Gardener Q & A – Nicholas

ogc roses

Nicholas Walker’s Meadowridge garden is one of five that will be open to the public on November 14th and 15th. Ticket proceeds are donated to two local not-for-profits: Abalimi bezekhaya and Soil for Life.

Over the next few weeks we will introduce the owners of the open gardens on the blog, via this Q & A session, to allow visitors a better appreciation of what makes them and their gardens grow.

Where is your garden?


What size is your garden?

+/- 600sqm

When did you start to garden?

When I got married 33 years ago.

Who or what inspired you to garden?

My parents were keen gardeners and had a very beautiful garden.

Do you remember the first plant you grew?

The first plant I remember planting was a cork oak (Quercus suber) which was given to us as an engagement present.

Has a plant ever disappointed you?

I cannot remember being disappointed by any plant but disappointed with myself when a plant I have planted dies but luckily I have a high success rate these days.

What plant has made you happiest?

I get a lot of joy out of seeing new growth on all my plants as my garden matures.

What do you love about your garden right now?

Seeing it come to life after winter and the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of my work in it.

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What do you feed your garden?

I am a great believer in lots of compost [above!] and folio feeding every two weeks with Kelpak and Nitrosol, organic pellets and a little chemical fertilizer. I only use 3:1:5. If one does not feed one’s garden regularly one cannot expect to have a flourishing garden.

How often do you garden?

I don’t have any assistance in my garden so I have to do whatever I feel needs to be done. So the time spent depends on the time of the year. Recently I have been spent more than 20 hours a week in the garden.

What is your least favourite garden chore?

Even the chores I least like doing are not so bad if I don’t do hours of it at any one time. I just enjoy been in my garden.

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

I have only lived in Cape Town and only know about gardening in Cape Town and am not planning to move .

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

A forest. I can’t because I don’t have the space.

water feature shade garden

Would you like more sun or more shade?

I have slowly developed a good balance of sun and shade in my garden.

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

Stellenberg in Kenilworth and Water Oak Farm, in Constantia.

Why do you garden?

I started gardening because I like to live in a beautiful environment, so when I got married I had to start gardening, which become a passion, and now my business (Let’s Garden).

Photo credits: Nicholas Walker and Family