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How to make your garden bird friendly

NINE SIMPLE TIPS FROM EXPERT HERMAN VAN NIEKERK At the start of #BirdFeedingMonth, we found ourselves asking, Are we actually giving the birds in our gardens what they need? You might be putting out some food, hoping to attract as much birdlife as possible – but at what cost? We caught up with Herman van Niekerk, author of Briza’s Sappi Birds of South Africa, for some expert insights. Figure 1: Sappi Birds of South Africa
“Most cities and towns have developed as extended bushland or forest areas because of the gardening practices of owners,” says van Niekerk. “Of course the result is an influx of birds from their natural habitats which is wonderful news for city and town dwellers who can now enjoy birdwatching in their own gardens.”
In response to our question – What do the wild birds need from our gardens? – van Niekerk asserts that there are in fact ways to optimise the environment for the birds in your garden so that just as your garden is a birdwatching oasis, just so it is the wild…
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The An(tea)dote

While we are enjoying warmer weather here in the Southern Hemisphere, it turns out that January is #HotTeaMonth. But the heat doesn’t put us off this scrumptious brew – on the contrary, South Africans will brew it cold if we have to! In fact, some of us prefer an iced tea drink no matter the weather: refreshment at its purest, barring water. Anyway, thus began our inves-tea-gation which is when we discovered that tea actually holds the key to a healthier lifestyle. And of course, sharing knowledge is what we do best… so please enjoy some of our findings below. 
Figure 1: "red liquid with ice and plant" by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash Let's start with the heart Recent studies have shown that coffee might not be as problematic as experts once thought. Nevertheless, research on tea and heart health is growing and some studies have found that there can be as much as a 20 percent reduction in heart attack risk among people who drink up to three cups of regular green tea per …

Deck the halls with books

Chapter 2018 ends with a bang Our seasonal customers are what keep some booksellers going. So identify the sure wins beforehand and hone your sales efforts pre-emptively so as to maximise the holiday rewards.  Arguably the entire year leads to this moment. Let’s examine some of the highlights that may affect Santa’s supply.

What packs our shelves Various occasions throughout the year mould the contours of bookshelves. Trends are as unpredictable as they are fluctuating meaning it’s tricky to align your vision with the customer’s needs, wants and expectations; survey the landscape, starting with the calendar in retrospect.
Cape Town’s Open Book 2018 that was held in September was a literary celebration. Highpoints include #cocreatePoetica and of course the illustration masterclass while RAP, poetry and the spoken word are still platforms for young people to voice concerns and solutions to mutual challenges epitomising the younger generation’s desire for accessible, meaningful creativ…