Flower Festival Helpers

There are many people who work hard to get the Annual Flower Festival up and running and these guys really put in a big effort.  Well done!

Backroom boys

Robert, John, Johnny and Andrew

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More on the Flower Festival

The show begins tomorrow, and the workers are still hard at it making the final adjustments that will ensure that our visitors get a world-class event!  It really is wonderful the way the volunteers put in so much hard work, not only at the festival, but throughout the year.  Well done to all of you!!

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Preparing for the Flower Festival

A dedicated group of amateur botanists and like-minded people have been working hard this week in preparing for the Fernkloof Flower Festival.  This year the theme is the Sixtieth Anniversary of the founding of Fernkloof Nature Reserve and this quite clear from the main backdrop as one enters the hall.

Not only are wonderful flower arrangements being assembled, but the specimen room is filling up with the most comprehensive array of flowers collected by a team which has been trawling the Reserve.

The Festival takes place at Fernkloof, Hermanus, this weekend and anybody who is interested in local botany would be well advised to attend.

Ronnie Hazell

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The Fernkloof Book is Launched!

This evening a large group of keen botanists attended the launch of the Fernkloof book, written in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Reserve.  Di Marais, who initiated and led the project through to its conclusion, had kept the final product under wraps, so everyone was itching to see the finished product.

Master of ceremonies, David Beattie, kept the proceedings moving.  His first speaker was Councillor Dawid Botha, who was full of praise for the Botanical Society and the role it has played over the years in putting Fernkloof on the map and ensuring that it is, and will remain, a world class reserve.  Next up was John Rorke, well known botanist, who has had a long association with Fernkloof.  He urged us to remain independent and to continue the good work in the Reserve and in the now, State-of-Art, Herbarium.

Then Di took over the podium and introduced all the contributors, presenting each with a copy of the book. One could hear the pages turning as the recipients keenly looked at what they had been so involved with over the past year.  It was a wonderful affair and everyone involved needs to be congratulated on their input, especially Di, who led the project with such enthusiasm and never once flagged.

Throughout it all, there was plenty of food available, all beautifully prepared and served by Carol and her team.  A good selection of sponsored wine was on hand to wash it all down and once the formalities were over, book and paper sales boomed and many guests will spend the evening poring over their new acquisitions.  Both book and wrapping paper should hit the high street soon and there is no doubt that they will sell like hot cakes!

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Spring is bursting forth in Fernkloof!

Disa pillansii Herbert Staerker 04.09.17

Disa pillansii (Photo by Herbert Staerker)

Take a walk from the Visitors’ Centre on the path to the waterfall, (from late morning onwards on a sunny day), to see the spring flowers in bloom two years after the fire. Thanks to the Overberg Municipality the new boardwalk on the path to the falls is complete and is an amazing feat of construction expertly done.

Pink ixia and gladioli, poprosies, yellow sterretjies, mauve pea flowers, orange oxalis and more are flowering. Of great interest is the flowering of Aspalathus caledonensis, its silvery stems covered in yellow pea flowers. These plants have not been seen on the lower slopes to the falls for at least 20 years and it has been the December 2015 burn that has caused their regeneration. Seed has been lying dormant all this time!

Up Adder Ladder and onwards – large mounds of Hypocalyptus oxalidifolius are smothered by their own mauve flowers and silver stands of the tall Liparia vestita can be see all the way to Galpin Kop.

Exciting too has been the re-sighting of the pink orchid Disa pillansii which has flowered in the second year post-fire. The beautiful photo of the disa was taken in Fernkloof by Herbert Staerker, photographer of the Field Guide to Orchids of South Africa.

To see the fynbos in all its glory visit –

The Hermanus Flower Festival at Fernkloof Nature Reserve

22nd – 25th September 2017

Adults R25

Children under 12 –Free

Pensioner’s Day R10 – Friday 22nd

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Hermanus Flower Festival

poster

Programme of events

Every day

  • Floral display in the Hall and exhibit of named specimens in flower
  • Landscaped mini-gardens in the amphitheatre
  • Fernkloof Nursery selling a large variety of indigenous plants
  • Marquee with enviro exhibits and things to buy
  • Tea and lunches at the Fynbos Cafe

Friday 22nd

  • Pensioners Day: pensioner ticket entry R10
  • 9am-1pm: visit by primary schools
  • 11am-1pm: Land Art Workshop – no tools or prior experience needed
  • 11am-3pm: Children make their own Fairy Garden to take away
  • 1pm-2pm: Snake Demo by Francois from Slithering Fynbos – back by popular demand!
  • 3pm-4pm: Fernkloof Gardens Brain Teaser: enter at WCC stand in marquee

Saturday 23rd

  • 10am-12md: Finding Moses the Drewes Moss Frog: walk on Red Route
  • 11am-1pm: Land Art Workshop – no tools or prior experience needed
  • 11am-3pm: Children make their own Fairy Garden to take away
  • 1pm-2pm: Snake Demo by Francois from Slithering Fynbos– back by popular demand!
  • 3pm-4pm: Fernkloof Gardens Brain Teaser: entry at WCC stand in marquee

Sunday 24th

  • 9am –all day: Finding Moses the Drewes Moss Frog: walk to Galpin Hut
  • 10am-2pm: Bugz Train rides thru’ the gardens
  • 11am-1pm: Land Art Workshop– no tools or prior experience needed
  • 11am-3pm: Children make their own Fairy Garden to take away
  • 1pm-2pm: Snake Demo by Francois from Slithering Fynbos– back by popular demand!
  • 2pm-3pm: Learn to make your own food garden: adults & children
  • 3pm-4pm: Fernkloof Gardens Brain Teaser: entry at WCC stand in marquee

Monday 25th

  • 10am-12md: Finding Moses the Drewes Moss Frog: walk the 3 dams route
  • 10am-2pm: Bugz Train rides thru’ the gardens
  • 11am-1pm: Land Art Workshop– no tools or prior experience needed
  • 11am-3pm: Children make their own Fairy Garden to take away
  • 1pm-2pm: Snake Demo by Francois from Slithering Fynbos– back by popular demand!
  • 3pm-4pm: Fernkloof Gardens Brain Teaser: entry at WCC stand in marquee
  • 4pm: Sale of plants from landscaped mini-gardens
  • 5pm: Sale of arrangements from Hall (can be booked in advance)

 

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At Last! Another Orchid

roncorylus

A walk in Fernkloof this morning revealed a single Disperis capensis at the side of the path.  This is the ‘Moederkappie’ and is a particularly beautiful little flower.

Disperis capensis Disperis capensis

Unfortunately there was a strong breeze blowing, so it was impossible to get a decent photo, but nevertheless, it was an important ‘lifer’ for me.

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