i am new on DG, and was wondering how many other members live in africa. i am 16 years old and live in Xai Xai, Mozambique. i love gardening, its my hobby. we have a subtropical climate here, summer temps very high.
how many from Africa?
I am NOT from Africa, but would sure like to visit Madagascar! Seems that quite a few of the plants I love are from there.
i have never been to Madagascar, but i have German friends who live there. over here in Mozambique and in South Africa, where i am from, we have some very beautiful tropical plants. but, as always, the grass always looks greener on the other side! there sure are some plants in the States that i like which i can't get here!
Grew up in Liberia W. Africa - Yekepa, then later on Monrovia Liberia. After High School, moved to The Gambia. I sent Dmails last year to members listed in Africa, but none replied, so I think there are not too many yet. Mabe you can get some folks interested there!
This message was edited Jul 13, 2009 3:06 PM
Hi Westraad! I am no where near Africa, but I wanted to welcome you to the Tropical Gardening Forum anyway. So happy to see you! Please tell us more about Mozambique...what you grow, what you do ... we are always hungry for information on places we would love to see, but haven't had the opportunity. We are a happy friendly bunch, and are very pleased to have you join us!
thank you so much for the welcome! this is my favorite forum, i tried others but this is my favorite.
i started gardening when i was 13, and i love it! i learned a lot from my mom, but she can't physically help me due to back problems. my family and i are white South African missionaries here in Mozambique. we have been living here for 11 of my 15 years, and i love it!
my favorite plants are hibiscuses, bouginvilleas, roses, and ferns. i like fruit trees too.
well thats all for now.
i look forward to getting to know you all!
p.s. picture of me
Hey Westraad, we were Missionaries too!
I became interested in Gardening when I was in Liberia about 14 or 15.
Africa is a great place to garden that's for sure.
aloha from hawaii
I looked up Mozambique on a map, i knew it was someplace in southern Africa but i was not sure exactly where.
Many of the beach photos could be places in Hawaii.
My guess is like many other places Mozambique has its troubles but it looks like you have a wonderful life there. I do not know much about Mozambicans but it must be an awesome culture. If you want to know anything about Hawaii you are welcome to ask me.
I suppose I could go look at a map, but was sitting here wondering where Mozambique is in relation to Durban? I had a very good childhood friend from Durban.
We are so glad you joined us Westraad, and is so nice to "meet" you with a picture of yourself. This is my favorite forum too!
cool, Rj! how long were you in Africa?
you are right, Thomcat, Mozambique has definitely had its share of troubles. it was in war for 20 years, ended in 1994, i think. its quite in peace now, though the government is very corrupt. Mozambicans have an interesting culture, and are a very superstitious people. they are deep into witchcraft, and alcoholics abound. we work under the children here, the most neglected of all. many people die here of AIDS as they don't have any sense of sexual purity. most girls are pregnant by 16, and a lot of times are already HIV positive. men also usually have 2 or 3 wives.
Durban is in South Africa, neighboring Mozambique. its about 500kms south of where we live. just so you know, South Africa is not a third world country like Mozambique, but is quite developed.
i gotta run!
Westraad, what does that mean "we work under the children here"? You are probably feeling overwhelmed with questions, but we are a curious bunch. Also happy to answer questions as well. Your people and the islanders around my home have much in common, sad to say.
about 10 years. We left just before the Liberian civil war to The Gambia. I haven't been to a country in Africa yet (no offense meant to anyone) that wasn't incredibly corrupt. The way business is done, such as obtaining a drivers liscence or any permit, there must be another kind of paper folded up (usually green) underneath your completed application. No green, no permit, no liscence.
Matter of fact Continental cancelled it's planned service to Nigeria partly because of this and the security issues. I've been to Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast (Cote D Ivoire), Liberia, Senegal, The Gambia. Never made it to South, Central or East. What a HUGE country!
This message was edited Jul 15, 2009 4:14 PM
We were astonished when we were in Bali, because to the South Africans that we met, Bali was very expensive...aparently the rupia and the rand were pretty much the same! What was unbelievable cheap to us was very dear to them. I had no idea the rand was in so much trouble!
we do evangelization work for the children, and we help orphans as well. at the moment we have to street children living with us, ages 4 and 7. quite a handful!
we wanted to start a orphanage, but the government refuses to allow it. according to them, there aren't any orphans. there are many, many orphans, due to a lot of their parents dying from AIDS.
i was wondering, where is the Marshall islands?
i have to go, don't know when i will post a reply again, our internet connection isn't that great.
