Ewanrigg Botanical Garden

Ewanrigg Botanical Garden is noted for its wide collection of indigenous and exotic plants and is one of the world's largest aloe and cycad gardens. It has a calm and peaceful environment, scenic views and wide variety of plant species.

About Ewanrigg Botanical Garden

Ewanrigg Botanical Garden owes its origin to the late Mr. Harold Basil Christian. Mr. Christian came to the then Rhodesia in 1914 as a farmer. He later turned his attention to botany and horticulture.

It was in the field of botany and in the study of the genus aloe that he made many valuable scientific contributions.

Building on his success with aloes, he later turned his attention to a cycad collection. In his garden which covered, 1,5 hectares, a very comprehensive collection of aloes, cycads and many species of small succulent plants was acquired - all of which were planted with considerable care and particular attention to their physical arrangement.

Some months prior to his death in 1950, he donated his garden with some additional land to the Governement. The cultivated area was very small, comprising some 1.6ha. During the past 40 years, considerable development has been made. When the garden was eventually opened to the public and became widely known throughout the region, the need for expansion was identified in order to capture the interest of visitors throughout the year. With this in mind many hectares of land were brought under cultivation incorporating several features that include spacious lawns with grouped trees and shrubs, a water garden and collections of cactii and bougainvillea. Progress made over the past few years has brought 100 hectares under cultivation.

Ewanrigg has become widely known abroad and possibly the most favourable outcome of Mr. Christian's work has been the garden's capacity to create meaningful plant specie exchanges with other botanical gardens and numerous plant collectors as well as to create a richly endowed botanical habitat for both indigenous and exotic species. Ewanrigg has now become one of the largest aloe and cycad gardens in the world.

Vegetation

The area is predominantly a habitat for the indigenous miombo wooodland, which is the most common in the garden, with brachstagia species and parinari species appearing here and there. Exotic species have also been introduced in the landscaped regions of the Garden.

Facilities

Picnic Site
The serene, calm and scenic environment of the gardens make Ewanrigg an ideal picnicking area. The sites are well serviced with ablution facilities, braai stands and water points. For those that may need to sweat a little there is an open ground where visitors can play volleyball and many other ball games.

Activities

  • Garden viewing - aloe viewing is ideal from May to September when the aloes are in bloom
  • Winter time bird watching - aloes and cycads attract a wide variety of bird species. When in bloom, aloes and cycads become a special fascination for sunbirds, which at times concentrate in large numbers to obtain nectar
  • Bird watchers should make this a key port of call
  • Picnicking
  • Photographing
  • Walks - guided and unguided