Although Great Brak River Conservancy focuses mainly on the conservation of our natural environment, one of its projects concentrates on an area which has played a role in the history of our lovely village, mainly the restoration of the Station Gardens.
The Gardens were established in the 1940’s and over a period of 50 years they won the prestigious Lady Duncan Trophy no less than five times for being the best station gardens in South Africa. They consisted of a trail path running from one end of the Gardens to the other and passing through different zones of vegetation. There were waterfalls, fountains and pools, bridges over streams and stone staircases leading to viewing points over the river mouth.
Unfortunately, over the years the gardens have lain neglected and have, quite literally, gone wild. They became an impenetrable jungle until, in 2018, the Great Brak River Conservancy (GBRC) took on the task of clearing to see if the Gardens could be brought back to life. It has been backbreaking work but the Garden has slowly revealed her beauty and surprises. As alien growth was removed plants which were hiding in the shade burst into flower – banks of agapanthus, gladioli and strelitzias amongst others.
The real treasures though are the magnificent trees, now 70-80 years old, which have been revealed. There are a large number of exotics as well as trees from all over South Africa. The GBRC has recently started placing tree tags on some of the trees lining the paths to help visitors with identification.
We can never restore the Gardens to their former glory as financing doesn’t allow this, but we have made some serious inroads into the central parts. The well-marked paths are now easily accessible and will take you through tranquil groves up to the viewing points where three benches have been placed. We feel it could once again become a tourist attraction for Great Brak River. Meanwhile it is a lovely spot to take a stroll with family and friends.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Station Garden Project or similar Conservancy work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.