Oh how I sympathize. You and I have very similar problems even though we are half a world apart! My internet connection is also haphazard to say the least; the government in the Marshalls has a similar point of view regarding orphans, and much like Randy was discussing...corruption is just a way of live on the islands, but it is a fairly benign type of corruption since there isn't a lot of violence out here.
To find the Marshall Islands there are a couple of ways: 1) If you drew a triangle between Darwin, Honolulu and Tokoyo, we would be right in the middle of the triangle or 2) we are about 2400 miles (3800 km) due north of New Zealand. If you are interested, I wrote an article a while back describing my home. Here is a link:
We are lucky in many ways. Even though the RMI government doesn't acknowledge an orphan problem, the huge extended families here take in any children relatives when needed. And I live on an Army Base, so we are removed from the problems of the Marshalls unless we choose to be interested, (which a few of us do). You and your family are good people to take in the street children, too many people would not have bothered. I look forward to hearing more from you.
Yes We can learn from your experiences. I am from Costa Rica, a very tiny country. It is a very diverse country¨-people and nature. We are located in Central America. I am learning a lot from all the people that are participating in this forum. Not only about plants if not about culture too. I will like to make a lot of questions about your country. But I know that little by little you will be sending us pictures from your garden and activities in Mozambique. I also like Boungavilleas: I have double and simple burgundy flowers, also pink, a dwarf variety, and an orange one. Here we just have dry and wet season. So almost all the year these kind of plants are in bloom, they love a lot of sun. I am writing from a Cafe internet so I don t have my dictionary (english-spanish) with me. It helps me a lot when I participate in this forum.
mozambique also now is very peaceful, as the mozambicans are very tired of war. what they went through was definitely horrific.
thanks for the welcome, bignonia. Bienvenido is Spanish, right? in Portuguese it is bem vindo. i speak portuguese fluently, as its the mozambican national language. at home we speak Afrikaans, which is very similar to Dutch. of course i can also speak English, i do my schoolwork in English.
feel free to ask questions about Mozambique. and yes, with time i'l post pictures, it just takes sooooo loooong, our internet is pretty pathetic!
i have a question, are Bouginvilleas good soil retainers? we live on a hill, and some place are eroding pretty bad. trying to figure out what to use as a soil retainer.
Si mi idioma es espanol. I have a friend of Brazil, she lives near my house, so normally she speaks to me in Portugues and I speak to her in Spanish. But she explained to me that Portugues from Portugal has differences from the Portugues from Brazil.
About Bouganvilleas: I have seen some of them growing in hills, but if you are taking about some plants that can help to avoid erosion I will say that you can use Vetiver grass = http://www.chaipat.or.th/intranet/article/vetiver/vetiver_e.html
Also Wedelia trilobata= ground cover. It can be a weed.
None of the plants that I mentioned before are native from Africa. It will be interesting if you can find something that are native from your area to cover that hill.
Can you describe the microclimate of your area. Also type of soil. Rainy season?
Soon you will get more advice from different areas!
What kind of School do you go to? When I lived in Buchanon, we went to an international school that started at 7AM and half day on Saturday. We attended classes together, then in the afternoon we separated into our own Venaculars and did it all over again. There was no other U.S. citizens, so we went to the British Venacular classes..Buchanon is in Yekepa, is a Swedish, Liberian, American Iron ore mining town in up country. Lovely hills and jungle. One would drive 6 hours on dirt roads from the Captical Monrovia, through the jungle dirt roads, then in the middle of the bush, opens this modern paved street town with a tiny mall and theater. All of the houses were constructed exactly the same from concrete. We had a public olympic sized swimming pool that we spent nearly every weekend at. I loved it up there. It is beautiful. My back yard, literally was the Jungle. Probably why I like it so much today. In fact, I have a Tamarind tree in the front of my house that I grew from seed that I had brought back. I had the seeds for over 35 years..and one of them actually sprouted..Now I have a piece of my Liberia growing in front of my house!
I love your country, it is amongst my favorite on earth, the Manuel Antonio area...fabulous, lovely people, lovely country...!
Oh Randy, it is your passion that makes you so special to us. Beautiful descriptions.
any news on mainland visits? I'm submitting passport this week!
rjuddharrison, Yes Manual Antonio is a very beautiful National Park here in Costa Rica, You can see the 4 species of monkeys that live in this country. I live 3 hours away from that area.
westraad, what species of ornamental plants are the more used in your gardens, how about vines! I really love vines!. Vines are very common in Costa Rica.
