Wedding’s delight

2010-05-01 00:00

REGARDING the letter from Clive Howick (The Witness, April 24): Clive we can’t go on meeting this way. It will be more pleasant to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat together. May we make a date sometime?

The soul food that comes from spending time on a large spread of thick green lawn surrounded by immensly proud trees of a great age has to be experienced to be understood. No matter their country of origin, the strength and spread of the trees and their happiness to share their beauty and presence for the enjoyment of all is a moving experience. This was my pleasure recently at a wedding picnic reception in the tranquil grounds of Briar Ghyll, the Henderson farm in town in Pietermaritzburg. This venue would surely please the most demanding of film producers — what a presentation and it included an awesome old redbrick homestead roofed with mossy pan tiles and a grand chimney. The American poet Joyce Kilmer wrote: “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” At this venue these words came easily to mind. Perhaps one day our dear old Maritzburg may once again become the City of Gardens or the City of Flowers. Nature’s beauty brings such good cheer and peace of mind.

Gardeners would have been aware this last week of a real slowdown of growth. The lawn and all edges stayed neat and low, no mowing or trimming was needed. This dawdling growth of the regular chores gives more time for other practices. Digging over of the soil and feeding the soil with manure, compost and fertiliser, preferably with all three of them, will pay off at the next harvest, the spring garden. After spreading fertiliser, water well: any stray fertiliser on the leaves or stems will burn the plants. If the garden needs a dressing of lime, this is best done at least a week before the feeding. If done at the same time, the lime destroys the properties in the fertiliser. It is usually the grey and the grey-green foliaged plants that require the alkali from the lime. This practice of feeding, fertilising and liming is a bit tedious but, in time, it gives a good return.

Helping with wedding flowers recently, the value of good, clean, green foliage came to mind again. The shrubs of Camellia, of Murraya, of Box all give exceptional greenery, as do the leather-leaf fern and Aspidistra leaves.

Aspidistra plants were the favourite indoor pot plant of the Victorian period. A well-grown plant of large smooth green leaves was always to be found in the home in a Jardinere in the front parlour of the drawing room. These are such easy and useful plants to grow for the shade and semi-shaded areas of the garden. The clumps spread out from the centre and get larger and larger and make a handsome spread of leaves in these often difficult areas to clothe. They are waterwise and take care of themselves in every way. The leather-leaf fern grows in a similar way and in the same situation. There is a tall one growing up to a metre and a smaller, neater one, which is ideal in a container in the shade, the leaves of which are lovely in posies and small arrangements.

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.