September meeting

September meeting

Dear Friends, Come on let’s be happy! Spring has sprung! Isn’t it wonderful? We have had some rain and everything is beginning to shoot as well as the weeds! Let’s all look happy at our next meeting, and each of us and even the men, wear a flower in our hair, no matter how much hair we have or haven’t got! The next meeting of Gardening @ Leisure will be held on: Date: Friday 1 September 2017 Time: 10.00am Venue: 5 Church Sq. Leisure Isle, home of Ruth Knowles Speaker: Sanchia from Fire Worx Subject: Spices and their uses. Special teas, Exploring barks, berries, seeds & leaves.  Sanchia will bring some goodies for sale and display, she also has a shop here in Knysna. Remember to bring: a chair, a mug for your tea/coffee, money for the raffle Tea Hostesses for this month are: Gilly Fraser Smith, Irene van Zyl, Rose Clogg, Wendy Dain, Barbara Getliff & Denise Voysey – 1 plate each please ladies You may bring a friend at a cost of R20 Birthdays this month are: Heather Busby, Rose Clogg, Jean Dedekind, Judy Krige, Sally Maxwell & Anne McMurray Don’t forget to keep working on your Miniature Gardens for our Exhibition on 12/13/14 October please we need lots. Everyone can make at least two!  When last did you look at our website w.w.w.gardeningatleisure.co.za ? You will find so many interesting things there – take a look!. See you all on the 1st. Love, Denise Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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David Davidson is coming to Knysna.

David Davidson is coming to Knysna.

NOT TO BE MISSED: Talk by David Davidson, of Chelsea Flower Show fame. The Topic is Biodiversity. Date: Sunday 3rd Sept, Time: 2.30. The Venue: Ambleridge Clubhouse  The Cost of the Tickets: R100, including tea, and the seats are unreserved. The Event starts with a scrumptious cream tea, and the talk will start at 3.15 and will probably be for about 2 hours. The tickets are available at Knysna Hospice, Bond House, Wilson Street, Hunters Home, Knysna. If preferred, phone Kathy Michaelides on 0823208302 and she  will arrange the ticket for those who cannot get to Bond House. They would prefer it if people could buy their tickets in advance of the event. David Davidson and Raymond Hudson have been responsible for designing and creating the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for 23 consecutive years, together with a small core team and an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.   During this time, the exhibit has garnered 16 RHS Gold Medals (bringing the total since 1976 to 34), as well as the Anthony Huxley Trophy (1995) and the Lawrence Medal for the best floral exhibit shown to the RHS in 2006. The exhibit was also the first recipient of the RHS President’s Most Creative Award, introduced at Chelsea in 2008. In 2015 the exhibit was awarded Silver Gilt. Plants and art have always been David’s greatest passion, although he began his professional career in psychology and clinical social work. He later headed the Graphic Services Unit at the National Biodiversity Institute (Kirstenbosch) for 18 years – a role that included show design. His current full-time occupation is as a graphic designer and scenic artist. He has also created floral exhibits in other parts of the world including Palmengarten, Germany; the Royal Flora Expo in Thailand; the Singapore Garden Festival and the Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki, Japan. Raymond obtained a Diploma in Horticulture and gained his comprehensive practical training and work experience with the Durban Botanic Garden. He subsequently obtained a Diploma in Parks Administration at the John Brooks School of Landscape Design (1984). Ray’s career in landscaping includes the design and management of numerous large estates and landscaping projects for Keith Kirsten Horticulture International such as the spectacular Cape wine estates of Lourensford and Delaire, as well as the Cavalli equestrian centre, whilst his speciality is domestic and small garden design Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Brenton Blue Butterfly

Brenton Blue Butterfly

BRENTON BLUE NEWS – JUNE 2017 To all friends and neighbours of the Brenton Blue butterfly – welcome to your latest newsletter! You can obtain more detailedinformation about the Brenton Blue butterfly itself on the website www.brentonblue.org.za, or about the Brenton Blue Trust at www.brentonbluetrust.co.za.  The management committee (MC)for the Brenton Blue includes representatives from CapeNature, WESSA, EWT, LepSoc Africa, the Knysna Municipality (KM)and local residents.   Annual General Meeting (AGM) The 2017 AGM of the Brenton Blue Trust (BBT) was held on the 27th May 2017. New trustee representatives Jeremy Dobson and Mark Williams attended for the first time. Activities of the BBT were reviewed, and included annual reports of current projects such as the COREL (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera) programme, the SALCA (South African Lepidoptera Conservation Assessment) project, and the Karoo BioGaps project. Notable achievements during the year under review included:   Finalisation of the terms of a contract nature reserve agreement with the KM to expand the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve (BBBR) from its original 1.6 ha to and expanded area of 15 ha. Agreement in principle with Stellenbosch University to create a 1200 ha contract nature reserve near Witsand to conserve Dickson’s Strandveld Opal (Chrysoritis dicksoni). Completion of the research into the ecology of Barber’s False Bay Ranger (Kedestes barberae bunta) at Strandfontein on the Cape Flats. The financial position of the BBT was currently robust enough to support all foreseen activities for the next two years.   The Knysna fire of 7th June 2017 The Knysna fire of 7th June 2017 also raged along the Brenton Peninsula, destroying dozens of homes, many in Brenton-on-Sea, location of the famous BBBR. The 15 ha expanded BBBR (see above) was severely burnt, leaving only very hardy trees such as candlewoods still standing, although badly scorched. After the fire there was no sign of the butterfly’s larval host plant, Indigofera erecta – not unusual because it is currently in its dormant winter state with underground rootstocks.   Dr Dave Edge, who received his PhD in 2005 for his work done on the ecology of the butterfly, says that the intensity and extent of this fire was completely unprecedented in living memory, as far back as when Brenton-on-Sea was founded in the mid-1960s. Several factors coincided to produce such a fire. Firstly Brenton (and indeed the whole Garden Route) had over the past nine months experienced a very severe drought, with rainfall less than 25% of the norm experienced since weather records have been kept for the Knysna area, and this had dried out the vegetation. Secondly, a proliferation of alien vegetation had increased the fuel load, and many of these alien trees were actually dying because...

