The Orchid Retreat

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The Garden Tour

Coelogyne ochracea Fungi

We started converting a portion of the woodland into a garden around 1995. We had no alternative but to plan around the steep slope that had been converted into terraces by farmers long ago. At the outset, we decided that the the trees would remain. Small bushes and shrubs were uprooted and the planting began. Slowly, a pattern emerged.? There is still many, many years of work left to bring the garden? around to what we have conceived it to be.

A small arboretum where we will have all the Gingers, Palms, Tree Ferns and Terrestrial Orchids of our region planted out and labeled...and growing and flowering in their respective seasons. As for the terrestrial Orchids, we will have to limit our plantings to what will grow in the climate our garden passes through. The cool growing alpines will not thrive here. There are pavings to be laid out and hedges to be planted out. However, our garden will never be the type with manicured lawns and water fountains because we want to have all the plants in a natural setting.

The garden has a complete ecosystem of its own now. Many butterflies, moths, birds, insects and even a family of foxes make their home within the garden and in the woodland area. The flowers, berries, fruits provide food for both resident and visiting birds, animals, butterflies and other living forms.

Since no pesticides are used there are a lot of bees visiting the various flowers in bloom to collect pollen and nectar. Of course it is exasperating when a colony of caterpillars completely defoliate a hydrangea bush. Inspite of this the hydrangea flowers probably knowing that it evolved to play host to this particular caterpillar.

Our garden is still evolving...

TreefernCurcumaHoya Canna Pretoria