Guest Gardener: Michelle Stanton

Meet our latest Guest Gardener!

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Our latest Guest Gardener has been part of the Lifestyle family for decades; she was riding horses when we still had a farmyard in the centre! We asked her a few questions about gardening and where her passion for plants began.

How regularly do you buy plants?

This very much depends on how often I come through to Joburg. As a student in Pretoria, I visit my parents in Randburg once a month or so. Whenever I am there, a Lifestyle walk-through is a part of my routine and I mark the occasion with a plant splurge! (the best kind!)

Plant propagation is one of my passions. If possible, I like buying seeds of otherwise difficult to find plants. Successfully germinating some baobab seeds this year was one of my highlights! (that’s impressive!)

I also enjoy cut flowers, so will treat myself with a fresh bouquet every other week or so.

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

Depending on the rain now in Summer, the pot plants in the garden will get a good soaking on every day it doesn’t rain. Luckily the house plants require far less maintenance – my orchids, tillandsias, succulents and other plants get watered about once a week, depending on the plant and how warm it is. They also get liquid fertiliser with every fourth or so watering.

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Tillandsias and Delicious monster on display

We are fortunate to have a garden service to take care of my lesser enjoyed tasks, like weeding and lawnmowing.

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?)

As a tenant in a townhouse, it was very important for me to make the place feel like home. In my case, the easiest way to do this was with a splattering of plants. As the year has progressed, our patio has become ever more interesting with a variety of herbs, flowers and potted fruit trees. Luckily, I have a very handy boyfriend who creates gorgeous planters – although he did ultimately commandeer them for his own herbs, but I am glad to see my passion for plants has rubbed off on him. (That’s so wonderful! And his planters are magic!)

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Herbs grow happily in handmade planters

I also find indoor plants add so much atmosphere and character to any space. While the majority of my plants are slow growers, there are few greater pleasures than noticing a new leaf developing on the monstera or flower spike on the anthuriums.

How did you get into gardening?

In my last few years of high school I became interested in eating well and nourishing myself with delicious foods. Growing up as one of six children, our house was always full of young – and eternally hungry – kids. This mean’t that a R40 punnet of blueberries would hardly go a long way, and so I thought why not grow my own fruit? Obviously, this was easier said than done. But in September of 2014 I bought my first fruit tree, a pomegranate from Lifestyle Home Garden.

lifestyle home garden guest gardener history 2020 garden nursery plant shop johannesburg gauteng

I gradually started dotting fruit trees and vines around my parent’s garden and when it came to choosing a degree to study at University, a BSc in Agriculture seemed to be the perfect option. Now almost 6 years later as I look forward to finishing an MSc in Horticulture, I feel so blessed to be in the plant industry and I live my passion every day.

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

I started an Instagram account last year, @horticultureandme, although it has been somewhat neglected of late. (You can find it by clicking |HERE|)

In my part time job, I help create YouTube videos focusing on the agricultural field, from avocado production tips to guidelines for starting your own nursery. Our channel is called Agriculture Academy.

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Tjoppie is a plant lover too by the looks of it!

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

Wonderboom South in Pretoria

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

A townhouse with a small, but lovely garden, shared with my boyfriend and dog Tjoppie!

What is your favourite place to buy plants?

Lifestyle Home Garden! I loved you for your pony rides when I was a child and now, I love you for the inspiration I feel when I walk through your doors. (we’re so happy to hear this – it does feel inspiring to walk into this serene space!)

It is also very convenient to work at a Wholesale Nursery part time, so if I am ever in need of large quantities of plants, they’re my go-to.

lifestyle home garden guest gardener history 2020 garden nursery plant shop johannesburg gauteng

Michelle with two of the stable hands (James on the left and William on the right) who would give her horse rides circa. 1997

If you purchase from Lifestyle Home Garden, are you a Loyalty member?

I am indeed!

Do you consider yourself a #Plantie? If you too would like to be featured as an inspiration to other Urban Greenies and aspiring gardeners, email us at marketing@lifestyle.co.za

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