In my last post I wrote about getting back to nature in the heart of Jozi so I decided I would continue with this theme and write about something even closer to home, my garden. I hadn’t had a garden (or backyard as some would call it) since the year 2000 when I left Arizona to live in France, and when we found our current apartment with a large and beautiful garden, I had no idea how much joy this garden would bring me in our first couple of months of our new life in South Africa.
South Africa is a true paradise for nature lovers like us, and before moving to South Africa, we spent a lot of time reading and dreaming of all the places we could visit on quick weekends away from Joburg as well as longer, extended trips all over the country and surrounding areas to get our fill of the great outdoors. We looked at living in Joburg as sort of a gateway to all the places we really wanted to see in South Africa; just a big city that we would try and escape from as often as possible. Jump forward a couple months and I am happy to report that you don’t need to escape Joburg for a nature fix.
Before moving here, we had never visited Joburg and I was very surprised by how green it is here (said to be one of the greenest cities in the world) and also totally enchanted by the beautiful, blooming Jacarandas when we first arrived. We soon discovered that there are many nature reserves right in Joburg and the Melville Koppies was one of the first we visited.
Melville Koppies Nature Reserve
A few posts back I wrote a bit about our November visit to Pretoria to see the Jacarandas and promised to write more about the trip later. Pretoria is about an hour north of Joburg and one of the 3 capitals of South Africa (Cape Town and Bloemfontein are the others). There are quite a few sites to see in Pretoria, however as our main goal for the day was to see the Jacarandas, we headed straight to the Union Buildings which I had read is the best place to see them.
Union Buildings from the Garden Below