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Bee Talk

On the 24th of July 2019, Yvette van Wyk presented her findings on the historical interconnection between  humans of the Southern Cape and Honey-bees at the Garden Route Botanical Garden.

2019 An Ancient Relationship between Plants, Bees and Humans

This fascinating research stems from her doctoral thesis – ‘Plants, people, and place: complex, mutualistic, and co-evolving global patterns through time’. Follow the link below to read deeper into van Wyk’s integrally pertinent research

Click here

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Adopt a (garden) bed at the Garden Route Botanical Garden

The significant commercial value of the Garden Route region, its mild climate and astonishing wealth of biodiversity were all instrumental in the creation of the Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust (GRBGT). The notion of the Garden was originally mooted during the 1960’s. The idea persisted until finally during the early 1990’s, a branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa was founded by a group of local members and their first project was the establishment of the GRBG which eventually became the independent Non-profit organisation (NPO) (NPO 009-676) the Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust (GRBGT) (Trust No IT 2704-97). The GRBGT is based at 49 Caledon Street, George.

As the age of technological advance accelerates, George is likewise experiencing rapid growth. Offering a magnificent environment and sound infrastructure, technology makes it possible to conduct business regardless of where one resides. These factors make George a very attractive destination both for business people and retirees, which has resulted in the city’s very rapid growth over the past 20+ years.


While economic growth is the lifeblood of any city, conversely this triggers an almost insatiable appetite for land – both for business and residential purposes to keep pace with the resultant population growth. This fact was recognised many years ago and maintaining the biodiversity of the region necessitated the preservation of our natural history in tandem with the development of our city. This is particularly true in respect of activities which offer opportunities for:

  • Biodiversity Conservation – Plant and animal communities losing ground to encroaching human activities

  • Outdoor biodiversity Education – hands on learning experiences aligned with school curricula as well as adult education

  • Tourism – the GRBG has over time attracted many foreign tourists many of whom have much more than a passing interest in our region’s plant life

  • Heritage Conservation – maintaining George’s rich cultural and historical heritage

  • Recreation – a place of tranquillity and beauty, where tourists and locals alike can benefit from being outdoors in a multi-dimensional environment reflecting the impressive biodiversity of the Garden Route

In the above context therefore a major function of the GRBG is to both maintain the genetic material of our region’s flora and vegetation (for research and future rehabilitation projects) and to create a living collection of these plants of the Garden Route (for environmental education of the ever increasing population of the region and to create a safe haven for plants, animals and people). Hence the need to maintain a Botanical Garden of high quality is of integral importance.


The sole and principal object of this NPO is engaging in the conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment, including the flora and fauna of the biosphere primarily through the Garden Route Botanical Garden and the Southern Cape Herbarium. These aims are fulfilled by means of a number of projects which the Garden Route Botanical Garden drives.

These projects include the following

  • A sustainable harvesting project in which we encourage the sustainable harvesting of indigenous medicinal plants within the Garden Route Botanical Garden 
  • Environmental education through outreach programmes (such as tree plantings) and by means of the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre
  • Maintaining and displaying a living collection of the highly diverse plant species found within the Southern Cape. This is of the most important aims of a Botanical Garden which needs to be maintained in the highest quality, both genetically and aesthetically in order to preserve the significance of the collection with regards to both environmental education and aesthetic appeal.

Due to the importance of this activity in order to ensure the functionality and beauty of a botanical garden, it is a priority for the GRBGT. It is currently a major project driven by an excited and driven team to bring the standards of the GRBGT’s living collection up to the international standards for which we strive. This has involved redesigning many beds in our garden, creating relevant interpretative signage and accessioned (recorded) plant labels, and accessing and propagating the relevant plant material.


Since the GRBGT is a Trust driven NPO depending largely on sustained consistent funding this highly significant project is currently unable to generate the vital energy input that we are anticipating with the help of your company.

