04 December 2008

Veld & Flora. Time for change?



Veld & Flora is too scientific'.
'The name Veld & Flora is rather old-South Africa.'
'I don't read magazines anymore, I use the Internet'.
These are some of the responses to my informal opinion poll about Veld & Flora. Luckily there was some praise for it too; its strong points being the 'diversity of articles', a 'posi­tive attitude to conservation' and the fact that it keeps BotSoc members up to date with new research and discoveries in botany. Sadly, most of the under twenty age group had never even heard of it!
So is it time for a name change? What do you think? Please help us to gauge popular opinion by entering our Do you think that Veld & Flora needs a new name? opinion poll opposite. Or email us at VeldfloraEd@gmail.com or info@botanicalsociety.org.za, or post a comment right here.
Veld & Flora started out as a popular magazine aimed at school children and the interested public in 1971, a separate entity to the ‘serious’ journal which was known as the Journal of the Botanical Society of South Africa. 'Know and value your floral heritage,' the new magazine proclaimed, '…an increased knowl­edge of our flora will promote and increase interest in our floral heritage and the desire to preserve it'. Sound familiar? Then in June 1975, after going for sixty years, the Journal of the Botanical Society of South Africa merged with the 'popular' magazine and changed its name to Veld & Flora. (In 1980 a supple­ment for children, Vygie ran for a couple of years.)

1 comment:

Marieke said...

I think the name Veld & Flora is great: it has got a nice 'ring' to it and it says exactly what it is about. The success of the magazine depends on the actions of the botanical society and all other plant and even gardening related publications or clubs. They should market themselves more and the old 'ooms en tannies' in the society should embrace new people. A 'club' that relishes on exclusivity is going to stay that way! Too often at society meetings possible new recruits are being shunned because they might not know enough botanical names or terms, or worst of all, have a different skin colour! Education is also key to get people interested - I am a young (albeit almost 30) horticulturist from Jo'burg and nobody knows what I do. I studied at the university with three other students in my class. Most people don't even understand that a Zantedeschia (or any other decidious bulb) doesn't die at the end of the season, but merely loses it leaves like a decidious tree... So yes, maybe articles should be written less scientific and give more basic information, although the Veld & Flora is aimed at not quite the average laymen and that is fine. However, to ensure more people become more interested the average person, there should be more entry level publications and easy access to information. Advertise plantzafrica.com more as well, but make sure the basics are covered such as decidious, annual, bulb, etc. Sorry this comment is becoming quite long - point is the job includes all sectors everywhere involved in plants (incl. horticulture and not just conservation) and nature.