by Chevon Booysen
It all started with levelling out a slope of sand in the close where he and his neighbours park their cars.
But after receiving donations of plants from neighbours and the City of Cape Town’s parks department, Kenneth Felix from South Close in Grassy Park has completely made over his local park.
Felix says he got the idea about three months ago when he came home one day and saw a slope of sand where the cars of the close’s residents are normally parked.
“I just wanted to level the sand out but then one thing led to another and it has sprouted into this. The park was really in a bad state for a very long time and nobody was really caring for it, so I thought I would just go with it,” he says.
Felix (64), who has lived in the area for about 32 years, says he has been taking care of the park for about 15 years.
“People would always drop their things in the park – like papers or bottles. I would then go out and pick up the litter that is strewn on the park. I didn’t want the park going nowhere anymore, because nobody else really cared for it,” he says.
Felix says in all the years he has looked after the park, it never occurred to him to spruce it up.
“I have been retired for five years now. And I enjoy looking after the park but the bug only bit me three months ago to give it a makeover. It started with me planting a few plants – received from a neighbour – on the verge and then everything just grew from there,” he says.
Felix, a retired salesman, says neighbours helped him with the painting and redecorating the park.
“When they were available they would come and help me out. They also assisted with plant donations and anything else to help get the park to what it looks like now and now we enjoy the fruits of it. Families now come out and enjoy the park by packing picnics,” he says.
Some days, Felix says, he would spend all day in the garden fixing everything that needed attention.
“Some days I would start at 09:00 and stay there all day until 22:00. Neighbours even came and gave me lamps to assist with visibility.
“I believe if I start a thing today and want it done today, it can’t stand and wait until tomorrow,” he says.
Felix says he believes that “if I wasn’t meant to do this, it would not have been successful”.
He adds he looks forward to when the residents of the close will celebrate the switching on of Christmas lights later this year.
“We have an annual event where we switch on Christmas lights in the close and this year everyone will gather in the park for this occasion. We cannot wait,” he beams.