Company’s Garden Tree Tour
The Company’s Garden has played an important historical role in the development of Cape Town; in fact it is the reason it started in 1652. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) needed a refreshment station to supply fresh produce for European sailors travelling to and from the East.
Along with edible and medicinal plants, it was important to grow hedges and create wind breaks for successful farming. Since there were very few trees available to plant locally, species from elsewhere (ie exotics) were introduced. They set the scene for the urban forest we live in today.
Landscape architect and tree conservation advocate, Clare Burgess will lead our tour. She worked for many years at the City developing municipal parks (several decades ago they recruited her from the UK when landscape architects in South Africa were few and far between). Her first tour for Culture Connect was last year – looking at trees of Arderne Gardens and Wynberg Park. This is her first Company’s Garden Culture Connect tour. It will focus on trees that have both cultural heritage and culinary significance. This includes the European pear tree planted during the VOC era and species from the Far East and elsewhere around the World which were planted for the Victorian pleasure garden. They are still growing in the garden!
Bird expert, Linda Hibbin, will be joining us (she also accompanied Clare on the Arderne Gardens and Wynberg Park Culture Connect). Birds have been introduced to the Garden to kill the increasing number of rats. There are resident Egyptian Geese, which are actually ducks. The aviary in the centre has recently been ‘refurbished’. Bring your binoculars, as hopefully we’ll spot some interesting wild birds.
This is a walking tour and will happen even if there are April showers. There will be a chance to sit down at various points including at the Visitor Centre, home of the Cape Town Heritage Trust which has a small exhibition on the history of the garden. There will also be a display about the fynbos tasting and apothecary workshop, part of the Cape Town Fynbos Experience based here. They are kindly sponsoring drinks for us which Ansia Jonck of the new cafe there will host.
Venue: Meeting and ending point: Visitor Centre, Company’s Garden, 19 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town
Date: Saturday, 13 April 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: R 200 pre 16 March pay, then R250 pre 13 April pay; R350. Fee includes info pack sent in advance and fynbos refreshments to start.
Afterwards there will be the option to join us for an informal, light lunch organised by Ansia Jonck of the beautiful, small Heritage Shop on the Visitor’s Centre’s veranda. It will be salads and quiches (wheat free options available), seasoned with fynbos salt and vinaigrette. It will be on your own account ie you pay for what you eat and drink, plus service. But please, when booking, indicate whether you’ll be joining us.
Please come – to book and find out more: email firstname.lastname@example.org