Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Can  someone tell when you've been stalking them online? I've been a huge fan of Kathy Waddell for ages... she is the co-owner of the amazing Madwa, and she has the most gorgeous house down near the Outeniqua mountains (a few hours drive from Cape Town, to my non South African friends) on a property that makes my heart sing. She bought it years ago and started by restoring the natural flora on the property, ripping out all the exotic stuff and slowly putting in indigenous species, figuring out what worked by trial and error (pics of the land from South African House & Garden, October 2014. Yes, yes, I've been hoarding it for that long!)

She plants the way I would - letting the garden meet up with the surrounding landscape in a way that you won't notice... huge swaths of one particular kind of plant...

The house itself was an afterthought. After lovely lunches out under a pavilion on the property, she decided it would be nice to stay. She grew up in an old house in Kimberley, an old mining town in South Africa - where the porches are deep and cool - and it informed the design of the house. You can read more about it here, on the Cecil & Boyd website, where I found these images (originally from another House & Garden, April 2011).

The house's heart is the cabinet that was from Kew Gardens... oh heavens, its just lovely. 

And then the reed ceilings... deep verandah, Malawi chairs... sigh.

Well, I'm going back to my fantasies of an indigenous haven in South Africa. Feel free to click on images to see them larger.