02 December 2013

December already!

The old Oak Avenue in midsummer (December-January) when the Agapanthus (also known as African Lilies or Blue Lilies) are flowering. Photo: Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch.
This path used to be called the Oak Avenue and today, all but one of the oaks that once lined it are gone. They were English Oaks (Quercus robur) and were planted when Kirstenbosch was a farm (1820s-1890s). This was the farm’s entrance road leading to the homestead, situated where the Marquee Lawn and Tea Room are today. It was also the road to the old car park, situated where the Peninsula Garden is today, and was in use until the current entrance road was built in 1938.
Oaks grow well, but too fast in this climate, and have soft, weak wood. Trees are frequently blown apart during the winter storms. They are also prone to attack by Armillaria root rot fungus, which kills the trees.  
The Oak Avenue in 1965. Photo: Kirstenbosch Archives.

Undated photo of the old Oak Avenue at Kirstenbosch. Photo: Kirstenbosch Archives.
 
I am really sorry to come to the end of this wonderful calendar which was compiled by Alice Notten of Kirstenbosch for the Kirstenbosch Branch of BotSoc. I hope that one day Alice will write a book about the history of Kirstenbosch with more interesting information.

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