Floral Festival 14th October.

Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

Floral Festival 14th October.

Celebrating the Knysna Methodist Church 125th Anniversary on 14th September, come and view the exquisite floral displays by talented floral artists .       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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2017 Miniature Garden Exhibition

Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

2017 Miniature Garden Exhibition

The Miniature Garden Exhibition hosted by Gardening at Leisure will take place on 12th , 13th October from 9.00 to 5.00 pm., and morning of the 14th October from 9.00 to 1.00 pm. at Metelerkamps, Waterfront Drive, Knysna. To partake bring your exhibits on the morning of the 11th, there is NO entry fee and you can exhibit as many little gardens as you wish. Conventional containers should not exceed 400mm x 600mm, ‘natural’ containers eg.  seedpods or driftwood can be bigger. For more information call Kathy 082 3208302 or Esther 072 4661781 Categories include: Cottage gardens Contemporary gardens Fantasy: Fairy gardens, Prehistoric Formal gardens: Clipped hedges, topiaries Terrariums Zen gardens Natural landscapes: Forest, Seashore, Lagoon, Dunes, Wildlife reserves 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

Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 of the drought. Thirdly, the closure of the Brenton-on-Sea garden waste disposal site had meant that residents were deterred from cutting woody plants on their plots. Fourthly, peak daytime temperatures had been up in the mid-thirties for a few days before the fire, as a result of a strong berg wind (from the north). And finally an incredibly strong westerly gale gusting at up to 100 km/hr rapidly brought a fire which had ignited in the Karatara area to the Brenton peninsula, where firefighters became helpless to stop it as it was able to jump fire breaks and wide roads....

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Once upon a time in Paradise.

Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 permit, Category 3 plants may remain under certain conditions. Remember, the invasive plants will come back in their millions – a cohesive plan should be in place for the removal  of the new saplings  before they get established and form large colonies. If action is not taken   we will be nurturing the  biomass for the next great fire. 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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August Meeting

Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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.

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Diarise now: Our Miniature Gardens Expo

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

Diarise now: Our Miniature Gardens Expo

You can still garden despite the crippling drought by creating a miniature garden for our Exhibition, 2nd week of October.  Give an outlet to your creativity and squash the frustration of seeing your real garden withering away.  Our new venue is Metelerkamps courtyard.  This rustic venue lends itself beautifully for the display of these little container gardens. You can also shop until you drop  at Metelerkamps gorgeous shop, and there is a delightful bistro to quench the thirst and feed the tummy! As in the past, you have carte blance, whatever theme you choose is fine, just remember the containers must not be too big. For more info contact Esther 072 4661781, Kathy 0833208302, Denise 082 5746922. Found this website which may be of interest to you:  The Huge World of Miniature Gardens What gardening trend is hotter than vertical gardens, succulents, and edible landscapes? Miniature gardens! The great thing about miniature gardening is ultimately the combination of crafting and gardening, to create your very own fantasy landscape. Perhaps a little English cottage in a meadow, or a shady bench on the bank of a stream, or even a fairy treehouse? But we can’t all afford to spend weeks or months (let alone your pension fund) to create it on in full scale, so why not allow your inspiration to be satisfied by creating the exact landscape in miniature? You could even make a few for variety. The magic of miniatures plays an incredible trick on the brain. By keeping everything in your garden to a proportionate scale (especially recognisable features such as furniture, structures or paving), you begin to disregard the miniature elements and instead see the scene as a whole. Suddenly, you can imagine yourself right there… Whether you want to build a miniature empire in your garden bed or design a private garden with a pebble patio for an indoor centrepiece, miniature gardening allows you to create your own tiny, living world. Janit Calvo’s book, Gardening in Miniature  is a complete guide to creating lush, living, small-scale gardens. It has everything you need to pick up this new hobby, including scaled down garden designs, techniques for creating tiny hardscapes, miniature garden care and maintenance, tips on choosing containers, how to buy the right plants, and where to find life-like accessories. Inspiring step-by-step projects feature basic skills that can be recreated in any number of designs, like a tiny patio, a trellis, a pond, and a secret garden. Is it a miniature garden or is that a very VERY large bowl? You don’t need to use expensive tools or products either, everything you’ll need is cheap, or recycled and easy to find at the craft store. Journey into the huge world of growing small with this step-by-step online tutorial on how to build this cute Miniature Hobbit House by Pir Tucker. According to Garden Therapy, any well-done, realistic miniature of any-kind, compels us to look closer, and quickly enchants and delights because what is supposed to be full-size, is suddenly very small – and very real. It’s this “Hey, how can that be?!” moment that creates the surprise and generates the fun. Otherwise known as the squealies in the world of miniature gardening. (http://gardentherapy.ca/miniature-patio-garden/) Slow-growing plants work best, while dwarf species and small plants with fine foliage and tiny flowers keep your proportion believable. You can also incorporate...

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Kirstenbosch wins Gold again and there is more ….

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

Kirstenbosch wins Gold again and there is more ….

