The motivation for establishing a garden is basically that people have a desire to possess a small piece of nature. What greater reward can we experience than for us to attract some wildlife into our gardens and I think that there are many out there who want to do the same. That is the whole purpose of this website – to encourage people to garden with nature so that they can share their little piece of Africa with the wildlife that abounds in our area.
Quite early in the colonisation of the then Natal it became known as the “Garden Colony” due to the wealth of indigenous flowers, trees and shrubs that grow here. It must have been a wonderful sight to see the flowering Erythrina trees before they were replaced by exotics. It would be a fallacy to call kwaZulu-Natal the “Garden Province” today.
It is a sad fact that, due to so-called “development”, our indigenous natural areas are disappearing at a rapid rate. Urban sprawl, over-population, farming and other pressures on the use of land are responsible for more and more destruction of the habitats of our birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. This is also resulting that the remaining natural areas are becoming small islands where natural wildlife migrations cannot take place due to the natural routes being cut by highly secure fences, roads, housing developments and exotic gardens and parks.
Unfortunately, many keen gardeners are not aware that their well manicured gardens that are filled with exotic plants, and where every insect has been eliminated, have become green deserts with very little life. These gardeners can, by reintroducing some of the local indigenous plants, start to attract some of the wildlife back into their gardens, and help to restore some of the natural ecology in the urban or rural areas.
I invite you to explore this website to find plants that you can use in your garden. There are also web pages on how to garden to attract birds and butterflies to your garden.
If we do not consider the impacts that our actions have on nature, then we are slowly, but surely, signing our own and other's death warrants.
One of the areas in which we can try to live closely with nature is in our own gardens and homes where we can strive to live sustainably within the natural beauty that surrounds us. We must take responsibility for restoring our homes and gardens to natural Edens where nature prevails.