Herbs - Newsletter of Hermanus Botanical Society
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
|Hermanus Homepage||Fernkloof Homepage||Hermanus Botanical Society Homepage||Members login|
GALE FORCE LIFT-OFF FOR A GREAT 2007 WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL!
Show preparations this year lifted off to a reverberating start when the first
big marquee took off into space in a northwest gale. Then flower magic
kicked in and fairies from the fynbos ensured a trouble-free run with crisp
Spring breezes and cool sunshine.
There were restio fairies and phaenocoma fairies, grassy-winged herons,
froglets and pinecone mice among the cascading masses of wild flowers
in the hall. Fairies even spilled into the minigardens to join the
pink flamingoes, tortoises, Frog and Cat.
Tranquil ponds, a honeymoon gazebo ringed by standard yellow euryops
daisies and a magic wheelbarrow filled with a fountain of water
enchanted the hundreds of visitors who visited our Wildflower Festival
mid-September. One lady, gazing at a ground level protea garden complete
with visiting sugarbird, said ‘I want to buy that bird!’ Another arrived
at a flower-ringed water trough, produced a cake of soap and proceeded to
wash her hands! It was cordoned off after that.
Harold Porter National Botanical Garden gave a welcome and much-needed
environmental message in their garden and pamphlets. The garden was
called the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, featuring alien vegetation, fire
damage and litter in the fynbos – not to mention developmental dangers.
The pamphlets proclaimed: ‘The power of one: YOU can make a difference. Now!’
A new feature was an info office with flower photographs and posters on display.
The show project ‘Conservation through Education’ , the development of
environmental education in the Overberg, was also displayed in photographic form.
(See Ecoeducation project for more information on this.)
The new catering team broke last year’s record and the marquee stalls did
thriving business. Five nurseries, including our own Fernkloof one, sold
indigenous plants on site with great success. Cut flowers also did well.
FINAL FIGURE FOR THE 2007 FESTIVAL:
A net profit of about R91 000 was raised towards our conservation and
educational projects (and that amount does not include the nursery profit of R20 000).
This is how it came together:
Admission: R38 542,00
Cut flowers: R3395,00
Wine auction contribution: R25788,00 (courtesy of Paul du Toit, Wine Village. Thank you Paul). Congratulations to all the hard workers who made this total possible – including the planners, the pickers, the arrangers, the cooks, the shiftworkers, the gardeners and not to forget those who cleared up afterwards!
Linnaeus and his 'Systema Naturae' raised the lowly Nasturtium to heroic heights
|Ever wonder how botanists come by names of certain plants? Take the common Nasturtium for instance, which boasts the botanical name Tropaeolum majus L. The famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus described it as being grown by gardeners on trellis pyramids and so resembling triumphal ornaments. He said that 'the leaves are shields and the flowers are helmets of gold stained with blood and pierced by spears.' So the genus name means 'a small trophy'. This imaginative love for plants started at the age of five when Carl was given a garden to look after by his father, a Lutheran pastor . After that he acquired the nickname 'Little Botanicus.' This year botanists the world over have been celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Linnaeus in Southern Sweden in 1707. He studied for a medical degree at the Universities of Lund and Uppsala, then at the University of Leiden before publishing the first edition of his 'System Naturae? ' a classification of all living things. After a distinguished medical and botanical career, he became physician to the Swedish Royal Family and was granted nobility in 1761 when he became Carl von Linne. His many botanical works made him the father of modern plant classification.|
FERNKLOOF – A LIVING CLASSROOM
Proceeds from this year’s Wildflower Festival will be channelled
into a ‘Conservation Through Education’ project.
The Hermanus Botanical Society is working with the Overstrand
Conservation Foundation to further an Environmental Education
Programme for local schools.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve is a wonderful environmental education
resource for young and old alike and already botanical visits and
sorties up the mountain have been enjoyed by local learners.
As all activities must be linked to the curriculum the following
have met the requirements and pursued with enthusiasm:
Hawston High School has observed National Science Week, planted
wild fig to stabilise the sandy banks around their netball courts
and has identified and researched Hawston heritage sites.
Hawston Primary School has tapped into community knowledge
concerning various social issues like HIV/AIDS, are planting
indigenous scented and medicinal gardens and are taking part in
the Whale Festival Recycling Competition.
Mt Pleasant Primary observed National Science Week with numerous
outings and activities, participated in a cleanup of the community
and will also take part in the Recycling Competition.
The Waldorf School has established a vegetable garden and improved
the existing fynbos garden. The RDP students from the nearby centre
will be demonstrating how to build a garden bench using gum poles.
The learners have visited Fernkloof to see the specialist gardens and
will be planting a scented and medicinal garden in their school grounds.
The Recycling Competition is also on their programme.
Hermanus Primary School has used Hoys’ Koppie (also part of the reserve)
as an outside classroom studying the history and geological aspects of
the site. Learners were exposed to the dynamics of waste management in
the Overberg with a view to encouraging the students to increase
recycling in the school. Water was monitored in the school and an
environmental health officer will teach them about water purification
in the area.
The Montessori School has an active eco-club and has studied tree
dynamics in the area.
Each school will produce a portfolio which will be assessed by the
National Eco-school Coordinators.
Successful schools will be awarded a green flag, an international
DONATIONS ARE WELCOME ! Send to the
Hermanus Botanical Society, PO Box 208, Hermanus, 7200.
TRIBUTE TO THE HERMANUS WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL FROM JAMES GRAY OF THE UNITED CHURCH:
|September is Fernkloof Flower Festival month. For many years this has been a royal standard flying over the town, a regal affirmation of the treasures of the fynbos kingdom. The splendours of creation is an integral part of our Christian faith, and when I see these flowers and walk in the hills above Fernkloof I remember not only Gerard Hopkins’ splendid words about the world being ‘charged with the grandeur of God’, I am reminded also of what C.S. Lewis once said: ‘Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word ‘glory’ a meaning for me.’ The folk who put that Flower Show together and the Hermanus Botanical Society in particular deserve the applause of the town, and from the United Church we warmly acknowledge them. ‘Thank you. You have shown us what it is to be wise and careful stewards of God’s creation.’|
DID YOU KNOW?
|HACKING MEETS :||08:00||September - March|
|08:30||April - August|
|Tuesdays (third of each month) :||November 20|
|The Mossel River needs your help! Hacks at present meet at the top of Riverside Road, Voëlklip. Sesbania, Acacia longifolia, baby gums are just some of the alien vegetation that need to be eradicated.||For further information contact Bob Hill 028-3121463|
OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS :
||18:00||FERNKLOOF’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY PICNIC preceded by the Chairman’s Walk (approx. 1 hour). Liquid refreshments will be provided by Botsoc. Bring a picnic supper.|
||18:00||Annual General Meeting|
|February 22||18:00||Annaul braai|
|March 4-6||EXCURSION: Still Bay|
|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