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Tree Stories

Through the years, many trees have been planted in the Van Loveren garden to commemorate big historical and personal events. Today visitors can enjoy the shade and peace the tree rich garden offers. Many of the plants are also labelled, so visitors can enjoy their stories.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
When Hennie arrived on the farm in 1937, this tree was one of many that formed a sheep pen next to the homestead. This is the only one he kept, and it is the oldest and only original tree at Van Loveren.

Washingtonia (Washingtonia filifera)
This was the first tree Hennie and Jean planted after their wedding in 1939.

Norfolk Island Pine (Arancaria excelsa)
Planted in August 1945, the pine commemorates Japan's surrendered after World War II.

New Calidonean Pine (Arancaria cookii)
Planted in May 1945, the tree marks Germany's surrender.

Bottle-brush (Callistemon salignus)
In 1949, Wynand, Jean's younger son, was only four years old when he jumped from a pig-sty and landed in a spike-thorn. He contracted osteomyelitis and became quite ill. Since both he and his mother cried so much at the time, his grandmother gave Jean this "weeping bottle-brush".

Cork Oak (Quercus suber)
Jean and Hennie planted this tree with the birth of the Republic of South Africa in 1961, but during the 1980's it toppled over. Their son Nico pushed a support under it and today it still grows beautifully. Being quite superstitious at the time however, Ouma Jean worried this might be a sign for the "fall of the Republic".

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Jean planted this tree in 1967 during the Six Day War to express empathy with her many Jewish friends.

Natal Mahogany (Trichilia emetica)
Following then State President FW de Klerk's dramatic speech in Parliament on 2 February 1990, Jean planted this tree for him. To commemorate the Nobel Peace Prize that De Klerk and Nelson Mandela received jointly shortly thereafter, two rose bushes under the tree were planted – a "Peace of Vereeniging" variety and "Black Madonna", respectively.

Traveller's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis)
When three of her grandsons turned 21, Jean planted one of these palms for each of them next to the cellar, below the gable, with the wish that the lads would travel the world.

Reach for the Sky (Schizolobium parahybum)
Since 1990, the four Retief grandsons have all joined their fathers, Nico and Wynand, at Van Loveren. As each finished his studies at Stellenbosch, their grandmother Jean planted one of these trees in the wine tasting area, since she believes that for them the sky is the limit.

Leopard tree or Brazilian ironwood (Caesalpinia ferrea)
This was planted for Nelson Mandela when he became President of South Africa in 1994. There are larger examples in the rest of the garden.