Indeed! I got some good film footage from my balcony of a troop of monkeys sneaking up on a basking Iguana at the tree top. They carefully executed an ambush, and the Iguana fled the scene loosing his tail to the monkeys who nawed on it like beef jerky. The ensuing squabble over the tail was very entertaining as well!
sorry took me so long to reply, been busy with school.
Mozambican Portuguese is very different from Brazil's portuguese, i find talking to Brazilians in Portuguese very difficult. a differiencia é muito grande!
i have decided to use Wedelia trilobata for the top of the hill, its indigenous to our area.
we have a subtropical climate, summer temps usually between 35 and 40 Celsius. Winter temps (now) are usually 18 and 25 Celsius. its very humid here, and we have summer rainfall. usually during September we have a thunderstorm or 2, and between the months of March to May we sometimes get cyclones. due to our position, Madagascar usually takes the brunt of the cyclones and we usually don't get them too bad.
the type of soil we have here next to the beach is quite sandy, but we have brought in red dirt into our garden and mixed it with the sand. we also add a lot of cow manure.
i do homeschooling, the curriculum i use is ACE (Accelerated Christian Education). my worst subject is Math, and my favorites are English and Health. how anyone can be fond of Math is beyond me....
we don't get any vines where we live, i know most people think of jungle when they think about Africa, but here in Southern Mozambique its mostly small trees and bushes. i'l take some pics soon and post them.
we have vervet monkeys here, and but thankfully they don't come into town. the locals love them, well, for dinner anyway!
i gotta run.
LOL, that is too funny about the math. I too was completely dismayed with math, and I would have laughed at anyone that predicted my career would be nothing but math. Ironic isn't it? I do weight and balance on all types of Continental Airlines jets from Deli, to Costa Rica!
We are finally having a cool day after two month of record breaking heat, and only yesterday did it rain for the first time since the beginning of June.
This is a picture of the Australian Tree Fern, C. Cooperi. I have been in a constant battle to keep the fronds from burning, but I've been loosing!
Randy, the fern looks wonderful to me...memories of a lovely afternoon. As far as a trip to the mainland goes, won't be till the Spring. My daughter Nina is pregnant with her second child, our fourth grandchild. They don't deliver babies out here except in emergencies, so she will have to go to the States for the birth, and we will probably go with her. My folks will, naturally want to see the new baby, so we will make a side trip to Texas a few weeks after. JB and I will probably spend a week or so in the Dallas/Houston areas to visit some long lost DG friends, and also some transplanted Kwajaleinis.
So odd...I never thought much about having monkeys near a home, but since I have returned from Bali, I am hearing more and more about monkeys. Do they really eat them westraad??? I guess there are just some cultural differences that I can't overcome.
Cool! well I have all my passport stuff together and am putting it in this week. I can't believe I let it expire!
LOL! In Liberia they eat Monkeys, Chimps. Argh..one day when we were going for our Butterfly collecting expedition in the bush, we passed a small camp that was putting chimpanze arms on the fire...Pretty much if it moved, it was eaten!
I use to love to watch the Driver Ants..amazing...(army ants)
Just a quick note here, "Australian Tree Fern" isn't the correct name for Cyathea cooperi. There are 11 species of Australian Cyathea tree ferns several of them being common in cultivation.
The common names applied to Cyathea cooperi are:
Lacy Tree Fern
Scaly Tree Fern
Coopers Tree Fern
Use of the incorrect name in the US has resulted in a lot of Cyathea cooperi being labelled Cyathea australia, another Australian Cyathea but with different requirements.
You might need to find out which one you have, australis is more cold tolerant, cooperi is less cold tolerant. Cooperi is a rainforest plant and requires higher ambient humidity.
No Kidding! my friend and I were having this debate about them, because my fern is completely different from what's sold here now. It is larger, and more cold tolerant. The biggest difference is the fronds/fiddles are bare naked compared to the Tree Ferns two other friends have. The fiddles are extremely hairy.
I have been trying to find out for some time now, in the meantime I go with the tag. Ironically the Home Depot here has caused me a few quandries as I have a giant bird of Paradise that is nothing like any of them here...turns out it is some S. African species.
So you think perhaps Australis? It is quite cold tolerant. it never blinked when we had a hard freeze a couple of years ago and defoliated the entire tropical parts of the garden.
Here is the fiddle picture
These are some notes (not mine) on some differences:
C. australis is commonly known as the Rough Tree Fern due to the presence of adventitious roots, tubercles (knobbly bits) and masses of hair-like scales on its ‘trunk’. The ‘trunk’ like structure on a tree-fern is actually a greatly enlarged rhizome! The horticultural appeal of C. australis is not only due to its beautiful looks but also because it is an extremely hardy species, even capable of tolerating direct sun when the roots are wet. It is also a robust tub plant and is unusual in that it is tolerant of salty winds. C. australis is thus a popular, cold-hardy tree-fern, adaptable to a variety of climates and soils.