  Cape Town – South Africa has won gold yet again at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London – but there is more. SA also won the coveted President’s Award, which goes to the President’s favourite exhibit at the show. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show opened in London on Tuesday 23 May, just a day after the world celebrated international Biodiversity Day, and we couldn’t be more proud. This is the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) 35th gold medal – out of a 42-year legacy of participating in what is arguably the world’s most famous flower show. Windows on Biodiverstiy With its theme Windows on Biodiversity, the circular exhibit has a stunning backdrop of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden – showcasing SA’s rich and varied voyage of discovery in natural beauty. SANBI says on display are plants that represent all ten of South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens: Free State, Hantam, Harold Porter, Karoo Desert, Kirstenbosch, Kwelera, Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria and Walter Sisulu. “Our designers Raymond Hudson and David Davidson were overjoyed when they found the awards at our #RHSChelsea Flower Show exhibit this morning!” SANBI says.   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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Kirstenbosch Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Events | 1 comment

Kirstenbosch Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show

The South African exhibit for the 2017 Chelsea flower show features flowers from all over the country and is celebrating its unique diversity of plant life! The South African exhibit was revealed on the 21st of April by the Sanbi-Kirstenbosch team. This year they plan to make use of flowers and plants from 10 different botanical gardens to show the diversity of the country’s plant life. The chosen theme for this year is ‘Windows of Biodiversity’. The exhibit will be a circular one with a backdrop of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. Each section will feature a different South African botanical garden. Kirstenbosch, Harold Porter in Betty’s Bay, Hantam in the Northern Cape, Walter Sisulu in Gauteng, Lowveld in Mpumalanga, Free State in Bloemfontein, Karoo Desert in the Karoo, Kwazulu-Natal, Pretoria in Gauteng and Kwelera in the Eastern Cape. “South Africa is home to nearly 10% of the world’s plants and contains three regions that have been declared global biodiversity hotspots, so it is fitting that we celebrate this heritage this year at Chelsea.” – Dr Tanya Abrahamse, SANBI CEO The exhibit will show the diversity of the nine biomes of South Africa, displaying them to over 150,000 people who are expected to visit the show. It was designed by the multi-award-winning team of graphic designer David Davidson and landscape designer Raymond Hudson. “We have been designers of the exhibit for the past 24 years, although this is the 42nd year South Africa is represented at the show. We try to include as much diversity and variety of plant life (as possible), representing all the botanical gardens in the country.” “We’ve done well (over the years) in winning 34 gold medals and the Huxley Trophy for the best exhibit. One of the exhibits was about climate change. We hope for another gold,” The Sanbi-Kirstenbosch has won 34 gold medals in the 41 years its taken part in the Chelsea Flower Show. They won gold in 2016 and are planning to work hard for the gold again this year. 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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Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017 trends preview: look out for jelly bean colours, weeds and waste… It’s one of the high points of the horticultural calendar, so what’s in store at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show? Stephanie Mahon offers a sneak preview… CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH Stephanie Mahon 9 MAY 2017 • 1:56PM On May 23, you’ll be able to walk through the gates of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and be transported from Spain and Malta to China, Japan, ­Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. Many of this year’s gardens evoke exotic climes, while others look to the Yorkshire coast, the Norfolk marshes and Berkshire’s heathland. The themes of education, art and sustainability have also inspired the designers. We can probably expect planting styles to be diverse too, and nurseries that grow the bulk of the show garden plants say many designers are going for bright and cheery summer colours, ­including deep purple and burnt ­orange. These bold, unsubtle hues may startle the hortirati – will they work, or look like a bag of jelly beans? But at this stage, a bigger talking point is sponsorship – or lack of. There are only eight show gardens on Main Avenue this year, even fewer than the previous low of 13 in 2009 (known as the “Credit Crunch Chelsea”) and a big drop from 17 last year. High-profile names such as Laurent Perrier have not returned and others, such as L’Occitane and the Telegraph, are sitting out this year. Chelsea Flower Show approaches CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH The downturn could be a case of Brexit wobbles or just part of the natural cycle of Chelsea. But it was still a surprise when show sponsor M&G Investments announced it would not be renewing its contract with the RHS when it ends this year. The RHS would not comment on whether a new sponsor is in place for 2018 and beyond, but confirmed that an announcement will soon be made on the renewal of the BBC contract to broadcast the show. Show gardens James and Helen Basson, who have won gold two years running for evocations of the Provençal landscape, are hotly tipped to lead in this category. This year, for the M&G Garden, they have hopped over to Malta to represent a quarry with a range of ecologies and planting types, with a garden that may prove challenging to some visitors and perhaps even the judges. The couple see this as a chance to discuss how to rejuvenate abandoned industrial places. James Basson CREDIT: HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY “By taking an extreme, mineral, ‘hard’ man-made space and working with ­nature to make it beautiful, we hope to persuade people that all those ­urban spaces we don’t know what to do with can be turned into something ­extraordinary,” says Helen. When you listen to a piece of music, you can ­envisage colours, patterns and rhythms, and we’re going to use this to direct the planting of the gardenChris Beardshaw Also inspired by a foreign landscape is Charlotte Harris, a veteran of Chelsea behind the scenes, but a first-time ­designer. She is creating “a slice” of the boreal forests and waterways of ­Canada for the Royal Bank of Canada Garden, featuring pine trees and granite and copper elements in the hard landscaping. “The gardens I like best, and those...

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