This year, Focus on iThemba was invited by the Kloof Rotary Anns to showcase our incredible office garden as part of their Rotary Open Garden Event. This Event takes place annually and raises funds, through a small entrance fee, for community projects in need. Our garden was one of four in the Upper Highway area to be opened to the public on the first weekend of the month.
We are immensely proud of our indigenous garden with its breath-taking views over the Valley of 1000 Hills. As the owners of the iThemba Campus, it is our heart to protect and develop this land in a way that respects, reflects and pays homage to the indigenous landscapes that existed in the Valley before our time here. Our landscaping philosophy seeks to cultivate a sense of Biodiversity Stewardship for all those who share our Campus, and those still to come.
Once filled with gum trees and alien vegetation, our garden now bursts forth with indigenous grasses, aloes, strelizias, irises and endemic cycads which host a variety of birds, frogs, butterflies and other small insects. Careful attention has been given to intentional planting and natural composting which has led to a thriving ecosystem that rewards us with an ever-changing landscape. From a sea of warm oranges and browns in winter, to lush greens, yellows and whites in summer, Jacob House Garden is truly a feast for the senses of any nature-lover.
It was a great honour for us to be invited to partake in the Rotary Open Garden Event. We had over 160 guests visit our garden over the weekend, some of whom left beautiful comments for us to read…
“Beautiful natural garden! Well balanced and thought through composition of an indigenous garden. An example of what may be achieved.”
“Absolutely beautiful! Kiddies loved hopping in the pools and hearing chickens, cows and birds tweeting. Thank you!”
“Delightful garden. Really natural, calm feel with the most beautiful water feature.”
A special thanks to our founder, Judy van den Heever, for her vision and passion which steers us in our landscaping efforts, to Miles Steenhuisen from Mass Landscapes for making this vision come to life, and to Falakhe Shabalala who lovingly tends to our garden.