Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Hate Roses

I agree roses look stunning and some of them smell gorgeous, but everytime I open a gardening magazine and I see someone"s prize rose garden featured, I have the horrors.
Just think of all the chemical fertilizers and probably every pesticide and fungicide known to man going into the soil and air.
What about all the water used to make roses look their best? Water is scarce in most parts of South Africa. Dont these rose gardeners know that all their fertilizers and pesticides upset the balance of nature and probably kill half the insects, frogs and birds?
I live in the Western Cape and am slowly turning an old established garden full of alien plants into a new indigenous garden. I am trying to choose only plants from the Cape and not South Africa in general. It makes sense that a plant that comes from Kwa Zulu Natal will probably not be very happy with the Cape's hot dry summers. Although my garden is still a work in progress, I am already reaping the rewards of a chemical free, water wise environment.
I would love to hear from other Cape gardeners that love our indigenous flora. What have you planted? Where do you buy your indigenous plants? What eco friendly pest control measures do you use?


  1. Wonder where in the Cape you are? We grow roses, but, they only get grey water, a little certified organic fertiliser, and No poison of any sort. We share the flowers with the beetles. And the 'rose' garden is half indigenous. Took me years to learn that growing South African summer rainfall plants in the Cape wastes just as much water as exotics.

  2. Hi
    We are miles away from you, in Strand. I love your blog, yours was one that inspired me to start my own. Great that you grow your roses responsibly. I dont really hate roses, when we lived in Gordon's Bay I was given some by a friend and they were amazing they survived and flowered only with our normal rainfall and no feeding - I think the clay soils had something to do with their success.

  3. Hi there good afternoon

    I am from cape town and my daughter is currently at UCT...3rd year in enviromental science. One of her projects to do is " A sustainable and indigeneous garden". She will have to speak to the owner and find out more. Heav you maybe an email or telephone where she can contact you. Preferebly a landline number where she can contact you at night as she is at UCT during the day. Or if you can please advise her re a sustainable garden in cape town. We are staying in Athlone area. My email is Many thanks Camila Hendricks