SusanKZN(KZNSouthAfrica)October 29, 2003

Dear "friends" of the gardening fraternity I was so pleased to have stumbled on this site when trying to identify a delightful plant with blue flowers (aristea ecklonii - bit of a weed, but it is wonderful). My neighbours & I moved into a lunar landscape last August .. saving grace was a beautiful view over a gorge and the wonderful Macaranga trees & albizia adianthifolias. We've established indigenous gardens & are amazed that so many people who live in this richly diverse country can't appreciate the great heritage we have. Yes, there is most certainly a place for roses, pansies etc. But,I think the general mindset was that "indigenous" was aloes, cactus (!) and succulents. We'll certainly try to keep in contact (going to get my neighbour, Ben, to also join up) and send digi photos (actually I should have said "dodgy") of our gardens.

Kind regards


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jungle_cottage(sub tropics)

Hello Susan of KZN,I also found this forum quite exciting when I stumbled in.
I am also from KZN.
I am ruthless about exotics and dont like pansies and roses at all,I dont think they have a place in Africa at all.

But for those who have struggled with them under the african sun and can present a picture perfect cottage garden some place up in the mist belt under clouds of azaleas dripping with fuscias and hillocks of hydrangeas well then,why not,we all have mothers dont we.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 1:05AM
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cjhin(Gauteng ZA)

Hi Guys

I cannot agree with you more. We have such beautiful indigenous plants in SA and they attract insects, birds etc. Why buy that expensive timeshare in the bush when you can create a little nature reserve in your garden? And if you can get all your neighbours to plant indigenous then your whole neighbourhood could be a reserve. How far could it go? Imagine if you flew over Johannesburg and all you saw were indigenous trees! The Johannesburg Nature Reserve. That sounds exciting!

Make the suburbs of SA indigenous!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 2:30AM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

When i lived and gardened in Port Elizabeth in the seventies and eighties, there was almost no resources for buying indigenous plants ... and very stiff fines for collecting them from the wild.
Lucky for me i worked at the Divisional Council and as an employee i could get 25 free protea plants from the nursery in Van Stadenskloof, and the proteas did fabulously in my garden as did Strelitzia nicolai and regina. Someone I knew had some Watsonias, but would not share, and I never saw any for sale.
Only after getting a garden here in the States and trying to recreate a little bit of home, did i stumble onto Silverhill Seeds and ... I now have more South African native plants in my garden than when I lived there! Isn't that ironic.
So nice to see you guys posting! Delina

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 1:55PM
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jungle_cottage(sub tropics)

Exactly right.Whilst now there are some very dependable places to buy local flora in SA a few years ago it was impossibly difficult.Still things are limited.

I was most indignant when I moved on contract to London,to find that they had much, much more to offer than back home.
Amongst hundreds of flowering ornamentals from SA not just one Kniphofia,but about thirty different ones,all healthy robust ready to plant numbers (certainly many varieties but also the unadulterated species) not to mention the BULBS! Fat healthy unlimited quantities of things that you are almost certainly only very lucky to see flowering on the side of the road back home,if at all.It was like being a kid in sweet shop,Watsonias no problem,I can remember being completely blown over by the Diaramas on offer and tended to buy entire stocks,till I settled down,and ran out of garden.Agapanthus..............
Once you get your garden in SA thriving though and the birds move in it is all no problem,as things start to get away without your help.I found it takes awhile to get all the habitats right.And a lot of watering to speed things up.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 8:51PM
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