The first thing one notices as you park at the nursery, located just behind the West Gate, is the rich, earthy scent. “That’s the smell of healthy, rich soil,” Ayanda says as she walks through a small wooden gate. She leads the way into an oasis: rows of neatly placed plants and a mini greenhouse, all shaded by a majestic fig tree. 

“The nursery was started around five years ago,” Ayanda shares. “The environmental department is very proud of what we have achieved in this space.” 

Ayanda explains that plants that need to be removed from our common areas are brought to the nursery, where they are cared for by the lovely Mam’ Abigail Nongqakaqa. “Abigail will place the plants or seedlings into smaller pots and put them in the greenhouse or out here in the sun to grow, depending on whether the plant needs sun or shade.” 

When plants or trees are needed on the Estate, we then have our own supply. “It’s our way of keeping all things green and beautiful within Simbithi. Abigail is very passionate about looking after our plants and is exceptionally knowledgeable in terms of the plants allowed in Simbithi.” 

Another interesting process that occurs at the nursery is the production of mulch: excess branches are removed and brought to the nursery to be chipped. The steaming mass may then be used as ground cover to enrich or insulate the soil. “Our residents are always welcome to pop by with a bucket and spade and help themselves to mulch. Its benefits to a garden are endless.”  

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