Protea flower
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In 1738 this farm, known then as Davidskraal, was allocated to Andries Grove for grazing purposes. During those years the area was mostly uninhabited by humans though William Paterson, who travelled this region from Somerset West to Bot River in 1771, gave accounts of wild life such as hyena, zebra, bontebok, buffalo and eland roaming free.

Oxen pulling a wagon with its human cargo to the other side of the Palmiet River Oxen pulling a wagon with its human
cargo to the other side of the
Palmiet River.

The Blomstoor (translated from Afrikaans to 'flower shed') was apparently built during 1802. Soon after, the owner of the Blomstoor built a tollgate on the gravel road that allowed visitors to go past the farm on their way from the Palmiet River – which then could only be crossed by means of a pontoon – to the adjacent farms in Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay (then called Paterson's Bay) and Rooiels (then known as Waaigat – 'Windy Hole').

Pontoon carrying vehicles and passengers across the Palmiet River. Pontoon carrying vehicles and passengers across the Palmiet River

Clarence Drive – the R44 national road from Kleinmond going past the Blomstoor to Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay, Rooiels and Gordon's Bay – was built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II to service the radar stations at Stony Point and Hangklip (between Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay). This farm was instrumental in supplying the needed fresh vegetables, milk and meat.

Years later the Winshaws bought the Elephant Rock Estate, which also included the Blomstoor. As owners of Flora International Ltd, well-known for their trade in flowers, they harvested sewejaartjies (Syncarpha, and in English 'everlasting') in the beautiful Elephant Rock Mountains above the farm. These sewejaartjies were dried in the Blomstoor by hanging them from a wired mesh in the ceiling. The dried flowers were then exported to Europe for use in flower decorations and as stuffing for mattresses. According to superstition, these sewejaartjie-stuffed mattresses gave prosperity and fertility to those who slept on them.

In the latter part of the twentieth century, the Blomstoor and Blomhuis ('flower house') were used as a nursery while the 1990's saw the Blomhuis trading as the Blomhuis Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast. The property was abandoned in 2000. The buildings deteriorated rapidly over the next few years as it remained empty and uncared for.

The farm was saved from further neglect by the current owners who bought the small holding in 2002. They restored the Blomstoor to be used as a magnificent wedding venue, while the Blomhuis was transformed into a Cape Dutch homestead.

Images used with the permission of the Kleinmond Library
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