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NO 88     August 2008


Take the ‘fern’ out of Fernkloof – and you will have the theme of this year’s flower show: THE KLOOF.

Jessica Mitchell, chief flower show arranger, is opting for rocky mountain slopes, flower-filled, and a water fall cascading down to wetland and coastal areas in the show hall - a mini version of Fernkloof Reserve. In the nearby amphitheatre Judi George will introduce an environmental theme with mini gardens going wild.

Other new team members of the Wildflower Festival, which takes place at Fernkloof from September 18 to 21, are Dirk Leeuw (in charge of the marquee) and Jan Pansegrouw, who is organizing the raffle.

Most experienced hand at the botanical game by far is Lee Burman who will be arranging and identifying three to four hundred specimens from the surrounding mountains and coastline for the 23rd year in succession. Her floral kingdom has expanded from a small table in the corner of the hall to the more spacious extension area. Even so, space is at a premium.

Delicious fare will be provided again by Mart Joubert and her team. You can dine out on tomato bredie, bobotie, waterblommetjie casserole and chicken pie, with chicken kebabs, boerewors rolls with homemade tomato sauce and toasted sandwiches vying with special chocolate and carrot cakes, melktert and pannekoek.

A feast for gardeners’ eyes will certainly be Jack Bold’s display of flowering clivias up at the Fernkloof nursery. The yellow variety, on sale in the amphitheatre at a special price, will be particularly in demand. He will also specialize in bulbs such as orange tritonias.

Plants from the minigardens will also be on sale in the amphitheatre during the festival. On Sunday 21 September the horticultural bunfight will take place when the gardens are broken up and contents sold to customers.

Convener of the festival again this year is Vivian White and he has this message for you:
Are you a waitron, gardener, parking attendant or picker? Come and help! Phone the section below where you think you can best be of use.

  • Convener: Vivian White 028-3140171
  • Arranging: Jessica Mitchell 028-3140886
  • Picking: Anina Lee 028-3124072
  • Catering: Mart Joubert 028-3140264
  • Raffle: Jan Pansegrouw 028-3140397
  • Marquee: Dirk Leeuw 028-3140936
  • Parking: Vivian White 028-3140171
  • Admission: Keith Kirkman 028-3131992
  • Publicity: Charlotte Kirkman 028-3131992
  • Gardens: Judi George 028-3130640
  • Nursery: Jack Bold 028-3122985


Ever heard of Lonchostoma monogynum? Not many people have, let alone seen one. The news that it was flowering near the home of the giant carnivore Roridula gorgonias near Galpinkop was enough to bring doctoral student Lavinia Schardt all the way from Germany within a week of its sighting by Belle Barker and her botanical group.

L.monogynum is a rarely seen member of the Bruniaceae family and has a white terminal flowerhead.

Lavinia studied the Bruniaceae family for three months at the Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve last year under the guidance of warden Giorgio Lombardi. The purpose of her headlong return was to observe the flowering behaviour of Lonchostoma, the duration of the anthesis and last but not least to find possible pollinators. Regardless of heavy wind and rain, some insects were observed visiting the flowers, among them the long-tongued fly, as well as Dance and Hover flies.

After comparing the data she got from her last stay and this one, Lavinia will hopefully be able to show the great variety of flowering behaviour and specialisations within the Bruniaceae and finish her Ph.D at the end of 2009. As all data will be made public as soon as possible we might be able to read about Hermanus Bruniaceae in a scientific journal in the near future.

Ed.note: Anthesis is the period during which a flower is fully open and functional (Greek anthsis, flowering, from anthein, to bloom, from anthos, flower)

Stop Press: At a recent meeting of the Kogelberg branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa, Ericaceae expert Ted Oliver confirmed that a hard botanical look is being taken by South African and European botanists at the Bruniaceae family. In fact, he says, Brunia stokoei and Brunia albiflora have already been turned into Berzelias and Nebelia paleacea has become a Brunia. Only the experts know why...

