Briza Publications author Pitta Joffe grew up on a farm in Muldersdrift, where her love for indigenous plants originated. She matriculated at Rooseveld High School in Johannesburg and got her B.Sc degree in Botany and Zoology at Wits University. She worked for Kirstenbosch in the herbarium for a year before getting married and moving to Pretoria. While her four children were small she indulged her other love, horticulture, by experimenting with the growing of indigenous plants at home. Later, after stints at local nurseries, she worked for the National Botanical Institute in various capacities, until her retirement in 2003.
She learned to take plant photographs under her first boss at the NBI, Mike Wells, and traveling extensively in South Africa during vacations with her husband built up a collection of plant slides which formed the basis of her first book The Gardener’s Guide to South African Plants. This book enabled nurserymen throughout the country to grow and sell these plants, contributing to the popularity of indigenous gardening experienced today in South Africa.
Her best seller Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants was a portable version of the original coffee table book, with many new plants.
She was the principal photographer for Making the Most of Indigenous Trees, and has contributed photographs to many other books and magazine articles during her career.
While at the NBI she produced many small booklets, which today are still popular. Among these are, The Lowveld Greening Guide and The Dassie Trail booklet. Her love of nature is reflected in her books and photographs. She has always believed in a holistic ecological approach, whereby plants, animals, birds and insects need to be seen in harmony with each other, and this philosophy can be found in all her publications.
Books by Pitta Joffe
Click on the titles below to shop online at shop.briza.co.za
- Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants (Revised edition)
- Skeppende Tuinmaak met Inheemse Plante
More publications by Pitta Joffe
- The Gardener’s Guide to South African Plants, Delos Publishers, Tafelberg
- Die Tuinier se Gids tot Suid Afrikaanse Plante, Delos Publishers, Tafelberg
- Easy Guide to Indigenous Shrubs, Briza Publications