In this context we propose that your company sponsor a thematic bed or beds in the GRBGT. The themed bed will be entirely your preference. You’ll have a number of choices, e.g.:

  • Succulent collections

  • Fynbos displays

  • Afromontane forest beds

  • Permaculture gardens

Every bed has a specific theme and a detailed management plan dictating its use to facilitate environmental education and increasing awareness regarding the importance of preservation of indigenous plants of the Southern Cape. These plans will be used within our education plans in conjunction with the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre. We appeal for your support in providing funds for developing the bed (extra man power and a contribution to the purchase and propagation of accessioned plant material), maintaining the bed (additional labour to assist our staff) and interpretative signage.

There are a number of ways in which we will acknowledge your support of this cause. As a registered NPO/PBO (Public Benefit Organisation), your donation will qualify for a tax exemption certificate. We will also offer space on all interpretative signage in the bed/s you sponsor to acknowledge your company’s contribution to the Garden. In addition we would also offer free membership of the garden for up to 10 of your staff. The various project options you can choose from are attached.

To acquire a detailed description of each garden bed and its significance, please contact Finn Rautenbach using the following email:

Sincere thanks for your time and consideration in supporting the Garden Route Botanical Garden.

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Japanese tree planting

Today marked the Seifu Academy Peace Planting.

170 Fynbos plants were planted, each of which with a personal prayer for World Peace and Harmony on Earth.

This years focus was a commemoration to Nelson Mandela. 67 King Proteas where planted to symbolise the 67 years mr mandela devoted to serving our beloved country. The other plants include a diversity of proteas, Erica’s, leucodendrons and leucospermums.

We look forward to watching these blessed plants grow!

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Yoga/Hike in the Garden


Dont miss out on the next yoga session!

Give yourself the gift of well-being and accompany us for a Yoga & Hiking Retreat at The Garden Route Botanical Garden, George, where you will be surrounded by the stunning natural landscapes of the Botanical Garden and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains. Enjoy a 1.5 hour Yoga session with Amè(YTT200 Qualified Yoga Instructor). Let the beauty, smells and sounds of the environment bombard your senses and depart feeling revived, relaxed and rejuvenated!

Programme: 08h00: Welcoming at the Getafix Restaurant with a glass of fresh juice.

08h10: Yoga will take place in the Botanical Garden or indoors on an unpleasant day.

09h40: Enjoy an omelette at the Getafix Restaurant

10h20: Embark on the hiking trail

12h20: Relax

Booking is essential: 0738777378/

When: Tuesday, 2 January 2018 and again Thursday, 4 January 2018

Where: Botanical Garden

Time: 08h00

Entrance fee: R200(includes the entire programme of events)

Bring your yoga matt and be sure to join us!

If you don’t have a yoga matt, feel free to hire one from us.

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Schnauzer friends fun walk

GEORGE/GARDEN ROUTE SCHNAUZERS! Join us for the second George Schnauzer Friends Fun Walk/Picnic on Saturday the 27th of January 2018 at the Botanical Gardens, 49 Caledon street, George. (Meet at 16:45 – we will be walking at 17:00 sharp). Entrance fee at the Botanical Garden for non-members is R10 per person (not per dog) and FREE for members. ALL socialised schnauzers WELCOME !!! (Small non Schnauzer siblings are welcome as long as they are socialised and love Schnauzers (it’s not fair to leave them at home!!)

Meeting Spot: The walk will start on the open lawn section opposite the public toilets, 49 Caledon Street, George (Parkrun Meeting spot).

Hosted by: Annabel Bovey – Schnauzer Mom to Oliver.

We will walk for about an hour in total and then have a picnic afterwards (optional) please bring your own snacks and drinks.

All dogs must be socialized. Bring your own water, sunscreen etc. We walk our dogs off the leash but you can also walk your dog on the leash if you’d prefer that.

