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Klaas Voogds West, Robertson, Western Cape,South Africa
Double Dutch; strongly rooted in African soil.
Interests: gardening, art, design, labyrinth, crafts, land art, conceptual entrepreneurship, mazes
Recent Activity
We revamped our website. Less text, more pictures. Now even people from Cape Town in South Africa can read our website Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
The comment is not a joke but you may laugh about it! #south africa #tourism #robertson #cape town #tv #media Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Quote from an e-mail yesterday: "Many thanks for assisting us with the gardening and renovation of the farm - you are simply excellent and we value your input very much!" That's why we and our plants thrive!!! Our approach towards large private landscaping projects is different. If a 'potential customer' does not want to be involved in the long term and invest his/her own time in the garden he/she is at the wrong adress. If people expect a detailed drawing they can also forget it. We don't work that way; we work organic and like to make decisions on the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
In November 2008 we started with the development of a new original range of jewelry. After 2 years of experimenting and testing we recently introduced "The Swiss Collection" in (where else?) Switzerland via the online shop of Faircustomer in Zurich. What's so special about these pendants and earrings? Well, they are made of soil from the fabulous Soekershof Gardens in South Africa (our garden) also named The Green Cathedral of South Africa. It's the only garden in South Africa that is certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa. We have different soil types varying from coarse whitish sand... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Annual report: 90% of turnover SA botanical gardens = government grants. And still losing money ... (even the most succesfull garden -Kirstenbosch- in the red for millions........) We are jealous on this achievement. How are they doing it??? ( We are also a bit dissapointed seeing that a lot of government money is going through the drain (quite a large amount in going into the salaries and bonusses of the top managers, etc. If you want to volunteer like a lot of pensioners you have to pay a membership fee for SANBI upfront, etc. etc. Students have to pay for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Speed marketing is a relatively new trend where one brings representives of a target market to one place where suppliers/service providers each have 5 minutes or so to promote their products/services. Ideal tool for the tourism industry where the big players don't have time or are too lazy to explore new opportunities. But how to explain something that is beyond the average human perception and that can only explain itself by being there in person? Well this afternoon we'll give it a try together with 15 or so colleagues in tourism from this region. Place of happening is Cabrieres in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
MOON Carrier by soekershof · 365 Project. Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Last week one of those garden forums asked us to write an introduction about ourselves. We kept it very short and this is the result. Considered 'WEIRD" Who we (me and my wife Yvonne) are? ...Well; best is to google 'soekershof' or 'green cathedral of south africa'. Be aMAZed and feel Welcome. We don't pretend to be scientists (we just make use of those in a mutual beneficial way) and we are considered as 'weird' by some of our neighbours. OK, visiting Soekershof is a bit of a whimsical experience but also the proof that a garden does not have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Exclusivity from South Africa: Soekershof Signature Earthworks Jewelry Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Recently we published a fairly controversial posting in one of our other blogs. 'Controversial' for at least some commercial enterprises. Anyway read for yourself. One of our dear Facebook fans send us a link about 'how a US consulting firm used American academics to rehab Muammar Qaddafi's image': 'From Libya with love' is the story and it's all about image building. And if you read the average article about Qaddafi up to the recent developments within Libya you can read between the lines the effect of this 'smart marketing approach' of the Monitor Group; a Boston based consulting firm who... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
“Hi Folks. I am Jacob and I check this wonderful place every 6 weeks in my own rural slow pace. Takes some time but you will be amazed by the floral richdom, sculptural plants, the Land Art objects, the people, the wisdom in the Philosophers Garden, the signature jewelry and wire art, the ‘Our Little Nursery‘ and so on, and so on. Well, follow me sslloooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwllllllllly......." Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Espostoa guentheri (previously :Vatricana guentheri) In our garden in Klaas Voogds West (for PRECISE road directions) beteen Robertson and Ashton/Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa! Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Derived from the SA Gardener Forum: If I ever go to South Africa, your garden is at the top of my "must see" list. It's the most wonderful desert garden I have ever seen pictures of. Mike Thanks Mike, Feedback, merely via 'spin off visitors', learns us that American horticulturists/botanists experience Soekershof as "the best desert like garden" in South Africa and weekly we guide American visitors around. Most South African botanists/horticulturists still have to discover what's going on in their own country........... The same applies for some so called specialist tour operators, etc. We work hard for it and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
In the narrow meaning of the word a nest is the spot in which birds lay their egg(s) and hatch. In the Germanic languages it is also used as a name for a sleeping spot or a place where two lovers please each other. In the more natural sense of the word ‘nest’ means ‘house’. And at home you feel yourselves at home in your own protected surroundings or shelther. People nowadays have simply attached themselves to comfort which modern technology offers us and that actually detaches them from the natural surroundings. Why then not a nest made of natural... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
