Saturday, 16 February 2008

Where In The Gardening World Are You?

I've been looking around the blogosphere for blogs related to gardening and landscaping, when I stumbled onto Jodi from Bloomingwriter's blog. She's asked garden bloggers to:
"Tell your readers a bit about your hometown, your state, province…something that really tells us where you are in the world. What’s really special about your community?..."

I live in Durban, a city in Kwazulu Natal, which is itself on the east coast of South Africa. We have an amazing subtropical climate, which means that temperatures rarely drop below 12˚C/53˚F and reach a maximum of 32˚C/90˚F. Even though South Africa in general is classed as semi-arid, Durban's rainfall is quite good at 84mm/month. Those are the facts and figures...

Durban being in Kwazulu Natal "the place of the zulus" is also known as eThekweni. It is an incredibly culturally diverse city - with a wonderful mingling of cultures and religions. There are tons of reasons to visit us here in the "Last Outpost":

The warm sea current and some of the most consistent waves in the world combine to make Durban one of the worlds top surfing spots.

Less than an hour from Durban, will take you to Game Reserves with Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Zebra, Giraffe etc.
Also not far from Durban is the Drakensberg Mountain Range (a world heritage site) with the world's second highest waterfall - the Tugela Falls, which falls a spectacular 947m.

Durban is also well known for its spicy foods, with curries that are full of flavour and heat. The Bunny Chow is something that has to be tried. It was a meal that originated in Durban in the 1940s - made from a hollowed half loaf of bread, filled with either beef, mutton, chicken or beans curry. Its origins are unclear, but it was invented by Indian workers who, needing to eat in a hurry, had their curry contained in a half loaf which could then itself be eaten.

There are several other things worth seeing or visiting:

The architecture in Durban has benefited from the mix of cultures - with Art Deco, Cape Dutch, Colonial and contemporary styles. There are a number of interesting churches and temples, as well as office, and shop buildings. The City Hall is beautiful, and is represented in Durban's Logo.

All kinds of things are sold on the streets by informal traders, from fruit and vegetables to tools, traditional medicine and crafts.

Sports is a big part of life here in Durban, with the Sharks rugby, Kaiser Chiefs soccer and Dolphins cricket teams being well supported. The A1 grand prix is held every year in February through the streets of Durban. The 2010 soccer world cup will be held here - with a new stadium being built just for it.

Gardening in Durban is relatively easy because of the wonderful climate, things seem to grow without any attention. This can become a problem though, with gardens becoming overgrown jungles quite quickly.
We have some incredible plants growing in the wild, which have become popular exports:
Agapanthus, Strelitzia, and Crocosmia to name a few.

There is a big emphasis on planting indigenous plants in South Africa - partly because they are well adapted to this climate and there is a strong need to conserve water, but also because of their incredible beauty.

The best thing about Durban though, is the people. They are warm and friendly, resilient and creative. Laid back and relaxed are words often used to describe Durbanites.
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