Garden News

People talk about low seasons and high seasons; usually low seasons are the winter months in the Eastern Free State. Well, I suppose it depends on what you consider “low”; does it mean less work?

Keeping extensive gardens and making food (vegetables), there is no such thing as low season, even in the very cold, frosty town of Bethlehem. Having an abundance of trees like we have in our gardens, means an abundance of dry leaves in winter – excellent for compost.

We also use the leaves as blankets for the plants – covering their roots and keeping them warm. By the end of the winter, the leaves have started to decompose into a fine mulch for the flower beds and vegetable garden.

Gathering the leaves is quite a job, a rewarding one nevertheless.

We maintain a small nursery where we sow and grow. We have purifiers in all our rooms, and every day, they have to be carried out in the sun, thriving on the rays of sunshine. We are forever taking new slips, planting them to grow strong in our homemade hothouse. This is a satisfying practice – we grow succulents and other green plants, we sow vegetables and herbs and spices, so comes spring, we’re ready!

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