Durban - Kloof gardeners Brigid and Pete Turner will play host to wildlife, bird and gardening enthusiasts for the last time in the Kloof Conservancy’s indigenous open garden show this weekend.
The Turners, whose Tunzini garden has been on show five times in the Kloof Conservancy’s annual fund-raising event, will leave KwaZulu-Natal later this year.
Turner says after 38 years in the area, they have decided to downsize and move to Mpumalanga to be close to their daughter.
She says they are looking forward to the open garden event and will both be available to chat to visitors.
“Peter has been a birdwatcher since childhood and so when we bought the land he wanted to keep it indigenous to attract as many birds as possible.”
Turner, who is on the Kloof Conservancy’s organising committee, says Tunzini is 100% indigenous and because they don’t have a garden fence wildlife can move in and out freely.
A bushbuck family has made the garden its home, while porcupine and duiker are among the other attractions.
Tunzini has more than 100 tree species and the Turners have seen more than 150 bird species in the garden over the years.
“Our garden has become our passion,” says Turner, who also has two self-catering units for hire on the property.
She says during the Covid-19 lockdown they were happy to walk through their two acres of garden every day.
“We don’t garden in the traditional way, we just keep things neat,” she said.
Today and tomorrow, an orchestra will perform from 2pm in Tunzini, indigenous plants will be on sale ‒ as will pots ‒ and there will be special activities for children.
Well-known botanist and indigenous landscaper Elsa Pooley will also be at Tunzini gardens.
Kloof Conservancy chairperson Paolo Candotti says four gardens will be on display this weekend. Entry fees are R30 per garden, which can be paid in cash or via Zapper.
He says the open gardens started 24 years ago but this event is the 22nd because of Covid-19.
Candotti says the annual indigenous open garden weekend is their main fund-raising activity and plays an advocacy role for indigenous gardens. All proceeds go towards the work they do.
The four gardens on display from 9am to 4pm, today and tomorrow, are:
- Karen and John Galt, 16-18 Quillhall Lane, off Abrey Road, Kloof.
- Pamela and Chris Dalzell, 47 Alamein Avenue, Kloof.
- Brigid and Peter Turner, Tunzini, 43 Kloof View Road, Forest Hill.
- Tanya Visser and Izolda van der Merwe, 6 Controversy Road, Assagay.
The Independent on Saturday