The project began on the 2nd of June 2020 when Mr. T. Mujuru, (Chairman of Trends Industrial) contacted us with an inquiry about landscaping the garden at 2 Duthie Road in Belgravia. He had been referred to us by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Furusa, who had seen our previous projects in Harare. After the call, a site meeting was set up for the following day when Mr. Mujuru granted us the tender to design and landscape the Trends Industrial Belgravia Offices.
Because construction was in progress the site was in disarray. Our first task was to create 3D drawings of the existing site which took us nearly a week to complete. Following this, we produced the 3D design and the bill of quantities both of which were approved by the client.
The client, Mr. Mujuru, contributed immensely to the success of the project by running around Harare to purchase all the materials that were needed to execute the job. Along with the help of his drivers and the Accounts Department, everything was supplied without any friction. The support we received was a stepping stone for Orange Turf’s successful project as most clients do not quite comprehend the costs and requirements that go into transforming a garden.
When all the necessary items were brought to the site we began the land preparation. We had a team of fourteen with two garden supervisors to ensure that all measuring and scaling was up to standard. Orange Turf prides itself on having well-trained staff who have acquired hands-on skills and knowledge about gardening over the years. The job commenced in June and was completed within eight weeks. As a result of the lockdown and curfew, the daily working hours were restricted but our team managed to complete the task within the desired time frame.
Belgravia is an older suburb with big trees and thick vegetation so our garden plan was designed in such a way that complemented the pre-existing vegetation. We added shorter plants in order to create a favourable visual around the area. Had we rooted taller plants with the overgrown trees there as well the premises would have looked overcrowded? We then split the garden into sections with each area telling a story. For example, on either side of the entrance area, we created perennial mixed borders, including some lavender to create a welcoming scent. This also allows those driving in to feel a sense of comfort as they are welcomed by a variety of familiar plants. For the car park area (west side) we included tropical plants in order to create a lush atmosphere, including palm trees, seaforthias, bamboos, arum lilies, and luxuriant groundcovers to address any bare soil. We had to create something like this because as you drive to your left there is a creeper covering the wall and to blend with that rich dark green colour we had to think tropical.
We then decided to include a new water feature at the far eastern side of the garden to merge with the thick trees and old palm trees that were already there in the garden. This was done to add interest to the look of the garden. Initially, the water feature was not part of the garden plan however it was later added to the design to beautify the garden. This happens often in landscaping – one idea begets another. After a week or so the water feature was complete and we waited for cladding from South Africa to arrive to enhance our design.
We had to bring in three more cycads to blend with the one that was there from the old garden by the front. This section became a story on its own, with the vertical artificial creepers on the metal walls, the ivy at the bottom, and the Duranta ‘Goldmine’ shrubs along the pathway. We liked the idea from the architect of using artificial plants after we had turned down the use of live material on rusty metal. The artificial plants blended well with the lawns, the ‘Goldmine’ and the cycads, which was excellent. To come up with a good garden, does not work solely for an individual, but requires great teamwork to accomplish it.
During this project, we were faced with the challenge of sourcing plants from local suppliers. Our client then had to source the plants from South Africa which were then planted at a later stage because of the logistics during the pandemic. These plants were the icing on the cake as they knitted the building into the garden.
To help with the maintenance of the garden we installed an easy to use irrigation system throughout the entire premises to help with easy hydration for both the lawns and the plants. Unlike most yards where gardeners use hosepipes at certain intervals during the day, the garden can now be irrigated at night during the hot season to encourage moisture retention and to curb daylight evaporation. As landscapers, we often encourage gardens to be irrigated in the cool of the evening as it is extremely helpful to the plants.
The garden flower borders are filled with artful undulating curves against the fence bounded by the ‘Goldmine’ plants. This displays a unique and stimulating plant arrangement starting from ground covers to shrubs and to bushes in a gradually ascending design, all starting from the well-manicured lawn. In the beds, you will find succulents, mondo grass, salvias, clivias, carrex grass, flaxes, agapanthus, and the mother-in-law’s tongue. The magnificent concrete flower pots that were added to the driveway brought a splendid hardscape look and matched the exotic pavers.
Meanwhile, the garden is in its attractive and enthralling growing stage with an abundance of low-maintenance perennial plants. The character, artful arrangement, and contrast of sections with defined breaks and pauses to ease the view; and the meandering lawn space around the building offers the community, occupants, visitors, and gardeners adequate area to enjoy the views all year round hence providing a tranquil atmosphere. A couple of months down the line after completing this project, the current state has become a living testimony to this credence.
Orange Turf P/L is situated in Harare; 2159 Mainway Meadows, Waterfalls and our Lawns grown in Goromonzi Plot 1 of Liwonde Estates. For those who may want to contact us please feel free to use the following numbers and personnel;
Blessing Ranjisi : Cell +263 773 969 999; +263 716 865 821
Tendayi Mudzingwa: Cell +263 772 767 185