Recent events

Plant Fair 2017

Plants for sale

This year’s indigenous Plant Fair at the Sustainable Living Expo was a break from tradition, as we had to move the Fair indoors for logistical reasons. Two nurseries joined us, and it was lovely to see the back of the hall come alive, with plants, volunteers and keen gardeners. Because of limited space, we could not display the usual range of plants, but between the two nurseries we had a good mix of ground covers, succulents, shrubs and trees.

Special thanks must go to the volunteers, and our hard-working committee members, Sandra, Barry, Di and Bertha, and of course the nurseries – Grasslands and God’s Green Gifts.

BotSoc AGM 2017.

Suvarna Parbhoo and Guest speaker Geoff Nichols

The AGM of the KZN Coastal Branch was held on Sunday, 23 July 2017 at the Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors’ Centre. The guest speaker was well-known plant expert, Geoff Nichols, who spoke on Oribi Gorge: a natural history gem

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.

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.