Reach out, connect, engage: how to join a gardening community!

No man or woman’s garden is an island. Connecting with like-minded individuals on topics of interest can broaden your knowledge, reignite your passions and give you a platform to share your own experience (think wise and virtuous garden sage). 

Joining a community of people who share your love for horticulture can take many forms, but any one of those can provide some additional direction to your gardening. They are usually free, easy to access or even to start, and they help you to socially connect. 

Find below our list of gardening community options to see which one speaks to your current needs. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of them are but a few clicks away! 

Communities without physical borders

Most online international gardening communities are so expansive topic-wise that you will hardly have trouble finding a chat or thread worth your while. Naturally, there are certain universal gardening principles that span across physical borders, like tips for planting peonies in warmer climates or sprouting microgreens. International garden groups can also fill broader needs, like creative inspiration and ideas for sustainability. 

Have a look at the very popular online community GardenStew as an example. This chat space has extensive threads about vegetable and herb gardening, growing flowers, houseplants, plant identification, botanical diseases and even water gardening! 

Aside from general gardening communities, you will also find online communities dedicated to a particular gardening cause, such as all-about-herbs Herb-Talk: The HomeGrown Herbalist Forum and the place where orchid lovers unite, Orchid Board. Then we have Tomatoville - an online community dedicated to, you guessed it, growing tomatoes. 

Providing a somewhat different take on community are interesting smartphone apps like PlantNet and LeafSnap, used by people to identify plants through uploading their photos. As a user, you actually contribute to the database of photos used to identify plants through your uploads, thereby strengthening and expanding the database. 

National communities

Bringing it closer to home, you may want to have a look at what the internet offers in terms of general or particular South African gardening passions. The Botanical Society of South Africa is a great example of a national nature-oriented community and was founded in 1913. They assist in the development and support of South Africa’s national botanical gardens and support plant conservation across the country through their branches and key partners. You can become a member, volunteer or simply donate to their great cause. 

If you have something more specific in mind to dedicate your time and energy to, between the internet at large and South African social media, you won’t be disappointed. If you happen to be a dendrophile (a lover of all things tree), be sure to visit the Dendrological Society of South Africa’s membership application page to read all about the benefits you gain when joining the organisation. If it is bonsai you are into, visit the South African Bonsai Association’s Facebook page where you can ask your questions and share your photos. 

Speaking of Facebook, there too you will find some fine national groups where you for example can learn about sustainable gardening and living the South African way. Some groups enable people to swap out plants. There are even groups dedicated to very specific plant exchanges like dahlias. 

Can’t find what you are looking for? Start your own Facebook page!

Local is lekker

Localised horticultural associations still abound in many larger and smaller cities and towns throughout South Africa. Visit Life is a Garden - a division of the South African Nursery Association, a non-profit organisation - to look for associations in your area. 

Of course, nothing withholds you from starting your own gardening club if there is no such thing in your area. You can network and start organising talks and presentations by members of the community, invite external speakers, go on outings or start a community garden in collaboration with the local municipality. Couple this with a complimentary Facebook page, and Bob’s your uncle - you’ve just connected nature lovers to share and connect in a meaningful and organised way. 

Local WhatsApp groups are another great way of sharing tips and other information that’s locally significant, buying and selling or swapping seeds and produce, and just general gardening fun and chatter!

Seeds for Africa

Here at Seeds for Africa you can also form part of our gardening community by following and engaging with our social media pages and even sending us original photos of plants grown from Seeds for Africa seeds. Submit your pictures to If they get used on our website you will be given full attribution for your photography. You also stand a chance of winning a R1 000 Seeds for Africa gift voucher to spend on whatever you choose.

*Please note that by submitting your photos you are providing permission for publication on our website.

About the author

Chanél Boshoff has a master's degree in journalism and is an avid amateur gardener with a passion for the environment. She writes about sustainable and creative living.