Johannesburg Botanical Garden

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The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is located in the suburb of Emmarentia in Johannesburg, South Africa. The gardens were established in 1964 as a large rose garden (becoming known locally as the "Rose Garden") and subsequently expanded to cover an area of around 125 hectares (1.25 km²). It is administered by Johannesburg City Parks.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden of South Africa
Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The 81-hectare Botanical Garden form one of Johannesburg's vital green lungs. The land for the gardens was set aside in 1969 - at the time it was a sports field and golf driving range consisting of bare veld and no trees. Now it consists of large, grassy, open spaces scattered with trees and used by runners, picnickers and dog walkers. It hosts the occasional concert season and kite-flying competitions.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden of South Africa
Johannesburg Botanical Garden

Visitors enjoy its special gardens - the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, a Hedge Demonstration Garden and the main arboretum, which houses family groupings of plants and trees of South Africa and the rest of the world.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden of South Africa
Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The gardens contain an attractive mix of bunched indigenous and exotics surrounded by lawns, overlooking the 7,5-hectare Emmarentia Dam, which dates back to the turn of the century, popular with canoeists and boaters. There is also a tea pergola and a floreum for meetings, shows and exhibitions. The dam is fed by two smaller dams above it, which are home to many aquatic birds.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden of South Africa
Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The garden's master plan gives a broad outline of the botanical layout. In all, 42 families of plants are incorporated into the design based on suitable sites for the majority of species within the families. The families, comprising South African and exotic species of trees, are the framework around which shrubs and perennials are added to complete both the aesthetic and botanical picture.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden of South Africa
Johannesburg Botanical Garden

At present, the plants in the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden and the Hedge Garden demonstration section are labelled. Unfortunately, like all botanical gardens worldwide, labels at the Johannesburg garden are vandalised.

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