I am surrounded by many very interesting (and occasionally rebellious) gardeners.
They inspire me constantly and also teach me all sorts of interesting things – not least about growing food. Often I write stories about them which is a great excuse to pick their brains and find out what makes their gardens tick – more about that below.
Just last week, we gathered a small, but effective crew for a morning of Guerrilla Gardening in Howick. Guerrilla Gardening is the phenomenon of taking over unloved public spaces to grow flowers and food – it happens all around the world. No permission is asked, and often it is done in the dead of night. We didn’t bother being surreptitious in Howick, but we couldn’t resist a little dress-up to get in the mood.
First, we replanted a bed in deep shade in the Library garden with Albuca fastigiata and Crassula multicava, before freeing a shrub smothered in invasive balloon vine. Triumphantly, we crossed the road, gathering a couple of passersby and converting them to our cause.
Along Main Street we scattered Africa Daisy seeds harvested from a garden further up the road and plotted to plant a mass of sunflowers for summer. We filled in spaces between the aloes with Bulbine bulbinella which is a great herbal remedy and much loved by insects too. Then, as all good guerrilla gardeners should, we retired for tea and carrot cake on the lawn. Lindiwe Phikwane, who was once a local councillor, laughed after washing her soiled hands “Gardening is not nearly as dirty as politics!”
So, on to other tales of green fingered revolutionaries.
These are stories I have recently written on my other blog – Midlands Mosaic – which celebrates the characters and colour of the Midlands. A tiny taste is offered here, but really I would love you to head on over (click on the blue links) and then hit that follow button while you are there…
Rebel Seed Eidin Griffin has shared so much of her food and seed knowledge with so many people that she really needs no introduction. Her monthly workshops held in the Garden Shed of Happiness in the Fordoun Garden are a riot – of colour, energy, enthusiasm and ideas. Whatever you do, don’t miss them! Send her a message 083 429 2867 right now.
Not sure where you get your fossil fuel fix, but the Everything Store has to be one of the most charming places to do that. Here, not only is the petrol ‘farm fresh’, but pump attendant Fana Sithole is an absolute delight and always pleased to chat about how your spinach is doing.
Half of Xola Keswa’s family think he is completely crazy, but another faction believe he will “organify” the world! His passion for sharing the permaculture message is boundless, his enthusiasm infectious and his ability to connect with kids (and grown ups) from all walks of life is wonderful.
When I still lived on top of the hill in Dargle – just a short walk through the forest lead me to Lawrence Qholloi who has gardened in all sorts of conditions all around the world, building up a wealth of experience about gardening – and life. A fascinating man.
If you are taking a break from planting your own abundance today, you might like to delve into stories of other lovely, local gardeners on this blog – Charlene Russell, Ntombenhle Mtambo, Pam Haynes, Tutu Zuma, Bridget Ringdahl and plenty more under the Tastes tab of my Midlands Mosaic conversations.