Projects & Initiatives

The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust is an Independent Discretionary Trust that was founded in 1993 for the stewardship and development of the Durban Botanic Gardens. The Trust’s main objectives include supporting and promoting the import work of the Gardens in the areas of People and Plants, Horticulture, Biodiversity, Education, Research, Heritage and Culture and to raise funds through various fundraising initiatives.

We strive to support the Gardens in its endeavour to be a Garden of excellence and we can only do this with the support of our community, corporates, sponsors, partners, donors and other stakeholders.

Some key initiatives and projects of the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust

Music at the Lake

The Music at the Lakes series is a key fundraising initiative of the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust and consists of a number of premier outdoor music concerts throughout the year set in the picturesque Durban Botanic Gardens.

This series serves not only to raise funds that we can put back into the Gardens for maintenance and development, but to bridge the connection between people and plants and to serve as a development platform to celebrate the vast cultural diversity that South Africa has to offer.

Old Mutual is the current title sponsor of the Music At The Lake series, with support sponsors being East Coast Radio and Durban Tourism.

For our next Music at the Lake concert click here.

John Medley Wood Medal

The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust recognises the need to acknowledge those that have made a significant contribution to either the Durban Botanic Gardens, horticulture in the eThekwini Municipality or the advancement of flora in KwaZulu-Natal by awarding them with a John Medley Wood Medal.

This medal is named after the “Father of Botany”, Dr John Medley Wood. Medley Wood, who died in 1915, had been Curator and then Director of the Durban Botanic Gardens and Herbarium for over 30 years. It was Medley Wood who beautified the old Gardens and made them Durban’s brightest jewel.

He was a prolific plant hunter and productive botanist who wrote the first flora of the province. He was recognised by Kew Gardens as having international status, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of science by the University of Cape Town, and has approximately 60 species named after him. The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust has awarded this prestigious medal to Prof. Roddy Ward in 2012 and Elsa Pooley in 2015 for their exceptional contribution to botany.

Legacy & Memorial Benches

Another fundraising initiative by the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust is the memorial and legacy bench programme. Our memorial bench programme is suited to those that would like to sponsor a bench in memory of a loved one and our legacy bench programme caters to those that would like to honour a special occasion. The legacy and memorial benches can be found throughout the Durban Botanic Gardens and serve as a constant reminder to pause whilst visiting the Gardens.

To find out more about our legacy and memorial benches please contact