Open gardens

Diane Peacock, chief gardening sub-editor, visits an open garden hosted by Gardens of the Golden City in Jo’burg

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to spend more time in your garden? Do you want to make it more beautiful, vamp up your outdoor space or grow your own fresh herbs and veggies? A step in the right direction is to visit one of the open gardens in your area. They’re filled with plenty of practical ideas and inspiration.

Throughout summer, passionate gardeners all over the country open their gardens to the public over weekends to raise funds for charity. I popped in at the fabulous garden of Dalene Laubser in Fairland, Jo’burg hosted by Gardens of the Golden City.

Featured in the February 2009 issue of Garden and Home, this large garden borders on the Fairland Spruit and is backed by huge trees and green vistas. Even though there’s currently a trend towards smaller gardens, large gardens contain cameos filled with ideas you can adapt for your own, smaller garden.

As you stroll along you’ll be inspired by stunning focal points such as the water feature, a potager, an archway, statuary and much more. This is the perfect opportunity to get some ideas for that outdoor area you’ve been planning for ages.

Seeing how other gardeners have implemented their own quirky innovations and successful plantings is bound to pep up your flagging zeal. You can also relax and appreciate all the hard work that’s been put in. Take your camera to capture your favourite scenes, new plants you want and what you think will work in your own space. There are also tea gardens at many of the open gardens.

*Keep an eye on our Facebook page for reminders of when open gardens are taking place.