The Kleinood Gardens

i. Ode to the
Gardens

The glass house, bags on pegs.
Ponds of irises.

Poppies. Roped stones. The bound dry branches and brooms on the honey room floor. A Place of peace at the water.

The mountain with the line of tree guardians; tall and dark they stand observing the home stead.

The ancient oaks that bring age and care and great solace.

Adolescent olive trees; a life line of water networked everywhere, feeding the growth from the earth.

New shoots, buds, everything
playing and transforming.

A horse, a hen, a duck, a dog, a donkey, a whistling man.

Walking alone along the river; the stumps of cut wood piled listening to the water praying; the shadow patterns dancing in the midday heat from tree to tree.

The water licking rocks in the river when touched by the sun.

Triangles of poles with plants peeping at us
marking our way back through another day which
will feed the rest of my life.

Amen to that, whispered the breeze.

With love from Jill.

ii. Greening Kleinood

In the year 2000 the small farm of Kleinood was very different from what it is now.

Although its inherent natural beauty and charm was always there, it was, sadly, just a run down and neglected little fruit farm in a beautiful valley against a backdrop of majestic mountains and a river running through it.

It stole our hearts.
We decided to give it our best.

We cleaned up the forest and river by pulling up and chopping down all the alien plants and some of the poplars that had become scraggly. Very soon the Wild Olives and Wild Peach trees started showing new growth and the indigenous bulbs started flowering. We planted 200 trees, hundreds of shrubs and a few thousand bulbs. Once we had started there was no turning back.

We prepared the soil and planted vines and olive trees. Then we planted fynbos and many more trees in and around the gardens. We nursed the Oak avenue back to life by cutting out all the dead wood, feeding the trees and spraying with organic fungicide and foliar feed to combat the fungus that is so partial to Oak trees in the Western Cape and Boland. In return, these thankful old giants now create a shady haven where we can hide from the sweltering summer heat.

Although we believe that we have come a long way we are fully aware of the fact that this is a long-term project that will have to be loved, nurtured, developed and sustained for as long as we are fortunate enough to be the curators of this patch of “…landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough…”

...Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been; In its unfading flowers I hear the bright bee hum: Prithee, my brother, Into my garden come!

Emily Dickenson

iii. Seeing the Wood for the Trees

The heart of Kleinood, being the family home and the winery, lies within the old oak avenue that used to be the original Blaauwklippen road.

Down below, to the north of the avenue, in the small forest of Poplar and various indigenous trees, one of the most peaceful spots on earth is to be found. Here, at the confluence of the Blaauwklippen and Moordenaarskloof rivers, the few organic sculptures made by Strijdom van der Merwe and Aaron Dakana stand serenely in the tranquil environment where everything is left to be as nature intended.

We invite you to stride, out with glass in hand, and allow the Kleinood Map of Trees to lead you along from tree to tree through the gardens, past the vegetable patch and donkey paddock, through the forest and olive grove and back to the winery where you can, again, fill your glass and drink to life…

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