A LUSH OASIS
Roses star in this Waterfall garden
Looking at the profusion of roses in Rose and Brett Adams’ garden north of Jo’burg, it’s hard to believe it’s only two years old especially as it was a bare patch of Highveld grass when they bought the site.
“There were a number of things we wanted in the garden, which included privacy and a lawn for the children to play on. I’m passionate about roses,
so these were on the list as well,” recalls Rose. “We also wanted a garden that wouldn’t look dead in winter.” To achieve all this, the Adams knew they needed the input of a landscaper, so they contacted Karen Gardelli. Introduced by Rose’s mother a few years back, Karen also designed the couple’s first two gardens.
While the house was under construction, Karen started reshaping the garden. “We levelled the sloping site to create a large lawn area and brought in tons of topsoil that had already been mixed with compost,” says Karen. “As compost alone is not enough to ensure maximum performance, we dug a large hole for each plant to which we added 2:3:2 and superphosphate.”
To provide privacy and muff le traffic noise, Karen planted large trees and shrubs such as wild olives, pittosporums, acacias and viburnums around the perimeter. To add depth, she included different greens including grey and lime shades and this band of trees now forms a lush backdrop to the spectacle of roses.
“Although these trees were only planted 10 months earlier, by the time we moved in they had already settled and grown a lot, despite the terrible drought,” Rose recalls.
Then it was time to concentrate on the roses. “Although Rose loves pastels, she allowed me to include some brights,” says Karen. As scent is very important to Rose, Yvette Bezuidenhout of Ludwig’s Roses Egoli advised her on those with the best fragrance.
“She also told me to not to plant them singly but in small groups of five, which has far greater impact,” she says. Also included near the outdoor living area are ‘Nana Ing’ roses named for Brett’s late mother Ingrid, who was a great gardener.
To give the roses the best possible start, Karen added peanut shells to each planting hole to ensure that oxygen reaches the roots and the soil drains well. “As well as compost and superphosphate, I also include two spadefuls of Ludwig’s rose mix. I use it for planting everything that loves acidic soil,” Karen reveals.
The entire garden is fed monthly with Talborne Organics plant food.
As the Adamses wanted to include some special cycads that belonged to Brett’s mother, Karen spread these
evenly throughout and introduced more, which, together with tree ferns, create a woodland area and give the garden an uniquely African feel.
In addition to roses, there are sections with shrubs and perennials such as lavender, weigela, gaura and agapanthus. “But we don’t plant annuals or perennials between the roses as there is absolutely no space,” smiles Rose.
THIS PAGE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:Elegant hybrid teas and floribundas such as ‘Rosemary Ladlau’ and ‘People’s Princess’ thrive under a high canopy of leopard trees. In the front are the lowgrowing landscape roses ‘My Granny’ and ‘Granny Dearest’. While all the roses in this garden are highly fragrant, the most fragrant is ‘Double Delight’, Rose’s favourite.
THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:The gold of ‘Tawny Profusion’ with the giant flowers of ‘Garden Queen’ behind.Cycads from Brett’s mother were planted throughout the garden. A number of small trees break the expanse of lawn and soften the lines of the house. The two Alaskan Malamutes, Storm and Savanna.‘Nana Ing’.