Delights for local gardeners

2013-12-24 00:00

TWO beautifully illustrated new books from local publisher Otterley Press have arrived from the printers, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping. Both have a local flavour, and should appeal strongly to gardeners and garden-admirers alike.

KwaZulu-Natal is my Garden is edited by Jacqueline Kalley, has a foreword by the doyenne of local garden fundis, Nancy Gardiner, and an introduction by Gordon Stuart. It is a very attractive, soft-cover, coffee-table book, covering 38 KZN gardens: from farm gardens to beach gardens; indigenous, exotic, formal and rambling. What they all have in common is that they are in this province, and, as Kalley says, all are loved spaces. The photographs, some by the gardeners themselves and some by Eric Cornhill, are spectacular.

Kalley has included a bit of history of the gardens and the people who have created them. Many will be familiar names to those who visit open gardens: Mike and Sue Tarr, Barry Lovegrove, Dawn Pellew, and the garden at Rosehurst created by the late Lorraine Kettley. Others include the late Bridget Oppenheimer’s garden at the coast, Ian Glenny’s haunting garden at Dargle Valley Pottery, Rieta Johnstone’s Kloof garden, Joan Pinnell’s cottage garden and many more. The book should provide hours of browsing pleasure and many ideas.

The second book, The Essential Garden Notebook, is by Phyl Palframan, who many readers will remember as a Witness columnist, and whose garden at Watermead, near Underberg, features in KwaZulu-Natal is my Garden. The Esssential Garden Notebook is a discursive and lively little book, giving hints for gardeners to follow month by month, design tips and space for the reader’s own notes. Palframan describes the text, which is on the page on the right, as being like a gardener’s blog.

Both books are available from good bookshops, including Bookworld at Cascades and Exclusive Books, and from Otterley Press at

— Books Editor.

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