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Lonchostoma monogynum Lavinia Schardt

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  • The annual Wine Auction organized by Paul du Toit of the Wine Village takes place on Friday August 8. Admission is by ticket only. A large portion of the proceeds will go towards the Wildflower Festival project , a second coordinator for the ecoschools programme. Thank you Paul again.
  • Coming up on the recovering burnt hillsides are resprouting Proteaceae, pelargoniums, flowering phylicas and scented buchu. Miniature oxalis in shades of white, pink and yellow share the sandy slopes with the Cape snowdrop, Crassula capensis. A few pale, delicate and heavily scented Gladiolus maculatus braved the rocky crevices .
  • A bed of special agapanthus has been planted out next to the Erica garden. They include a giant-headed variety (thanks to Margaret de Villiers’ contribution from the Diemont Gardens), A. africanus (navy blue) and miniature lilac , blue and white species. If anyone has more ‘specials’ to offer the gardens please contact Geraldine on 083 327 5584.
  • A beautiful specimen of the Tree of the Year, the dark glossy greenleaved Diospyros whyteana, can be seen on the edge of the new agapanthus bed. Its common names are Bladder-nut (its berries are enclosed in a papery inflated ‘pod’) or Bostolbos. From August to November it produces small sweetly scented creamy yellow flowers. Diospyros means ‘heavenly pear’.
  • Ecoeducation is taking off into the fynbos. At the Hermanus Waldorf School in Swaanswyk Rd, ecoschools coordinator Sheraine van Wyk showed former Fernkloof curator Frank Woodvine and myself a stretch of alien infested coastal fynbos given to the school for development. We found in the corner wetland area the tiny white Erica capillaris and pink Erica similis which grow in the better-known Flat Street wetland in the golf course area. Parents and learners are already busy clearing the area of myrtle to encourage back the fynbos.
  • Meanwhile at the Hermanus Primary School, learners are being helped to plan a fynbos garden on the slopes of Hoy’s Koppie behind the school. Members of our society are giving advice. At the High School too, pupils are planning to rehabilitate a neglected fynbos area also with members’ help.
  • Editor’s Footnote: Finally, after ten years of editing and writing this newsletter, it is definitely time for me to retire! My thanks go to Lee Burman for her support and thousands of labelled envelopes she sent my way. Also to Oelof Heckroodt, Marius de Klerk, Casper Venter and Marius Pretorius, our Afrikaans translators, for their patient handling of headlines, deadlines and sometimes untranslatable style. Thank you too to Herman Steyn, Fernkloof webmaster, for making it go technicolour and to Hermanus Printers for their cooperation.
  • Please let Lee Burman know your email address, if you have not already done so, as mail will be directed this way in future. Her email address is leeburman@telkomsa.net


Defending local nature with loppers and a saw
we cut and poison, dig marauders out –
battling you might say to win a war.

You repair Cape cottages: mend walls, attend to flaws.
We clear threatened fynbos to halt an alien rout –
defending local nature with loppers and a saw.

As you blast accretions you resurrect, restore.
We set fire to seedpods and under stumps that sprout –
battling you might say to win a war.

Winter gets you working on floors and wood indoors.
Cold makes bones our fingers, but adrenaline gives clout
defending local nature with loppers and a saw.

Once there was a harmony to buildings on these shores,
Then developers and others threw some weight about.
Battles may be lost but not the war.

We along with you go toy-toy with the poor –
Beware Profiteers Protect Our Children’s Future! –
Defending local nature from men beyond the law.
Something must be done to win this war,

* * * *

This poem by Robert Everdene is a villanelle. This is a 19-line poem with a complicated structure – as you can see lines one and three are repeated (alternatively) at the end of each stanza, and the rhyme scheme throughout is demanding. The poet has, towards the end, put in a little variation. The best and most memorable villanelle is by Dylan Thomas – ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight: - which must be read.




Port Jackson seedlings are popping up on the big burn. Hackers have already removed thousands but thousands remain. Meet at Geraldine’s house, 103, Fernkloof Drive, Hermanus Heights, at 9 am on Sunday August 31 or walk up the nearby Klipspringer trail (rock steps up from dirt road) to join us right there. Bring small spades with long handles or your favourite implement for the removal of small aliens. Refreshments will be served.
For more information phone Bob Hill 028-3121463

Present at the last hack on May 25 (in alphabetical order): Audrey Boynton, Jane and Norman Crawford, Geraldine Gardiner, Ron and Rene Hazell, Bob Hill, Willie Loedolf, Corrie Lucas, five dogs and one cat. The samies and cheese scones went down well.


Excursion to Swellendam: September 9 to 12 (2 or 3 nights)
Day Walk to Platbos, near Gansbaai: September 27
Excursion to Victoria Bay : October 22 to 25 (2 or 3 nights)

Karoo National Park trip in May was enjoyed by all, specially the challenging walk up to The Pointer rock, fossil and game trails.


CHAIRMAN’S WALK/ YEAR END PICNIC: 28 November at Fernkloof at 18h00

For further information re walks please contact Piet Joubert tel 028-3140264

Published by Hermanus Botanical Society,
PO Box 208,
Hermanus 7200
Editor: GERALDINE GARDINER - Fax (028) 313 0617

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