GRAAFF-REINET GARDEN CLUB SPENDS A GLORIOUS DAY IN NIEU-BETHESDA
Lisa Watermeyer, Sam Kroon and Yvonne Drummond who organised the day.
NIEU-BETHESDA — The Graaff-reinet Garden Club spent the day in Nieubethesda for their end of year function last Wednesday.
Organisers Lisa Watermeyer, Sam Kroon and Yvonne Drummond co-ordinated the day which kicked off in Suzette du Plessis’ beautiful formal garden in Martin Street. Bethesda ladies provided tea eats as members arrived and wandered around the garden which was in full bloom – a little late in the season due to the fact that Summer is still waiting in the wings in Bethesda!
Hanna van Heerden of Doornberg farm outside Bethesda presented a fascinating talk on the value of trees as a part of our natural heritage. She relayed the sentiments of tree specialist Rian van Zyl who identifies and preserves ancient trees that are considered a valuable part of our heritage.
Hanna spoke of the pear avenue as one enters the village, the ancient quince hedges and some of the huge old oak trees as some of the ‘trees’ that could be earmarked for preservation.
The Department of Water and Forestry also has a project where ‘Champion Trees’ are identified for preservation and tourism. An example of a champion tree in our country is an old English Oak that is regarded as a ‘champion’ as it is the only ‘structure’ left after the demolition of Sophiatown.
Hanna encouraged the members to close their eyes and to think of the first tree that had made an impact on them in their lives, and then, as they walked through Bethesda to focus on and take note of notable trees. Sitting in Suzette’s garden under a green canopy of honey locust trees, it was a privilege to meditate on the importance of the beautiful trees in our lives, what they add to our existence, and how essential it is to value and preserve them.
Lisa Watermeyer, Gaye Mcclaggan, Debbie Muir, Suzette du Plessis and Bronwen Langmead each demonstrated simple, creative and eye-catching ideas as they each set a Christmas themed table setting. Clever ideas such as filling a Protea wine bottle with colourful paint as a vase, using recycled books as crafty Christmas The ladies enjoy a Christmas luncheon at the beautiful ‘Waenhuis’. trees and making use of what one has at The Graaff-reinet Garden club is a small one’s disposal were shared with the receptive group of ladies who are all passionate and group. extremely knowledgeable about gardening and
Everyone then had the chance to ramble plants in the Karoo. Walking through the various through the village. Dustcovers bookshop provided gardens with them, it was evident what a welcome cool refreshment and a glorious supreme wealth of knowledge they collectively array of books, ‘The Blue Cupboard’ honesty contain. shop handed out free pumpkin seedlings, They know the names of each and every encouraging the ladies to grow giant pumpkins ancient rose, they know which shrubs and for the Pumpalooza in April, David Langmead trees will survive in Graaff-reinet but not in opened his studio to showcase his work, ‘Stuff Bethesda. to Buy’ and other shops in the village displayed They will bend their bodies in half to gently their wares. touch a ‘marshmallow’ plant and delight in
Everyone gathered at 1pm at ‘Die Waenhuis’ taking a cutting or a seedling from the earth to where Chris and his team had set an exquisite propagate and love in their own gardens. It will Christmas table using cutting edge, unusually be a sad day, when the knowledge and passion beautiful colours of gold and yellow. The ladies of a group of like-minded people such as these were served a delicious, generous meal of lasagne, disappear from our lives, and the value of a quiche and salad and a convivial luncheon group such as these ladies should be held in was enjoyed by all. high regard.
‘Die Waenhuis’ is a very special venue and The beautiful gardens, hospitality, and openheartedness the team spoke passionately about looking forward of the village made for a glorious to being open for lunch and dinner over day of gardening, culinary and creative delights the holiday season. in Nieu-bethesda.