All things French
A French door leads out from the main bedroom onto a pergola-covered stoep. Here, a crystal chandelier gently sways in the breeze and the pink blooms of a ‘Fandango’ climbing rose peek out between the leaves and bunches of grapes on the vine.
Ramona describes her garden as follows: “It has a French look and a rural French feel. I’ve always loved an old-world aesthetic. With this in mind, I replaced the old lawn with gravel and laid cement block pathways surrounded by gravel. Because it is cheaper, we used the coarser builder’s gravel. It looks great but I must admit, it’s difficult to walk on!”
Ramona plays with floral colours in her garden like a painter with a paintbrush. “The flowers in my garden are mostly soft shades of pink,” she says. “I have no red blooms at all; they would clash with the soft, romantic hues.”
Lavenders perfectly complement her garden style. “I planted lavender bushes in a row and trimmed them to form a hedge,” she says. “Others have been trimmed into circular topiaries. Pruning extends the lifespan of lavender plants; it’s best to prune them before they form hard wood.”
In one area against a wall in the garden, Ramona has planted only white blooms: arum lilies, hydrangeas and foxgloves with their tall clusters of flowers. And blooms in all shades of purple are grown around a large shade tree. She also has hundreds of different beard irises in lemon-yellow, peach and purple. “Bearded irises go so well with this palette,” she says. “I ordered them online from Mooiplaas Iris & Daylily Nursery in Centurion and had them delivered.
“I also love sage (Salvia officinalis) in different shades and cornflower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) in white, purple and blue. I’ve planted lime-green Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’ in the front of the borders and trimmed it neatly to form a compact hedge.” >>
‘Iceberg’ roses provide the perfect setting for one of the nooks in Ramona’s garden.
‘Sharifa Asma’ roses and ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ roses provide soft pink colour beneath the bedroom windows.