GEORGE NEWS - Thanks to quick action by long-time volunteer Ken Gie and the generosity of Capetonian Colleen Gardner, the Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG) now boasts a new venue that is entirely made of glass.
Visitors get the best of two worlds: they can feast their eyes on the beauty of nature while sitting cosily inside.
The story is almost like a fairy tale. Gie was on a private visit in Cape Town when he heard of a lady who wanted to get rid of the glass structure over her swimming pool. This was an opportunity he couldn't let pass and he asked her if the GRBG could have it.
Gardner not only agreed, she also donated R6 000 towards its transport costs to George.
This story is told in a 2019 report on the GRBG by garden manager Finn Rautenbach. Gie oversaw the whole operation. With the help of Anco Aluminium the structure was removed and brought to George. It is worth about R100 000. "We saved a lot of money," said Rautenbach.
The foundation that had to be built in George for its reconstruction was funded with money raised at a golf day in October. The project was tackled in the last part of 2019 and took four weeks.
Rautenbach is very pleased with this "great asset for the GRBG".
According to Gie the project was a logistical challenge. Removing it was quick and easy, but reconstructing it was difficult.
Another special addition to the garden is a mosaic of the George Lily. This spectacular mosaic was made by Pieter Beukes, who volunteered to construct the mosaic after hours.
Stiles generously provided the tiles for the project at a great discount. It was a challenging task and took about a month to complete.
"Pieter did a fantastic job and we are grateful," Rautenbach said.
From Finn Rautenbach, Manager: Garden Route Botanical Garden
2019 has been an incredibly constructive year at the Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG). Many new developments took place in our Garden including the construction of a new parking lot and welcome bed, redevelopment of the Tea Garden, planting about 2000 new trees and many other exciting projects.
None of these projects would have been possible without the generosity and good will of the supporters of the GRBG. This article intends to thank these good willed individuals.
The Construction of the new Parking Lot and Welcome Bed
- WTW Construction donated a great deal of G7, as well as their machinery and expertise to level and construct the parking lot.
- K1 quarries donated 120 cubes of G4 gravel as a topping to our road and parking lot to reduce muddiness when it rains.
- Keith Kirsten and Elands Nursery donated R20 814.00 worth of trees for the isles of the parking lot
- 2hire donated one day's use of their Kabuta digger-loader
- Tilly Reitz assisted in the landscape design of the welcome bed.
The Restaurant and Tea Garden renovation
- Colleen Gardner from Noordhoek, Capetown donated the Glass-House structure to the GRBG and contributed R 6000.00 to its transport costs to George.
- Mr Ken Gie oversaw the whole operation from removing the glass-house in Cape Town to reconstructing it in the GRBG Tea Garden.
- All the participants of the 2019 GRBG Golf Day. The proceeds of this event went towards reconstructing the Glass-House in the tea garden and redeveloping the surrounding garden.
- Clint du Preez of Groundworx Landscapes assisted in the garden design.
- BUCO donated some building materials to the project.
- Prof Adré Boshoff donated varnish for the floors of the Moriarty Centre and the outside tables in the tea garden. He also made monthly donations to augment the salaries of two employees.
Abour Month Planting
- The Department of Environment Forestry and Fishery donated 250 trees to the GRBG, 150 of which were planted in the garden.
- GreenPop donated and planted 1 500 trees in the GRBG as well as facilitated the painting of a fantastic educational mural inspired by the plants and animals of Knysna Forest.
- Sandy Haddad prepared the tree planting site with his subsoiler. Thanks to Sandy, our trees are now thriving.
Precious Tree Project Planting
- Ray Nolan and Mellissa Dalton of Precious Tree Project planted 40 trees in the GRBG contributing to our new forest
Stiles Tree Planting
- Stiles planted 20 trees in the GRBG during their end of year function. They intend to add more to this forest each year.
- An unimaginable amount of work has been done in our nursery, propagation yard and herbarium by three invaluable volunteer teams. The GRBG would like to extend a Heart – Felt thank you to all those involved.
- A massive thank you must also be given to the talented Mr P. Beukes, who voluntarily constructed a spectacular mosaic of the George Lily in the GRBG. Stiles generously provided the tiles for this project at a greatly discounted cost.
Other Important Help
- George Municipality and George Golf Club shared the responsibility of cutting the grass in the GRBG.
- Sandy Haddad continued to repair our tractor free of charge
- Chipper SA donated the use of their wood chipper whenever the GRBG needed it.
- Kelpak donated 120 l of Kelpak fertiliser over the last year.
- Kraaibosch Nursery donated 50 Aloe vera’s.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden donated a diversity of fynbos and medicinal plants over the year, as well as training for the GRBG staff members.
- An anonymous donation of R 5 000 was made to the GRBG nursery.
- Kraaibosch donated pots to the GRBG nursery
- Kazin trading donated the rental of a 2.75 x 2.4 m container on a yearly basis for the purpose of storage at our Environmental Education Centre
- Dr Susanne Mc Gregor donated the purchase and installation of 8 blinds to the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre, making power-point presentations possible.
- Afrigetics sponsored the labour for removing Typha capensis from the wetland surrounding our Bird Hide
- Dr. Daan Botha donated 6 boxes of botanical books to the Southern Cape Herbarium Library. An additional 3 boxes of botanical books were anonymously donated.
The lists of supporters mentioned above are just a few of a large number of fantastic individuals voluntarily making the operation of our beloved Community Botanical Garden possible. A great thank you to all those involved, and we look forward to another fruitful year to come for all!
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