Clare Burgess explaining some of the significant trees in the Company Gardens

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.

Yellowwood tree, close to the restaurant


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.

Clare Burgess explaining the VOC garden

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.

Cape Fynbos Experience with Giselle Courtney

Today I was lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the Cape Fynbos Experience with Giselle Courtney (Get to the Point) at the Cape Heritage Trust, Company Gardens.  It is hard to find anyone with more passion and knowledge like Giselle, whose enthusiasm to share Cape Fynbos with everyone is infectious.

A variety of fynbos infused in water for tasting

Giselle lead us through the variety of fynbos which had been infused in water for us to sip, enjoy and learn about the medicinal properties of the different plants.

Trying Spekboom

In addition to sipping the fynbos infused water, we were encouraged to smell the plants, taste some of leaves and above you can see me tasting spekboom which I dipped into a Buchu infused olive oil.

We experienced, honeybush, rooibos, Buchu, Rhino bush, Snow bush, Cancer bush, and Rose pelargonium.  Giselle ended the experience with Buchu infused brandy, Rhino bush infused gin, and Snow bush infused vodka.

This Cape Fynbos Experience is for everyone, visitors and local people who would like to know more about the plants surrounding us.

Giselle, promotes the Cape Fynbos Experience through her company Get To The Point and is currently offering these experiences on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11am (experience lasts for around an hour) for maximum 20 guests.  You are welcome to contact her directly for private group bookings.

 

Company Gardens

More info coming soon

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