Growing Grahamstown’s Gardens and Creativity

I don’t have green fingers. I buy three of every plant because I know the odds are against the poor creatures. It was quite a leap for me, therefore, to see the creativity in nurturing plants and gardens. Daniel, owner of Grown in Grahamstown, helped me to see things a little differently.

Daniel started his nursery last year. He has many years of experience in the industry, but he has found his true passion in growing. He talks about the process in almost spiritual terms. He speaks of the ‘glow’ he wants to imbue his plants with. To him, plants are a celebration of life and vibrancy, and he wants to convince us all of this. I was encouraged, during our conversation, to think about the excitement within watching one’s garden grow and change seasonally. There is a subtle development of understanding of the cycles and quirks of one’s garden. Thinking about it, I have gradually become excited about that first harvest of spinach, the flowering of plants and the bearing of fruit. I have been living in my home for three years now and the garden started as something burdensome in my life. The day I bought my first lawnmower I felt depressed and really rather suburban. It was a necessity and not a purchase I relished. I have gradually given the garden more focus. I know that in December a strange red flower pops up in a corner of my garden. I know this because two years ago I came across them when picking flowers for a Christmas arrangement and I found myself expecting their arrival last year. I feel a sense of wonder when I see seedlings sprout and develop. I also have an appreciation of the future. We plant seeds and seedlings because of what they will become. I see my garden as I want it to be. So while gardening and growing has its technical and scientific aspects, it is also a creative process.

Daniel wants to promote these ideas in his blog, but he also wants to make gardening more accessible to the likes of me. He sees a need to demystify the gardening and growing process too. However, this is not the end of Daniel’s aspirations. He talks about investing in local creativity and wants to promote in the Grahamstown Morning Market and its stallholders. The market is currently undergoing somewhat of a revival and Daniel has a passion and a drive to ‘make it work’. He sees innovation as important. I see his point – many local business owners are complacent and merely aim to maintain the status quo. Despite this, the creativity of Grahamstownians is palpable and ready to flower.

Grown in Grahamstown specialises in ornamental (flowering) plants and herbs. Currently they are available at a few shops in town as well as the Grahamstown Morning Market on a Saturday. Pop by the market and chat to Daniel. He will answer your gardening questions and give you sound advice. He might even inspire a passion for gardening.

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