Herbs - Newsletter of Hermanus Botanical Society
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
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WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL 2005 SAYS HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HERMANUS
Happy 150th birthday to Hermanus was spelt out in flowers at our annual Wildflower Festival at Fernkloof
in September. Cascading king proteas and elegant ericas were made into a giant birthday cake and bouquet to celebrate the event, complete with two sparkling crystal glasses beside an emptied bottle of champagne
Compliments flowed. The simplicity and space of the arrangements, the botanical and educational interest of the hundreds of specimens some of which were integrated
with the displays, were applauded. As were the 'Chelsea' gardens in the amphitheatre, where peace and gentle
colour reigned; while delectables sold like mad to the
bobotie, bredie and carrot cake fans.
The weather kept us on our toes, chilly, cloudy, with the
odd ray of sunshine - until Saturday evening when a freak
wind storm threatened to blow the big top and its valuable contents out to sea. The chairman and his team came to the rescue and after a two-hour battle staved off disaster.
Visitors delighted in wandering the new 'Walks on Wheels'
paths flanked by indigenous flower beds, fragrant and
succulent. The next phase, through a fynbos wilderness,
has been completed with the help of festival profits and donations.
And all roads led to the indigenous plant nursery where happy gardeners filled wheelbarrow loads with special items, from flowering clivias, orange, yellow and red, to small purple babianas.
Financial records were broken. Figures to date show that more than R100 000 profit was made. Included in this figure
is wine man Paul du Toit's magnificent contribution of
R17 000 from the Wine Auction held in August. Catering
came in tops with a record net profit of more than R25 000,
the raffle with its tempting prizes made more than R13 000
and the tent R10 000. The gate money was almost identical
to last year at R28 000.
The question then arose:
Should we or should we not rub shoulders with the Whale Festival followers next year? The traffic jams into Hermanus town kept many of our faithful fans away and - let's face it -
the weather is always a hazardous feature specially at Whale Festival time. So the decision was made to go back to being
our own entity, where flowers reign supreme and the
mountains look down in calm spendour on the cult of peace
and beauty. Diarise your next Wildflower Festival at Fernkloof - 14 to 17 September 2006.
Thank you to Carol and her cohorts for yet another festival success.
NB: For photographs of our 2005 Wildflower Festival and Walks on Wheels scroll down.
Donations for the project can be sent to PO Box 208, Hermanus 7200. Make our dream come true!
HOY'S KOPPIE - TO BURN OR NOT TO BURN - that is (or was) the question!
|says Lee Burman who has found up to a 100 flowering species on the unplanned burn from last summer.. The environmentalists decided that the vegetation was becoming senescent, having been unnaturally protected from veld fires for many years. They all agreed that the Koppie should be burned before April 2005. The Fire Department, however, got cold feet and refused to authorise the fire. Nature nearly had its way, however, and a wildfire started on a blustery afternoon during the height of summer. It was quickly extinguished - conditions were too dangerous to let it burn - but not before a substantial portion of the lower northern and western slopes had gone up in flames. Recovery started slowly and unspectacularly - no colourful show of fire lilies (Cyrtanthus angustifolius) here! But gradually interesting species started showing their heads - an unexpected small colony of our own Cliff Gladiolus (Gladiolus carmineus) and an extensive sprinkling of the diminutive Lachenalia rubida were amongst the earliest to flower. After a lull during the winter months there was a sudden burst of activity when warmer weather announced the arrival of Spring. Just in time for the Society's Wildflower Festival was a mass display of the unusual Cape Edelweiss, Lanaria lanata, with its densely woolly white head of flowers. It is not uncommon but only flowers after fire. Recent collections have turned up a number of species not previously recorded in the coastal area of Hermanus. These include an attractive member of the Asteraceae, Corymbium congestum, of most un-daisylike appearance with its head of small white flowers, each with a striking mauve style protruding. Another new species for the coastal herbarium is Moraea bituminosa with its striking yellow flowers and its incredibly sticky stems. Also collected was Zygophyllum spinosum, confirming suspicions that this species is not confined to the Cape Peninsula, as it is stated in all the literature. All in all, nearly 100 species have been recorded on the burnt area of the Koppie, many of them not to be seen on the adjoining unburnt section. Every walk among the blackened sticks turns up new treasures - enough to keep the amateur botanists amongst us enthralled for quite some time to come.|
DID YOU KNOW?
The well-attended series of botanical lectures given jointly
by U3A and our society recently have been dedicated to
Priscilla Drewe and Belle Barker, for their immensely
valuable contribution to the Hermanus Herbarium and
Fernkloof. Thank you, too, to our vice chairman Keith
Kirkman for his unflagging efforts to get this very good show
on the road - and up the mountain.
For those who missed Rupert Langerman's tribute to
Belle at her 80th birthday slide show, surf our website
www.fernkloof.com , click on 'Hermanus Botanical
Society', then top left on 'Belle Barker'. The lovely
picture of Belle communing with Paranomus sceptrum-
gustavianus, a rare protea on Galpin, was taken by
Thanks are due to the Marine Hotel mini garden team at
the Wildflower Festival for leaving all their lovely
flowering plants for us to enjoy around the drinking
We are still missing a major amount of email addresses
from our members. Please let Lee Burman have these
Two important dates for your diary next year are:
Our annual general meeting on Wednesday February 1
Our annual braai on Friday February 24. The young milkwood trees in Piet se Bos planted by Coastcare are doing well. Birdloving members are upset because the lower path to the waterfall has been closed off and there is no access to Victorin's warbler and other species.
|HACKING MEETS :||08:00||September - March|
|08:30||April - August|
|Tuesdays (third of each month) :||November 15|
|For further information contact Bob Hill||028-3121463|
OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS :
|November 19||08:30||DAY WALK: Beach walk: De Kelders/Duiwelsgat/Klipgat/Die Plaat|
|December 16||18:00||FERNKLOOF: Chairman's walk: bring picnic supper|
|2006 January 21||08:00||DAY WALK: Disa walk at Harold Porter, Betty's Bay|
|2006 February 1
|18:00||FERNKLOOF : Annual General Meeting|
|2006 February 15-17||EXCURSION: Arniston|
|2006 February 24||18:00||FERNKLOOF: Annual braai|
|For further information re walks please contact Piet Joubert||tel 028-3140264|
|Published by Hermanus Botanical Society,
PO Box 208,
Editor: GERALDINE GARDINER - Fax (028) 313 0617