Sammy Marks Museum gardens, Zwartkoppies, Pretoria

Barberton daisies at Sammy Marks Museum

To ensure garden planting to reflect what the Marks' family would have planted, MariƩ Bester, the horticulturalist responsible for this garden, says that old photographs and old seed catalogues were consulted. Seed firm Ball Straathof helped by advising them which seed would have been available in South Africa a 120-odd years ago.

So the gardens are a treasure trove of flowers too seldom seen today: the simple old-fashioned Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii, pictured to the left; to my mind more beautiful than the overwrought dinner plates so fashionable these days), achillea (a rarity in South African gardens), feverfew, cleome, inca lilies, marguerites, nerines and rudbeckia, which has taken to the garden like fire. In fact, MariƩ Bester says that rudbeckia does so well in our hot summers and frosty winters, that South Africans would do well to plant it much more widely.

Two flowers deserve special mention: the first are the opium poppies grown in the gardens - for historical authenticity - for which permission has been obtained. The second are the orange chrysanthemums which have a political pedigree to equal that of Sammy Marks himself: they graced the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma in May 2009, and were afterwards brought here and planted out.