Flowers at Halfaampieskraal – Friday Flowers

So there’s this small little place in the world that is the curve of my heart. Halfaampieskraal is the farm in South Africa where I grew up, spending very happy and carefree days with my 3 sisters and 1 brother. Before my dad retired, he farmed this little bit of golden land tucked away in the Overberg region, to be precise the Ruens. My very talented brother, Jan-Georg Solms, took over the farming just over 20 years ago and in this time also transformed some of the outbuildings into accommodation and an old barn serves as a venue for events. The manor house has changed just a bit and now acts as the leisure area for guests where they can curl up around the fire drinking local wines in winter or spend endless summer hours on the enormous stoep (veranda), admiring the view to the Riviersonderend mountains. Inside this house the interiors are quite dramatic. During my childhood this was also the case (we often joked that we grew up in a museum) but now my brother, Jan-Georg, has amplified this drama, (giving my parents a go in the ‘dramatic interiors’ stakes) adding lots of eclectic elements, gorgeous items collected from his world wide travels and heirloom pieces that all have a story to tell.

To cut a long and passionate story short, Jan has also inherited my parents’ love for beautiful things and flowers, he knows exactly how to take them to the next level, go big or go home! Here are a few examples of the flower moments that you will find any day of the week at Halfaampieskraal.

Hydrangea and apple branches in urn

Jan-Georg doesn’t do ‘small’, here the dining room table gets a full-on showstopper made up of hydrangea, love-lies-bleeding and small apple branches. The urn standing ontop of a stone plinth, gives this oversize number even more height, filling the room, while still keeping the table surface clear.

 

red amaranthus, love-lies-bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding or Amaranthus grows wildly in the the farm garden and looks fabulous on its own against the beautifully hand painted botanical wall art, done by Nelia Solms du Toit (my other sister).

 

opal coloured hydrangea

Giant hydrangea heads in opal colours adorning an extra large pale blue vase.

 

quince

An abundance of farm grown quince fruit, nothing more needed…  For me this fruit brings back such happy and nostalgic childhood memories with my dad on this farm. Driving in the bakkie (pick-up truck) with him, dad taking giant bites out of the hard fruit and passing it onto me.

 

All flowers by Jan-Georg Solms on location at Halfaampieskraal, holiday guest farm & venue.

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

A Home Filled with Flowers – Friday Flowers

My Flower journey through South Africa continues and my next stop is visiting my eldest sister, Hanli Smuts. Hanli & Anton lives on a gorgeous wine and fruit farm in the fertile Robertson valley, right on the banks of the Breede River. Their garden is absolutely gorgeous and Hanli grows the most beautiful cut flowers. Sometimes, she has so many flowers and foliage, she has to cut bunches and supply to florists, just to spread the wealth and prevent them from going to waste. I stayed with Hanli for 3 days and just about every corner of her home was dressed with beautiful flower moments, just as you’d expect.

Grey foliage and dahlias

A subtle and romantic grey theme for the guest bathroom. Grey foliage of the dusty millar and a hit of pink and purple dahlias adorning glass bud vases.

 

flower arrangements of dahlias, hydrangea, roses, & red amaranths

A few of the flower arrangements through her home; pink dahlias, roses, red and green amaranths, pink and green hydrangea and a prized deep red cockscomb, all being showed off in a selection of vintage vases.

 

flowers paintings by Nelia Du Toit

An eclectic picture gallery with the obligatory floral paining or more! The two Iris paintings (top left and middle) as well as the white tulip painting (top right), are all by my other sister, the artist Nelia Solms du Toit (yes, I have 3 sisters and a brother!)

 

flower arrangements of dahlias, hydrangea, roses, & red amaranths

 

vintage wall scones filled with fresh herbs and dahlias

Even Hanli’s kitchen sink area allows for a beautiful flower display. Antique wall scones are filled with herbs Hanli uses for cooking daily. By just adding the odd dahlia for colour, this practical solutions becomes a beautiful statement.

Feature & Photos by Theoda Solms Iles

Flowers grown and displayed by Hanli Smuts, Robertson, South Africa

 

Heavenly Hydrangea

In recent years the Hydrangea have moved up in the flower-fashion stakes and it is easy to see why. With their full blooming pom-pom heads, they bring an instant colour-hit, and this with only one stem required. Hydrangea grow happily in most gardens and their flowers can change colour, depending on soil conditions. The plants can also grow to be very old and still be a reliable flowering plant, giving many gorgeous blooms throughout summer. I saw these beauties blooming in the front garden of a house en-route to the station. So one day, baby in pushchair and dog on lead, I knocked on the door and asked the lady if she would mind if I picked 5 stems. She was delighted that others noticed their beauty too and told me that some of the bushes (the more opal coloured ones) are very old, as they were already in the garden when she moved into the house 45 years ago.

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

I especially love the opal purple-blue ones and how the colour shades and vary from one side of the flower to the other side. I used my old vintage Wedgwood urns to arrange them in and added the small lacecap hydrangea from my garden in the mini urn. They lasted for 2 whole weeks on my bedroom drawer unit, seen here.

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads

Hydrangea always reminds me of summer time in South Africa. Of course summer in SA is during the months of November to February. Over there, we also refer to them as “Krismisrose”, translating to “Christmas Roses”, as they are at their best over the Christmas period and you see them in many gardens and in houses during the festive season.

 

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns on stairs

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns on stairs

While carrying the vases to the first floor, I put them on the stairs to carry them upstairs one-by-one, and I noticed how pretty they looked just there at a glance. Totally bazaar putting flowers on a stairs, especially if you share your house with a husband, 3-year old and a dog.  So I had to move them quickly but not before I snapped this photo.

 

Photos, Styling and Words by Theoda Solms Iles

A Happy Bunch – Friday Flowers

Bright colours make me feel so happy inside and I think that is just one of the many reasons I love flowers so much. I would imagine this is the same for a lot of flower lovers. This simple arrangement includes only three types of flowers, all picked from my small garden. The deep blue-purple of the delphinium sets of the pinks in the dahlia and the hydrangea beautifully and arranged in the green vintage glass vase, one of my favourite vases, they look spectacular. Now these floral beauties take pride of place in my little girls room. (See more of her room in my next post. Subscribe now, not to miss out.)

Delphiniums, Dahlias & Hydrangea in vintage green glass vase

Delphiniums, Dahlias & Hydrangea in vintage green glass vase

 

Deep Purple Delphinium

Deep Purple Delphinium

 

Pink Lace Hydrangea

Pink Lace Hydrangea

 

Pink Dahlia

Pink Dahlia

 

Photography & Styling, Theoda Solms Iles

PS: I don’t use filters or photoshop for these photos, they are all true to their colours and look.