Soekershof is also the original breeding place of the South African cactus and succulent trade with in one of the gardens a 100 year old Pachycereus weberii (Anno 1910). Opposite this giant plant are the graves of cactuspioneer and amateur botanist Marthinus Malherbe (1885-1976) and his wife Molly. After his dead the gardens were neglected for 24 years and by me, my wife and dedicated staff carefully restored and extended to a total surface of 11,000 square metres. In 2009 two landscape students from France (ENSP, Blois) were engaged in the implementation of their design for a 1500 sqm large Dry Garden in which students of the McGregor Waldorf School made contemporary rock paintings.
The cultivation of the plants in the gardens and in the own nursery is fully organic. We are continuously trying to find a compromise between plants in habitat and in cultivation. For this we are supported by many collectors, universities and specialist nurseries from around the globe.
The reknown cactus nursery SHEILAM, which is nextdoors, was in 1954 founded by Malherbe and with his pension (80 yrs old) in 1965 sold to the present owning family. Virtually all cacti at the entrance and in the small garden around the house (impressive by size) are planted between 1954 and 1956 by Malherbe. As amateur botanist he discovered many new plant species in the South African 'veld'; only one bearing his name: Ananopsis malherbei