C. cooperi is quite distinctive from C. australis in that it has a more slender trunk with distinctive "coin spots" where old fronds have broken off the trunk. C. cooperi fronds are bright green and lacy and tend to be very fast growing. There are several major horticultural varieties of this fern including Cyathea ‘Brentwood’ which has paler fronds and scales and C. ‘Robusta’ which tends to be darker in both characters. C. cooperi is the one of the most popular tree ferns, along with Dicksonia antarctica due to its rapid growth form, hardiness and aesthetic appeal.
Thanks for the tips. I did notice the coin trunk on the Cooperi. You can see why I get confused , when the fiddles come out like cooperi, but trunk is like australis. I have spent hours browsing the the thousand fern tree varities! This tree is a very rapid grower, the fronds are burning daily despite trunk watering then twice fine spray from the tripod sprinkler. Sometimes I wonder if it's too much although a friend of mine who has the fuzzy fiddled one claims you can't water them enough in this heat. I put an umbrella over it during the day, but I'm suspecting the burned fronds may be a result of the sun reflecting off of the pond. wild guess.
It is a very large spanned tree, it tolerates more sun the older it gets, March and April seem to be it's favorite, and really speed grows during this time. The humidity increases in March and April, but still have cool nights.
I notice that watering the trunk relaxes the opening and releases the fiddles, but remains closed up in dry conditions holding on to the fidles until conditions are right. It's a facinating plant and my favorite. I nearly had heart failure when Hurricane Ike knocked down the fence and topped the trees, it was having a rough time, but it always perseveres.
This is a picture of it last December during a rare event here!
aah..the red traces of the iron in the dirt!
Here is a picture of the Tamarind Tree from Liberia...picked the seeds up on the beach.
Argh, oil tankers from all over the world were registered in Liberia, and they blew their tanks off the coast, spewing big globs of tar all over the beaches..we either had to wear shoes on the beach or clean are feet with kerosene. Otherwise the fresh water lagoons separated by the beach to the ocean were spectacular.
My computer was dead for almost 2 days! I depend on it! Iwas reading all the post of this thread.
westraad We do have dry and wet season not all the seasons: Dry season from the begininning of December to April. Wet season from from part of April to November.
When I was in high school I started writing to a boy from Ivory Coast, we were friends by "letter", somebody correct me "pen pal"? for almost 10 years. I never met him. But that time no internet or computers so it was a lot of fun when a letter arrived from that country. So I got some souvenir made with ebony. Do you have ebony trees in your country?
thanks for the pictures, that reminded me when I lived in Kwajalein!
rjuddharrison My husband is a retireed pilot so I asked him about "weight and balance". I have phobia of flying so no more trips anywhere except by car or ship (It is ironic")
.Islandshari, here in Costa Rica long time ago, the native people used to eat monkeys. But not anymore. What a lot of people eat are iguanas. People say that this can of reptile taste like chicken. Not for me! I don t eat beef or pork. A little bit of chicken and a lot of fish. We use at home soy meat and soy milk. But when we went to Australia my daughter and husband ate cococrilo and kanguro.
With all the large diversity of vegetables and fruits that you can find in this country it is not necessary to eat a lot of meat.
I was always worry for the Marshalleses that you know they hardly can grow any vegetable. They have a lot of skin and respiratory problems. Long time ago there was a hydroponic nursery at Ebeye.
Your fern tree is beautiful, Randy! i don't know much about ferns, but i do like them. always makes me think of a beautiful forest. i have the fish-tailed fern (don't know its proper name), which is actually an invasive weed. so i just keep it in two pots.
glad you are back, bignonia! What do you mean by "ornamental plants," Bignonia? do you mean the type of plant that people usually grow in their gardens? sorry, i am not familiar with a lot of garden terms!
Yes, Shari, people do eat monkeys here. of course i don't, but the poorer locals do. they also eat cats, snakes, iguanas, and basically anything living. they even eat sparrows, even though they are small! but only the poor and more rural people eat these things, the rest eat more normal food! we have had two hippos here at the beach twice, since we are close to the Limpopo river, and both times the police came and shot them and before that poor hippo was on the ground, it was already in pieces. everyone wanted, and even started hacking at each other!where we live i haven't seen ebony trees, but maybe up norther in Moz you get ebony. i haven't gone much more north than where we live.