Hospitality ‘in the wild’ at local aloe festival

2008-06-12 00:00

It’s time again for the Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy Aloe Festival, to be held on June 21 and 22.

Every winter the aloes burst with fiery splendour, filling the valley with delight. It is a spectacle the residents feel compelled to share for its sheer beauty, to raise awareness of the botanical treasures and to encourage fashionable, responsible water-wise gardening.

The Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy members are offering the floral wisdom of two speakers. On Saturday morning at 11 am, Alison Young will give a talk, “Waterwise Gardening” and on Saturday afternoon at 2.30 pm, Lindsay Gray will talk about “Gardening with Aloes; Shape, Form and Texture”.

This year the four venues are within walking distance of each other (saving fuel). Amble along a self-guided trail and observe prolific bird life at Spencer’s Place where lunches will be on sale.

Take time off to relax and absorb the calm atmosphere at Nyala Place, where you can enjoy a cup of tea in the tea garden. Chat to Grantin Law of Val-lea Vista who will be available for expert advice and plant sales at his indigenous plant stall. Enjoy the beer garden and braai at Impala Bend from 4 pm on Saturday. Join conservancy chairman Neville Durow on a guided trail through the beautiful valley bushveld at 12.45 pm or 2 pm Saturday and Sunday, leading off from venue two, Impala Bend.

Winston and Angela Carr’s aloe nursery, Rocky Wonder, has one of the biggest collections of aloe plants in South Africa. They will give advice on the best aloes for your garden, and how to care for them. Take advantage of their special offers and take home a little something from the miniature succulent plant stall at this venue.

At the annual Aloe Festival hosted by the Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy, you will be amazed to discover what a wealth of natural beauty and hospitality can be found “in the wild” just 10 minutes from Pietermaritzburg.

Entry is R30 per person (including tea and cake). To get there, take the Ashburton off-ramp, number 69, turn right towards Ashburton East and follow the signs.

For more information, phone Darlene Bond at 082 933 5036 or Merrywyn Pieterse at 072 147 8247.

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