Windblown Garden (local story)

by Amanda Shackley | Swellengram (full article link : https://swellendam.com/windblown-garden/)

excerpt from original article

The village of McGregor is proud to showcase a ‘Windblown Garden’ that was designed and made by the internationally renowned garden designer and botanist Leon Kluge, at the ‘Celebrating the Arts’ in McGregor over the weekend of 24 – 26 September.

Kluge`s show pieces characteristically include large sculptural elements amongst clever planting of seeds. Unlike most show projects, this garden will rather endure as a visitor destination – it’s bright colours will be best enjoyed in August & September, though it includes year-round planting and different characteristics for seasonal viewing. 

The concept was created back in June 2020, when Leon kindly offered to support the first online garden event in South Africa – McGregor Magic. He was inspired by the elements influencing the forms & Flora of the semi-Karoo landscape. A sunny site was offered on the grounds of NG church, central to McGregor & the scaling of plan-to-reality for the Windblown Garden began.

Formed from local Bokkeveldt shale, the sculptural wall arcs of the garden were built during early 2021, by local McGregor masons skilled in drystone building. During April this year, Leon worked with a team to sculpt vines which were bundled & worked around frames of cut alien-invading trees. Supporters in the village community have since prepared soil, donated both plants & funds, so that by June, they helped Leon to plant 1000 seedlings, as well as sow seed chosen for its vivid colour. 

‘It is very exciting to see a project arise from unforeseen circumstances and to come alive with the involvement of donors & volunteers” says Leon, ‘It is unlike my other planned projects & International commissions. In such a pretty location, it appealed to me, not only for it`s beauty, but for the very interesting flora that occurs in the McGregor area. This is where the fynbos meets the succulent Karoo and the plants that occur here are very special indeed.”

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