As Rob took us around his garden, I regretted not carrying my voice-recorder - Rob was passionate about his garden and clearly a wealth of information. He showed us an abundance of fruit trees in his orchard -including figs, gooseberry, plums, apples, fig plums, custard apple, loquats, oranges, lemons, and even a Mexican apple.
There were also banana trees, planted on the edge of a mini-swale to capture and retain water.
Rob also showed us a native tree called the Knobwood Tree or umnungwamabele in Xhosa - which literally translates to “White Woman’s Breasts!”
Set on sea-facing slopes, the garden was clearly structured into zones, with the vegetable and herb garden closest to the house, the orchard further on, and the wild zone on the outskirts, home to an indigenous forest and mist belt.
Rob tells me that he’d utilised native plants in his design - for instance the Rhus tree is usually cut down - when in fact it’s a mist-producing plant that provides shade, natural habitat, 100 sq metre water catchment as well as leaf mulch.
He pointed out an orange tree growing naturally amongst the Rhus trees, telling us that he doesn't interfere with nature, rather allowing things to grow where they please, and reaping the rewards.
Despite the fact that Bathurst has suffered from an extended drought, Rob’s garden is a green, verdant slice of heaven.
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Eco-travel & Lifestyles
Hi, my name is Melissa and I created this site together with photographer Christopher List to help spread awareness about green lifestyles and travel, so everyone can learn how easy it is to live in a sustainable way. Enjoy!
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