Recycled waste made beautiful

A yellow wooden door marked with the sign “When in Drought”, in little Mowbray, conceals a hidden treasure that will transport you to a place reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, with dahlias the size of your face and daisies which come right up to your knee.

The Botanical Tea House’s garden may be the only one still blooming in Little Mowbray during this drought, and that’s because it needs very little water.

The flowers and plants have been hand-made using recyclable materials such as cooldrink bottles, plastic spoons, felt and wool.

The dozens of crocheted flowers scattered on bare tree branches and tea spoon flowers lining the walkway are enchanting and take innovation to a new level.

“The thing I love about South Africans is that we always make a plan, which is something uniquely our solution,” said the garden’s owner, Alison Prest.

“This was created as an answer to the drought. The exhibition, When in Drought, is to bring good cheer.”

It took about a month to create all the flowers and friends of St Anthony’s, a home for the mentally disabled, helped to make all the flowers.

Ms Prest said the garden was a safe haven for all in the community to enjoy the flowers until the rain came.

“In Cape Town they say that the plastic bags which fly against the fences are our flowers, so I thought why not actually use that concept. Most gardeners are depressed, most nurture plants for years and they all talk about how their plants have died.

“Until the rain comes, there is a place for them to enjoy flowers. We need colour,” said Ms Prest, whose garden also has indigenous plants irrigated with grey water.

The Botanical Tea House is at 3 Bushwood Road Little Mowbray. You can visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBotanicalTeaHouse/

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