The Dragon Trees of the Botanic Gardens
There’s a small cluster of Dragon Trees at the entrances to the Botanic Gardens – they’re really dramatic and exotic looking as you can see from my photo. Does anyone know who brought them to Grahamstown?
If they were brought down the East Coast of Africa from the Socotra Islands off Yemen then they will be Dracaena cinnabari (Dragon’s Blood Trees). Alternatively they could be Dracaena draco found in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Azores. In which case they will have made a longer journey down the West Coast of Africa and round the Cape of Good Hope.

I’ve a slightly different version of this imposing black and white image printed on metal – it’s in my ‘More Metal’ slideshow and upcoming Arts Festival exhibition.


Roddy is a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Through the forty years since then, he's taken landscape photographs with Pentax, Olympus and FujiFilm systems for his teaching and research as a geography academic at Kenyatta and Rhodes Universities. He has always been inspired by great nature and landscape photographers such as Nick Brandt, Beth Moon, Obie Oberholzer and Hans Strand. Since taking early retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography, published a photobook ’Symmetry in Nature and held three solo exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. 

His landscape photography is about light: often at low angles, of forests, mist and clouds, the night sky and lightning. He prints on different media depending on the affects he wants to produce: brushed aluminium for reflecting angled light; Hahnemühle German Etching paper for soft diffusion; Ilford Metallic Gloss for vibrant night pictures.

His conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature.