15 September, 2014

Garden Route Botanical Garden to Birds of Eden

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

When the Ungardener was a tour guide, some guests were disappointed, since South Africa calls this the Garden Route. They were expecting gardens, but imagine a Karoo sheep farmer, crossing the mountains, down to the coast. Seeing green, swathes of indigenous forest, rivers running with water!

In 1986 the Garden Route Botanical Garden in George was founded by volunteers. This is not one of South Africa’s 10 national botanical gardens.

Entrance to the Garden Route Botanical Garden 2010

At the entrance our indigenous plants, pruned to Here be Garden shapes. The garden is inviting to walk thru, but sadly in November 2010 vandals had destroyed the interpretive signage.

09 September, 2014

From Montagu to George

by Diana Studer 
 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

Driving across the hot dry parts of South Africa the landscape is dotted with Australian Eucalyptus. Invasive, guzzling water, a raging fire hazard, they suppress indigenous plants nearby. Before being used as fence-posts or telephone poles, they provide shade, to sheep and cattle in the fields, to these travellers in November 2010.

Australian Eucalyptus

Back on the tarred R318 near Matroosberg is the railway cutting abandoned with the construction of a modern concrete bridge. Springbok in a field flees the advancing yellow monster. Once there were migrating herds, now we are lucky to see a small group together.

01 September, 2014

Travelling to Skilpad the Namaqua National Park

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

Last week, there was again a river dividing the road. Just before Clanwilliam, the Olifants River flows along the Olifantsberg.

Olifants River 'crossing' near Clanwilliam in September 2008

In September 2008, we travelled over Studers Pass to a Methodist mission Leliefontein (spring with lilies) on top of the mountain. Lime Euphorbia and mauve vygie.