Going back to the source

2016-07-05 12:45

Upgrades to several areas of the Company’s Gardens are nearing completion.

The project, costing just under R1m, includes a large landscape redevelopment on both sides of Lower Government Avenue to create a more “garden-like” feeling to the entrance of the Company’s Garden and improve the plantings and aesthetic of the lower avenue for tourists and visitors, says Belinda Walker, Mayco member for community services and special projects

“There was also a landscape development along the edge of the rose garden where two large plant beds were landscaped and this also links to the traditional medicinal plants across the path near the VOC vegetable garden,” she says.
“There is also a water-wise element to the protea/fynbos/West Coast plantings which exhibit to the public the possibilities for gardening with these plants.”

The administration buildings were upgraded to improve staff ablutions and staff rooms.

However, the biggest portion of the upgrades was the linkage of the garden irrigation system to the spring water supply main from Queen Victoria Street, Walker says.
“This spring water is piped from the ‘vineyard spring’ in Upper Orange Street with its source being the run-off from Table Mountain.”

The spring water pipeline takes water to the Cape Town Stadium and Green Point Urban Park.
“It is a very large pipeline. The top and middle portion of the Company’s Garden, including the newly developed VOC vegetable garden, is now connected to spring water. This project also made provision for a connection of the spring water to the lower garden which will be a final phase of the project,” she says.

Ward Councillor and chairperson of the Company’s Garden steering committee, Dave Bryant, adds: “The ongoing investments into the Company’s Gardens have led to significant rejuvenation and revitalisation over the past five years. During this time we have seen the opening of a new restaurant, the roll-out of free WiFi, the installation of the VOC urban garden, improved security and much more. I am personally very proud of how far we have come over the past five years and we will continue our work on improving the space going forward.”

The Company’s Garden is 364 years old this year and the buildings and infrastructure are 60 years and older, Walker explains.
“The old irrigation lines burst and break and needed urgent replacement, and while doing so, it was decided to reconnect the garden to its original water source – the springs of Table Mountain. The landscape itself, as with all gardens, is dynamic and needs regular development and improvement.”

The project was started in April and is expected to be completed over the next few weeks, Walker says.
“The reconnection of the garden to the spring water main also reconnects the garden to its heritage. The garden was originally established in its position because of the ‘sweet water’ run-off from the mountain. This reconnection adds another layer to maintaining the heritage of the Company’s Garden,” she says.

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