A magic garden

[November 2023] – I started painting birds with my mother when she lived amongst the hills of Mpumalanga, South Africa. She was a painter and her wild 8-hectare garden was her reign, populated by birds and flowers of every color, size and shape. Kudus and bushbucks could be fleetingly seen at dawn in the tall grass and tropical birds would come to feed off the pawpaw (papaya) tray strategically placed on the veranda. This way we could admire them from behind the large sliding glass doors.

I was in awe and every time I visited from Europe I would spend hours exploring the garden. I started painting a few birds with my mother and pairing them with her favourite flowers.


The project is still ongoing, in her memory. At the time of her passing I could not complete it; my days were filled with a new family, my tourism job and writing about rhinos and elephants.
I am still learning. But I enjoy sharing my learning steps with others, because I’m very inspired by the beauty of birds in their infinite variety, and because by celebrating their beauty I celebrate my mother Yvette’s connection with Nature – which is mine too.

(Lilac-breasted roller  – Coracias caudatus – and, above, Grey-backed Camaroptera – Camaroptera brevicaudata – by Silvana Olivo)

This and other wildlife prints and cards are available in The Wild Charm Factory Shop.
10% of all sales are devoted to support wildlife projects.