GROW PLANTS, GROW A LIFETIME CIRCLE
By: Mhlengi Mafu
“To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in wild flower hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour,” these are the words of William Blake which have inspired the Botanic Society of South Africa as they celebrate 100 years of sustainable living and endogenous plants.
The Botanic Society KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Branch also hosted the 15th Annual Plant Fair at Munies Hockey Field below the Durban Botanical Gardens earlier Saturday. This was to encourage people to plant indigenous plants and trees as part of greening the earth campaign taking place worldwide.
Different exhibitors showcased a variety plants on the hockey field. One of the exhibtors, Liz Williams said, “My passion for plants started way back when I was still a child. I have been growing plants for over 30 years now. It’s important for people to have gardens as we are facing climate change and greening up earth.”
Plants like aloe, fan plant, and other plants took people’s attention, However, it was the ‘Encephartons Viliousus’ ground cycad plant that stole the spotlight. One needs a license to have it in the garden because it’s an endangered one and it’s valuable.
This fair is also a chance for gardeners to interact and share knowledge and learn more about the garden world.
“I as a Zulu man I know the importance of having flowers and trees in your home. Culturally, they play an important role in protecting them (people) as they can also be used as herbs and medicines. We as African people have trusted plants for years and years,” said Lucky Mthalane, one of the plant admirers.
One of the event organisers, Di Higginson from the KZN Coastal Branch said, “We do more than just plants; we also have scholarships for students who want to study indigenous plant studies only. We have walks once a month and also talks just to share knowledge. Over the years the plant fair has been a huge success and the reception from people has been wonderful.”
The protea cynaroides was named after Madiba in honour of his work.