Green Point Park, Cape Town

Green Point Park, Cape Town

At the back: a Fibonacci spiral to illustrate the spinoff reactions in an ecosystem, with bruinsalie (Salvia africana-lutea) in front. It hasn't done well in the clay soil and has been replaced, sadly.

Full disclosure: all of the photos used up until here are of the biodiversity garden (designed by Marijke Honig) inside the park.

The rest of the park was designed by the acclaimed landscaping firm of OvP Associates and here it is:

Green Point Park, Cape Town

Tarchonanthus littoralis, the coastal camphor bush, planted as windbreaks.

‘‘Never before has any urban park in South Africa been designed on this scale and to this detail” writes Urban Green File, and it’s true.

The park has a very unusual water source: a natural spring, the Stadtsfontein (‘city spring’) whose water is diverted all the way from Oranjezicht; Marijke Honig describes it here. The site is underlain by shale, metamorphosed clay, and some coastal thicket plants have taken exception to that. The biodiversity garden displays a photograph of the early garden, the different types of soil for different biomes still very visible.

After a year, my brother who sometimes goes jogging the park early in the morning, said he noticed and heard many more birds.

The biodiversity garden is playful & pleasurable, while the rest of the park is still in its youth. The play area is much-loved and vigorously used. The City of Cape Town has indeed created a plesierige park. Its own website of the park is worthy of this lovely endeavour.

The park places unusual emphasis on people and plants (even reconstructing Khoikhoi shelters and middens) and I am told that a manual was developed for the gardeners and that there’s a clause to train staff in the maintenance contract. (Patterson Hlatswayo was pruning pelargoniums). Marijke Honig has documented the people who helped her to plant 1 250 trees and 25 000 shrubs, bulbs and groundcovers in the biodiversity garden alone - 5 800 m² of planting in all.