Healing hands and green fingers make for blissful gardening

It’s a cloudy day at Likweti wildlife residential estate and the smell of freshly baked rusks fills the beautiful home of Edward and Jalene Cameron. After being greeted by Pippa, the Rough Collie one can’t help but notice the scenic view from the kitchen and living space. 180 degrees of unobstructed Lowveld bushveld.

The Cameron’s are no strangers to the Lowveld and although they resided in Pretoria, they often visited friends and family in White River. Jalene is also a descendant of the “Nel’s” from Nelspruit.

It was during one of their visits to the Lowveld that they decided to look at property at Likweti wildlife residential estate. Edward was ready to trade-in his office at Sasol for an office with a view at Likweti and the couple immediately fell in love with a stand at Likweti Hills which they signed for the very the next day. What started out as a rough sketch developed into a spectacular 4-bedroom house at one of South Africa’s top wildlife residential estates. The couple used a local builder who also happens to be a resident at Likweti, and contrary to most building experiences, the building process with Mackay Project Management was a delight according to Jalene who knew exactly what she wanted their dream home to look like.

Jalene, a retired nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother has always enjoyed gardening. She loves getting her hands dirty and the spacious garden around the house is her pride and joy. She likes to add colour to her gardens and the garden at Likweti is no exception.

A cobble path takes you through the garden from the southern side of the house to the northern side. A couple of Polygala’s (Polygala myrtifolia) with their pretty violet flowers, greet you along the way. Jalene points to the Bulbinella’s (Bulbinella Kunth) and jokingly comments that she is giving them away by the hundreds because they grow so fast.

The blue plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), yellow and red Tecomas (Tecoma capensis), and Balerias (Barleria obtuse) all add colour to the garden with the bushveld as a backdrop.

Jalene is very proud of her protea tree and although she has never planted Proteas before, they thrive in the Lowveld climate. Natural covering isn’t the only motivation for planting several trees in their garden. Likweti boasts an amazing array of birdlife who seem to be enjoying the garden as much as the couple does. Some other trees include Olive trees (Olea europaea), Lowveld Cabbage Tree (Cussonia spicata), Velvet bush willow (Combretum mole), Forest bushwillow (Combretum kraussii). Apart from the trees attracting many bird species, the garden, naturally also draws various insects.

One of the highlights in the Cameron’s garden must be the Pincushion (Rigoletto – Leucospermum cordifolium x L. glabrum) which is in full bloom now as well as the spectacular paintbrush lily (Scadoxus puniceus).

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