Gar­den­ers swoop to make Cas­tle bloom

Four days of Cape flo­ral glory to wel­come vis­i­tors

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JAN CRONJE

WHEN tourists and groups of pupils vis­ited the Cas­tle of Good Hope this week, they were met with the sight of gar­den­ers and land­scap­ers hard at work mea­sur­ing and lay­ing out the out­lines of 20 gar­dens.

These are the be­gin­nings of show gar­dens that will be among the high­lights of the in­au­gu­ral Cape Town Flower Show, which takes place from Oc­to­ber 27 to 30.

The four-day event, mod­elled on the fa­mous Chelsea Flower Show in the UK, seeks to cel­e­brate the Cape’s unique flo­ral her­itage.

Show gar­dens project man­ager Paul Oden­daal de­scribed lay­ing out the gar­dens as akin to build­ing a “1 000-piece puz­zle”. “(It) was very ex­cit­ing to see the flower show com­ing to life, es­pe­cially af­ter you spent a full day mark­ing out the gar­dens and en­vi­sion­ing the fi­nal lay­out,” he said.

The 20 land­scap­ers, in­clud­ing in­dus­try heavy­weights such as Leon Kluge, who re­cently won a gold medal at the Sin­ga­pore Flower Show, will work to fin­ish their cre­ations by Oc­to­ber 25, two days be­fore the show starts.

Oden­daal said or­gan­is­ers would use 80 tons of mulch and 30 tons of gravel to cre­ate vis­i­tor path­ways be­tween the gar­dens.

Stu­dent Mo­hammed Amin Karani, 22, is creat­ing the show gar­den for the Week­end Ar­gus, me­dia part­ner for the show, af­ter his de­sign won a public com­pe­ti­tion.

Speak­ing dur­ing a break on Wed­nes­day, Karani said gar- den­ing ran in his fam­ily.

Be­tween 2013 and 2015 he stud­ied hor­ti­cul­ture at Tsh­wane Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy and be­gan a course in land­scap­ing at the start of this year.

His Cape Town Flower Show gar­den, he said, would be low main­te­nance.

“Ba­si­cally, I am go­ing to use things such as colour­ful suc­cu­lents, stones and red chip bark,” Karani said.

“I want to show peo­ple you don’t need flow­ers to make an im­pact.”

Among the other show gar­den­ers is Jan Blok, who will cre­ate an “agri-land­scap­ing” gar­den for Boschen­dal wine es­tate, re­plac­ing or­na­men­tal plants with ed­i­ble ones.

In ad­di­tion to the gar­dens, the flower show in­cludes talks by top gardening ex­perts such as Keith Kirsten, demon­stra­tions and work­shops, a “knock­out” cut flower ar­range­ment com­pe­ti­tion called MasterFlorist and the lat­est in gardening ac­ces­sories.

Kirsten told Week­end Ar­gus he hoped the flower show would be the first of many in the Mother City.

“I be­lieve it is long over­due that Cape Town sup­ports and en­cour­ages peo­ple to ‘get gardening’ and brings them up-to­date in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

Ed­die An­drews, Cape Town’s may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for tourism and events, said the show, tak­ing place dur­ing peak tourist sea­son, would give vis­i­tors the chance to learn more about the city. Such events had a keen fol­low­ing.

“This, cou­pled with the Mil­i­tary Her­itage Route (which the city launched last month), is def­i­nitely an added at­trac­tion that vis­i­tors may want to ex­plore dur­ing their stay in Cape Town,” he said.

jan.cronje@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: MICHAEL WALKER

Mo­hamed Amin Karani, a land­scape tech­nol­ogy stu­dent, be­gan lay­ing out the Week­end Ar­gus show gar­den at the Cas­tle of Good Hope this week.

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