Gardening in Paradise

Hilary Haarhoff
Hilary Haarhoff

Seven years ago we moved permanently to our holiday home on Leisure Isle.   I was looking forward to the move as it would be the final home and garden for us as we had moved several times since 1967.

It was not to be, my husband felt that although we were in a very good position on the Island we did not have a view & he felt he was back in Johannesburg when we sat on the patio. So after a year of enthusiastically starting to change a ‘holiday’ garden into a permanent garden my husband bought a house in Paradise –another move was on the cards! My enthusiasm for the garden waned somewhat.


In May 2012 we left Leisure Isle but only moved to Ridge Drive in Paradise in August after renovations had been done. The garden was virtually non existent plus the remains of a building site, but the view spectacular. The plot is 1.975 sq m – far too large for pensioners to garden! Luckily the previous owner believed in clearing as much as possible around the house & the lower half is a wilderness of indigenous shrubs, trees, ferns, plus the odd exotics – even a couple of oak trees.

I am now an enthusiastic gardener in Paradise.Much to our surprise within a year the garden is now fairly well established. It is a pleasure to garden in Paradise – we were worried about not having a ‘spike’ plus there are different types of soil on the property, but it is a sunny garden. The succulents have thrived, the proteas & leucadendrons are enjoying the south east facing slope, the grass has taken, the trees, aloes, shrubs even vegetables we have planted, plus plants which friends have generously given us, have grown in leaps & bounds – maybe it is the virgin soil!

1-gardening-on-steep-slope-1 ~ Hillary is a member of Gardening at Leisure

~ Text by Hillary Haarhoff

~ Photos by Esther