Fairview Homestead | questions to Desmond the ‘head gardener’ at Fairview (read: only gardener!)
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questions to Desmond the ‘head gardener’ at Fairview (read: only gardener!)

Questions to a man addicted to gardenening:
DSC07599-150x150Where do you get your love for gardening from? From my parents. My mother always had a beautiful flower garden and my father was very serious about his vegetable garden.

Plant collector or landscape gardener? I am more of a plant collector.

Your favourite flower? Aquilegia

Favourite tree? Indigenous: Cape Chestnut. Exotic trees: Acer family

Your favourite garden in South Africa? Old Nectar in Jonkershoek. And Vergelegen in Somerset West.

Your favourite international garden? Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France.

Favourite shrub? Vibernum family

How would you describe the style of your garden? a Romantic garden with formal sections and mixed borders. A Complete garden in the sense that it has flowers, herbs, orchard and vegetable sections.

What advice do you have for new gardeners? Make your own compost. Keep at least three compost heaps going. Use organic fertilizer like ‘bounce-back’ ; plant self-seeding flowers. Propagate your own cuttings.

Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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