Cape Town Biodiversity Garden Showcase
Cape Town Garden – The project is one of five of the City of Cape Town’s (CoCT) Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB). LAB is a global urban biodiversity program coordinating by ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability, in partnership with IUCN.
The purpose is to showcase the diversity of plants and animals in the Cape and demonstrate responsible garden practise. Stephen Granger, Head of major programmes and projects at the City’s Environmental Resource
Management Department, recognized its purpose ‘to showcase the Cape’s biodiversity and demonstrate responsible gardening practises.’ Its goal ‘is to raise public awareness about the value and importance of regional biodiversity, and to disseminate practical knowledge on how to help conserve it.
Art in the form of insects, animals and displays they have placed throughout the park with steel, bronze and beads, for some names, by Roddy McGuffog, Zizamele, Michael Methven, Streetwise and others. A few animals to spot in the garden include the grey mongoose, spotted genet, cape hare, cape fox and caral. All animals and insect sculptures are native species of cape.
Ceramic fish, Clanwilliam yellow fish, brightly colored ones jumping and swimming on water really stood out to me when I walked into the park. As gardener designer Marijke Honig said she “wanted a visual reminder that biodiversity includes life in the water.”
The Biodiversity garden
The Biodiversity garden is themed into three topics; People & Biodiversity, Explore Biodiversity and Wetlands. In the area there are interactive displays that show how to grow biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, ‘Everything Connected’ and veld displays. The garden also holds a medicinal plant area and a Khokho food garden.
There are more than three hundred plant species in the garden, which have abundant springs from the mountain watering them. One of the plants that caught my attention that Marijke also mentioned during his presentation was the Hesperantha Falcata – a small plant with beautiful red flowers. What makes the flower particularly special is that it only flowers in the afternoon.
In other words, the Biodiversity Park is part of the 12.5ha ‘People Park’ that is being built by OvP Associates and Urban Landscape Solutions, which cost R54 million to build.
Currently the plants are all still new and have to still grow to their full size. Meaning it will only get better in time. I heard that one of the planners said that the park would develop in the future. In other words, that would give us everything to look forward to.
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