Spring has sprung, it’s time to move out of the confines of our homes and experience the awakening of nature. For those of you who have not paid a visit to the Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG) at 49 Caledon Street in George; now’s the time!
Finn Rautenbach, the Manager of the GRBG explains that it is a private botanical garden which was started 21 years ago. It is a community garden, only partially funded by the local municipality and other donors.
The Garden Route Botanical Garden is a 19-hectare locally indigenous botanical garden situated at the base of the Outeniqua Mountains. The garden itself focuses on conserving and displaying plants indigenous to the Southern Cape region. A wide range of plant collections are divided into several thematic display beds. Each bed acts as an educational tour, displaying the usefulness of the specific plants both to humans and to the surrounding ecosystem.
Humanity cannot survive without nature, and many of the problems facing humanity today; starvation, thirst, extreme weather, global warming and disease are all a direct result of the destruction of our natural environment. Recognising the value and necessity of this, the GRBG actively pursues environmental education and community outreach projects both in and outside the garden. The GRBG regularly undertakes tree-planting projects, public lectures, and environmental lobbying.
To ensure that you see the best of the exceptionally unique Garden Route Botanical Garden, you can join a guided tour with one of the local tour guides.
Finn is proud of their indigenous forest trail, which is a forest that was replanted in 2010 after the removal of alien species and today is a beautiful young forest that can be enjoyed by all the visitors.
A 5km Parkrun is held every Saturday at 0800 and listening to comments by participants, there is no better location to spend time with family, friends and your pet with these breath-taking views of the mountain and forest.
So many positive reviews of what travellers are saying have been posted on Trip Advisor, worth sharing with our readers:
“The Garden Route Botanical Gardens are a must see when visiting George.
Offering fabulous views of the Outeniqua Mountains, gorgeous walks and an excellent variety of indigenous plants. There is also a Bird Hide overlooking a tranquil lake to enjoy a quiet time close to nature.”
“The gardens are always worth visiting. The cloud reflections in the dam, the sugarbirds visiting the proteas, the bird hide with water lilies in front. One of the gems is the mushroom trail, with lovely rest spots on the well maintained walk. Take a picnic and enjoy. Buy indigenous plants from the nursery.”
“My family and I love going to the Botanical Gardens. We are avid bird-watchers and this is a paradise for garden birds, kingfishers, darters and even a raptor or two. The grounds are always neat and well-kept and the staff at the gate is always friendly.”
“A quiet retreat to gather your thoughts and enjoy indigenous vegetation.”
“It’s places like these that give a town or city its character. A space of calm and beauty. Buy a succulent ‘garden’ or view their massive collection. Look out for their annual plant sale for some bargains.”
Events scheduled for September is the Spring Picnic Concert on the 1st of September and the Fearless Summit Run on 27&28 September, which will be a “single use plastic free event”.
Dig out your picnic blanket, running shoes and binoculars and enjoy what this gem has to offer!