My favourite outing – going to buy plants at my best-loved nursery – Starke Ayres Garden Centre. If anyone has it, they do! A great selection of seeds and seedlings (where I always go to first!) Every plant I have bought here has been well nurtured and tenderly cared for, from the supplier to the helping hands at Starke Ayres Garden Centre.
My first impression was that they support organic gardening, first and foremost. The variety of all things natural – from feeds to pesticides – is heart warming and gives me a secure feeling that I can confidently shop and find what I am looking for. The huge barrel of organic worm tea on tap was a great addition and if I didn’t have my own worm farm, I would be tapping this tea for sure!! The best compost can only be found here – Reliance. When I started my organic gardening, I did a lot of research on compost and the one that came out tops was RELIANCE. The ONLY nursery that originally stocked it was Starke Ayres. So, for being the most progressive in organic gardening…. I shop here a lot.
[one_half]Set in the suburbs of Cape Town[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Great pots and garden accessories[/one_half_last]
[one_half]Indigenous plants display is beautiful[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Seedlings is where I spend my money[/one_half_last]
[one_half]Always full of colour when entering the nursery[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Worm Tea! Keeping abreast with best practices[/one_half_last]
[one_half]Best selection of seeds anywhere![/one_half]
[one_half_last]A true variety for all gardens and homes[/one_half_last]
I forgot to mention that they also have a popular tea garden, with great food and great coffee – so do yourself a favour and spend an afternoon at Starke Ayres Garden Centre, in Rondebosch Cape Town!
On Tuesday morning Barbie and I set off on a little road trip to go “plant hunting”. We were looking for slightly less common plants, specifically ornamental and unusual grasses which Barbie plans to make a feature of in her garden. Two weeks ago when I attended the Rare Plant Fair in Stellenbosch I bought a beautiful grass from Fairholme Nursery who were in attendance. The grass is Panicum Virgatum “Shenandoah”, and after looking around locally and not finding it, we learnt that Fairholme Nursery specialises in perennials, grasses and lavenders. So off we set to go and find Fairholme Nursery in Elgin.
So first off I have to mention that if you plan to go there, you will need to call them first and get proper directions! They are not easy to find, there is no signage and no big board welcoming you to Fairholme, in fact they are tucked away off any major route and unless you know exactly where they are, you will not find them. The reason is that they are in fact not a mainstream nursery but a wholesale nursery. They only sell to landscapers and retail nurseries, not to two newbie-gardening-idiots who decide to trek all the way to Elgin on a whim and come knocking at their doors. But in typical friendly country-style we were warmly greeted and an exception made as we had come all the way from Cape Town, but not before being told that “next time” we need to buy a minimum of 30 plants if we want to visit (or visit on the annual “Open Day” in October, when the general public are able to visit the nursery).
No problem, Barbie had a “grass shopping list” not quite a mile long but she managed to find all the grasses on her list and we left with about 20 good size plants and what promises to become a beautiful grass garden! How we got them all into the car I don’t quite know, but we managed and all the beautiful grasses are now sitting on Barbie’s front porch, waiting to be planted. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
A bit of feedback on Fairholme Nursery – It is huge! And really impressive! And the plants are beautiful! Their selection of grasses was fantastic, we were in “grass heaven” here. Attached to the nursery is the owners home which boasts a hugely impressive garden. (their garden is part of the Elgin Open Gardens Festival held annually). It is a large and many-faceted garden with a magnificent view, terraces, pergola walkway, woodland garden, grass garden and rose garden. I took a few photographs of the garden which you can see in the photo gallery below, but as we were in fact intruding on this day, I was hesitant to take too many. We will have to go back in October during the Elgin Open Gardens Festival and take more photographs to share with you of this simply magnificent garden.
Contact Details & Address:
Owners: Duncan & Liz Henderson Address: 2 km from N2 along Viljoenshoop Road in Elgin / Grabouw, Cape Overberg, Western Cape. Telephone: +27 (0)21 848-9738 or +27 (0)82 550-8703.
I went to Ferndale Nurseries (yes again!) this afternoon and this time I remembered to take my camera (not the fancy, good one, just a little point and click – I didn’t want to look like a tourist). I always enjoy going to Ferndale – even when they are busy as they were today, the service is great and the selection is superb.
I had no particular agenda today other than perhaps buying a few annuals to plant in a very shady spot out back, so I spent the better part of an hour walking around and clicking away. I arrived an hour before closing time so there weren’t many annuals left to choose from, but I managed to purchase a few.
I bought some more Alyssum to fill blank spaces in the front, Impatiens to replace the ones that got trampled and a first for me … 2 trays of Begonias. I’ve never grown these before and am not even sure I like them a lot, but the tray says they will do well in partial shade so I have a home for them! The ones I bought have light green foliage with white flowers. I also picked up a Sweet Basil to plant with my thriving Tomato plant … and a “Peppermint Plant” that I couldn’t resist because it smelt wonderful and a few other little things. I’ll post the photographs of my latest acquisitions tomorrow … its a good thing I have a big enough garden or what would I spend my money on 🙂
Ferndale Nurseries lies in the crook of Brommersvlei Road in the heart of Constantia. It’s been around for 75 years and the nursery is crammed with a litany of plants, herbs and even vegetable seedlings.
Ferndale Nurseries have been the nursery “behind all of the gardens” in the Constantia Valley for 65 years providing the backing for a green and beautiful valley. Ferndale with its 7 acre nursery offers gardeners a wide range of superior quality plants, water features, garden irrigation and excellent advice from friendly staff. A kids play area with a duck pond and an aviary makes garden shopping enjoyable for the whole family.
For Families with kids, there are also ducks, fish, rabbits, an enviable aviary and a play area that includes a sand pit, swings, slides and a jungle gym – most of these you will find in the lower reaches of the nursery alongside a pond where a host of noisy ducks and geese hang out, waiting for feeding time. There’s plenty of shade, benches for moms and dads, and a pretty little lavender maze. There’s just no tea room…
[one_half]This is where the catch me, everytime …[/one_half]