Spring has Sprung in Plett

wild freesia 5

From the time of our earliest forefathers, we have gazed in awe and wonder at the magic that is conjured by flowers and foliage – the colour and beauty of their shapes, their markings and the intricacies of their form. Plants are miracles of nature providing sustenance for the body and the soul. It is little wonder that we continue to celebrate their existence.”

wild freesia 5

Taking a stroll along Plett’s beaches, it was with great excitement that we stumbled upon the wild freesia growing in the crevices of the Lookout Rocks on Wedge side of Central Beach. How they get to be there is truly a miracle. There is hardly enough space to contain their bulbs. They are mostly pollinated by bees. An excellent sign that spring has sprung in Plett!

Freesia alba are endemic to Southern Africa with over 16 species, they are found growing in sandy or stony soils, alongside dunes or on the edges of forests. They seem to like damp places and grow mainly along the coast from Hermanus to Plettenberg Bay. They are deciduous, so we have beautiful blooms now in spring and then they lie dormant in summer.

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

 

Cornerway House Garden

Cornerway House Garden

Spring Special at Cornerway House

A Vibrant Habitat

Plettenberg bay

Birds of Eden is just off the N2 north of Plettenberg Bay, about a 20 minute drive from Cornerway House.  The sanctuary which is a huge dome, covers about 2 hectares of indigenous forest. It is home to about 3000 birds, that have been rescued, no longer wanted or are in need of a secure environment. Here they can live in a natural protective environment. There are over 200 species. One can take a guided tour or stroll on your own. They have a very comprehensive booklet which makes the identification process easier. Birds of Eden’s mission is to care for the birds and educate the public.   Jandaya Conure
One unintentionally seems to overlook the majestic life of the bird. Once we walked through the doors and into the “Garden of Eden” this changed within a split second. I felt humbled by walking into this vibrant mixed habitat of these colourful, complex creatures that I don’t often acknowledge, grateful that these birds have been taken in to flourish all together, kind of like a Noah’s Ark.

Ibis

We couldn’t start the journey until we had fuelled up on an English Breakfast at the stunningly positioned little restaurant in the garden. This overlooks the bird pond that is home to hundreds of brightly coloured ducks, ibis, flamingo and proud nesting weavers. You can’t help but become enchanted instantly!

We walked through the garden at a leisurely pace (keep your camera battery fully charged!) most of the way accompanied by friendly ring-necks perched on our shoulders, stuff out of story-tales.

Ringneck

The garden consists of an incredible bamboo suspension bridge, (that makes your tummy slightly tingle) an overhead flowing waterfall, that you pass underneath and boardwalks laid out in a magical mezzanine-like layout, that takes you from top to bottom of the valley that is Birds of Eden. You are lead from the birds on and around the water where the colourful creatures that prefer the ground to graze,
all the way to the parrots and enormous South American bats claiming the higher reaches of the enormous enclosure.
If you have the time, and love it as much as we did, definitely take a walk around again, we did!

Since I was exposed to the beautiful creation that is the “Birds of Eden” I have a new found respect and appreciation for these magnificent creatures!

We highly recommend “Birds of Eden” and will definitely be back sooner than later for another enchanting visit!

Birds of Eden was created back in 2005, and is the largest single free flight aviary in the world. Check out http://www.birdsofeden.co.za

Here are some more of our photos from the visit to Birds of Eden:

PheasantSpoonbill

Red Lory

birds of eden

curious birdsblack swans

Flamingo

Mute swan