A magical Thesen Island Garden

Sustra Jacobs designed her small space with panache and foresight. The geometric lines echo the lines of the house, creating a garden that is stylish, non-fussy and with a distinct French feel.  Sustra is well versed in garden design:  she graduated in design from the Life Style School of Gardening, and  also did some exhibition gardens in Johannesburg.


 Upon entering this lovely garden, one is immediately aware that the hard landscaping forms the back bone.  The plant choice is restricted to only a few species, and green  is the dominant colour of this peaceful space. To create interest and contrast she has introduced lime foliage to give ‘lift’ to areas that would have been lost in a sea of green.  The inclusion of a few perennials provide some colour in spring and summer.


 The entrance is waterwise with an interesting water feature nestling in a hot alcove.  The living wall behind it is constructed in steel and planted up with a variety of succulents. Two Pachypodium lamerei flank the pond and in the front she has planted Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s tongue) , miniature Aloes and Sedums.



Entering the walled garden through the front gate,  a paved pathway  leads to the front door. Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny) is planted between the pavers, and to the left is a gravel pathway leading to a water feature.  This charming area is planted with standard Iceberg roses and immaculately clipped Barleria repens hedges.



 The garden facing the waterways of Thesen Islands is once again based on a modern French theme.  Gravel pathways give the visitor the opportunity to wander through the garden, to observe interesting plant groupings and artistic placements of ornaments.  Duranta Sheena’s gold has been shaped into spheres which give structure to the geometric lines of the flower beds, and this theme is carried through by the placement of white containers planted with Sheena’s Gold, clipped to perfection by their trusty gardener.



 Sustra’s garden is truly inspirational; it is a garden for all seasons, a garden that is tranquil, yet it gives a sense of excitement.

Text and Photographs: Esther Townsend