It is so great to get this blog up and running – and we are super excited about sharing our experiences as we develop The Garden and our life – living more consciously – here in Magaliesburg.
It’s hard to summarize everything that has happened since we started to dream of starting a spa …. Our trip to India in 2010 really helped us to be sure that we want to do this – and our first business plan was developed in a small café in Varanasi.

Varanasi at dawn, 2010

Varanasi at dawn, 2010

On our return we started searching for land in Magaliesburg – within easy reach of Johannesburg – but beautiful and with a tranquil feel which will help our guests unwind and forget the stresses of the city for a few hours at least …. After most estate agents told us our expectations were crazy for our budget, we ended up finding the perfect spot immediately – the very first piece of land we saw …. 3 weeks of exploring and viewing other properties later, we admitted this was the one and finally took ownership (or “custodianship” as we prefer to think of it) of the land in late 2011.

First road, combi and container, 2011

First road, combi and container, 2011

We started with a completely undeveloped plot …. So Angus’ first task   was to set up basic infrastructure – fencing, pathways/roads, solar energy and running water – as well as a place for us to live while we get things up and running … Working on a shoestring wasn’t always easy – but we always strived to make careful decisions which would set things up right for the future.

 

Early life at The Garden, 2011

Early life at The Garden, 2011

A winter picnic by the fire, 2011

A winter picnic by the fire, 2011

To the amusement of friends and people we met, after we moved out of the combi, we lived in an old shipping container … which we have modified as we have gone along, almost entirely with second hand materials .. and as the months went by, the development of our “eco-house” became a living experiment in understanding how much we really need to be happy – what comforts we require, and which we can equally happily live without.

 

Building the pump house – running water! 2012

Building the pump house – running water! 2012

Container living! 2013

Our eco-house, 2013

 
In October last year, we held our own Festival of Commitment and Celebration on the land …. with friends and family camping and staying nearby, The Garden came to life with an unforgettable ceremony by the river and much celebration …

Ceremony of Commitment and Celebration, October 2012

Ceremony of Commitment and Celebration, October 2012

Ceremony of Commitment and Celebration, October 2012

Ceremony of Commitment and Celebration, October 2012

This year, we are developing the vegetable garden, labyrinth, nursery, teahouse and picnic spots .. With both of us now focusing the majority of our time on The Garden we are loving every day of the process …. We really look forward to sharing our experiences, learnings, resources etc. – and to welcoming you here soon!

 

River picnic spot

River picnic spot

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