All things French

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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.

White bougainvil­lea

‘Shar­ifa Asma’ roses and ‘Princess Alexan­dra of Kent’ roses pro­vide soft pink colour be­neath the bed­room win­dows.

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