Margaret Roberts has been growing herbs, gardening organically, introducing exciting new ‘plants with a purpose’ and writing books on all of this for more than 40 years, and is respected across the world for these contributions.
Country Life spoke to Margaret about her favourite things.
Words: Megan Carter
On her favourite flower: Horrified, she gasps, “I cannot answer that. I cannot. I love all flowers, from the sublime to the truly ridiculous.”
Let’s try her favourite herb: “Centella asiatica is such a versatile herb. And it’s indigenous to Africa. But all the others come crashing behind”.
I bet her favourite colour is green. Nope. “No, that’s God’s favourite, I’m next to that. Blue.”
I try to get her to single out her best vegetable. “No, you can’t do that.” I remind her about her love for ‘the greens’ and that got her excited. “Yes. The greens indeed. I love all greens… beans. Spinach. Marrows.What stuff you can do with marrows!”
Favourite treat? “Buttermilk rusks, my grandmother’s recipe. Sandy (her daughter) makes them perfectly.” It’s her treat because it has white flour and honey/sugar. Sandy also makes her favourite meal. “There is nothing as tasty as Sandy’s rich vegetable soup. She’s very clever.”
Africa is noticeably hot and dry, so I just love the oils because they are nurturing to the skin, hair and cracked nails, and give us the vitality and smoothness we all need. And it’s especially rewarding to make your own – it’s so creative and satisfying.
Most people think if I had to pick an oil, it would be lavender and I do love lavender. Lavender, lavender, more lavender. But if I had to choose the best oil, I’d choose tea tree because of it’s healing properties. It is the most glorious antiseptic.”
012 504 2121 (mornings only)
071 161 6441
GPS: 25°41’12.0”S / 27º55’03.0”E