Fairview Homestead | Our garden
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Even in the midst of winter we have green lawns and flowers to brighten the garden. It does look less luscious and green with many of the trees dropping their leaves, but there is still beauty to be enjoyed -  the winter bulbs, Arum Lilies,Irises and camellias are out in full bloom. Local photographer, Cathe Pienaar took these lovely photos of our winter garden.

We initially planted a rose garden in front of the house, but because of the huge trees, the ground is quite dry and they did very poorly. The lavender can cope with the dry and poor soil and gives off the most amazing scent as you walk through the path toward the front door.There is such a lot to do with lavender flowers: I love making small posies using lavender and roses; I also tie small bunches on a ribbon and hang it in the wardrobes or I tie it around the bath taps and it gives off its perfume as the hot water runs over it. Ten sprigs of  lavender in about 500 gram of castor sugar gives you a delicious lavender sugar (I sprinkle it on French Toast which I then serve with bacon, garnished with a lavender flower)

 

It is countdown to the annual Garden Route Open Garden Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Desmond is gardening before work and I hardly get greeted before he is off into the garden again after work (he jokes that he actually goes to rest in his air conditioned medical practice during the day as the real work starts when he gets home!)All the hard work shows - our garden is looking spectacular. I am excited about a little collaboration with Of the Earth Catering  -  delicious French pastries and healthy lunches will be served at Fairview Historic Homestead's Pop-up Tea Garden.

Our garden is graced by big trees - most were here when we bought the property 20 years ago, some were lost in storms over the years and some were planted by Desmond from small cuttings and now stand proudly and tall. Desmond's father was a forester and their 6 Benkenstein boys grew up on Forestry stations and learning about trees and forests from their dad.

(Guest Blogger is our son Alex Benkenstein) This past December when I returned to my family's home in George I had an overwhelming urge to take on a project. I'm all for lounging at the pool, trips to the beach, boozy lunches, extended dinners and afternoon naps, but this holiday season I wanted to produce something tangible, some kind of material proof that my holiday had consisted of more than an extended hedonistic haze. In a moment of inspiration it came to me: an owl house!

At Fairview the food is home-made and often home-grown, sourced from our own garden and we keep our own chickens for the freshest of eggs.  In recognition of our responsibility to the environment we also use 'green' products for housekeeping, laundry and cleaning. Desmond has a 'wormery' and three compost heaps. And Juno does her best to keep us in supply of dog poo to throw down  the mole holes as a way of trying to convince them to move to the neighbors for less smelly passageways. Our garden is definitely our biggest attraction and we can  set up visits to other local private gardens.