South Africa’s Unique Landscape Requires Conservation and Maintenance
South Africa is home to numerous botanical gardens with magnificent wildlife and plant species for locals and foreigners to visit and enjoy. These botanical gardens bring us all closer to nature, helping us to remain grounded and explore new environments and products of the country’s lush, biodiverse spaces. These spaces are well-maintained and cared for all year round so that when visitors arrive, the space shines and the plants remain healthy and thriving – so, for the gardeners and groundskeepers who manage these spaces, it is vital to have the right equipment available. Read this article if you’d like to learn more about the equipment necessary (ie Stihl Bruschutters) to keep these spaces beautiful.
Below you will find out more about the importance of botanical gardens found in South Africa, and you’ll come to see, these gardens are environmentally-sensitive areas that require conservation, study and constant maintenance. To keep these spaces beautiful for visitors and functional within the ecosystem, ground staff would have to learn how to handle and make use of equipment such as Stihl brushcutters. Stihl brushcutters are good for these kinds of large-scale spaces because they are fast, effective and accurate, thereby preventing any damage to the vegetation. Without equipment like BS Power’s Stihl brushcutters, these grounds would become unruly and they would not be attractive to tourists, international funders or conservation institutions.
What Is a Botanical Garden?
A botanical garden is different from standard gardens because of its wide range of living plant species. Botanical gardens are designed for the purpose of conserving indigenous and endangered plant species that are at risk of extinction due to over-harvesting, destructive agricultural practices, pollutants, urbanization, exotic invasive species, climate changes and land exploitation. Botanical gardens are devoted to the study and protection of plants that are unique to their specific environments. At the same time, botanical gardens present a wonderful opportunity for humans to explore and play in a way that fosters their mental and physical well-being.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute is mandated with managing the National Botanical and Zoological Gardens in South Africa. They create and enforce policies aimed at supporting the protection of biodiversity. They are responsible for mapping South Africa’s ecosystems and their species so that they can survey the land accurately, classify existing plants and monitoring their health.
Botanical Gardens in South Africa
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Located in Cape Town, this garden contains unique species such as the cycads, the Baobab, the vygie and the Namaqualand daisies. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is recognised for its stunning view of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The estate is 528 hectares of fynbos, and there are many animal species to look out for – including 125 bird species.
Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden
Located in Gauteng, approximately 30km west of Johannesburg’s central business district, this garden was founded in 1982 and is known for its magnificent waterfall and plunge pool. The estate depicts the Highveld in all its glory, and boasts a rich array of wildlife – from eagles to honey badgers to tortoises. This is one of Gauteng’s greatest gems, providing necessary relief from the hustle and bustle of South Africa’s biggest city.
Pretoria Botanical Garden
Found in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria, this garden is 76 hectares of pure bliss. Known for its conservation efforts of the cycad (one of South Africa’s most endangered species), it is another great getaway from the surrounding urbanity. This space is a natural grassland that provides a home for many indigenous animals and insects. Established in 1964, the plot of land was initially intended to be an experimental farm, however, it was found to be unsuitable because of the presence of poisonous leaves which posed a threat to livestock.
Hantam Botanical Garden
One of the largest but youngest botanical gardens, Hantam is a 6000-hectare space in the Northern Cape, containing three primary vegetation types such as Nieuwoudtville Shale Renosterveld, Succulent Karoo and Neuwoudtville-Roggeveld Dolorite Renosterveld. Some of the rare species that live in this garden include the long-tongued flies, McGregor’s blue butterflies and black harriers. What’s more, this space is home to immaculate flower species and its geology is complex with dolerite beds, dolerite sills and dykes, Dwyka rocks and shale beds. The Gardens is found on Bokkeveld Plateau, 730m above sea level.
Lowveld Botanical Garden
Known for its 800 woody tree species, and the convergence of the Crocodile and Nels river, this Garden is rich with plants and animals. The vegetation is Savana, and the Rivers present in the space have led to abundant birdlife and reptilian species. Hippos, dwarf mongooses and the Mozambique spitting cobra are all known to walk amongst the same earth in this space. Furthermore, visitors can witness spectacular waterfalls at two different viewpoints.
Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Garden
This garden in Pietermaritzburg contains popular tourist attractions such as the themed gardens within, which include the Zulu demonstration Garden, the Insect Hotel, the Cycad Garden, Cilvia Dam and the Plant Tree Avenue which was planted in 1908. The Turraea Trail is another popular destination for birdwatchers who are looking out for species such as the Blue-billed Firefinch and the Cape Robin. The garden is located in the Ngongoni Veld, rich with Midlands Meadow grassland.
Harold Porter Botanical Garden
Recognised for its rich flora, salt-adapted plants, waterfalls and amber pools, this garden is found on the coast. The fynbos vegetation leaves plenty of room for arachnids, insects and birds. Dunes, mountains and marshes all collide in this magnificent space on the coastline near Hermanus, in the Kogelberg biosphere reserve.
Karoo Desert Botanical Garden
At the foot of the Hex River Mountains, visitors and tourists can find the Karoo Desert Garden, with its infamous collection of South Africa’s largest array of succulent species. Smaller than others, this arid and semi-arid garden is 154 hectares and it is found 120km north of Cape Town, located on the outskirts of Worcester. Visitors love to visit the Shale trail during Winter for the benefit of seeing snow on the Hex River Mountain.
