Up between the gravel
wWhen we visited Hanniki Bruère to photograph her beautiful home and guesthouse – The Victorian Cow in Riebeek-Kasteel – in October 2014, we made a mental note: her garden was definitely worth sharing with our readers too – it just needed some time to grow.
Today, it’s more gorgeous than ever, and it’s not just the plants that make this garden so lovely: repurposed vintage prams, baby baths, broken chairs and even an old road sign have all found a spot here.
“I love decorating and collecting pretty things,” Hanniki says. “In my garden, every nook must look special. Even the back garden has been adorned with sentimental items. One of them is a pink polka-dot cup that contains a little plant my grandson Ethan chose for me when he was seven years old.”
When Hanniki moved in six years ago, there wasn’t much in the garden – only an impressive oak tree, a giant eucalyptus, a few neglected shrubs, a syringa tree and a wild olive. With a clear vision in mind, Hanniki set about designing her garden. Because she didn’t own a lawnmower, planting grass wasn’t an option – instead, she wanted beds for more flowers and nooks for knick-knacks. The wild olive was removed because it hindered her view of the Kasteelberg mountains and the oak tree became the focal point in her garden. The wild olive was replaced by a cement table and it is here that Hanniki sets out her tea cups.
“My starting point was to plant white ‘Iceberg’ roses and lavender on the pavement and three leopard trees in the front garden. Half of the roses and lavender withered away under the oak tree, so I moved them to a sunnier part of the garden. I quickly learned that if plants don’t thrive in a certain spot, take them out or transplant them. It’s a good idea to take a step back and view your garden as a whole. If you’re not happy with the way it looks, change it until you are. Preferably, add more plants and garden décor – that’s what I do!
“My garden and all its adornments give me endless pleasure. I’m passionate about inspiring others to rediscover their love of gardening and to use what they have to decorate their homes and gardens.” The stepping stone beneath the ornate garden arch is inscribed with the words “The world is a garden, love makes it grow”. Hanniki adds height and a romantic atmosphere to her garden with arches. She also uses them to link the various garden rooms. This rusted arch (above) has moved with her since she lived in Pretoria. Star jasmine planted in pots at the foot of the arch softens the structure; this climbing plant, as well as roses such as ‘Blossom Magic’, ‘Cécile Brünner’ and ‘Isidingo’, are her favourite climbers for arches. All three of these roses are fast growers that will provide endless pleasure.