For different fare, visit Stellenbosch fair

Cape Town - Rare and unusual plants provoke enormous interest in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. An antidote to the thriving indigenous movements of the past 20 years, rare plant fairs feed the curiosity of plant lovers who thrive on new and unusual species.

Australia’s Rare Plant Fairs are held in late summer in the Yarra Valley, north-east of Melbourne.

PERSIAN CARPET: Orange flowering red hot pokers, burnished rudbeckias and golden yarrow create the backdrop to a Persian carpet colour scheme.SCENIC SETTING: Rustenberg is the glorious venue for the 2014 Rare Plant Fair.SCENIC SETTING: Rustenberg is the glorious venue for the 2014 Rare Plant Fair.Black bambooSCENIC SETTING: Rustenberg is the glorious venue for the 2014 Rare Plant Fair.Amaryllis belladonna.RARE: Rosa abyssinicaUNUSUAL: The Impatiens tinctoria.EXOTIC FLORA: Plant rare and exotic flora in a sunny garden border alongside a relaxing outdoor bed.EXOTIC: The Vireya rhododendron.PLANT bulbinella (Bulbine fruticosa).

The fairs include more than 40 small growers each year, with Australian-bred tuberous begonias a highlight of each show.

South Africa has two rare and unusual plant fairs, in Pretoria and Stellenbosch. Last year’s Rare Plant Fair in Stellenbosch attracted more than 1 900 people and included 35 stalls. Organiser Barbara Knox-Shaw said: “This year there will be closer to 40 exhibitors and we are hosting the 2014 Rare Plant Fair a month earlier.”

This year’s show on March 15 will include heirloom plants, interesting herbs, rare species, plants with an unusual history, and rare exotic and indigenous flora.

Plant collector gardens:

The best way to design a garden of rare and unusual plants is to consider colour and shape, rather than the origin of the plant.

Colour tips:

Join the Fair:

More than 35 specialist amateur and professional growers will sell their plants directly to visitors. There will also be stalls selling other gardening items.

Rozanne’s Garden will be in full autumn glory. Entrance is free.

Tea will be served under the oaks, and there will be wine tastings and sales of Rustenberg’s wines.

The Rare Plant Fair will be held next Saturday from 9.30am to 2.30pm at Rustenberg Wines, Rustenberg Road, Stellenbosch.

Cost: R10. Call 078 021 2101 or 021 844 0154. Visit

Gardening tips: