ZimbabweHuchi Uncategorized Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens: A Hidden Gem in Harare

Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens: A Hidden Gem in Harare

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The gardens were created by Basil Christian, a British settler who came to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1911 and bought the farm Mount Shannon, which he renamed Ewanrigg. The name is derived from a village in Northumberland, England, where his ancestors lived. Christian was initially interested in growing European alpine plants, but soon realised that they were not suited for the local climate and soil.

He then switched his focus to aloes, which he collected from various parts of the country and planted around his house. He also acquired many exotic species from other countries, such as Madagascar, South Africa, and Mexico. Over the years, he developed one of the largest collections of aloes and cycads in the world, with over 300 species.

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The Attractions of the Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens

Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens

Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens-Image Source@zimprofiles

The gardens cover an area of about 265 hectares, and are divided into several sections, each with its own theme and character.

  • The Aloe Ridge: This is the most prominent feature of the gardens, where hundreds of aloes are planted on a rocky ridge overlooking the lawns and the house.
  • The Cycad Collection: This is another impressive collection of plants, featuring over 50 species of cycads, which are ancient plants that resemble palms or ferns.
  • The Succulent Garden: This is a newer addition to the gardens, where various types of succulent plants are grown in a naturalistic style.
  • The Water Features: The gardens have several ponds and streams that add to the beauty and tranquility of the place.
  • The Kopjes and Woodlands: The gardens are surrounded by natural landscapes of granite kopjes and miombo woodlands, which offer scenic views and hiking opportunities.

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The Practical Information

The gardens are open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, and the entrance fee is US$5 for adults and US$2 for children. There are picnic and braai facilities available, as well as a small shop and a cafeteria. The gardens also offer guided tours, educational programs, and special events.

The Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens are a must-see for anyone who loves plants, nature, and history. They are a testament to the vision and dedication of Basil Christian, who created a botanical paradise in the heart of Zimbabwe.

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