As South Africans celebrated National Garden Day at the weekend, two green-fingered locals spoke about how gardening has changed their lives.
Christopher September, 45, from Kuils River, and Mildred Manini, 75, from Delft, are part of the Soil for Life project, which has helped them turn over a new leaf and make a difference in their communities.
Christopher says: “Garden day reminds us of how beautiful mother nature is and the healing we receive from nature.
“It’s also the time to harvest the fruits of our labour and spend the day with family or friends, while we enjoy a well cooked meal from the garden.
“I started gardening after I made a decision to change my lifestyle and diet.
“I have a skin problem called Psoriasis and am able to manage the condition with the help of my home-grown medicinal herb garden.
“I initially started gardening at home and in 2017 did training with Soil for Life.
“I learned skills including recycling of organic waste.”
His passion drove him to start an organic garden at Wavecrest Primary School in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, for their feeding scheme.
Mildred, meanwhile, finds solace and joy in her garden.
“She grows celery, spinach, green pepper, onions, chilli, cabbage, beetroot and aloe.
“I speak and relax around my plants and it saves money as me and my neighbours don’t need to buy vegetables at the market.
I love my garden and am proud to be celebrating Garden Day.”
The ouma took up gardening lessons in 2020 and has never looked back.
Garden Day spokesperson Lisa Pellat says: “Now in its sixth year, Garden Day – offers people across South Africa to celebrate their green spaces, and embrace the therapeutic effects of these leafy respites.”