An Impendle Summer

Plant enthusiasts find floral treasures wherever they wander. Sharp eyes spot interesting things along roadsides, on working farms and in residential areas – often in unexpected places.   The Impendle area is rich in special flora. Kniphofia laxiflora are particularly spectacular, Plenty of Kniphofia buchananii . The altitude in Impendle is much higher than the surrounding midlands, so it…

Carol Addis

Since Carol Addis died this week, tributes attesting to the positive influence she had in the Midlands community have been pouring in. She would be grinning.  After a successful career as an entrepreneur in the clothing business, Carol put her mind to reinventing her life at Francolin Fields in Lions River, with her beloved pets,…

Dainty Bauhinia

Bauhinia natalensis This pretty little Bauhinia has been flowering profusely in so many Midlands gardens this summer that it deserves a mention. It occurs naturally in Valley Bushveld in the Eastern Cape and on the Southern KZN coast. Bauhinia natalensis grows quickly to reach about 3m, needs little attention and is easily propagated from seed….

Cumberland Rocks!

When Stella Behn was just 10 years old, she remembers a neighbour calling her dad to help with an African Rock Python that was in the bath.  “I wasn’t allowed inside but watched fascinated when they brought the huge snake out.”  Needless to say, Stella is not afraid of snakes.  Over the years, there have…

Singakwenza Stars

This week, Singakwenza celebrates their 10th birthday. This inspiring organisation, based in Hilton, has had an enormous impact in communities far and wide over the past decade. Julie Hay, passionate about Early Childhood Development, started the project and continues to lead the team with love. Read about Julie here. This article acknowledges just two of…

The Old Mushroom Farm

For 15 years, Nick Crooks grew button and black mushrooms in the tunnels on the farm along the Karkloof Road.  To begin with, he didn’t have much idea about mushrooms, but with research and determination, he created a thriving business, which he sold to the staff (in the form of a management buyout) in 2006. …

Ursinia tenuiloba

umuthi wezifuba Burnt grassland is dotted with cheerful clumps of this little daisy which open their faces to the sun each day.  Each flower is on a single stalk, but the clump produces many flowers.  The yellow petals are pinkish red underneath and it looks completely different when the flowers start to droop. The leaves…

Young Writers

Young Authors Book Initiative (YABI), created by dynamo duo Lungile and Makhubalo Ikaneng, encourages reading and teaches basic writing skills. “By putting the writing process in young people’s hands, we hope to demystify the written word and make it accessible to them. We want to show the learners that books are not difficult products written…

The Cavern Community

After lunch at The Cavern you shouldn’t be surprised to hear the bar lady humming a beautiful tune or strains of Maskandi wafting down the passage from the kitchen.  Pot washer, Sakhile Nqubuka, sings bass in the Cavern Choir and loves to drown the noise of clattering pans with song.   The Cavern Choir started many…

Midlands Takes it Slow

Just like millions of people across the globe, the sudden lockdown in South Africa threw up unprecedented challenges, but interesting opportunities too.  In the diverse KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the responses were also diverse.  Some restaurants and small producers could not manage to wait it out, while others rose to the challenge creatively.  It soon became abundantly…