THE COURT­YARD GAR­DEN

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - A Place Of Our Own -

‘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 oƒ dur­ing the Cape Town wa­ter cri­sis.

Few things are as pleas­ant as sit­ting out­side with a cup of coƒee, 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

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