Calling all cactus fans. Ten minutes outside Robertson in the direction of Ashton and 170km outside Cape Town, is the Sheilam Cactus and Succulent Nursery. a prickly paradise you need to factor into any Langeberg experience.
I’m a cactus collector. The hardy plants have endeared themselves to me for a number of reasons. Not only handsome and unique, they’re tough, resilient and thrive in inhospitable soil, the likes of which I have in my McGregor garden. The soil that graces the back section of my property is literally like dune sand. Trying to grow edibles there is a tough gig but when it comes to cacti and succulents, I’m winning.
Actually, even if cacti are a non event in your life, you should still visit the farm to ogle the bizarre looking vegetation. Sheilam has been around for ages- since 1954 – and is owned and operated by the Schwegmann family.
You can walk through the nursery rows where about 2000 species are neatly laid out – plants of all heights, widths, shapes and colours. With weird names like the The Old Man of Peru, Mother-in-Law’s-Chair, Horses’ Teeth, Elephant Feet, Klipplante (stone plants), Bushman’s Grape.
Take a driveoute 62 into a stunning part of the Western Cape and wander through the prickles.
Ps, there are a number of superb wine farms in and around Robertson so make a day or weekend of it.