Reviews by Lesley Thomson
With so many people having to stay at home these days, many gardens have flourished under the extra time and care given to them. Allan Haschick’s timely and beautifully presented book, Gardening in the Shade in South Africa, inspires one to create and maximise the shade in the garden. Explaining the different types of shade, and how to measure shade, he advises which plants to use and where.
Included is a directory of shade plants, from annuals, trailing plants, decorative grasses, succulents and cycads, through to trees and shrubs, each with a note of what type of shade they prefer and colour photos of the flowers and leaves. There is information on invasive plants and the Alien Invader Species Regulations, and ideas on decorating the garden with potted plants.
Using common names, as well as scientific names, this is a lovely book that is easy to follow and will be greatly enjoyed.
*ISBN 978-1-43230 990 9
Published in January 2021 by Struik Lifestyle/Penguin Random House
More book reviews: Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
‘Sky Guide – Africa South 2021’
Produced by the Astronomical Society, Sky Guide 2021 is now in its 75th year. It’s an essential and eagerly awaited handbook for anyone interested in the night skies of southern Africa.
A practical and easy-to-follow guide, with photographs and diagrams, it is a wealth of information about the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, meteors and bright stars. Star charts show the evening sky for each of the four seasons. There are separate schedules of sun and moon rise-and-set with times centred on Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Harare.
The Sky Guide also covers planetary movements, predicted eclipses and meteor showers for 2021. There is a wealth of knowledge in this small book for all astronomers, whether novice, amateur or professional.
Included is a very useful glossary, advice on basic observing skills, the history and information of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, and the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope and interesting information on astronomy on the internet. Also included is an overview of the most useful online resources available to the astronomy enthusiast and a list of indigenous astronomy words.
*ISBN 978 1 77584 7243, R150.
Published by Struik Nature/Penguin Random House and the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.
‘Don’t Be Shy, Bushbaby’
By Avril van der Merwe, Illustrated by Heidi-Kate Greeff
Known for her delightful prize-winning children’s stories set in Africa, Avril van der Merwe’s latest book will entertain as well as educate little children about bushbabies.
More on kids’ books: The Big Scary Adventure
With some dialogue between Bushbaby and Owl based on traditional Zulu greetings and using Zulu words, this is a little book many children can share. The large colourful illustrations by Heidi-Kate Greeff are fun, and tell a story even without words.
*ISBN 9781 48590 055 9
Published by Puffin Books/Penguin Random House.