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 to 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!

colleens garden 040

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.

colleens garden 054

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?

Weeds!

Would you like more sun or more shade?

I have enough of both.

pebbles in garden

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

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Gardener Q&A – Carol

spring tree

Picture having an afternoon tea under this tree…

Here is the fourth in our series of five interviews with the owners of each of the five gardens that will be open to the public for Open Gardens Constantia on November 14th and 15th.

Advance tickets are R50: that works out to just R10 per garden. Hard to beat. Throw in the lovely tea that will be served in Carol’s garden on her sweeping lawns and flower-covered patios…book the dates!

Buying in advance also helps us with the very-important matter of knowing how many teas and coffees will be needed and…HOW MUCH CAKE (and how many sandwiches, but frankly, isn’t the cake more important?). For advance tickets please visit the link to our Ticket Page for a list of vendors, and our email address (members of the three garden clubs will have tickets available for purchase directly from them, too).

Tickets can also be bought on the day at a garden gate, for R60 (address to follow, please stay tuned to this blog and Facebook, for updates).

Here’s Carol:

Why do you garden?

I garden for pleasure, and for the results that I see. I enjoy vegetable gardening as it is so worthwhile eating what one has produced, and knowing that it is organic.

Where is your garden?

Constantia.

What size is your garden?

One acre.

When did you start to garden?

About 35 years ago.

Who or what inspired you to garden?

My parents and parents-in-law.

Has a plant ever disappointed you?

I love fuchsias, but am not very good at looking after them properly, and so they often die on me. My fault entirely!

What plant has made you happiest?

At the moment it has to be my Tree Fuchsia.

What do you love about your garden right now?

I love that it is looking better than it ever has before!

What do you feed your garden?

Mostly organic fertilizers like Talborne [one of OGC’s sponsors] and seaweed based solutions.

geranium maderense

How often do you garden?

At the moment, everyday!

What is the garden chore you look forward to?

I don’t look forward to any chore!

What is your least favourite garden chore?

Weeding.

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

In my new home, not yet found, which has a much smaller garden!

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

More fuchsias.

open garrdens constantia

Food, flowers, native or ornamental?

All love them all. I find food gardening the most satisfying and relevant

Your favourite garden writer, or personality?

I don’t have one.

What plants do you dislike?

None, really. My least favourite plants are cacti [Julie doesn’t like them, either].

Would you like more sun or more shade?

I’m happy with what I have.

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

I have just seen Monet’s garden in Giverny, which was one I’d always wanted to see, and it didn’t disappoint.

What would you like people to know about gardening?

I think that anyone who reads this blog will know MUCH more about gardening than I ever will!

Photos: Saskia Taylor

The Women’s Story – Abalimi

Open Gardens Constantia raises money for Abalimi Bezekhaya and for Soil for Life.

This simple and moving 21 minute film tells the story, in the poignant and matter-of-fact words of women microfarmers, of what the support of Abalimi Bezekhaya means in their daily edible gardening lives on the Cape Flats.

“We would plant, but nothing would come up…” says one of the farmers. Enter Abalimi, with training, compost and manure, and the supplies to set farmers up to be self sustaining.

“We eat from the garden, we sell from the garden, we help from the garden,” sums up an Abalimi gardener.

On the open garden days on November 14th and 15th you’ll have a chance to enjoy fresh Abalimi produce, which will be on sale in Nicholas’s garden, and chat to a staff member to find out more about what they do, and how.

Help us support Abalimi by visiting our open gardens on November 14th and 15th. Your entry ticket will be money well spent.

2014 Open Garden preview

open gardens constantiaPretty enough for you? This garden belongs to Nicholas Walker, and is one of the open gardens for 2014. Note the permeable paving, which helps prevent run off from hard surfaces after rain.

Open Gardens Constantia will be held on November 14th and 15th this year. Tickets are on sale from early October, from the gardeners themselves, and from selected merchants. An advance ticket costs R50, otherwise tickets will be available at the garden gates for R60. Tea and cake included!

(Addresses will be provided much closer to the time, but they are with easy driving distance of one another.)