Thohoyandou Botanical Garden

Thematic Garden Zoning Concept
The design of the botanic garden at Thohoyandou is founded on the concept of Three Natures: ‘Wilderness’ nature; ‘Productive’ nature and ‘Designed’ nature. Located on a sloping forested site, the 3 natures have been located such that ‘Designed’ Nature is that closest to the entrance, containing, Marquee lawn area, the Wedding garden, Demo gardens, Endangered and Endemic plants gardens, Kids play and Braai areas, etc. Further up the slope is the zone of ‘Productive’ nature where traditional medicinal, food gardens, etc. are located. At the top of the garden slopes, is ‘Wilderness’ Nature, where Grassland and Wildflowers, the Baobab sanctuary, Succulents and Cycad garden, etc. are located against the backdrop of the existing forested area.

Movement Concept
We understand that the site is sloped, covering a gradient difference of almost 40 metres in parts. Movement through the site is based on the idea of the local textiles (and cultural traditions of Venda, Tsonga, Sepedi) in which the warp (stepped straight paths up the slope, lined by indigenous hedges). At the bottom and top of these stepped paths, opportunity is provided for local sculptors to display their work, further building a regional identity for the gardens.
The weft (gently sloped paths along contours) weave the 3 natures of the botanic gardens together. Trees, particularly in the upper reaches have been retained and a tree canopy walk is proposed to provide the visitor with a rich experience of the forest and the views from it.

As part of a sustainable drainage strategy, agricultural swales along the paths intercept water and channel it to retention ponds located in the garden on the various levels in order to provide an additional water sources. A survey has yet to be done, in which case, once the natural wetland areas are identified, these can be integrated into the design.