Grassy Park garden bears fruit in the midst of a ‘drought’

Charles Majavie's peach tree.

While most people’s gardens are drying up even before Day Zero, a Grassy Park resident’s vegetable, herb and fruit garden is seasonally bearing fruit because he had been using grey and rain water for the past seven years.

Charles Majavie called Southern Mail after reading about Mandolin Place’s dry garden and he immediately wanted to give hope to the elderly and others through sharing his tips (“Seniors’ water woes”, Southern Mail, January 31).

Confident that we are not going to suffer a water crisis, Mr Majavie said in the Cape there is water everywhere on our mountains. “And here in Grassy Park some of my vegetables grow in winter and summer due to water under the soil.”

Mr Majavie is a mechanic by trade but an avid gardener and he shared his water-saving tips which contribute to the growth of fruit trees such as peach, lemon, guava, prune and more. “Seven years ago I installed my washing kitchen basin and washing machine drain pipes to lead out to the garden. I also have no problem with earthworms breeding in the soil and I don’t need to use compost.”

A variety of herbs such as fennel, mint, curry leaves, and more are flourishing in his cosy garden. “I use some of my
herbs to treat illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes. I also have vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, chillies and many

Mr Majavie started nurturing his green fingers while working at Ferndale Nurseries for only “R5 a week”.

He said he had been living in Grassy Park for 20 years and his neighbours were always chatting about gardening with him. “They also have beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens.”

Mr Majavie advised people to capture the rain in a huge container. “I also use that water for the garden.”

With so many accessible fruit and veg in his garden, he saves a lot of money and he wants to “retire” from mechanical work to potter in his garden permanently.