A Whiff of Spring!


Weekends at home on the farm always seem like a real luxury and this one was no exception. I spent Saturday and Sunday cooking, gardening and entertaining friends – three of my favourite past times.

I laid out the plan for my new vegetable garden on Saturday afternoon. There is a big piece of ground above the house that is perfect for a vegetable garden, but it is totally unmanageable as it is. We have very heavy clay soil and it is always a struggle to manage the weeds and keep everything watered properly without structured beds. After more than a year I finally have a vision of what I want and I’m very excited to see the final product. I need raised beds, pathways, lots of compost to improve the soil and space for beautiful flowers and fruit trees so that there is a nice view from our guest bedrooms and the kitchen.

Entrance to the vegetable garden with metal arch made by Johannes in Clarens.

The rocks and stones to edge the raised beds will come from the mountain behind the house and I will use some of the left-over gravel from our building project on the house to fill in the pathways.  I found the metal arch for the garden entrance in Clarens, one of the most well-known and beautiful towns in the Eastern Free State. There will be two yellow heritage climbing roses on either side of the arch. I was also thrilled to find two cherry trees, a plum tree and a fig tree at our local nursery in town, which really spurred me into action!

Picture climbing roses, gravel path down the middle, stone-edged beds on either side, plum tree in raised stone circle in the center and lots, lots more!

It is Quentin’s birthday on Monday so we had some friends round for a celebration on Sunday. It was the most beautiful warm day – hard to believe it was snowing a week ago! Quentin dropped Ashley back with her mom in Johannesburg on Friday and he came back with the new table for our outside courtyard. I am so excited to finally have a dedicated space for outside entertaining in summer. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to celebrate Quentin’s birthday and to initiate the table – sunny, still and almost spring! The pergola that will cover the table is not complete yet, but we were very happy to get some sun after the chilly winter we’ve had. Here’s to many more lunches and dinners at the new table!

New reclaimed teak table with temporary plastic chairs and unfinished pergola.

No flowers in the garden so lemons will have to do!

Anyone for desert? Apple cake, cheese cake, to-die-for chocolate brownies and vanilla fudge ice cream.

Happy birthday my love! xx

5 thoughts on “A Whiff of Spring!

  1. Maris and Quent
    Vastrap looks amazing! Can’t wait to see it all in person. You must be loving the process of transformation and it will be a total thrill to pick your first fruit and veggies.
    Dee xx


  2. Wow Maris, so awesome to see how it’s all coming on. When you done can you come play in my garden 🙂 You’re inspiring me to do something more with my tiny patch of earth (which will happen once the painters have vanished). Wish we could be there to celebrate Quent’s birthday with you – can’t wait to join you under the pergola ourselves. Take care!


  3. Think big or go home! It is going to be lovely Maris & I love the way you are slowly but surely & ever so gently & organically putting your charm and stamp on your little (or perhaps not so little) piece of the Free State!


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