This is South Africa........
.....and a few places round about.

The Tree of the Year

Calendar of Events

Organisations and Societies


More Links

The South African Weather Bureau ...provides detailed information of expected weather all over the sub-continent.
Products On-Line.

here are some interesting places to go.
Compost and recycling.
RotWeb Basically, thoughts on recycling and home composting. Materials to use and whatnot to use. Different systems discussed.
A complete guide to recycling domestic waste. Common household trash as well as the not-so-easy items.
The Center For Urban Ecology Developing cities with people and ecology in mind.
Earthship has ways of using recycled materials. You can even build your home out of trash!

Some South African connections.
Earthlife Africa homepage. Read up green issues in South Africa. Like the environmental management of Zeekoeivlei, the future of Table Mountain and what's going on at Saldhana!
Trees For Africa.
Invasive alien plants
Northern Province and the garden of the Rain Queen.
The South African Environmental Project.
Networked Landscape News.
Get a decent Internet connection! Get connected to PiX

Ancient living trees
The Wollemi Pines.Read about the living fossils found in Australian rain forest.
And cycads.

Palm Trees.
The World of Palms.Mike Maxons collection of pics as well as suppliers of Palm and Cycad seeds.

The American Gloxinia and Gesneriad Society Ths includes African Violets and also Streptocarpus.

Carniverous Plants. Crrniverous plant society.

Cactus and succulents.
The Cactus &Succulents Plant Mall. A resource for all growers and collectors. Updates on societies and suppliers of seeds, plants and literature on cactus and succulents for professionals as well as beginners.

EXTOXNET provides objective, science-based information on pesticide toxicology and environmental. Information is fully searchable and selectively retrievable.

Back in the mist of time when humans hunted and gathered food, there was only one garden. Every morning when the sun rose (and it usually did) there it was. No mowing lawns or buying fertiliser. It was just there and everyone was welcome.
After the advent of villages and settlements and agricultural tools it became important to have plants near the home. Medicinal plants, magical plants and some just to look at. The very earliest recorded gardens were herb gardens. Very important for humans. They gave healing as well as rich aromas and colourful flowers. It is probably in this epoch that the compost industry had its roots.
So now after all these years, the cities have become much bigger and the world much smaller, but a garden is still a storage bank of green and leafy memories.

In the 17th century the Cape was earmarked by the Portuguese authorities as a vegetable garden (with a fort for protection!) and introduced all manner of European vegies. This South Africa is home to twenty-four thousand plant species. That's almost 10 per cent of all flowering plants in the world.

Western Cape

This is an area characterised by Fynbos and a Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and cool, wet winters. Fynbos is generally knee-high fine-leaf, coarse vegetation. Then there are the reeds, proteas, daisies, bulbs, and much, much more.

Situated in Cape Town is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Founded in 1913, it is situated on the slopes of Table Mountain. Extending over 528ha of land and reaching up to Maclear Beacon, the highest point of Table Mountain, 1210 m above sea level. There are 5600 indigenous plant species from all over the country. Not far from the gate is the scented Braille Trail with plants interesting to touch and smell.
The University of Stellenbosch has its own garden of historical interest. This is a center of research into food and ornamental plants. Maize, wheat, tomatoes, pelargoniums and other indigenous plants. The University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town has its own botany department.
Just outside Cape Town, Durbanville Rose Garden is well known for its more than 7000 rose bushes growing in Durbanville's ideal climate. The Cape Horticultural Society holds a Rose show every spring and autumn. But there are many other rose shows held in the region.
Every year in spring the West coast bursts into flower. This is when the countryside becomes covered in a carpet of flowers.

The Highveld

This is an area 1500M above sea level. Rolling grassland with groves of local trees in the many river valleys. A summer rainfall area with a rich, deep soil. In winter the temperature drops to below zero overnight. The rainfall is around 700mm a year but there are often long dry spells, as well as thunder storms and deluges of rain.
The major city is Johannesburg.
Gardeners in this part of the country have to depend largely upon choosing frost resistant plants. Planting shade trees provides a certain amount of protection from frost as well as the hot summer sun. Deciduous trees as well as evergreens are well suited to this clime as well as the native plants.

Free State

Northern Province.


Between Durban and the Drakensberg mountains varies from sub-tropical coast to misty midlands to the peaks of the Drakensberg at 1200 m above sea level. summer rainfall area, the coastal belt is characterised by mild temperatures throughout the year. Rich soils and a warm clime give the coastal gardens a leafy evergreen feel. Magnolias, ficus, and tropical fruit. From the coast, the land rises steeply. Rolling green hills (in the rainy season) dotted with cities, towns and farmsteads and c old, misty, winter evenings.
The Durban Botanical Garden has a great collection of palms from around the world, while the Pietermaritzburg garden focuses on indigenous plants.
See other pages on KwaZulu/Natal.

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Phil Stranex