When Roger and Denise took occupation of their new home on the north/west slopes of Hunters Village with lovely views they started from scratch. The house is positioned on the south east boundaries leaving two gardened sections; the front north facing of 100 sq. metres and the other west facing of 150 sq. metres. The garage is under the house on the north west corner and the main access is up stairs to a patio and the front door. The soil is poor with builder’s rubble from 5 years ago when the house was built but it came with a 2500 litre water tank. This is a real bonus as it fills with 45 mm of rain!
Design of the front garden was governed by the need to provide a friendly path from the garage to the patio front door. This was created with paving to match the garage driveway from where it gently curves up the slope to the patio steps. This was then supplemented with a softer, bark covered path kept in place by attractive timber poles laid horizontally. The result was three distinct beds. Four large boulders obtained from the local quarry were placed in the front bed and with careful planting, the addition of a low bird bath and attractive clay plots their first succulent garden was created. The other two beds were contoured with drift wood and more sculptured pots and then planted with indigenous shrubs carefully selected with plants that grow well in Steenbok Nature Reserve. Finally ten different species of Proteas and Leucadendrons were planted in two of the beds. These are now in full bud or flowering and providing a wonderful show.
The side garden is designed around a gravel extension to the garage drive which tapers into a path leading to a vegetable garden, raised with a low Sholin wall, and eventually curving towards the house where it meets a lattice work arch covering a mirror. This has again resulted in the creation of three beds. The left half circular bed, bounded by the gravel path, is planted “conventionally” and features a large formal water feature and two groups of roses. The right bed along the west boundary is partly shaded by a Leopard tree and again is planted conventionally with small and large Agapanthus, and a variety of bulbs and ferns collected over many years. Informality is created with drift wood. The veggie garden is Denise’s pride and joy and is always full with mouth-watering options. From here an informal bark path along the west and south boundaries provides a potting-up area and leads to the utility area at the back.
When you arrive you are greeted with a delightful “Pot Man” and on the path to the patio steps, with a unique water feature.
Text: Roger Voysey Photographs: Esther Townsend
~ Denise Voysey is Chairlady of Gardening at Leisure