This week it’s the new marine bird centre

Hermanus Bird Club

The Club morning outing, on Thursday 4 June, will be a visit to the newly established African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary in Gansbaai.

The sanctuary, which was opened in February, is described as a custom designed, world-class, marine bird rehabilitation centre that will provide temporary rehabilitative care to sick, displaced, injured, oiled and abandoned marine birds, with a special focus on the endangered African Penguin. The project was driven by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in conjunction with tourism partners Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises.

We meet at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve Hall on Thursday at 08:00 to consolidate transport. Weather permitting, we will stop at the bird hide in Stanford on the way back. Bring your own refreshments.

The visit will be led by Margie Ogston, who can be contacted on 083 240 9191.

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Bonsai growth – Single Limiting Factors


I would like to share with you my thoughts on the implications of Limiting Factors for tree growth. The basic theory is that the optimum rate of growth of a bonsai will be limited by the one resource that is in the least supply. Obviously different trees require different balance of the essential factors but the basic theory remains. To recap the factors are water, light and the wide range of nutrients.

Leibigs Law “states that plant growth is limited by a single resource at any one time; only after that resource is increased to the point of sufficiency can another resource increase plant growth”*

We need to be mindful of this when choosing soils for re-potting, when watering and fertilising, and when choosing a place for our trees in the garden. For instance a light demanding tree can be well watered and fertilised but without adequate sun to photosynthesize…

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The End of Turface as Planting Medium


Today ends my 2 year journey to test the viability of turface as a substitute for akadama growing medium for sample bonsai in my collection. It has been recommended in club meetings and by cost conscious bonsai artists over the past few years as the price of Japanese Akadama has increased. Over the past year I have lost a small pine completely and weakened some tropical trees and young plants.  Today, however, I took the last tree in the experimental mix to check the results. Over the two year period I had noticed the struggling foliage on the juniper procumbins with concern. I had fertilized and watered like all the rest of the juniper but this one was not growing much at all. The mix was 70% turface, 10% pumice, 10% lava, 10% fur bark.  The fur bark had completely decomposed.  I hydrated my trees as usual before the re-potting…

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