Guest Gardener: Jade de Klerk

Just in time for Spring: our September Guest Gardener: Jade de Klerk

-How regularly do you buy plants?

When I started my plant mom journey I bought plants what felt like every week, but now I have gotten to the stage where I have to sneak the plants into the house without my husband noticing. (He likes to let out a big sigh when he sees a new plant, but secretly loves all the greenery in our home) So it’s about once a month now. Sometimes Pinterest gets a hold of me and then I have all these ideas which means I do more frequent trips to the nursery.

But I mean, I will find any excuse to go.

How much time, on average, per week do you spend on plant upkeep?

It’s hard to say exactly, as once you start getting busy with your plants it’s hard to stop. And it all depends what I am doing that week – watering, repotting, reshuffling or cleaning leaves. But I would say a good 4-5 hrs a week. 

– Why do you garden in your non-traditional space? (For example, are you trying to supplement groceries by growing your own? Or are you beautifying a space indoors?)

About 9 months ago I got married to my best friend, and whilst being a newly wed is so much fun, decorating your home is such an amazing experience. My husband already lived in our home for a while before we got married (I was still living with my parents until the day we got married) so by the time I moved in you could tell a man had lived there for a while. So I started out by buying a small plant as a start to make everything feel a bit more homey and less manly, but that very rapidly turned into a passion of mine. I am planning on expanding my plant family into a lovely veggie garden very soon. But one step at a time. 

– How did you get into gardening?

My sister and I would always accompany my mom to nurseries and push each other around in those metal plant wheelbarrow things(I have no idea what you call them) while my mom would go about her business. We spent quite a bit of time at nurseries growing up as we lived on a very big plot that had beautiful manicured flower beds. so my mother really had her hands full. And as a family we would all be involved in maintaining our gardens as much as we could. Even though I was exposed to gardening at a very young age, my curiosity for plants only actually started once I was older and working in an office, and bought a tiny succulent to spice up my work space.

I had always been intimidated to get into plants because I definitely did not inherit my mom’s green thumb genes. I really had no idea how that small succulent would not only change my mindset from being intimidated and scared to kill everything, to having my own oasis in my home and running a social media page all about my crazy journey.

– What are your social media handles? If you have an Instagram account what is your handle

I have a plant page on Instagram that I document my personal plant journey on, I post things I have learnt or struggles I have faced with buying new plants etc. you can find me on @barely_keeping_it_alive

– What is the name of the suburb you currently reside in?

I have recently moved to North Riding, Randburg.

– What type of home do you have? Flat/apartment, house, flat-share, garden cottage, etc

We currently have a garden cottage on a beautiful family owned plot. But do have plans to build our forever home. 

– What is your favourite place to buy plants?

I love going to nurseries around my area but my favorite place to go is Lifestyle home and garden centre. And it really does not help my constant want to buy plants that I live just down the road from the store. But I just find strolling around lifestyle centre to be so therapeutic and it  by far has the most variety. I could easily spend hours in the store. 

I love looking for new and creative ways to elevate my home, whether it be putting up shelves or hanging plants from the ceiling. Even if you live in a small home, you have plenty of opportunities.

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