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Earth Artist. Get It 2008

Earth Artist. Get It 2008

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Published by DawnK0

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Published by: DawnK0 on Jun 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/18/2012

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Head: Where the wild things growIntro: When is a weed not a weed? When it's a welcome guest that’s providing avaluable function in a garden. Jenny Lowe tells Dawn Kennedy why weeding is awaste of time.Copy: “Weeds are wonderful,”says Jenny, a classically trained landscape gardenerwho calls herself an “Earth Artist” and is set to become the Jamie Oliver of gardening.She has spent the last seven years creating a contemporary Eden in her five-acregarden. “We’re always searching for paradise but paradise is right here,” she says,gesturing towards the garden.The land was previously part of a vineyard and when she acquired the property, thetopsoil was depleted. However, 40 established trees were a compelling attraction.“You can’t make a big tree for love nor money.” Jenny has since planted anadditional 200 trees.Her first step was to remove any big trees that were choking soil and space. Thesewere chopped and left to compost. Next, she demolished an old staircase on theproperty and used the granite blocks for terracing the garden. Jenny uses what she calls s a slow gardening process that begins with building up thesoil. She says, “The first step in any garden is mix compost into the soil and next toencourage the proliferation of weeds, which, once grown, are slashed and left asmulch on the ground. Soil must never be naked. It wants to be protected. When I seebare soil, I shrivel inside. Cover it up with anything.”For jenny that means planting what are conventionally considered weeds. “Weedsare like little solar panels, capturing energy from the sun and fetching nutrients fromdeep in the soil. Weeds attract aphids and snails, which in turn attract secondarypredators like reptiles and frogs. The role of a gardener is to establish a perfectpredator prey cycle. Once this is in place then you can just allow nature to take itscourse.” Jenny graduated as a landscape gardener from UCT. She then worked for the mosthighly respected people in the business – Wym Tamens, Anne Sutton and FrancescaWatson. As a commercial gardener, she felt restricted by bottom line and budget andafter eight years felt creatively smothered. “Commercial landscape gardening trainedmy logical mind and gave me practical skills. However, I needed to immerse myself inmagic and creativity. I put down all the books and magazines, refused to copy anddecided to live by my soul.”For the last seven years, Jenney has been happier than ever before, raising her threechildren and building Eden in her back yard. “I’m an artist and I’m crazy about nature.My work is about allowing nature to prosper within an artistic format.” In her gardenneat pathways carve through untamed growth. There’s a sense of abundance. Every

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