high.

Green parts are poisonous, and can kill grazing stock.

But if moraeas were dresses, they would have been designed by Dior in the late 40's. And I would have liked to have worn them.


  1. Aj, no man! I'm farm-sick again...

  2. Very pretty. It's so drastically different from NYC!

  3. Thank you, for taking me with you to visit this beautiful country. Every time I read your traveling adventures, I feel like taking the plane and seeing it for myself

  4. Since my name is Doornberg, I am intrigued by a possible connection. I have been in Suid Afrika 12 years ago for a stay with friends in Pretoria and enjuyed the experience. Since I am now reached the age of 84, I don't think a second visit is likely. I noticed the name Vijoen, wich is a wel known name in Z.A.that I remember well. You can write me in English, Afrikaans or Dutch. I live already 55 years in Canada but are always been interested in Zuid Afrika and its history. Maybe you can find time for an answer. Baie dankie, Hans D.

  5. Baie dankie vir u kommentaar. Miskien kan die boer op Doornberg verduidelik waar die naam van sy familie se plaas vandaan kom? Sy naam is Peet van Heerden. Ek kan sy eposadres aan u gee, as u vir my skryf by:



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