Indigenous South African plants provide the inspiration for our entire garden scheme. We wanted to create a unique experience for our guests, something true to the Western Cape and designed to thrill and inspire. We have such an intriguing range of natural beauty – from the effervescent, slightly citrus bouquet of pink hibiscus, to the butterfly friendly pincushion, the evergreen sweet pea bush and hardy Cape honeysuckle – that an English rose, or a Canadian maple would have been a disingenuous choice.
We invited Patrick Watson, one of the most respected names in South African landscape design, to visit Akademie Street and wander through our existing gardens before he took on the project. Patrick works with leading landscape architects such as Joan Pym and is commissioned for projects around the globe.
We knew he would respect the natural history of Akademie Street’s location and create surroundings with a secluded and peaceful feel. Patrick’s designs are focussed on context. Gardens that come under his stewardship have a relationship with the buildings they share a space with, as well as the landscapes and topography of the wider area. His work is best described as ‘organic’ and you would struggle to identify design signatures in his work, other than a determination to make every location unique.
You can now wander our fragrantly lined pathways and seek out our secret shady spots, appreciate our aesthetics and healthy blooming beds with the best of local flora and fauna. Our gardens are now one of our best features – thanks to Patrick’s creativity and green fingers.
To have such a creative and renowned talent at work in our gardens, supported by a local landscaper, is a proud moment for Akademie Street. Phase one of the gardens is complete, and Patrick is due to finish the second stage this summer.
We can’t wait to see the results!