I’ve often said that there isn’t a better place in the world than Timau to grow flowers. I was at a memorial service for one of the old settlers of this area last week, where I learned that he used to say the same about his farm, where he grew wheat and kept lots of sheep, cows and horses.
The local tradition when someone has passed away here, is to have a memorial service in the deceased’s front garden a few weeks or months after the funeral or cremation. This time, we gathered to remember the father of my partner at Lolomarik. This man lived to be 93 and, if all the stories are to be believed, he’s had a fantastic life.
He fought in Arnhem during World War II and moved to Kenya quite soon after that. His uncle had a farm (plot of land) here, but wanted to return to England. My partner’s father was 24 at the time. He took the opportunity, never looked back and is now buried at the highest point of his farm – a spot with amazing views. He used to joke that from that spot, he would continue to keep an eye on everyone.
Listening to all his stories sometimes gave me the feeling I should have been born thirty years earlier. He only spoke about the good times of course (and when he did, he could go on for hours). He was a Kenyan in heart and soul – his farm was the most beautiful. Not just in Kenya, but in the entire world.
It’s hard to beat the sight of these 5,000-ha farms surrounded by beautiful rolling hills with green and yellow fields. Most Dutch people have a different opinion though: you’ve got to make a living. And that’s why five of the six remaining, beautiful, big farms are now used for the cultivation of roses.
Timau enjoys a high altitude, but it’s dry; there’s little rain and water is scarce. So, we’ll never manage to cover the entire area with greenhouses. The current 300-ha of greenhouses is pretty much the limit for this 30,000-ha area. On the plus side, this allows us to continue enjoying the splendid vistas of the hills with Mount Kenya towering above.
See you soon in this amazing place!
Simon van der Burg,
rose grower in Kenya