As we’ve shown, the farm we bought was seriously dilapidated. Apart from anything else we had the workers’ medieval quarters to attend to, we had no front garden and no pool for dealing with the 38 degree temperatures. So we got stuck in.
First thing we tackled was the workers’ houses. We built toilets, showers and painted and fixed and cleaned the area. Then came the pool. We began by clearing an old vegetable grove, then graded the land into two flattish sections and finally, by spade and then bulldozer, dug a huge hole. Then we dropped a ready-made pool in the hole, filled it with water and had a good swim. Of course it looked like a tip until we grassed it, but was soon very beautiful and has been used continuously in summers since then.
The next project was creating a new entrance. This was to enable us to close the existing entrance road which ran through the area in front of the farmhouse, preventing any usable garden.
To start we opened an entrance off the road running up the side of the farmhouse.. This took a lot of work but fortunately didn’t need a bulldozer. Later I came back and made a garden there.
Once this was done we could shut the road in front of the farmhouse and have a potential front garden. We began by lawning it, which was a challenge, as the whole area had had 40 years of traffic stamping it down like cement. We had to dig up to a depth of half a meter, which was a long job, but finally was done and we could plant lawn. Then we started gardens, at the entrance, around the farmhouse lawns. It all took many months but now many years later looks very lovely.
Of course all the while we were working on the farm we lived our lives. The children were here often and friends and relatives visited whenever possible. Everyone loved to be here.
And it was not just us who were living our lives, our staff of course did so too. By now many of the original staff had left but a few were still here. One couple were Antjie and Hannes and Anjtie had her whole life wanted to have a proper wedding. And this she had. With hired clothes they married in the church and returned to the farm for photos and a party in the Old Barn. It was an extraordinary event.