When the City of Roses holds its annual rose festival, Dirkie Herholdt’s garden is always one of the highlights on the itinerary. After many years in the corporate world, Dirkie decided at a moment’s notice in 2002 that she was giving it all up to learn more about plants and start a nursery. Looking at the lush green growth around her house now, it’s difficult to believe that not so long ago, she didn’t know a thing about plants. And though she’s just sold the nursery, she continues to apply her expertise in her own garden. The biggest influence on its layout was the wise advice of British garden designer Marylyn Abbot who said, ‘No matter what you plant in your flowerbeds, the structure and borders create the order.’ That’s the guidance that Dirkie has followed for the past six years.
Roses in every shade
The impressive rose garden, inspired by the late doyenne of South African roses, Ester Geldenhuys, stands in what was once a lucerne field. The space was divided into four smaller quarters devoted to, respectively, pink, red, lilac and purple, and apricot coloured roses. Inside these blocks of colour, roses are planted by height, from shrub roses to tall standards, with climbers along the edges. From the last week of October right through to May, the roses in Dirkie’s garden are constantly in bloom.
• Plant roses in your vegetable garden to act as an early warning of diseases.
• Situate your herb garden near your kitchen.
• Plant in raised beds or pots for minimal maintenance.
• Grow strawberries in hanging baskets to keep clear of snails.
• Sow marigolds to keep insects out of your vegetables.
Text and image: Home magazine