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Once upon a time in Paradise.

Once upon a time in Paradise.

The 7th of June will be imprinted on our minds for years to come, as this day changed the  lives of many  Knysna residents.    Some  of us suffered damage or total loss,  some of us were traumatized by the event, and many of us are just to old to rebuild the lives that we once had. Our once green hillside transformed into a war torn zone with the skeletal   remains of once proud homes etched against a backdrop of blackened trees and shrubs. The stillness after the ‘Great Fire’ was eerie, not a bird in sight, not a dog barking, no happy chatting of gardeners in the street. The scouting birds soon put  the message out that there is an abundance of food available at certain remaining homes. Owners have been putting out fruit and water to feed these poor creatures.  On Brenton hill the blackened remains of trees are daily festooned with disks of oranges that attract the nectar feeders of the area. An interesting observation in our  property is that members of the Apocynaceae family acted as a fire retardant – where the trellises were covered with star jasmine, the structures were untouched, yet the exposed trellises went up in a puff of smoke. The verge that use to be a magical mix of various succulents and fynbos, succumbed in the fiery blaze, yet the aloes are now resprouting;  battle scarred, but bravely producing new leaves.   I hope that this event will bring home the impact of invasive species in Knysna; Bottlebrush and Australian myrtle burned to cinders,  just like the wattle species, Fountain grass vaporized, and Lantana added fuel to the fire, Washintonia palms went up like candles. It is a documented fact that invasive alien species intensify heat, they are highly combustible and will fuel any fire under normal conditions, let alone the ‘perfect’ conditions we had on that day. It is time (albeit too late) to take action against people or landowners who do not adhere to the Law. Organs of State, (Sanral, Escom, and Municipalities) must now get their houses in order and formulate their Management Plans for the eradication of invasive species before October this year. They already had one years extension!  From next year they are accountable …… The buck stops with the Estate Agents as they are morally duty bound to inform the seller and the buyer that the Law requires   the seller to notify the buyer of any invasive species which may occur on the property.  The Voetstoots clause in ‘Offer to purchase’ document will no longer suffice. All landowners must also remember that Category 1a & 1b must be removed and controlled, Category 2 plants need a...

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August Meeting

August Meeting

We had to change the venue and speaker (Ouland Royal) scheduled for our August meeting as they were victims of the Great Fire. At our forthcoming meeting we want to share our experiences, the knowledge gained and how to plant for the future. See map below for directions. Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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DP Ferreira – Floral Artist extraordinaire.

DP Ferreira – Floral Artist extraordinaire.

Reflections of  our meeting of the 2nd June, at Jenny Pott’s garden. By  Marilyn Woolfrey. On a truly beautiful, sunny winter’s morning we set off for what promised, for me, to be one of the treats of the year.  It turned out to hit the jackpot!  Not only did we have one of Knysna’s most talented artists to demonstrate to us but we visited a farm with views to die for and a charming walled garden – out of place in some ways but gracing the southern entrance of the farmhouse.   A quiet and introspective space for a home that shows off such magnificent views in all directions. The drive off the Rheenedal  road wound through the woods with a glimpse of a miniature landscape view of the Heads in the far distance.  Always an anchor for positioning yourself in Knysna’s 360 degree vista.   Sea, mountains, rivers – we have it all and as a relative newcomer of 2 years I am still frequently enchanted . We were greeted at the farmstead gate by a number of very handsome horses behind the requisite post and rail fence.  Before us, looking like it had been there forever, was the most delightful home of Jenny Pott – this had to be the most inspired choice of venue for a floral artist. DP Ferreira, set up on the veranda, framed beautifully by the wisteria, surprisingly still in full leaf. DP’s first huge creation came almost entirely from his winter garden.  He used grasses and long forgotten flower seed heads and foliage with just a few small proteas strategically placed.  It made me realise I was probably far too tidy in my garden and next year I shall wait until the promise of spring before I hack back the beauty that waits patiently to be noticed! Next was the exact opposite of the winter wonder – this bowl was filled with blousy, exquisite blooms and a fanciful mix of colours, textures and eco systems!  At times my mind cried enough! but the end result was just stunning – traditional but not, clashing but not, somehow peaceful together.  Perhaps a relevant lesson for us all from nature in these turbulent times. Finally, proteas at their best, simply – they need no accompaniment apart from the clever and thoughtful display. The morning concluded with a sumptuous tea and eats (never fails to provide lubrication and fortification for the chatter that follows).  A huge thank you to both DP Ferreira for his inspiration and talent and Jenny Pott for the awesome setting.   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click...

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