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18th Century Stellenberg and its gardens (Kenilworth, Cape Town)

In upper Kenilworth stands the beautiful Stellenberg, a Cape Dutch property dating back to original Van Der Stel ownership. Fortunately it has been blessed with sensible and caring owners – starting with the Felthams, who required Stellenberg in 1878, who did not succumb to the fashion of the times by removing gables, replacing thatch with corrugated iron or to tamper with the Cape Dutch windows and shutters.

Finally the Ovenstones acquired Stellenberg in the 1950′s and today, nearly 60 years on, Stellenberg remains one of the most beautiful Cape Dutch houses in the Cape Peninsula. The Ovenstones open their beautiful gardens to the public once a year (usually the first weekend in November) There is also a Nursery on the grounds – this is open to the public Monday to Fridays 08h30 to 16h30. Enquiries 021 761 2948. E-mail:

To quote their brochure: “With time the garden’s structure becomes more evident and the sense of place changes as the garden matures.
We inherited a wonderful home and a garden with extensive lawns, old English oaks, hydrangeas and the Wild area, planted as was fashionable at the time.
The garden, as it is now, commenced in 1987 with the Herb Garden. Graham Viney and Gary Searle were inspirational in the planning and planting of this garden as in other areas of the garden too. In 1989 the Walled Garden, designed by David Hicks was begun. The Rose Garden which was executed in 1989 has been removed and a new parterre has been designed in its place (2001) by Franchesca Watson. We feel that the link between house and this new garden relates better to the house and provides a better balance to the rest of the garden.
New ideas and inspiration have taken place from year to year and planting schemes have changed reflecting old and looking towards the contemporary and the future of gardening.
The philosophy behind our gardening is to plant each section with a different mood in mind, but always to give a sense of peace and serenity to the person walking through it.”
“Visited the gardens on Saturday 3rd November. An amazing experience that left me nostalgic, inspired and at peace. Thank you for the opportunity to wonder about in your magnificent gardens it truly was a memorable and worthwhile outing.” Comment by┬áMelodie Diamond
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