South Africans love to tell stories and a nice story always has a truth in it. In fact all stories are true if it comes to the point. Anyway we all know that Cape Town profiles itself as a world class city and yes; let the Capetonians be happy with that and yes it is but without the tourists it would be something like Ventersdorp but that’s another story. Cape Town claims to have it all and yes; let the Capetonians be happy with that and yes they have it all except the things they don’t have and that’s where... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Inter-networking is making use of diverse media within cyberspace. Some work, some don't. That differs per organisation/market. For us, with numerous trials and errors, a combination of selected blogs, a few forums and Facebook pages works out best together with our website. And we let these media interact of course but not too much for each has to stand on its own. That's also the reason that in the past few years we created some new blogs and erased others. The present combination (4 forums, 5 blogs, 2 FB-pages + website) works. This blog for example focusses itself more on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
The last months we notice a sharply increased influx of botanists/horticulturists from Europe and USA/Canada who are visiting gardens in South Africa. Aside the known ones as in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria these people also visit the lesser known ones and discover, in their own words, that the real garden gems in this country are not (always) the gardens under the umbrella of the state financed SANBI (South African National Botanical Institute). The inflight magazine of South African Airlines recently published a feature about 'The Secret Gardens of South Africa' in which the same conclusion was mentioned. It only... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Garden visitors in general only see the big impressive sized plants and tend to overlook the real gems in our garden. That alone is the main reason that we do not allow 'free range walking' in the gardens but take our guests on an interactive exploration that is both entertaining and educational. During this exploration guests are invited to touch (certain) cacti and sense the different flagrances of succulent plants. Most people never realised that flowers -and leaves- of succulent plants spread such a wide variety of flagrances. It's like wine tasting; some you like; others not. It's always a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
Despite a global economic recession with a decline in accommodation occupation rate between 10 and 40 % in The Western Cape, South Africa (percentages depending on locations), Soekershof did experience a significant increase in the number of visitors (+47.21%) but also a lesser than expected increase in turnover (+33.47%). The latter is partly due to a significant downward trend of wholesale to retail nurseries in South Africa that experience difficult times. Own nursery retail however increased with 41.40%. Last year the number of South African visitors continued a downward trend but this was compensated by the increasing number of European... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2011 at The Green Cathedral
WARNING: What you are about to see is just an impression in pictures (and not all are that good). The real experience on the spot is very different and far more entertaining!!! Who said that gardens are boring? It's all you always wanted to know about SEX ....... between plants but never dared to ask! 10 Years ago we started with the restoration and extension of the historic gardens of Soekershof In Klaas Voogds West, near Robertson in the Western Cape, South Africa that were neglected for 24 years. The first picture of this Picasa presentation is an overview of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2010 at The Green Cathedral
Suddenly, last week Thursday, we were approached by an e-mail of a senior lecturor of the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. In the past we approached this (outstanding) art school several times to collaborate in our Land Art Project in South Africa. Despite promises (well; it's Cape Town you know..... Relax........!!!) they never came out so we let it be and started the project on our own account and with talented people from local communities around. The project got (gets) very good responses abroad UK, Emirates -landartgenerator- and USA) but within South Africa nana. Can you imagine... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2010 at The Green Cathedral
This morning we modestly celebrated that our FB-page The Green Cathedral of South Africa passed the 1500 'likers' mark. And that within 6 months we started this page. We are also proud to announce that this page is the most interactive garden related FB-page from South Africa. South Africans in general are not really interactive on the web it seems for it is still a word-of-mouth culture but slowly people here are starting to discover the advantages 'cyberspace' has to offer. Most of our 'fans' can be found in the Americas, Asia, Eastern Europe and the German speaking countries. And... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2010 at The Green Cathedral
Recently we started a discussion in LinkedIn about shortsighted greed of tourism businesses in Cape Town. They thought that after the succesfull Worldchampionship soccer to increase their rates unlimited. And with that they are 'punishing' their whole 'hinterland' in the Western Cape where prices virtually have remained the same during the past few years. Both Lufthansa and British Airways announced last week not to increase their flights on Cape Town this holiday season (but significant increase of flights to J'burg). Much can also be said about inbound tour operators and their itineraries that are still focussed on Cape Town and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2010 at The Green Cathedral
Eucalyptus trees are in South Africa regarded as 'invasive' and most of the wood is chopped for fire wood. Pity for the wood of some eucalyptus (bluegum) species have better sustainable qualities than the average teak wood that's on the market. Reason for woodworker Marthinus Plaatjies to 'recycle' bluegum wood into handcrafted furniture and that happens here at The Green Cathedral of South Africa; the alias (derived from media publication) of Soekershof; Private Mazes & Botanical Gardens of South Africa. On request Marthinus creates customised furniture of bluegum wood and wood of demolition sites; all with simple hand tools and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2010 at The Green Cathedral
Gibbaeum is one of the genera within the Aizoaceae family and the name is derived from the Latin 'gibbosus' (=hunchback). The genus occurs mainly in the Little Karoo in South Africa and is easy to grow as indoor plant in colder climates provided that the Winter temperature stays above 10 degrees Celcius. Sunny exposure and well drained soil are the main requirements. Gibbaeums will tell you when they are 'desparate' for water just by shrinking a bit (which also happens when they are kept too wet). The choice for Gibbaeum velutinum is because the flowers also produce a nice sweet... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2010 at The Green Cathedral