January 13, 2015 | Scott Dressel-Martin, Photographer

Afternoon showers in Drakensburg, photo by Scott Dressel-MartinAs a professional photographer you dream about the day when someone calls you and asks if your passport is up to date. The answer, of course, should always be YES! As the contract photographer for Denver Botanic Gardens for nearly fifteen years, I’ve been lucky enough to get that call twice.

In September of 2013, I accompanied Sarada Krishnan, director of horticulture, and Larry Vickerman, director of Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, to Mongolia on an exciting outreach trip to record in photographs and video how Denver Botanic Gardens would be able to help the City of Ulaanbaatar with the diversity and sustainability of their parks, gardens and green-spaces. We were also privileged to visit the Denver Zoo research station at Ikh Nart Nature Preserve on the edge of the Gobi Desert. At the time I thought the trip would truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this case it is my great pleasure to be proven wrong.

Again I am on assignment, this time in South Africa for the Gardens. We’re on a plant safari with Panayoti Kelaidis, the Gardens director of outreach and senior curator. We’ll traverse the Drakensberg, visit the villages and high-mountain passes of Lesotho and view the wildlife of Kruger. All the while we’ll be searching for native plants and enjoying the diverse cultures of South Africa.

Over the next few weeks I hope to blog again for the Gardens as well as post more detailed photography-related musings to my own blog www.dresselmartinblog.com.

I’ll be posting to my own Instagram #sdmartin, and for a few days I’ll be taking over Denver Botanic Gardens Instagram account #botanicgardens.

So please join me as we cross the veld in search of beauty and wonder in South Africa. Until then, Cheers!



2017 Western Cape Succulent expedition

To:   Panayoti Kelaidis and others on this site

From: Jeffrey


I have met you several times at Eastern National Cactus and Succulent Conventions and am an old friend of the late and sorely missed D. Gerry Barad. I am looking for a knowledgeable succulent plant guide for day trips in Namaqualand, the Knersrvlakte and points north. I visited the Richetesveld in 2015 with Richtersveld Tours and, while I enjoyed the trip, Johan de Waal did not really have the specialized background I need. I will be in country from August 25 to September 5. I plan to be in Vanrhysdorp on August 25. I will have a rental car and will arrange for my own accommodations  Can you help?I

Am most interested in the quartz fields of the Knersvlakte and points north and west. My interest is in seeing and photographing members of the aizoiacae family such as lithops, conophytums, dinteranthus, titanopsis and others. I am also interested in haworthias, aloes, gasterias. I am an experienced hiker with good stamina.

Thank you,

Jeffrey Sedwin

South Africa

If I were to be doing what you're doing, I'd sign up for a tour from Karel du Toit (pillansii@telkomsa.net). He is a knowledgeable amateur botanist, a police detective and an utterly delightful individual who schedules fantastic tours throughout the Western Cape (he does the driving, provides food and places to stay and knows all the land owners). I have traveled with him in Eastern South Africa--you will never find a more delightful person--and he specializes in your area. Kokerboom Nursery undoubtedly has knowledgeable staff who might be willing to spare a few days with you...I do not know anyone on their staff, but they may respond on their website: http://www.kokerboom.co.za/. Good luck! I envy your trip.

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