Gardener Q&A – Colleen

Here is the last of our five gardener interviews, where we ask the owners of each of this year’s open gardens┬áto give us a sense of why they garden, and what their garden means to them.

Colleen loves (LOVES) roses. And hates stinkbugs. And gives her Bergvliet garden the best food of all: love.

It shows.

Why do you garden?

I garden because it feeds my soul. I love being surrounded by nature and find a special tranquility in my garden. I see it as an extension of me!

Where is your garden?

In Bergvliet.

What size is your garden?

The property is just over 1000 square metres.

When did you start to garden?

When I got married and was staying in a rented bottom-storey flat, I planted marigolds.

Who or what inspired you to garden?

I think my Mom, she always enjoyed gardening.

Do you remember the first plant you grew?

Probably a bean in cottonwool at school!

Has a plant ever disappointed you?

Yes, when they don’t do well!

What plant has made you happiest?

Definitely roses, my favourite by far. Their beauty, smell and they flower repeatedly. I am addicted to buying them!

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What do you love about your garden right now?

The tumbling colours and vibrancy of new growth.

What do you feed your garden?

Ludwig’s Vigorosa, 3:1:5, organic pellets and lots and lots of love.

How often do you garden?

I potter everyday.

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What is the garden chore you look forward to?

Picking my roses and spinach!

What is your least favourite garden chore?

Spraying and squishing stinkbugs!

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Where would you like to garden, if you could garden anywhere?

I wouldn’t want to garden anywhere else.

What would you like to grow, that you can’t?

Nothing comes to mind, I am able to grow most things.

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Food, flowers, native or ornamental?

Definitely flowers.

Favourite gardening personality?

Una van den Spuy

What plants do you dislike?


Would you like more sun or more shade?

I have enough of both.

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If you could visit just one garden, where would it be?

I’d love to go to the Chelsea Flower Show and any English gardens.

What would you like people to know about gardening?

How wonderfully inspiring it can be creating beauty around your home and giving pleasure to passers by!

Photos: Marianne Alexander, Saskia Taylor


The first flowers

 The first (self-sown) flowers have appeared in Rosemarie’s garden. Queen Anne’s lace and Flanders poppies.

Come and see the rest of her beautiful garden, with eco pool and indigenous plantings, on November 14th or 15th.

Photo credit: Rosemarie van der Pas