ALL dogs who come on the walk MUST have a collar with a disc with the owners contact number on it in case the dog gets lost or separated from the owner. Please also bring a leash just in case you need it. I also recommend that you put something on your schnauzers collar that will help identify them, like a ribbon of a certain color. It is sometimes craziness and you just want to make it a little bit easier to recognize your schnauzer in a beautiful pack of happy schnauzers !!

NOTE: This is social walk, not an official event in any way – everyone is participating at their own risk. You are wholly responsible for your dog(s).

If it is raining we might cancel so please be sure to check the page if in doubt. Contact Annabel on or 073 270 3438 if you have any questions.

Woofs and wags

Looking forward to meeting you and your schnauzers.
Come along. We’re friendly!

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Num Num (Carissa bispinosa)

The Num num is one of our well-known and wonderful indigenous species. I believe this to be a versatile plant for most gardens. It has scented star-shape flowers which are both beautiful and attract insects, it has delicious edible fruit that attract birds to the garden, it does wonderfully as a hedge plant, and makes excellent bonsai. The Num num is a medium to large shrub, mostly they attain up to three meters in height, there are many different cultivars including prostrate varieties.

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Agapanthus praecox (Blue Lilly)

The evergreen species come from the winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape and all-year rainfall Eastern Cape and shed a few of their old outer leaves every year and replace them with new leaves from the apex of the growing shoot.

Agapanthus praecox is easy to grow and it does well even in the poorest of soils, but it must receive some water in summer. To perform at its best, give it rich, well-drained soil with ample compost (decayed organic matter) and plenty of water in spring and summer. As with most plants they benefit most from regular (e.g. weekly) deep drenching as opposed to frequent superficial waterings. It prefers full sun, and some cultivars will flower in semi-shade. All the evergreen agapanthus are best lifted and divided every four years or so to ensure flowering.

For all your indigenous plant requirements visit the Botanical Garden nursery 49 Caledon Street or email or call our Office on 044 8741558

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NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK 2017 at the Botanical Garden


More than just sightseeing happening around the garden! This week especially students are traveling to and through the garden with the purpose of partaking in various educational filled activities… ultimately advancing science tourism.

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Launch of National Science Week in PE 5 Aug 17

Launch of NSW 2017 in PE

What an honor it is to be partaking in something as incredible as National Science Week organised by the Department of Science and Technology! It has been nothing less than an absolute pleasure representing the Garden Route Botanical Garden at the launch of National Science Week here at Nelson Mandela University Missionvale Campus!

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Meyer Von Wielligh supports Garden Route Botanical Garden

Meyer Von Wielligh supports Garden Route Botanical Garden and cares for the environment by offsetting its Carbon emissions

Passionate about nature, the furniture manufacturing company, Meyer Von Wielligh, continues to pursue environmental sustainability in all aspects of their work and personal lives. The company has now taken a massive step in furthering their pursuit of environmental sustainability through supporting the Garden Route Botanical Garden (which is a non-profit socio-environmental organization) by buying and planting a 110 indigenous trees, with their employees’ names on them, in an effort to offset the company’s carbon emissions.

As the issue of climate change and greenhouse emissions continue to grow and impact people so does the need to take action. In the light of these effects it is vital that businesses act responsibly. Realising that no business can operate without a carbon footprint Meyer Von Wielligh voluntarily undertakes to support the Kyoto Protocol (the main global piece of guideline charged with tackling climate change) by offsetting their carbon emissions in the Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG) by planting a 110 indigenous trees. Globally carbon offsetting through tree planting has been recognised as a way to take responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions.

To explain in more simple terms, offsetting a certain amount of carbon means there will be that certain amount carbon dioxide less in the atmosphere than there would otherwise have been. Carbon offsetting is the fastest way to realise emissions reductions and the only way to achieve carbon neutrality. The GRBG now offers carbon – and water footprint auditing and management plans. Choosing to offset through the GRBG means you’ll support best practise projects that deliver value for the environment, your business and the local surrounding communities.