When Rosemarie van der Pas (a member of the Constantiaberg Garden Club) and her husband, Theo, moved into their one-acre property in 1992 there were remnants of its past life – neglected fruit trees and vines, all part of an old market garden. Firm action was needed: unproductive trees, roses and invasive ferns were removed; two large avocado trees and some citrus trees were preserved and an indigenous section was created. To complete the transformation Rosemarie decided, in 2007, to enlist the assistance of Heather Krumm and the garden opened up and was made accessible for wheelchairs. Heather’s involvement has continued.
As with any flourishing garden, more changes were made and Rosemarie had the inspired idea of changing the standard, bright blue swimming pool into an eco pool, above, better suited to the woodland nature of the garden. This improvement is now a lovely feature of the garden with its water plants and border of riverine plantings.
Rosemarie’s favourite spot in the garden is the bench behind the fish pond which Theo built many years ago. She introduced fish, but “one day the cats went fishing,” she says, “and then the heron came!” Good-bye, fish. “But it has a lovely fountain and to sit there is really good.”
She has two favourite gardens. One is Arduaine, near Oban in Scotland. The other is her parents’ garden in the Netherlands, where Rosemarie grew up – it was large and had a chestnut tree to climb and hide in. When the lawn needed mowing, the farmer next door sent in his sheep. In the spring, there was a “witches circle” of daffodils around a beautiful ornamental flowering peach tree.
Rosemarie’s transformed garden will be the source of similar memories.
To learn more about Rosemarie and her garden, read her Gardener Q &A.