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Indigenous Plant Fair
14-16 August 2015

Botanical Society of South Africa
KwaZulu Natal Coastal Branch

Know, grow and protect South Africa’s indigenous flora

Welcome to the home of the KZN Coastal Branch of the Botanical Society of SA.
Here you will find items of interest to members and non-members alike, with information about current events and planned activities.  You are invited to contribute - stories, photos, observations, opinions - anything relevant and botanical. 

Botanical Careers Afternoon.

Learning-about-vegetation-Catherine-BrowneStill at home after finishing school in 2015?  Planning ahead for when you finish school?  Looking for a career that will involve caring for our planet?

The Botanical Society of South Africa, KZN Coastal branch, will be hosting a Botanical Careers Afternoon on Monday, 8 February 2016, at the Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors’ Centre, from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. 

The Society’s mission is for people to Know, Grow and Protect South Africa’s indigenous flora.  We have invited exhibitors whose area of interest aligns with the Society’s mission, to participate, so as to encourage young people to choose a career involving indigenous plants and the natural sciences.

The format will be: exhibitions around the perimeter of the hall, with some cinema-style seating in the centre, and to hold 20-minute presentations every half hour from 3.00 p.m. Entrance is free.

Presentations will be by people who work in the fields of botany, horticulture, conservation, etc who will describe their work and career path to inspire young people.

For more information please email: botsoc-kzn@mweb.co.za or tel: 031 201 5111 Mondays and Thursdays between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. or cell: 071 8 693 693

Click here for a pdf of the Programme

Plants for Butterfly Gardens,
   -  and where to source them.

The Durban Botanic Gardens are developing an indigenous garden next to the “Beehive” to attract butterflies.  Dr Americo Bonkewitzz is in charge of the project, and as he started to plant the garden he realised that it was very difficult to find all the plants he needed.

butterfliesOur Indigenous Plant Fair was a great source for him, but we all realised that this would be a problem for all gardeners who are trying to make their gardens butterfly-friendly.   These plants need to be available all year round, not just at our Annual Fair, and especially for people who have bought the new Butterfly book “Gardening for Butterflies” by Lindsay Gray and Steve Woodhall.

We are developing a new section of the web site to provide this information, and we would welcome any input from nurseries or growers. 

2015 Indigenous Plant Fair
This year’s Theme was -  Planting Solutions

This year’s Indigenous Plant Fair took place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of August at the Durban Exhibition Centre, in conjunction with the Sustainable Living Exhibition.
CliviasThe main purpose of the Plant Fair is to further the aims of the Botanical  Society itself - “To know, grow and protect South Africa’s indigenous  flora”.  With the wide range of plants available and information on  where they should be planted we can help both beginners and experts with growing water-wise indigenous plants. 

The Handbook expands on  that information, and gives ideas for landscaping as well.  Some of the  plants on sale are extinct in the wild, so by growing them in our  gardens we are preserving them until they can be planted back in their  natural habitats.  By growing indigenous plants we also provide habitat  for insects, birds, reptiles and mammals.  Everyone loves to see bright  butterflies floating around a patch of succulents, or a dazzling sunbird feasting on aloe flowers. 

Living Green Roofs

Charles Botha's Pinetown OfficeIt was Hugh who started it, and once we had seen the amazing pictures of the Hundertwasserhaus the rest of us were hooked.  Charles showed us his Pinetown office, Geoff had connections at the eThekwini (Durban) Municipality, Dave shared the development of his house, and the ideas kept growing.

As COP 17 came closer, took over Durban, and left us in its wake, we felt that roof gardens could be a permanent legacy of the event – even the living beehive at the Durban Botanic Gardens has a roof of vygies!

Rooftop gardening can help improve the quality of the atmosphere. The plants absorb carbon dioxide in the air and convert it into oxygen, which is released into the air. Since the rooftop plants can absorb some of the excess amounts of carbon dioxide higher up in the air, they can potentially reduce the effects of air pollution.

Another environmental advantage of rooftop gardening can be increased energy conservation. The rooftop plants provide natural insulation to rooftops by reflecting light and heat. The extra insulation can reduce the need for heating or cooling mechanisms, which cuts down on energy use and costs. The insulation from rooftop gardens can also block outdoor noises.

CityEngineersRoof2010Many large cities experience increased daytime temperatures caused by numerous rooftops. Since urban areas tend to have more buildings, the rooftops absorb heat and light and then radiate it back into the area. This event is referred to as the “heat island effect” and can actually raise the natural temperature averages in those areas. The plants in rooftop gardens can aid in reducing “the heat island effect” by partially absorbing some of the sunlight and providing shade for buildings.

Rooftop gardens may be beneficial in areas which accumulate a great deal of rain. Storm run-off water can especially overflow sewer systems. The plants can absorb some of the rainwater and limit the run-off from excess water. Rooftop gardening, in turn, has the potential to reduce the occurrences of flooding.

Follow the link to see more pictures, and feel free to send in pictures of your own green roofs!



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