Gardeners swoop to make Castle bloom
Four days of Cape floral glory to welcome visitors
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.
Mohamed Amin Karani, a landscape technology student, began laying out the Weekend Argus show garden at the Castle of Good Hope this week.