24 Jul questions to Desmond the ‘head gardener’ at Fairview (read: only gardener!)
Questions to a man addicted to gardenening:
Where 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.