Location: Underberg countryside
Size of Garden: 1.2 hectares
Age of garden: 6 years
Kids: Gina and Logan 1200 roses
Shaun van Huyssteen has had a lifelong love of roses, and that is evident in his garden. This gentle giant, standing just under 7 foot tall, somehow finds time to nurture some 1200 roses as well as tend to his dairy farm, nestled just outside Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg.
His appreciation of roses stems from his grandfather, whose favourite rose was ‘Peace’, a hybrid tea rose with exceptionally large fragrant flowers. Growing up in Pietermaritzburg, Shaun’s visits to his grandparents in Swartberg inspired him to start selling roses on street corners at the age of 14, to earn pocket money. This was the start of a long friendship with Tarr Roses, and even today he and Linda Tarr regularly visit each other and collaborate on selling roses and advising new gardeners on rose care.
But all was not coming up roses for this family when they moved to their farm in Underberg. Their garden in Pietermaritzburg was a typical small town garden, so they were a bit overwhelmed when faced with their untamed new farm garden, with a forest of trees and horse camps dotted around it. Managing the dairy farm took up most of Shaun’s time, and it was only when their daughter, Gina, turned two that he found time to start focussing on the garden.
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Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
If cauliflower was a stock to trade, some would have made millions in the last few years as the humble cauliflower became one of the most versatile cruciferous vegetables in the kitchen. With an increase in the popularity of flexitarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto and plant-based diets, cauliflower is no longer only baked into a cheesy casserole, but spiced and grilled as ‘steaks’ on a braai, mashed, riced, sauced, powdered, blended and made into pasta or a crispy pizza base. There are not many vegetables that can do all that!
Mushroom plant (Rungia klossii) is a bushy perennial with crisp, mushroom-flavoured leaves that are good for adding to salads or for cooking. Steam just before serving so that the leaves don’t lose their fresh green appearance.
A passion for roses
For five generations of gardeners, maybe more, Ludwig Taschner has been the friendly face of rose growing.
Time For Wild Hyacinths!
We told you in January that planting bulbs would be a great trend in 2021, so March is a good time to kick off your annual bulb planting quest with the indigenous wild hyacinths, also called Cape hyacinth, Cape cowslip and, more botanically correct, Lachenalia. Between South Africa and Namibia there are more than 120 natural species (some of which are sold in flower by specialist nurseries), but there are also many desirable hybrids bred by commercial bulb growers that are readily available in bulb form from the end of February.
How To Extend The Harvest Of Baby Marrows
By March baby marrows are usually at the end of their productive lives, with most leaves covered in powdery mildew. Pulling them out is almost an act of kindness.
What To Do Now March
Aeoniums are commonly called tree houseleeks, which is an indication that they form substantial side stems topped with their typical fleshy rosettes. They are also described as subtropical plants, and so require more water and less arid growing conditions than other succulents.
Veggies Are At The Frontline Of Health
Eating healthily to keep healthy and maintain a good level of immunity is as much of a strategy in this time of Covid-19 as wearing masks, social distancing and sanitising.
Top 10 Roses
There are over 150 rose species and thousands of hybrids, so compiling a Top Ten is something of a challenge. Here we have chosen some of our favourites, which we feel are essential for any good rose garden.
The Gentle Giant Among His Roses
A lifetime love affair with roses has shaped this expansive farm garden.
TRAIL REPORT: Gladiator Trail
There are many trails within the Chokecherry Canyon area of Farmington, New Mexico.
“Everyone is tired of always staying silent''
Amid the pandemic, farmworkers are demanding a seat at the table.
A Coastal California Cottage
Home to a family with four little girls, this happy bungalow incorporates modern farmhouse style with bold patterns to create an easy, breezy home that’s perfect for entertaining.
Beyond Organic: Buy Regenerative!
Improving soil health is an overlooked key for nutrient-dense food and a healthier planet. We can support farming that has this focus through the products we purchase.
A Good Egg
For building a kinder, more sustainable hen-laying ecosystem.
Smart Farming: The Growing Role of Precision Agriculture and Biotech
Efficiency and sustainabiility go hand-in-hand, with an added bonus: farmers improve crop yields
Whitewashing the Great Depression
How the preeminent photographic record of the period eclipsed people of color and shaped the nation’s self-image
Welcome to Wonderlland
Page Pardo left a career in law to live the rustic life with 200 animals.
Annie's Bets the Farm
To help save the planet, the General Mills subsidiary is leading the industry toward regenerative agriculture.
Hope springs from the city and county’s bounty of farmers markets, which were deemed essential throughout the coronavirus pandemic for their community access to fresh, local food. Grab your totes and head out to these nine fan-favorites, where summer produce has reached its peak.