Woensdag 27 Februarie 2019

Garden - Taming the backyard

In June last year I sort of retired. Unfortunately I am not someone that can sit around and do nothing. For the past 25 years or so I worked basically 18 hours per day and rarely paid any attention to the garden. Over this time my wife managed it mostly but she was met by many disappointments. Our soil are typical Lowveld gravel that is fairly acidic. This meant that many of the plants she carted in just whithered away and died.

I built a fairly large set of koiponds 10 years ago to cut down on the amount of lawn we had. I also collected a fairly comprehensive number of orchids. Over the years some of them did well but many simply whithered away to poor excuses for what they could be.

When I bought the place I did a large amount of renovation and it included some walkways and decking. After almost 23 years the walkway railing was beginning to fail and was in desperate need of repair.

So one morning early I stood at the back door and looked at the failing railing. This was the main entrance to our home and it looked dilapidated.

I am blessed with a fairly creative and innovative mind and as my eyes wondered over that part of the garden a picture started forming in my head. I took some photographs and sat down behind my computer.

Within a few hours I had a plan and went out and instructed my guys to start ripping out the old railing.

Three days later the material needed was on site and construction started.

I decided to replace the railing with some dual purpose structures ... raised flowerbeds.

My wife was not very impressed but I just smiled and carried on. Fortunately I have space and my mind went wild. I decided to create more than enough room so that we could have our best plants in a controlled environment with the right type of soil and easy to manage irrigation. What is more important is that these raised beds are easy to access for older backs and stiff joints ... not the herbaceous ones 😜

The whole project took around 3 months to complete because as I started cleaning up sections of the garden we had to prepare other spaces for the surplus plants. Just for the record, my yard is roughly the size of 2 rugby fields ... that is a lot of ground to cover.

Flowers and Cucumbers
Here are some images of the raised beds. I have been asked by many people if I will do it commercially and did not really have any interest in it. Then a while back I helped my oldest son to spruce a townhouse up that he wanted to sell ... so we did some design work and turned a fairly mundane little garden into something special and most of all ... manageable.

Easy to reach
Shortly after that my son was getting requests for some of the units and I agreed to to participate. And that is how the #ManKos Planters came to be. Now some frown on the relevance of these units and #ManKos ... well I mix my boxes with flowers, herbs and some root vegetables. It is quite rewarding to take stroll around the boxes in the late afternoon and pick some fresh herbs and other things for dinner. I plant radishes for example, 12 seeds every 10 days. This ensures that after 3 weeks I have fresh radishes every night for the salad. I pick rocket and basil as needed and I have started to use more chilies in our food.

Style and purpose
These planters are well suited for the smaller townhouse gardens. Your beds are raised and your lawn can grow under it. We can fit irrigation for you and as you can see in the pictures the beds can be alternated with open shelves ... there is really lots of options to employ to make your garden unique.

Another advantage is that with these #ManKos Planters you can keep your precious plants out of reach of your pets.

If you are interested and live in the Nelspruit area you can contact Jacques.