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Gardening in Southern Africa

(the flower garden)

Una van der Spuy  (1912-    )



286 pages

index included

ISBNs: 0702111988 • 9780702111983

Juta & Co. ltd. • 1953

Returning to South Africa in 1941, she and her husband, General K.R.  van der Spuy C.B.E., M.C., bought the property Old Nectar, an old Cape Dutch House with a few hectares of ground.  As there was no garden she immediately set about trying to create one worthy of the house.  In this, despite having no knowledge of plants when she started, she succeeded admirably, as the garden in due course was declared a National Monument, the only private garden to have been thus honoured to date.

From 1950 she has opened the garden each spring to raise funds for various charities and it has become well-known and featured in magazines and books in many countries of the world.  Ten years after she arrived at Old Nectar Una started contributing gardening articles to magazines and a few years later she wrote this, her first book.

In order to illustrate her books she learned photography and, over a period of 12 years, she took about 10 000 pictures of flowers in order to produce pictures of good enough quality to use in the books.  For many years she was active in the field of conservation and preservation, particularly with regard to old buildings which were being demolished at an alarming rate.

In 1992 the Cape Tercentenary Foundation made an Award of Merit to her for outstanding services to Conservation in the Cape.  Una also received a medal from the Nurserymen's Association for Meritorious Service to Horticulture.

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