Kloof Conservancy’s Indigenous Open Gardens Show is its flagship project and main annual fund-raising fixture. Over the years, it has been instrumental in contributing to the protection of KwaZulu-Natal’s biodiversity by educating the broader public about our floral diversity and the merits of indigenous gardening, and by raising significant sums of money for local conservation projects, including for the removal of invasive alien plants in Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.
Taking place since 1999, we have raised funds for Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and more recently for our numerous environmental projects in Kloof and our immediate surrounds. The show has “inspired” many home owners to convert to indigenous gardening with the stunning range of gardens that have been featured and this year’s event will no doubt continue this trend!
The Upper Highway is situated within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot and is well known for the wealth of flora and fauna that is found in the area. The protection of this flora and fauna through indigenous gardens has been the theme of all our Indigenous Garden events.
Enjoying the show
Some simple guidelines to help you enjoy the gardens:
- Wear sensible shoes – there are areas with cobblestone paving or gravel or slopes!
- The are many interesting/unusual trees to see so bring along a tree book.
- Take a pair of binoculars if you are interested in birds – gardens create habitats which are ideal for birds.
- Plan your comfort breaks – there are toilet facilities at the Tea Garden but none at the gardens.
- You are going to be in the sun for much of the day – wear sunscreen and a hat – cool-drinks will be on sale at some of the gardens.
- The gardens are “open” but the homes are not – please do respect the owners privacy and do not wander through private spaces.
- Please do not bring any animals (NO PETS) to the gardens.
- We have plant specialists at each garden – do feel free to engage with them as they are more than willing to share their knowledge.
Held on the 16th and 17th of June, this year’s event featured seven incredible gardens showcasing spectacular shifts from exotic to indigenous gardening.
Garden 1 – 32 Jan Smuts Avenue, Winston Park (Haley & Gavin Hough)
Garden 2 – 34 Alexander Drive, Winston Park (Derek & Sharron Rabie)
Garden 3 – The duBoirs Boutique Lodge, Wedding & Conference Venue, 198 Inanda Rd, Waterfall (Palesa Dube)
Garden 4 – 32 Umgeni View, Crestholme (Christine and Vincent Dench)
Garden 5 – 13 Valley Drive, Forest Hills (Helen Terblanche)
Garden 6 – 34B Margaret Crescent, Forest Hills (Dave & Sue Mercer)
Garden 7 – 9 Watsonia Place, Forest Hills (Helen & Tim McClurg)
Held on the 25th and 26th of March, the theme for this year’s event was indigenous colour.
Garden 1 – 33 Lyngarth Road, Kloof
The home of Juliet and Anthony Stead. This is is an well established garden with an amazing range of species which will be of interest to botanists!
Garden 2 – 75A Emolweni Road, Kloof
The home of Shirley and Robin Phillips. This garden is a recent conversion from an exotic garden with a large percentage of invasive alien species (still present in some neighbouring gardens.) It has a mix of sunny and shady species which provide great interest.
Garden 3 – 5 Mkongweni Road, Waterfall
The home of Lindi and Kevin Collett. This is a young garden for a young family and demonstrates what can be done in difficult terrain. It has an interesting range of species and large rockery.
Garden 4 – 9 Polela Road, Hillcrest
The home of Nonjabulo and Thami Hlongwa. Designed by Miles Steenhuizen this is a relatively young garden which has been converted from exotic to indigenous. It is designed to meet family needs with interesting features such as a traditional fire pit.
Garden 5 – 14 Neville Road, Gillitts
The home of Carryn and Donovan Payne. This is an established garden originally designed by Phil Page but significantly altered recently by Donovan to accommodate his young family. The garden is in a stunning natural setting with a stream flowing through it.
Held on the 11th and 12th of June, the theme for 2016 was “Embrace D’MOSS. Live with Nature” and all the gardens on show had a D’MOSS section.
Where this concept has been embraced, as in the gardens on display in 2016, the rewards for the property owners have been significant. Not only did they create environments which are conducive to the protection of the biodiversity of the area but they have also significantly enhanced their own quality of life by blending their lifestyles with nature around them. These gardens are rich in biodiversity not only in the diversity of the flora but also with fauna as the environments which have created have brought back many species such as Blue Duiker, Bushbuck, Porcupine, Slender and Water Mongoose, Caracal and many others. In addition properties are much sought after and their economic value increased.
Garden 1 – 45 Alamein Avenue, Kloof
The home of Anitalia Walker and Malcolm Perry – a well established indigenous garden which attracts many birds and has stunning views of Kloof Gorge. Sit in the garden and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while being serenaded by the many birds.
Garden 2 – 47 Alamein Avenue, Kloof
The home of Pamela and Chris Dalzell – Chris is the former curator of the Durban Botanical Gardens and more recently a member of the team responsible for creating the new Singapore botanical gardens. With his wealth of experience Chris has created an amazing indigenous garden with many interesting species and stunning gorge views. Due to the steep terrain parts of this garden are not recommended for persons with walking difficulties.
Garden 3 – Cascades 38 Buckingham Road, Kloof
Cascades was developed between 2001 and 2003 with a D’MOSS condition on the development being the establishment of a Non-User-Conservation-Servitude (NUCS) to protect approximately half of the property from development. The area to be protected includes a perennial stream, the Ronald’s Kloof Stream, and was heavily infested with invasive alien plants (IAPs). In 2005 the residents started a rehabilitation project and included their neighbours. Today the area of approximately 5ha has been fully rehabilitated with funding from most of the residents and is a de facto private nature reserve and an extension of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. The Cascades property is not fenced on the forest side and as a result the gardens are frequently visited by porcupine, bushpigs, bush-babies, bushbuck, blue duiker, large spotted genets, caracal, water, banded and slender mongoose and the birdlife is equally amazing!