Fu­ture plans

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A gar­den must have dif­fer­ent ar­eas, says Michael. “I can’t stand the word ‘gar­den rooms’. Rather call them al­coves or gar­den re­cesses, or an area of con­tent­ment.

“This gar­den con­sists of var­i­ous ar­eas with dif­fer­ent types of veg­e­ta­tion. The most re­cent ad­di­tion is a wild gar­den or grass­land: three hectares of indige­nous grasses and ex­otic bulbs. We also have an aloe gar­den and a bee gar­den. I’m now work­ing on an area ded­i­cated to cy­cads.”

Michael says he draws inspiration from his thou­sands of gardening books. “The gar­den is more than I ever imag­ined it would be. It gets bet­ter all the time. I’m im­pul­sive, I ex­per­i­ment a lot and I’m pre­pared for the fail­ures and the suc­cesses.

“There’s so much to see in my gar­den; you can spend the en­tire day here. My dream is that South Africa will be­come a part of global gar­den tourism. There’s a large num­ber of peo­ple who tour gar­dens around the world.”

Bird­ing en­thu­si­asts also like to visit Michael’s gar­den to view its wide va­ri­ety of res­i­dent birds. “It’s prob­a­bly the largest pri­vate gar­den in the coun­try,” says Michael proudly. “It’s go­ing to be­come world fa­mous.”

The gar­den has more than 1 500 roses in a va­ri­ety of colours – but not white. “I’m not a fan of white,” says Michael.

Rosa ‘Edgar De­gas’

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