Garden, Gardens

Spring Ready

Remember the verdant Free State farm ('Paradise Found') featured in our July 2009 issue? For interior designer Mariette Theron and her family, it's an escape from busy Joburg life and time for a bit of "experimenting" in the garden. She's a bit of a mad scientist with green fingers and cites having fun as what it's all about... What are the focal features for a spring garden? It's definitely the mix of vegetables and herbs in between your other plants. Nothing is as sweet as a fresh green pea you pick from your own garden. Which palettes are you sticking to? I don't believe in staying with a specific colour palette,  just have fun! I'm not a trained horticulturist and therefore make many mistakes but I enjoy the process...isn't that what it's all about? Which exciting trends are cropping up? You need to utilize what you've got, but always keep an eye on the trends so as not to miss any brainwave ideas. Growing vertically and the method of string planting is in vogue and the aesthetic is refreshing. Getting an efficient irrigation system going and reducing water-waste is becoming more and more important. What's the best way to kit out a small garden? They say mirrors create the illusion of space but I hate seeing myself in mirrors all the time, personally. So why not just go vertical and fill every empty tin with a strawberry plant, hang it, and make a strawberry wall? Unconventional and fantastic. Best tip for veggie gardens? Veggie gardening is very hard work and needs consistent planting. Mix herbs into your veggie garden to give it some structure. Even during the coldest severe winter months you can grow herbs, bringing in small patches of veg and flowers. Raised beds are fantastic because they are knee and lower-back friendly. Armed with Mariette's gardening tips, we feel confident that we can tackle a veggie or herb garden of our own this Spring... Images: David Ross