Balancing act between spring flowers and weeds

The City says every year it is faced with the dilemma of either having neat, mowed parks and verges, or a display of newly blossomed spring flowers.

Newly appointed Mayoral committee member for community services, Anda Ntsodo, said: “Cape Town has been experiencing winter with periods of warm weather, which promotes the germination and the rapid growth of many species of wild flowers and grasses across the metropole.

“A particular challenge is that the grass and weeds also thrive under these conditions. Almost overnight, parks and sidewalks can start to look untidy.”

The annual spring flowers are making their appearance in various public open spaces and open tracts of land within the city.

This sometimes causes contention on whether the areas should be mowed, or whether the wild flowers should be left undisturbed for the enjoyment of residents.

Ms Ntsodo said: “Many residents and visitors to the areas where the flowers occur contend that they should be left untouched and not mowed until the seeds have ripened and dropped. It must be emphasised, however, that this results in the grass eventually dominating the flowers.

“The City Parks Department normally curtails the mowing of certain areas during the flowering period to allow them to bloom and shed their seeds.

“Parks managers try to find a happy medium, weighing up their knowledge of the relevant areas and the demands of the public in trying to achieve a pragmatic compromise.”

The City said they will closely monitor the areas that are starting to look untidy.

They will also have staff and contractors work for additional hours to limit or reduce any mowing backlogs.

“I would like to appeal to residents to please be patient during this time of year. The City Parks department is committed to prompt and effective service delivery and all efforts will be made to keep our parks and sidewalks tidy and properly maintained,” said Ms Ntsodo.

Any concerns about uncut grass in parks and on sidewalks can be directed to the City Parks’ general enquiries contact number on 021 400 9538.