A guide to greening

2014-12-09 00:00

SO you want to plant indigenously but don’t know where to start? The recently launched KZN Midlands Green Map will help you find nurseries that sell indigenous or wildlife-friendly plants, among other ecofriendly places.

KZN Midlands Green Mapmakers use a globally designed, universal set of icons developed by the Green Map System (www.greenmap.org), which are divided into three major genres: Sustainable Living, Nature and Culture and Society. Indigenous plants fall under Nature, Category: flora and the icon native forest/plants or eco-landscaping, or simply search for “indigenous”.

The Green Map platform has been developed to make it easy for you, so even technophobes are encouraged to give it a try. Should you find that a place or event is not listed, you can help by “adding a listing”. There is a basic free listing or the option to upgrade to a premium site and receive full functionality. The KZN Midlands is associated with the international Green Map System community, and collaborates with Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban Green Mappers to develop an SA Green Map brand, which aims to be the first port of call for anyone seeking green information and advice.

In the KZN Midlands, we hope it will boost sustainable living by providing a dynamic platform where events, routes, demonstrations, local and healthy food, music and fun can be promoted. We trust it will inspire people to make the shift towards planet-friendly lifestyle choices. Do sign up to our blog as there are many articles that will inspire ideas for your garden and home: www.verdantlifekzn

.com

Christmas bells

Most of us will agree that Christmas bells (Sandersonia aurantiaca; Zulu: ihlamvu; Afrikaans: geelklokkie) are one of the loveliest local bulb-like plants that grace us with their presence at this time of year. The orange lantern-shaped flowers hang gracefully from delicate stalks on plants that can reach a metre tall. Unlike the more familiar and related Flame lily (Gloriosa superba), Christmas bells do not have tendrils on the leaf tips.

Sadly, it is declining in the wild, and a walk in the mist-belt grasslands may reveal it tucked away in a rocky refuge where it has managed to avoid the plough and being trampled by cattle. It is illegal to pick or remove this species from the wild without special permission, but luckily it can grow successfully in gardens. Corms are propagated by Hadeco, so ask for them at your local nursery in early summer. Some online catalogues also sell seed and corms. For extensive cultivation notes, visit Sanbi’s PlantZafrica website, which has a wealth of information at: http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/sanderaurant.htm

• Comments are welcome: post on Facebook KZN Inland Branch BotSoc or e-mail botsockzninland@gmail.com

choose local plants

Christmas bells is one of the loveliest local bulb-like plants that grace us with their presence at this time of year.

PHOTO: supplied

The KZN Midlands Green Map will help you find nurseries that sell indigenous or wildlife-friendly plants.

PHOTO: supplied

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PHOTO:

MORE often than not, we are told what we cannot plant, what we should eradicate from gardens, and, recently, that we will be punished for not removing certain invasive plants. So what should we plant in our gardens instead? This Indigenous Gardening Wisdom column offers ways to incorporate local plants and wildlife-friendly practices in gardens. Members and supporters of the KZN Inland Branch of the Botanical Society of SA draw from their own gardening experiences to suggest fresh ideas for KZN gardeners.

indigenous wisdom

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