You don’t need gym if you garden, says Roche

Roche Bennington with some of the plants she propagates.

When Roche Bennington, 85, moved into her deceivingly small Diep River house four years ago, the yard was a virtual desert, but it is now a place of living, breathing colours, thanks to her green fingers.

Ms Bennington says she inherited her gift for gardening from her mother and grandmother.

One of seven children, she spent her childhood days growing up on a wine farm in Wellington, where her mother’s garden encroached on the vineyards.

The farm also produced table grapes, fruit and potatoes. Her father, who was known as Jan Patat, would send potato slips to Egypt.

Ms Bennington has many tales to tell and a wicked sense of humour. She jokes that her husband used to tease her that she would pot him up one day. “And I did,” she laughs. “At school,” she recalls, “a teacher asked where I was born. On my mother’s bed in a big room,” she says, with more laughter.

They had ration books on the farm, she says, but they didn’t need them because they grew plenty of food.

Ms Bennington wants to share her passion with fellow gardeners. She opened her garden a few years ago and wants more people to pop in and share their tips.

“Gardening keeps you healthy and fit, there’s no need for gym, although you never have beautiful nails, but that’s no important,” she laughs.

Follow the signboards into Harrow Road from Main Road, Diep River, to find Ms Bennington’s garden, or call her at 021 712 3773 or 068 028 0706.

Roche Bennington of Diep River with hanging baskets that she sells.
When Roche Bennington moved into her deceivingly small Diep River house four years ago her back garden was a virtual desert.