Editor Mary Jane Harris visited Marge Hughes’s pretty rose garden which will be open to the public on 10 October to raise funds for the SPCA and FORA
Tucked away in suburbia is Marge Hughes’s delightful rose garden. Marge is a film producer and passionate rose lover and her garden is proof that a rose garden doesn’t need space – just love and attention.
When she moved in some time ago, she was faced with bare concrete walls and a number of unappealing plants. “Every plant has its place but in my view some varieties aren’t pretty in a small garden where every plant has to make a positive contribution,” she says.
She relegated many of the unwanted plants to the compost heap and conditioned the soil with barrowfuls of compost. Working around the few trees and shrubs that were left, Marge then created features like paths, steps, arches and obelisks to add structure. The concrete walls were given a coat of dark green paint so that they `disappear’ into the background and the turquoise pool was painted black so that it looks more natural and reflects the images of the garden. She’s recently incorporated a Lutyens-style bench in the far corner.
But it’s the roses that steal the show. The focal point, an archway smothered with scented ‘Rose Celeste’, is breathtaking. View it from the swimming pool side. There are over 120 roses, some of which were grown from slips of old-fashioned varieties from her mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. What impresses is their size and abundance which is the result of plenty of TLC and feeding. You’ll be able to ask Marge how she gets them to look so good on Saturday 10 October when the garden will be open to the public in honour of Zanzi, an elderly staffie adopted by Marge. Entrance is R30 and proceeds go to the SPCA and FORA. There will also be plants for sale, many propagated by Marge, and doggie treats.
You’ll find the garden at 46 Victoria Street, corner Abingdon Road, Kensington B, Randburg. There are parking attendants to watch cars. So support a worthy cause and pop along.