The round design of the four towers echoed in the front garden by means of a large circular paved area and a smaller circular pond. The emphasis was on simplicity … a garden to be part and parcel with the building. The circular pattern, together with the long, paved area leading to the pedestrian entrance, was given a classical look by framing it with two colors of hedges … with yellow a primary color.
Some months before creating the front garden I collected heaps of polished granite off-cuts. It was a painstaking, tedious effort to transport everything (using a standard Venter trailer) from Pretoria to Johannesburg. At the time I had no idea how these offcuts were going to be used … the main intention was to create something bearing costs in mind but retaining a grand look (polished granite). A great, unforeseen delight came when order in design was achieved by simply focussing on the straight edge of each black piece. The uneven, reverse sides blended in all the uneven, different colored pieces of granite and natural stone rubble.
My love for gardening came from my Dad … and I inherited his cycads that are now showing off in the castle’s front garden. Although the castle is only in its 12th year (2018), there is a large 40-year-old coral tree I brought with from Johannesburg (in 2006) as a bonsai. While studying for Anthropology Honours in the seventies I planted a seed and entertained myself watching it sprouting and growing, pruning the roots and branches every now and then. For many years I kept this plant bonsai and quite often forgot about it, not watering it and neglecting it … just to revive it again when the interest returned. This little tree, at last, found it forever home when I planted it in the front garden and it started to blossom its characteristic flame-red flowers only nine years after being “set free”.
(Click here Castle in the Mist 3: Garden of Joy to view the third of seven short videos about the construction of the castle and other smaller sculptures).