• Try planting a section of your garden by scent.
  • Get to know your local nursery, they often have specials.
  • Get a book on planting for wildlife or butterflies.
  • Plant some aloes for the Cape Sugarbirds.
  • Plant some herbs in among your flowers.
  • Get a book on companion planting.
  • Start a wormery.

Gardening is one of the most stress releasing pastimes that you can get involved in. It takes a little bit of all sorts of knowledge to accomplish, you cannot make a mistake that can’t be fixed and the rewards are in themselves stress releasers.

When we bought our house, we inherited the garden, it was an OK garden but not a great garden. As the months went by from Summer to Winter and back we could see the mistakes one by one. A really dry spot under the Brazilian pepper trees where there was no irrigation and which plants refused to grow in. We filled it up with Clivias and some irrigation and a year later beautiful orange blooms under the trees, too beautiful.

The Brazilian pepper trees, by the way, would not have been my choice to plant as they drop their leaves by the thousands, and in our windy city, they blow straight into the pool and clog it up. The pathway has to be swept every day this requires some real muscle building exercise of the arms and upper torso I can assure you.

We have now been in the house for four years and are slowly changing our garden into a more eco friendly environment by replacing plants that are not doing well with indigenous plants, planting more for the wildlife but at the same time trying to be water wise.  We do not use any chemicals in our garden and have started our own compost bin.

All this requires planning, knowing the indigenous plants of your area, the wildlife, the rainfall pattern, design, colour and even scent. But you see this is what makes it so appealing, what hooks you into wanting to spend more time in your garden. Just by going out and checking on how the plants are doing, which flowers are blooming, catching the scent of lavender and roses as you brush by or water the garden all these things bring pleasure and while you are doing these things your mind is totally devoid of troubles or worries. Enjoy yours.