Huge thank you to Kate Crane-Briggs of Culture Connect for organising this fabulous outing through the Company Gardens with Clare Burgess (authority on landscape architecture). I can’t even guess how many times I have walked through the Company Gardens since I started guiding in 2002, so it was wonderful to learn something new about some of the trees.
Heading up towards Table Mountain we saw the VOC garden, established in 2014 by the city government who wanted to bring back the heritage of the original purpose of the gardens, that is growing fruit and vegetables to supply the passing ships.
The top of the garden has a different atmosphere compared to the rest of the garden. A combination of open space, beautiful views of Table Mountain and variety of monuments to remember fallen soldiers during World War I and II.
As we headed down Government ave, Clare reminded us how the Dutch East India Company initially planted lemon trees (to provide vitamin C to combat scurvy), and orange streets at the upper end of Government ave (hence Orange street now runs along the top). Today, Government ave is lined with oak trees, thanks to Simon van der Stel who decided it would be a better idea to make wine barrels locally, unfortunately this project failed due to our warm climate.
It was amazing how quickly two hours went by, just focusing on the gardens themselves.