GEORGE NEWS - The Garden Route branch of the Botanical Society (BotSoc) hosted a talk by South African gardening guru Keith Kirsten on Saturday 27 July.
The money raised through ticket and raffle sales will be donated to the Garden Route Botanical Garden.
The BotSoc branch has "adopted" a display bed, which will be a new thematic display featuring some of the unique plant species found in coastal dune strandveld / calcrete areas in the Garden Route.
The society encourages the public, especially local businesses, to also "adopt" a display bed, new or existing, to continue to grow the botanical garden as a tourist and recreation attraction for George.
Watch a video below.
The large group of enthusiasts who attended to hear Kirsten speak on sustainable gardening were not disappointed. Kirsten's passionate and entertaining presentation left no room for boredom. He made a solid case for the need to garden sustainably, stressing the importance of catering for insects and birds if we want to keep ecosystems functional to ultimately enable the human race to survive. For most people, gardening sustainably would require a complete new mindset.
Gone will be the formal English country gardens with clearly demarcated, labour intensive flowerbeds that do very little for balance in nature. Rather than dictating to our gardens, we should listen to them and allow that which grows naturally to flourish. Kirsten emphasised the importance of pollinators and the consequent need to "garden for" the bees, the butterflies and the birds.
Establishing diversity is priority. Monoculture - having only one species of tree on sidewalks, for example - is much more vulnerable to threats like shothole borer, which is currently killing thousands of trees across the country. Eating sustainably, i.e. planting and eating what is in season, is also important. Kirsten suggested establishing wetlands and meadows determined by our own climate. Revolutionary? For sure. But important for our own survival.
Those who want to become part of the global gardening revolution are invited to join the Botanical Society Garden Route branch. E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page, GardenRouteBotSoc, or Instagram, @grbotsoc.
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