Below is a short write-up on the architectural style of our house

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Jacarandas of Pretoria

Some background to the Jacarandas of Pretoria

October heralds the blooming of the jacarandas in Pretoria and hundreds of tourists can be seen photographing this spectacle in Arcadia, The small suburb of Pretoria where we live. Credit for this belongs to JD Celliers who imported two jacaranda trees, Jacaranda Mimosifolio, from Rio de Janeiro in 1888.


 He planted them in the front garden of his home Myrtle Lodge in Sunnyside, now part of Sunnyside Primary School at 146 Celliers Street. These trees are still standing and bear a bronze plaque and can be viewed during school hours.


In 1898, James Clark, a keen horticulturist obtained a contract from the government to plant hundreds of jacarandas throughout the city. The trees did so well that he was charged with the task of lining all the major streets of Pretoria with jacarandas. Government Avenue is unique with its double row of jacarandas on either side. It is the only street in Pretoria with a double row. They were planted like this to provide complete shade for the government officials walking to the Union Buildings from Bryntirion Estate. 

 The jacaranda has been declared a Category Three invasive alien plant, which means, in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, No. 43 of 1983, as amended in March 2001, it can be kept only under certain strict conditions in South Africa. The plants are not allowed to occur anywhere except in biologically controlled reserves, unless they were already in existence when the regulation came into effect. This means that existing plants do not have to be removed by the land user. However, they must be kept under control and no new planting may be initiated and the plants may no longer be sold. Other plants in this category include syringa, Australian silky oak, St Joseph’s lily, sword fern and New Zealand Christmas tree. 

While the rest of Pretoria goes mauve in October, Herbert Baker Street in the suburb of Groenkloof goes white, but also with jacarandas. The white species was introduced in 1962 by a resident by the name of H. Bruinslich and were imported from Peru.
A deadly fungus has been eating away at the roots of many of the city’s jacaranda trees for some time. Trees in some parts of the city are at different stages of disease as branches fall off and leaves dry out.
I cannot imagine Pretoria without its Jacarandas!

Reproduced from The Arcadian of November 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment