I have always loved Bonsai plants, loved their miniature replication of natural, full-grown, trees in the wild. There is something so precise, so magical about creating a miniature garden.

However, like most pursuits, it is not as easy as it may seem. Over the past several years, I have bought bonsai plants, and I bought ordinary juniper and jade plants and attempted to create bonsai from them. None are with us any longer. All are dead and thrown out long ago.

But the Bonsai bug bit me again recently. This time, I told myself, I am going to do it right. In preparation, I went online, read articles, watched You Tube videos. There are rules, so many rules.

I will be happy with modest success – a plant or two that survives, and one or two that actually resemble Bonsai.

Bonsai is from the Japanese, bon ‘tray’ + sai ‘planting’.

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Pledge Nature Reserve


The Reserve falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom, which, with its 8600 plant species, is the worlds’ richest temperate flora. The upper sections of Pledge Nature Reserve is one of the last remnants of the endangered Garden Route Shale Fynbos and it is our priority to manage this area to ensure its survival. The lower-lying areas consist of Riverine Thicket and wetland vegetation with mostly locally indigenous species, but over the years some other indigenous species have been introduced. The species count to date is in excess of 250 species, making it an ideal place for people of all ages to view the unique indigenous flora of the Southern Cape.

Before reclamation work began on Pledge Nature Reserve, bird-life was essentially non-existent. Few birds were attracted to the area because of the sterile wattle thickets. In the early 1990’s, no more than 47 species were recorded, while by the end…

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