This story was originally published on 16 August 2016 and was updated on 18 July 2018.
Planning to see the wildflowers? Keri Harvey shares with us some flower viewing tips and how to grow your own daisies…
- The best viewing times are during the warmest part of the day between 11am and 3pm – the warmest part of the day.
- Flowers follow the path of the sun through the day, so to see their faces have the sun on your back.
- If the weather is overcast or raining there will likely be no flowers open.
- Exactly where and when flowers will appear during spring is a guessing game – it all depends on the timing and amount of winter rain in the Western Cape and Northern Cape. Country Life will keep you updated with the latest flower spotting info, otherwise you can also give the Weskus Blomlyn (aka the wildflower hotline) a call: 063 724 6203.
- If you’re driving and don’t see flowers, look in your rear view mirror and you may be pleasantly surprised to see a blaze of colour. If open flowers are viewed from behind, there will be virtually no colour to them at all.
- When flower spotting, watch the weather forecast, phone ahead to towns you intend to visit to ask exactly where the flowers are open – local eyes and knowledge are best.
- During the months of August and September visit the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park (Tel: 022 772 2144) near Langebaan (120km from Cape Town up the West Coast). This section is only open for these two months of the year. If you are in the Northern Cape, visit the Goegap Nature Reserve (Tel: 027 718 9906) 15km from Springbok for Spring wild flowers in rainbow colours.
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Bring a touch of the Namaqualand daisies into your garden
Spring daisies will attract butterflies and bees to your garden and are easy to grow. They like sandy, well-drained soil and are useful for rock gardens, dry banks and the front row of borders. Importantly, they are no good as cut flowers and will close indoors.
Sow seeds – available from nurseries – in late autumn or early winter. Spread the papery seed thickly in prepared sandy beds and rake lightly to cover the seeds to prevent them from being blown or washed away. To enable germination, keep beds damp and seeds should germinate in 4-10 days.
Seedlings can be thinned or pricked out when they are about 5cm tall. Keep the plants moist until they are about 10 cm in height. Within three months you should have your own personal daisy carpet in the colour of your choice.
Words and Pictures: Keri Harvey