A little garden in the city

Little garden in the city, May 1925

‘Autumn glory. The garden and its gardener taken last March. In front are Michaelmas daisies and behind the great scarlet blooms of decorative dahlias.’

{This article appeared on 16 May 1925 in The Star, a Johannesburg newspaper}


Even in such a recently-constituted town as Johannesburg, the green leaf has its effect, and one welcomes the sight of a tree which breathes and lives and has its joyous being in the more or less prosaic street. Though the town is growing so rapidly and everything that is not strictly material seems destined to give way, here and there, if one looks carefully, one may yet see small gardens or the traces of them to remind us of the past.

Tucked away in a corner close to St Mary's Church there is such a garden. It came into being in 1908 and was entirely the work of an enterprising lady who in that year came to live in the cottage near by. The visitor, privileged to have a little chat with the gardener, is filled with surprise, and admiration of the skill and energy which have been displayed during the last 17 years.

When the work began there was nothing round the cottage but a piece of hard, bare ground like the road outside, and the only green things were cypress and gum trees, which still rear their tall forms in that brick and mortar enclosed space. The first thing done was the making of a fence of green to divide the garden from the adjacent ground. >>