Beau­ti­ful drought trumpers 101

CityPress - - Voices - Pen­guin Ran­dom House 168 pages R120 at

Sum­mer is the per­fect time to make your gar­den look great. With the cur­rent wa­ter re­stric­tions, we can do our bit for con­ser­va­tion by go­ing indige­nous while cre­at­ing wa­ter-friendly, bird-lov­ing gar­dens.

Gar­dener’s Guide to Indige­nous Gar­den Plants of South­ern Africa by Glenice Ebe­des

I..... f you want a gar­den that’s suited to our South African cli­mate, and one that at­tracts wildlife from busy bees and beau­ti­ful but­ter­flies to birds, lizards and spi­ders (re­mem­ber spi­ders eat mos­qui­toes), then this pocket-sized book will give you all the help and in­for­ma­tion you need. The au­thor se­lects 145 gar­den-friendly trees, shrubs and bed­ding plants per­fectly adapted to the lo­cal cli­mate.

Field Guide to Suc­cu­lents of South Africa by Gideon F Smith, Neil R Crouch and Estrela Figueiredo

Pen­guin Ran­dom House

464 pages

R350 at

..... his lovely book with full-colour il­lus­tra­tions will in­spire you even fur­ther if you want to turn your gar­den into an indige­nous, low main­te­nance and wa­ter­wise haven. It’s a user-friendly book that takes you through the defin­ing fea­tures of suc­cu­lents, their uses and how to gar­den with them. Their big­gest plus, par­tic­u­larly for a coun­try gripped by drought, is that suc­cu­lents can store wa­ter for later use. South­ern Africa has the rich­est and most di­verse suc­cu­lent flora in the world, so now is the per­fect time to start plant­ing. Suc­cu­lents are also of­ten cheaper and more long-last­ing than other flow­ers.

TGar­den Birds in South Africa by Dun­can Butchart

Struik Na­ture

192 pages

R230 at

..... s you flick through these brightly coloured pages you’ll im­me­di­ately recog­nise South Africa’s favourite bird, the Cape robin. You’ll iden­tify which fam­ily of spar­rows that one with the white wing bar be­longs to; recog­nise that fa­mil­iar call from the house top and know what food to put out to at­tract par­tic­u­lar gar­den birds. As well as iden­ti­fy­ing and telling you about our most com­mon 101 gar­den birds, Dun­can Butchart – one of South Africa’s great bird­ers – gives ad­vice on how to pro­vide food and shel­ter for our feath­ered friends and what trees, shrubs, climbers, grasses and aquatic plants to plant in your gar­den to at­tract them. This book will give great plea­sure to al­most ev­ery­one who has a gar­den, big or small.

AOverkill – The race to save Africa’s wildlife by James Clarke

Struik Na­ture

196 pages

R190 at

..... his very im­por­tant book, by vet­eran jour­nal­ist James Clarke, be­gins with a story – and not a pretty one. Since hu­mans mi­grated from Africa and fanned out into Eura­sia and the rest of the world, 90% of the world’s megafauna, its larger crea­tures, have be­come ex­tinct. Think mam­moths and mastodons, woolly rhinoceroses and sabre­toothed cats. Clarke chill­ingly points out that not just a few species, but whole gen­era have been wiped out.

The only ex­cep­tion has been Africa, but that now too is in dan­ger. In 2016, the African wildlife sit­u­a­tion re­port­edly reached its worst point. This thought-pro­vok­ing, but fi­nally cau­tiously op­ti­mistic book, writ­ten in Clarke’s con­ver­sa­tional ap­peal­ing style, de­scribes the his­tory and ex­tent of hu­man im­pact on Africa. It goes on to dis­cuss land and ma­rine an­i­mals and the cur­rent sta­tus of Africa’s wild an­i­mals. He dis­cusses how the sit­u­a­tion has now reached its low­est ebb and asks whether, thanks to ur­gent and ded­i­cated con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, the tide is turn­ing.

T– Kate Turk­ing­ton

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