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The kernel of an idea


Today is the first in a journey of development. Development of nurturing, development of growth and development of aesthetics. Today I am starting a year of gardening. Last year I built a house (well it’s not complete, but we live in it) and for the coming year I plan to cultivate a garden. The raw materials are a hectare of old protea orchard, a series of ridges on a gentle slope with some sprouting alien wattles sticking out. The garden has an objective and element of beauty, an element of sustainability and an element of taste. To this end I aim to create flowerbeds using colour, but more importantly indigenous material from the Cape Floral Kingdom. In addition I want to create a veggie patch, something that can sustain and supplement our pantry. Lastly, the development of a herb garden, something zesty, definitely spicy and experimental. The chance to discover what all the plants to the wonderful array of spices in a bottle actually look like – what does a pepper plant look like? How big is a sesame plant? What does capers grow on?

As a foundation I have a passion of collecting seeds, an obsession that deranges my wife. Following on this I love popping seeds into the ground and watching what germinates. I have to see what germinates because to date my cataloguing of my seed collection is non existent. Add to this seven years of establishing and maintaining a protea orchard, I do have the capacity to grow plants.

But here is the catch, with the orchards gone I look around at the small holding and realise that in the pursuit of producing flowers for export to foreign markets little or nothing was done to landscape the small holding, to nurture a lasting display of beauty. I recall my first visit to Butchart Gardens outside Victoria on Vancouver Island. The wonderment of Mrs Butchart to transform the quarry her husband had excavated for cement into a destination of beauty. An my word, is it beautiful!

Yesterday I collected 50g of Rocket seed from my old veggie patch and today I start by planting some in seed trays and in a prepared bed. In the seed trays some lavender for borders, chillies for spice, and beans for dinner have also been sown. Another passion, a collection of geranium slips potted for borders when they have rooted.

So from the kernels of seeds may an exciting and invigorating journey begin.

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Good luck with all the seed sowing - and welcome to GOY! :-))

Glad you decided to build the house first. LOL.

It'll be interesting for us over here to see your garden and plants - they're sure to be 'different' from the ones we grow.

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome to GOY good luck.

16 Nov, 2009


hi there Capegardener and Welcome to GOY! ~
~we were over in Capetown in 2006 and I have been trying to grow Protea and Strelitzia ever since~ not so easy in wet and windy Wales !However I have now got buds developing on some of them~ although not on my Cynaroides which I love! Got badly frosted earlier this year when we had severe frosts not usually the norm but has put a lot of fresh growth on since~

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome to GoY. Good luck with your landscaping. I hope it makes an improvement which you find pleasing. With all your seeds you'll have plenty to plant in it. Please keep us informed of your progress.

17 Nov, 2009

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