We did some landscaping

A few months ago we were awarded with the assignment for a truly water wise minimalist garden that hardly needs any maintenance. The owners are not gardeners but like to enjoy the outdoor in their spare time off. The garden, exclusive the house measures around 700 square meters which we leveled, than put a root cloth on it plus a layer of 10 cm gravel. The sides are bordered with wood logs and a strip of one meter with Diamondia grass. Also the parking spaces and the drive way (filled with wood chips) are bordered with wooden logs. Around this garden we planted some indigenous aloes amongst the existing fynbos. All materials are sourced locally (wood logs and chips virtually on the spot).

 

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Modern 'slavery'

They call it a ‘slave wall’ but I do not know the exact meaning. Is it a wall build by slaves or a wall to keep the slaves in? Or both?

A winery nearby, situated on an estate with the remains of century (centuries?) old buildings decided to do something about the entrance. Plenty of limestone rocks around and with the heritage in mind what better idea is there than build a ‘slave wall’?

Hard work for the own staff and a contractor but the end result is getting shape. In contrast with the days of old they now had  the assistance of machinery (digger loader) to transport the rocks but still manual work was needed to put the heavy rocks in the right place. The wall on the right side of the entrance is nicely in-line with with the natural rockery. On the other (village) side the winery should take out some of the blue gum trees for better visability from the road but that’s just a personal opinion. And who am I?

The own horticulturist already started to plant native water wise plants.

Hopefully Springfontein Winery also changes the sign; by the looks of it it’s open for wine tasting day and night….. When I came in there was nobody to see ….

 

P.S. the second picture (HDR-toning) is dedicated to the best Chef of Durban. Besides good (spicy) food Andrew Harvard likes to photograph dishes, people eating and some hot spots in and around Durban. And you can all follow this on his blog!

 

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Modern ‘slavery’

They call it a ‘slave wall’ but I do not know the exact meaning. Is it a wall build by slaves or a wall to keep the slaves in? Or both?

A winery nearby, situated on an estate with the remains of century (centuries?) old buildings decided to do something about the entrance. Plenty of limestone rocks around and with the heritage in mind what better idea is there than build a ‘slave wall’?

Hard work for the own staff and a contractor but the end result is getting shape. In contrast with the days of old they now had  the assistance of machinery (digger loader) to transport the rocks but still manual work was needed to put the heavy rocks in the right place. The wall on the right side of the entrance is nicely in-line with with the natural rockery. On the other (village) side the winery should take out some of the blue gum trees for better visability from the road but that’s just a personal opinion. And who am I?

The own horticulturist already started to plant native water wise plants.

Hopefully Springfontein Winery also changes the sign; by the looks of it it’s open for wine tasting day and night….. When I came in there was nobody to see ….

 

P.S. the second picture (HDR-toning) is dedicated to the best Chef of Durban. Besides good (spicy) food Andrew Harvard likes to photograph dishes, people eating and some hot spots in and around Durban. And you can all follow this on his blog!

 

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Time for the Winter flowering aloes

Rain or shine; this Aloe hybrid will flower for months to come. After our arrival here in Stanford, 20 months ago, we undertook a major job by removing a hedge with invasive shrubs and planted the strip along the wooden fence with water wise succulent plants. These all grow nicely.

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From profession to hobby

Between April 2000 and July 2011 me and Yvonne owned Soekershof in Robertson. We restored and extended this historical botanical garden (with the oldest cactus -Anno 1910- of South Africa) and ended up with one of the world’s largest outdoor collections (>2600 species/subspecies/varieties/etc) of succulent plants including cacti. The garden was globally recognized in botanical/horticultural circles (except seemingly in South Africa). We were very honored when all the VIPs of de Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (USA) spend a day with us on their tour along all known South African botanical gardens and even more honored when they published about their South Africa tour and unanimously declared Soekershof as “Best Garden Experience” in South Africa. It was hard work; 7 days per week from 6AM to 10PM and all together we had in those 11 years 2 weeks holiday. We even succeeded in maintaining the first blog in South Africa with guidelines about water wise gardening with succulent plants. The blog is still online and still foresees in a need although we stopped submitting new items since the sale of the farm. The new owners (German/Italian couple) are not really gardeners. The garden, still beautiful though, serves now as ‘decoration’ for their guest house and restaurant but the number of different plants has strongly declined. Plants need care; especially water wise plants. Anyway with our removal we took our private collection of (merely) rare plants with us to Stanford. We still love gardening but also a more quiet “Quality of Life”.

Here a visualised update of flowers in our garden (most of our ‘secrets’ are small and hidden….):

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Garden update pictured

As written a few months ago I like to picture plants and flowers in our little succulent garden. We are privileged to live in a climate (Stanford, South Africa) that allows a year-round floral display provided you have sourced the right vegetation. Succulent plants, cacti included, are not only water wise plants but also fascinating to look at; especially the details.

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