Must Have Books for the SA Gardener

  1. Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants by Pitta Joffe
    Published by Briza Publications, First Edition Fourth Impression, 2007.
    This has become my favourite gardening book and is always close at hand. It is an invaluable guide for any South African gardener that is interested in indigenous plants. The book has clear descriptions of each plant, detailing it's natural habitat, growing requirements and flowering times. Clear beautiful photographs accompany each description.
  2. Bring Nature Back To Your Garden (Western Edition) by Charles & Julia Botha. Published by Kwa-Zulu Natal Region of the Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa, 2000.
    Fast becoming another firm favourite. Although there are no colour photos ,the interesting information more than makes up for it. This book describes a host of creatures that you are likely to find in your garden from birds and moles to bees and millipedes. It explains the relationships between plants and animals and why chemical fertilizers and pesticides should have no place in any garden. Reading this book makes you realize that we should all be taking action NOW to preserve our natural fauna and flora.
  3. Grow Fynbos Plants by Neville Brown & Graham Duncan.
    Published by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, 2006.
    An interesting guide describing the propagation, cultivation and care of some Fynbos favourites. They still advocate the use of pesticides and fungicides, something I would hope to see changed in any later editions.
  4. Fast and Easy Waterwise Gardens. Coastal Zone: Cape Town to Mossel Bay by Glenn Ashton. Published by Ekogaia Publishing, 2005.
    This small little book might easily be overlooked amongst the bigger glossy publications but it is well worth the read, especially for those beginning a new garden.
  5. Grow Bulbs by Graham Duncan
    Published by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, 2010
    Bursting with information and photographs of our beautiful bulbs. This is a really useful book for the amateur and specialist bulb grower, a little less about fungicides and pesticides would have made this another firm favourite.
  6. Waterwise Gardening in South Africa and Namibia by Ernst van Jaarsveld.
    Published by Struik Lifestyle, 2010
    Lots of sound gardening advice as well as descriptions of different garden types such as Fynbos gardens, Highveld gardens, Thicket gardens etc. Another one of those books I wish I had when I started planning our garden.
  7. Guide to Succulents of Southern Africa by Gideon F. Smith & Neil R. Crouch.
    Published by Struik Nature, 2009
    An extensive list with accompanying photographs of the succulents (including Aliens) found in Southern Africa. Small maps indicating the distribution accompany each description.