About me


Jack Holloway the Gardener

Over a 30 year period my father and I created these gardens. But the time came for me to move on and they are now the pride of a new family, who bought Sequoia Gardens in November 2016. In due course a link to their new blog will be posted on this site. For now it is the story of my involvement only.

Sequoia Gardens is a beautiful forestry farm in the North of South Africa, near the Tropic of Capricorn; it lies above Magoebaskloof between Polokwane and Tzaneen and 150km from the Kruger Park. Its elevation (1450m) means that it is relatively cool, and its setting in the mountains means that by South African standards rain is extremely plentiful. The result is a temperate softness which is not typical of Africa at all – yet within 10km you can find true African scenery as well! The garden part of the farm covers about 6 hectares (15 acres), much of it lightly cultivated woodland, some intimate and formal.

Jack of all trades, that’s me… teacher, gardener,marketer, wannabe author/journalist: I returned to teaching for 12 years, teaching mainly English at a local private school. I am a professional gardener as well, having over the years developed my passion into some sort of career – I call myself Jack Holloway the Gardener when I wear that hat. As from July 2015 I returned to full time teaching at a private school in Polokwane, 60 km away, and I now live in that city.

Also check out http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com – a wonderful gardening site where I have contributed to the forums for years.


9 thoughts on “About me

    • Hi there, Avis!
      One of the joys of the internet is that one has gardening friends with inverse seasons in the opposite hemisphere. It seems more than our seasons are inverse: a balcony vs 25 acres! When I still had an apartment in Johannesburg, I gardened on a balcony-like terrace; I sometimes wish I had less to tend now, so that I could tend it with more care, but I don’t think I’s swop my garden for anything!

  1. What a joy it was to visit the Sequoia Gardens Blog! Apart from being a passionate and talented gardener, you are also a photographer of note! The gardens are MAGNIFICENT and through this, I was also able to make contact and find out what happened to you after all these years! It is clear that you have been very busy!!

  2. Jack, I have gone back and read all your posts. Have you thought of posting an architectural “blueprint” of your garden. When I am reading books like Roy Strongs “The Laskett”, or David Hicks “My Kind of Garden”, I am always referring back to the page with the garden layout. It so helps me visualize the garden. I got that idea from My English Country Garden, and I am in the process of trying it on my blog. Love your garden, oh, I so wish for more space.

    • Hi Deborah, and thanks for the suggestion. A map is on the agenda, and has been for years. Having my own blog has pushed it much higher up on the agenda though! The size of my garden makes it quite a job, and I’ve already decided TWO maps at least – one for the more formal parts, and one for the whole area. As it is so much work, I want to do it properly the first time round… My English Country Garden was in fact the inspiration to start my own blog after years of just thinking of it, and is still one of my favourites… and the map was central to my seeing the advantages of a blog’s structure!

  3. So happy to have discovered this blog today. I, too, love Clive Nichols’ work. I am a garden and botanical photographer as well– based in Connecticut, USA. Speaking of winter gardens, I have a feature out now in the current Garden Design Magazine which showcases the spectacular winter garden of Gerard Pampalone in Fairfield, CT. You can view this and more garden work on my website at stacybassphotography.com and through this link:http://www.photoshelter.com/c/stacybass/gallery/Winter-Garden/G0000OujQyxnsW98/

    • Thank you so much for visiting Stacy! I have contacted you via email and am loving exploring your site!

  4. Hiya Jack,

    SO hope you will get around to this garden plan. I have been wanting to do this for years, and don’t how to tackle it. Is there any software one can use?
    Can’t see myself draw little trees and shrubs.
    Like Deborah above, I also go to the plan in gardenbooks first if there is one.
    I am going to have a little rummage through your archives: don’t mind me. I promise not to break anything 🙂

  5. Hi Joco! You go ahead and take a walk around! I’ve tried some of the design software. It’s a bit like going for a swim in a spacesuit. I guess if you’ve got really sophisticared stuff AND know how to use it, it is different! But I spoke to a friend with a 4-year degree in landscape architecture. He still draws by hand after 13 years in practice. That says a lot to me.

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