Biosphere/Gardening

Pringle Bay forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, in 1998, it became the first UNESCO-declared Biosphere Reserve in southern Africa.

Three percent (3%) of all the plant species in the world occurs in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (KBR), which covers only 0,05% among the six floral kingdoms into which the world is divided.

The Cape Floral Kingdom has 1,300 species per 10,000 square kilometres. The next most biodiverse area is the Amazon basin with just 400 species per 10,000 square kilometres!

Scientists believe that this amazing biodiversity is the result of the southern tip of Africa having escaped the last ice age that destroyed numerous plant species around the world. As such, many of the 8,560 different plant species found in the Cape Floral Kingdom are literally ‘living fossils’. The Cape Floral Kingdom also has more endemic species for its area than anywhere else in the world … some 5,800 species. To put this in perspective, the whole of the United Kingdom only has 20 endemics.

Gardening

There are no fewer than seven local ecosystems within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. Pringle Bay has many different local ecosystem. Conditions are the wind, local soil types and area which include, Sandstone, dunes, clay and swop areas.

Planting

  • Plant fynbos in autumn or winter. This gives the plants a chance to develop good root systems before the onset of the hot and dry summer months.
  • If you are planting in good, undisturbed topsoil you do not need to add compost. If the soil is sandy and poor, compost will be of benefit, but don’t dig it in. Instead, put a layer on the top of the soil. Not only will it enrich the soil, but will help it to retain water.
  • Never disturb the soil unnecessarily. Your hole must be just big enough to accommodate the plant that you are putting in.
  • Be very careful not to disturb the root system when you transfer a plant from the plastic container to the ground. Remove the bag very carefully and press down the soil gently with your hands after planting.

There are 2 good books on the area:

  • Your Place in the Kogelberg, by Tim Atwell
  • Indigenous Plant Palettes, An Essential Guide to Plant Selection, by Marijke Honig