Book review: Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa

Author: Glenice Ebedes

Reviewed by: Samantha Keogh

Review made possible by: Penguin Random House South Africa

No matter the size of your garden, there are plants in this little book for every green-thumbed enthusiast with details of 145 garden-friendly, low-maintenance trees, shrubs and bedding plants included.

Best of all, if you are a novice gardener, the author has taken the guess work out of choosing plants as all the plants included are perfectly adapted to our local soils and weather conditions.

Each entry gives icons about the size the plant will grow to, the weather conditions needed and how much water it will need.

While these might be expected of every gardening book, what interested me most was the icons showing which plants will attract butterflies and birds to your garden, as well as those informing you how fast a plant will grow and whether it is fragrant or not.

I love the idea of hundreds of butterflies flitting about my garden so this, coupled with the section on attracting butterflies to your garden, were probably the highlights for me.

The author has also included colour photographs that show plant details and close-ups of the flowers, shots of the whole flower, bush or tree and, in the case of trees, what the bark of a healthy specimen should look like.

While not an avid gardener, I was enthralled by this book which is written and presented in an easy-to-follow way which makes gardening seem simple and fun.

Who knows, you may soon find me in the garden, mud on my knee, in an effort to attract butterflies to the neighbourhood.

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