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.


Unknown said...

Hi Ross; Thanks so much for joining in the Geography Project! You're the first participant from the African continent, so I'm really tickled --and of course fascinated by your climate.
Have you signed up with Blotanical yet? It's a great way to gain readers and find more blogs to read. You're probably very busy with work, but who knows, joining Blotanical might help there, too. It's free, and just a very cool network of gardening/landscaping blogs, if you don't know about it. ( I'm not connected to the site in any way except as a member, and have been amazed at the new contacts I've made in the gardening world.
All best wishes to you, and i"ll be stopping in to visit your blog regularly!

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Sean from Rocklin, California

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Absolutely gorgeous !
I love our four seasons most of the time .. except this time of year .. winter madness has struck.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful place in the gardening world !
Joy : )

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling us about where in the world you garden.
I am in New Zealand, and there don't appear to be too many gardeners from the Southern Hemisphere have blogs, although I have only been into this scene for just over a week, so could be wrong.
Loved your agapanthus and bird of paradise flower anyway.

Unknown said...

Wonderful to see and read about your country..
cheers from Canada

Katarina said...

Your post was so interesting to read! I'm really glad I found your blog! I've never been to South Africa but I really would like to visit your beautiful country - and even more so now, after reading your blog!

Greetings from Sweden /Katarina

Curmudgeon said...

It was wonderful to learn about your corner of the world. Looks like you have a little piece of paradise. Tugela Falls--breathtaking!

Gorda said...

Very interesting info about a completely unfamiliar place. I'm glad to read about your corner of the world.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Bunny Chow sounds really good - I love Indian food. That waterfall is truly spectacular! I would imagine that gardening in South Africa is a lot like gardening in South Florida, where my parents have a condo. I was there a couple of weeks ago & saw the same plants you have posted photos of. Lush!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your city sounds ideal. I like the subtropic plants. I have a few for house plants. I can just imagine growing them in a garden.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the advice Jodi, Blotanical has been extremely interesting and helpful. Thanks everyone for your comments!

Steve said...

What an interesting blog! I loved the geographical expedition and plan to do one for Jodi as well, relating to Portland, Oregon where I have moved back to from Reno, Nevada. In fact, I may need to do 2!! Such a selfish guy, lol.

You have a terrific blog and thanks. Jodi's right - Blotanical is quite the find. Come visit me!


Natashia van Buuren said...

These are absolutely awesome pictures. Durban rocks.

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