Walking around the Waterkloof area in spring, it will be hard to ignore the purple of the jacaranda trees in bloom.
Many of us growing up in Pretoria have fond memories of these trees that seem to be ever-present in our lives. Students to our city learn about the trees as part of the heritage and there are even some myths surrounding the trees and the students!
Believe it or not, but Pretoria was first referred to the City of Roses in the late 1900s, that honour now belongs to Bloemfontein. After the first official plating of the trees by the municipality, the trees have become the signature of Pretoria, and we are now the Jacaranda City.
Even our late president Nelson Mandela mentioned the jacaranda trees in his inauguration speech in 1994 – “Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld.”
Waterkloof Corner took their inspiration for the look and feel of the Centre from this iconic tree and the legacy of timelessness and beauty that it represents.
A big mosaic on the one wall was commissioned by the developers when the Centre underwent a refurbishment some years back.
As we move into our winter season, there is always a sense of hope for those of us living in Pretoria. The jacaranda trees will bloom soon. And I believe this constant in our City brings about a certain confidence that everything will be good.