The Lowveld National Botanical Garden in full bloom. Photo: South Africa.net

With summer just around the corner, why not catch the bloom of new flowers at one of these garden spaces.

Gauteng 

Johannesburg

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam

Entrance: Free
Great for:  Cycling, Walks, Picnics

Address: Olifants Road, Emmarentia, Johannesburg, 2194

Hours:  7:30am–6:30pm

Phone: 011 782 0517

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens are a big but quiet spot in a big city. The entrance is guarded by security. The gardens have seven distinct gardens:  the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees).

The Herb Garden contains aromatic plants which have medicinal benefits, culinary uses and cosmetic purposes. The Hedge Garden consists of 58 species of hedges, and the Succulent garden, which may be visited only by appointment, is planted with more than 2 500 species of succulent. The Arboretum has a variety of indigenous and exotic trees, including Californian Redwoods, silver birches and English oaks.

The Shakespeare Garden features herbs which the English playwright referred to in his works.  Adjacent to the Shakespeare Garden is the beautiful terraced Rose Gardens which is planted with over 4500 rose bushes. To the east of the Rose Garden is the Chapel Garden, which is often used by bridal parties for wedding photography.

North West

Potchefstroom

North West University Botanical Gardens

Entrance: Free

Great for: Study groups, relaxation

Address: Gerrit Dekker Street, Potchefstroom, 2520

Hours: 8am-4pm

Phone: 018 299 2753

The gardens are situated adjacent the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. It covers almost 3 hectares and most of the plants in the garden are indigenous with the exception of a few exotic plants. A section of the garden is man-made and managed as a natural field garden. The rest of them are intensively managed. A variety of mammals, birds, amphibians and fish have made the gardens their home in recent years. 


Mpumalanga

Nelspruit

Lowveld National Botanical Garden 

Entrance: Free

Great For: Educational tours, relaxation

Address: Madiba Dr, Nelspruit, 1201

Hours: 8am-5pm

Phone: 013 752 5531

According to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) the gardens were established in 1969 after the Nelspruit Municipality noted that they would promote tourism and education in the area,as well as conserve the the diverse flora of the region. The garden was officially opened by the administrator of the Transvaal on 10 September 1971. Of the 165 hectres of land that remain, only 30 have been cultivated or landscaped, while the remainder is natural or low maitenance.