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An edible garden

The couple grow their own potatoes, onions, spinach, lettuce, artichokes, parsley, broccoli, and Russian terragon. Their salads and cocktails are also garnished using their homegrown herbs such as rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, fennel, chives, and coriander. The edible gardens would definitely not be complete without fruit trees. Some of those growing here are Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Psidium guajava (Guava tree), Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat), Lemon tree, and even a Mulberry tree!

Soil fertility and green landscaping

Jeanie and John did not import red soil to use in their gardens. “Instead, we worked on improving the fertility of the existing black cotton soil by adding horse manure mixed with gravel from the River bed. This did the magic!” declares John. There was no application of artificial fertilizer to boost growth.

Another green measure that the Whitfield’s took was the use of soil excavated when building the house foundation to fill up the low-lying areas of the compound. In fact, one corner of the compound has a mound made with that excavated soil and it has

helped to prevent flooding should the adjacent stream overflow.

Garden maintenance John is passionate about watering the gardens. “We had a borehole sunk just about the time we constructed the house and I later installed stand-pipes located at short intervals from each other, all over the garden. I preferred to place them this way to avoid hose pipes being dragged over long distances on the lawn,” John explains. The pipes come in very handy during the drier months as the gardens remain well watered, he told us.

Mulching is a routine practice that they undertake every so often.

CLOCKWISE: Close-up view of the pink bougainvillea flower; A young Podocarpus tree makes for an attractive accent; A plant of the aloe family is one of the species that adorns the massed flower beds; The fine-leaved, yellow – flowered Thevetia tree is always a great addition to an open lawn

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