William Ment, the protagonist in the Judge Ment Series, works and lives in the beautiful city of Cape Town. One of his favourite places is the Company Gardens. (See Ment’s World) Many of his meetings with other characters take place there.

The gardens were established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a refreshment station for passing ships.

Recently the gardens underwent some changes, and Ment was quite dismayed when the restaurant was closed and the huge tree under which he and Peter Carstens often met for lunch was savagely cut down.

At the time he had no knowledge that a new restaurant would take its place offering a more stylish and upmarket experience to locals and visiting tourists.





Ment was however delighted with the recreation of the VOC Vegetable Garden. His love for things green and his passion for floriculture were satisfied when the garden slowly began to take shape, and an insight could be gained of just how useful it must have been to the weary and often physically ill sailors. Table Mountain must also have fond memories of those days gone by when she looks down and sees a familiar sight.


Extensive use was made of a wide range of medicinal and edible plants, and herbs such as Candle Berry, Wild Garlic, Red Hot Poker, Purple Broom, Bitter Aloe, Red Sun, Cat’s Tail, Wild Dagga, Blue Stars, Hard Fern, Speckled Spur Flower, and Pig’s Ear.








Ment was delighted to see the use of Sour Figs, Wild Rosemary, Natal Plum, Rose Geranium, Jade Plant, Pork Bush, and Ribbon Bush.These plants were used as treatment for a wide range of illnesses, as vitamin supplements and for general ailments. Some were even effective as fly repellents.





The garden also hosts Climbing Roses, a variety of herbs, vines, and fruit trees.

The garden also has its own water source in the form of ponds and a channel system.




William Ment was most probably thinking aloud when he was overheard to say, “Bonus factum!”

An excerpt from Ment’s latest adventures in Riley and the Rat.

After the trip to the bank, I entered the Company’s Gardens. As I walked past the Houses of Parliament on my way to the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, I recalled some of the meetings I had had in the past at this venue.

Meetings with Peter Carstens, my best friend, at the restaurant were a regular occurrence. There were fond memories of those times only soiled by the knowledge that on occasions it wasn’t Peter whom I had met but his evil alter, Cain.

The widow of Jack Olivier had given me information on a park bench not far from where I was walking. She helped me find Mandy Kershaw and solve the mystery of Frank Motaung’s death.

Near the statue of George Grey, Dianne Carstens’ ghost had come back to haunt me. George Grey listened quietly to her tale of lies and deceit and her plea for forgiveness. Telling her husband that she was carrying my child, unleashed Cain who was intent on destroying me but destroyed his host instead. As I tried to wipe away the memories of Dianne Carstens, Dianne Campbell left the gardens and returned to her husband and son in the US. Oh yes! This place was steeped in history and quite a bit of it was mine.

The beautiful figure of Alice Carmichael stood in the clearing surrounded by majestic trees and plants that had lived for hundreds of years. It was as if the things I loved had gathered to meet me on that clear autumn day in the heart of the Mother City.

Most of my meetings at a place where people flocked to escape the stresses of the city had been serious business. The meeting with Alice would be no different.

“Hope I’m not too late.”

“No, I haven’t been waiting long.”

“Look at what they’re doing here. The restaurant where I used to meet with Peter Carstens has been closed . . . and they’re trying to recreate the gardens that were planted by the Dutch East India Company.”

“I haven’t been here for ages.”


Read the Judge Ment Series (Crime Mystery) and Ment’s latest adventures in Riley and the Rat available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon and at Createspace. Also available in South Africa at

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