Dune Forest with Richard Boon
By Charles & Julia Botha
On a beautiful, warm autumn day, tree enthusiasts, notepads in hand, joined tree expert Richard Boon in the dune forest of the Umlalazi Nature Reserve. The fact that both the morning and afternoon sessions were fully booked, weeks ahead, illustrates just how popular Richard is.
Both groups were treated to a sumptuous lunch in a charming cottage, nestled deep in the dune forest of the reserve. The morning’s sightings were eagerly discussed, giving the afternoon delegates something to look forward to.
And they were not disappointed. An excellent tutor, Richard explained how to recognise particular trees rather than just giving them their names. When one gets really good at this one should be able to identify them from the trunk, without looking up into the forest canopy! The bark of Sideroxylon inerme (White-milkwood), for instance, has distinctive rough rectangular cracks.
Besides seeing most of the main common dune forest species, there were some special plants, new to most of the group. For example, Scolopia stolzii (River Thorn-pear) with its beautiful bronze new leaves and Gymnosporia arenicola (Dune Spikethorn) previously part of Maytenus heterophylla. Appropriately, arenicola means dwelling on sand.
Kloof Open Gardens 2017.
Kloof Open Gardens 2017.
We had a stand at the Kloof Open Gardens again this year, a big thanks to Paolo and the committee. Saturday was a bit damp, but the intrepid plant people did not let rain keep them away, and lots of interesting discussions took place with Elsa Pooley under the covered verandah.
Sunday was beautiful, the gardens were full of families enjoying the event. The children's quiz was popular, and the garden owners were very generous with their time. There were landscaping ideas and tips on raising specific plants, and of course the welcome refreshments stop and market, with lots of healthy plants to buy.
Indigenous Plant Fair 2016.
We were with the Sustainable Living Exhibition again this year at the Durban Exhibition Centre, Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August 2016 The theme was Gardening in a Changing Climate. This year has definitely been a change from the climate we are used to on the KZN coast, and even up in the hills. A long period of drought, torrential down-pours and floods, and even frost as low down as Assegai have all combined to stress our gardens, and the gardeners!
Luckily our indigenous plants take the changing conditions in their stride, and it was amazing to see their quick recovery after the rain. The erythrinas have been especially beautiful this year, and the succulents have thrived.
BotSoc AGM 2016.
Charles Botha, Rob Cross, Molly-Ann Zaloumis (Andrew 's mother), Andrew, Jean Senogles
The AGM of the KZN Coastal Branch was held on Sunday, 31 July 2016 at the Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors’ Centre. The guest speaker was Andrew Zaloumis, CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, who spoke on Turning Paradise into a parking lot?