Oleanders are distinctive, large, beautiful flowering shrubs that thrive with little care. Most cultivars grow 3 to 6 metres tall and almost just as wide. Oleanders are lovely, but don’t touch – they are highly poisonous.
The white oleander at 28 Carrington Street in Kimberley is approximately 10 metres tall. The late Professor Christo Pienaar, a well-known botanical expert, visited Kimberley many years ago – he said that this oleander was the biggest he had seen anywhere in South Africa. We believe that this tree is almost as old as the 100 year-old house.
The peacefulness of the oleander inspired the current owners of this historical home, Onno and Philene Fortuin, to restore this Edwardian house to its former glamour and to decorate it in an elegant and gracious style.
The original owners of 28 Carrington Road built this lovely home in 1913, according to a local newspaper of the time. Kimberley was one of the first towns in South Africa to get electricity, which had its disadvantages –in July 1925 part of the house burned down because someone left an iron on, and a fire started in the kitchen. But the house was rebuilt. As far as we know Carrington 28 has only had five owners. It retains its original Oregon pine floors and pressed steel ceilings. Most of the cupboards are original, glowing with a new coat of paint.
The previous owner, Mrs Dalene Keevy, made the current owners promise that they would never cut the oleander tree down. Being a garden lover, Philene spent many hours – indeed years – re-designing the garden. Aside from its glorious flowers, the garden also supplies the home-grown vegetables and herbs that we use in our organic cuisine.