Free State Botanical Garden
Comprising grasslands and woodlands, this garden is known for its wild olive and karee trees. Located on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, it also features a wide variety of roses. The Flora found here are indigenous to the Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho. It contains 54 reptile species and 50 mammal species, as well as 151 bird species.
Kwelera Botanical Garden
Tourists and locals alike can visit the most recently-established botanical garden to enjoy the scenes of the Wild Coast. The first garden to be established in the Eastern Cape, this plant and wildlife sanctuary in East London has picturesque scenes of coastal grasslands, coastal dune forests and marine frontage. The space is not yet open to the public, but facilities are being developed, and tourists are welcome to scope the reserve site and beach, as well as the popular Strandloper hiking trail nearby.
Large-Scale Maintenance for Conservationist Landscapes
Maintenance and landscape for botanical gardens is no easy feat. It requires a deeper understanding of the native plant species and their sensitivities to weather conditions, soils, exposure, drainage, seasonal changes and more. It also requires employees to make use of high-power landscaping tools such as Stihl brushcutters. Hence, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the staff and personnel keeping the grounds of the botanical garden are educated about the landscape and its needs.
The staff who work in botanical gardens will have a varied range of responsibilities and skill sets. Some staff will be expected to manage and monitor delicate orchids all year round, others will be expected to mow the lawn, while others will be put in charge of propagating and protecting endangered species. Plant classification and plant identification are very important character traits required of any employee of a botanical garden, and it is vital that they are trained to work with the indigenous species of that garden’s particular plant kingdom, as well as garden equipment such as pesticides and stihl brushcutters for example. Some of the activities that are carried out by botanical gardeners and relevant maintenance staff are listed below:
Common Manual Labour Activities For Grounds Staff in Botanical Gardens
Pruning is the removal of dead branches and stems from a plant. This promotes new growth and allows other parts of the plant more access to water and nutrients. Only the stems or branches that are not thriving should be removed.
Mulching is the process of adding a spread or material over the surface of the soil. This in turn helps the soil to retain moisture, keep it moist and repress weeds. Mulch improves a soil’s drainage and it releases nutrients as it decomposes.
Turfing is the process of spreading a top layer over your soil. By adding grass, for example, over the soil, you can prevent erosion by helping the soil bind together better. This means that the soil beneath will be more protected from wind and rain. Soil has to be prepared properly before topsoil can be overlaid.
Mowing is when you level down grass by trimming the top with Stihl brushcutters, a mowing machine, or scythe. Mowing should happen regularly in order to encourage the growth of new grass and prevent old, dead grass from draining the soil of its nutrients. Mowing can be done manually or electronically. However, it is always faster and more efficient to use tools such as stihl bruschutters for mowing and taming grass.
To propagate is to help a plant species grow and multiply. It is to help an organism reproduce or breed by natural means. A person could propagate a plant by snipping off a leaf and placing it in water, encouraging the roots to grow, and then planting this germinated organism in soil for further development.
Irrigation is the process of watering plants methodically and periodically. Irrigation is a vital component or keeping crops and plants flourishing. It also helps any dead or disturbed soil to regenerate.
Pest control is a controlled method of managing pests that eat or disturb plants. Pest control is a tactic that helps to protect plants against harmful insects. Pest control has to be done in an eco-conscious manner that will not disrupt the natural environment or harm indigenous wildlife.
Besides the manual tasks listed above, employees in botanical gardens are also expected to do more mental work. For example, certain permanent staff, horticulturists, university interns or research-based personnel will be tasked with more academic work. For example, they will work on updating plant records, carrying out research projects, hosting educational forums, experimenting with breeding, working on molecular biology projects or studying the effects of climate change on the area. Furthermore, they will work on plant classification, host guided tours and maintain displays.
Stihl Brushcutters and other BS Power Garden Tools are Important Tools to Maintain Botanical Gardens
To help labourers with their mandates, BS Power provides a wide range of garden tools and equipment such as Stihl brushcutters to help them cover large distances without too much physical strain. Stihl brushcutters are used to clear and tame long grass and undergrowth, and they are incredibly versatile because they can be fitted with a variety of cutting tools and Stihl brushcutter accessories, making it easier to adapt to whatever vegetation is present in your unique context. There are a variety of Stihl bruschutters available, including the following:
Different Kinds of Stihl Brushcutters
- Cordless Stihl brushcutters
- Electric Stihl brushcutters
- Mid-range Stihl brushcutters
- Lightweight Stihl brushcutters
Stihl bruschutters are fuel-efficient, making them more environmentally friendly. They will also improve the speed at which you can clear large scale lawns and grasslands. The following Stihl brushcutters are available at BS Power at discounted prices:
- Stihl Brushcutters on Sale At BS Power
- Husqvarna 143R-II Stihl Brushcutter (reduced from R7589 to R6822)
- Husqvarna 131R Stihl Brushcutter (reduced from R4120 to R3708)
- Husqvarna 541RS Stihl Brushcutter (reduced from R7330 to R6597)
- Husqvarna 129R Stihl Brushcutter (reduced from R4370 to R3933)
Stihl bruschutters are not only fast, but they’re also affordable and easy to use. With these efficient garden tools available, the hard-working staff of our country’s beloved botanical gardens will have an easier time with the groundskeeping of precious vegetation. Stihl bruschutters are just one of many kinds of tools that can prove very useful for the maintenance and protection of our precious landscapes.