THE village of McGregor is proud to showcase a Windblown Garden designed and made by the internationally renowned landscape designer and botanist Leon Kluge, at Celebrating the Arts in McGregor over the weekend of September 24 – 26, 2021.
Kluge’s show pieces characteristically include large sculptural elements among clever planting of seeds. Unlike most show projects, however, this garden will endure as a visitor destination – its bright colours will be best enjoyed in August and September, though it includes year-round planting and different characteristics for seasonal viewing.
The concept was created in June 2020, when Kluge offered to support the first online garden event in South Africa – McGregor Magic. He was inspired by the elements influencing the forms and flora of the semi-Karoo landscape. A sunny site was offered on the grounds of NG church, central to McGregor and 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, Kluge worked with a team to sculpt vines which were bundled and worked around frames of cut alien-invading trees. Supporters in the village community have prepared soil, donated both plants and funds, so that by June, they helped Kluge to plant 1000 seedlings, as well as sow seed chosen for their vivid colour.
“It is very exciting to see a project arise from unforeseen circumstances and to come alive with the involvement of donors and volunteers,” says Kluge. “It is unlike my other planned projects and international commissions. In such a pretty location, it appealed to me, not only for its 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.”
Kluge will officially launch his Windblown Garden creation at a picnic on the church lawn at 1pm on Saturday, September 25. To book spots and for further queries, contact McGregor Tourism on 023 625 1954 or email [email protected]
Later the same afternoon at 3.15pm, Kluge will expand on more of his work at a talk in the village at Ragazzi, Voortrekker Street. Tickets for the talk can be booked at Quicket.
Other events that are part of Celebrating the Arts include a medicinal plant walk with a traditional healer; an art exhibition in a retreat garden; craft and flower arranging demos; and a ballet school presentation.