THE COURTYARD GARDEN
‘Beautifying the small space was a challenge’
Stella Sinclair is retired and lives in a town house in the Cape’s Wynberg. She and her late husband Roger have two adult children living in the US.
“Roger and I moved into this home six years ago. The garden reminded me of a gloomy cemetery, with two patches of dry grass, white pavers and Iceberg roses around the perimeter. It needed a lot of work, but I was up for the challenge. My first garden in our old house was created through trial and error; it’s how I found my love for gardening.
My garden is small – around 5m2 – so I needed to figure out how I could use the space wisely. First, I pulled out the grass and replaced it with gravel; it’s low-maintenance, and I love the sound it makes when stepped on. To attract more birds and bees to the garden after bringing it back from the abyss, I planted lavender, rosemary, oregano and sage along the pavers, leading towards a seating area. A silver birch tree casts such wonderful shade onto the patio in the warmer months.
My gardening style is quite visual and colour-oriented; I prefer soft, feminine shades. I have a magenta bougainvillea and, next to it, pink rocktrumpet and beeblossom in pots leading up to the water feature, which adds a lovely touch, but I had to switch it o during the Cape Town water crisis.
Few things are as pleasant as sitting outside with a cup of coee, watching the rain – something I used to do with Roger. I also love stepping outside in the morning, the promise of a new day floating on the scent of my geraniums.
I travel to America to be with my kids twice a year, and whenever I get back, the garden is in absolute wilting chaos. Secretly, though, I’m always rather pleased to resurrect it once again. Roger and I birthed new life into this place when we first moved in, and it’s a reminder of the love we shared.”
Stella’s love for the soft and feminine shines through in her small garden