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Keep calm & do some gardening!

I didn’t really grow up with much of an affinity for gardens. Gardening was a chore (child labour in my mind at the time, really!). I couldn’t wait to get out of there. There were no mud pies, chasing frogs or eating bugs. So moving around 5/6 townhouses/apartments in Jozi across the last 10 years I didn’t really feel like I was missing anything. Lock-up-&-go was the dream. And I was living it!

When we sat down & talked (ongoing for months) about what we wanted for our home a garden was a definite part of that. We honestly would have really happy with a decent patch of grass with some flowers & we couldn’t have dreamed the 1000+ square meters of garden we landed.

I remember when we saw it for the 1st time. It was typical December Summer day in Jozi. Brightest blue skies. No clouds. No wind. Every time we turned a corner there was just more grass, trees & shrubs. Everything was so green. There was crunch with every step I took that sounded like branches breaking but was just weeks & months of fallen leaves. The house had been standing vacant for over a year by the time we viewed it with someone coming in just to mow the lawn every few weeks (and not one stitch more) since it needed to look (relatively) presentable to be on the market.


There were many places I was afraid to tread…


Our front lawn patch of sand


Nailah (about to be swallowed by that bush behind her), one of our very 1st visitors. How cute’s that oufit?


And then we went from overgrown to one big dump site for weeks while we renovated 🙁

The garden really wasn’t a priority aside from trimming it back a lot from a security perspective. And that took 5 men across 3 days, a few thousand rand & so many truck loads of refuse removal I gave up counting. Also, it seemed smarter to spend our (limited) cash on the inside of the house making it as livable (is that even a word?) & secure as possible as an immediate priority…




disclaimer: the chickens belong to our neighbours but they visit regularly 🙂



 I love , love, love my (not so little any more!) veggie patch…


The promised Summer breakfast spot 🙂


I’ve always wanted one of these swings. I’d always plonk myself in one when we saw it in-store. So I could hardly believe it when I came home to find one hanging on our back porch. Come on Summer!


You probably think I’m stating the obvious but all of this is… So.  Much. Work. Up to this point my only gardening experience (childhood torture aside) was growing killing orchids (which continues, but more in another post). We do have a gardener who comes in once a week. Nkululeko (he insists on being called NK)’s great but we easily use him two/three times a week. In between his days with us I’ve surprised myself by really enjoying some gardening even though I really don’t know what I’m doing… At. All. It usually starts with watering/raking up a few leaves & before I know it I’m muddy up to my knees wishing I’d slapped on some sunscreen hours ago. I’ve even recently started composting. And I dream of Keith Kirsten reruns. Who the hell have I become?!

And in the end, it’s still very far from what we want. Landscaping, water features (I’m thinking a koi pond!), an irrigation system, a hammock, garden furniture & a pool have all been picked out in my head. I know we’ll get there. The journey‘s been a mixed bag but I have no real complaints. I’m super grateful for what we have!



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