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A walk through the Company Gardens…

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 | 0 comments

I often visit the Company Gardens in central Cape Town simply to take a relaxing stroll under the canopy of oak trees and soak up the peaceful scenes of children feeding squirrels, old men relaxing on benches, and locals going about their business.You certainly don’t need a guidebook or a history lesson to enjoy this leafy centre of calm in the heart of Cape Town. That being said, I will provide a history lesson anyway, simply because the story of Cape Town, and indeed the European colonization of South Africa, can be traced directly back to this small, fertile patch of earth

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Sunbird Garden (self-catering accommodation close to Kirstenbosch)

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 | 0 comments

This one-acre garden, which is 20 years old, is situated on a steep slope on the south-eastern side of Table Mountain, not far from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.This garden is a naturalist’s creation grown out of passion and curiosity- it was planned and planted by Brigette Berg and the current custodian is Charlotte Rasson.This is a private garden open to guests staying at  Charlotte’s self-catering cottage. (for reservations phone +27(0)21 794 6690 ; e-mail:

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Reminiscing on a wedding day at Langverwagt

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 | 0 comments

Five years later, I still remember my wedding day at Langeverwagt like it was a few months ago. The warm, late January morning that I woke to a lavish three-course breakfast shared with my parents, the perfect start to any girls wedding day. We had spent the night in the guest cottage on the farm and the room was filled with orchids that we’d collected from a farm near by for the table decor, and this only added to the magic. That, and my wedding dress hanging on the wall, are two images that I will never forget.
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Klein Optenhorst, Wellington.

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 | 0 comments

In October Klein Optenhorst have an annual open day. Jenny Ferreira specializes in Salvias, so if you wanted to add to your collection you should pay a visit to her nursery. The venue is also available for weddings.

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

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 | 1 comment


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.

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A refreshment station at Babylonstoren

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 | 0 comments

Few people realize that the Cape was not initially a colony – it was established as a ‘refreshment station’ by the Dutch East India Company and its purpose was to supply fresh produce to their ships trading between the Netherlands and the far East. The staff at the Cabo de Boa Esperance was here for one main purpose – to establish a garden to produce vegetables, fruit, to provide fresh meat and sweet water and to defend the  refreshment station and its produce from the local peoples and from being taken by nations with opposition trading companies – particularly the British. They were also tasked to provide a hospital for those suffering from scurvy, which caused many deaths  on the long sea voyage from the home ports.

Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is formal in structure  inspired by these Company Gardens of the Cape.  Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and it is grown as biologically possible.  Fruit and veg are harvested year round for use in the restaurant.  The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze.  Gravity feeds water into waterways from stream into the garden as it was done originally in the Company Gardens.Vegetables and fruit gathered daily from the garden are often served with their skins on.  Helpings are generous and meals may be taken either in the glass enclosed restaurant or under the Plain trees in the courtyard, depending on the weather

Plan your visit: Babylonstoren is a pleasant hour’s drive from Cape Town. Opening times Wednesday To Sunday: 09h00 – 17h00 for day visitors. (Every day of the week only for guests staying at Babylonstoren) For a more detailed experience you could always join a garden tour at 10:00 or 15:00.  (By reservation only)


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The gardens at The Cellars-Hohenort

Posted on Oct 2, 2012 | 0 comments

A mere 20 minute drive from central Cape Town,  The Cellars-Hohenort boast panoramic views of Table Mountain. Set in nearly 9.5 acres of beautiful grounds , this historic and beautiful country escape in the city offers guests far more than just incomparable scenery. We went there for high tea and took these photos.

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Shuttleworth Gardens, Durbanville, Cape Town

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 | 2 comments

The Shuttleworth Gardens at 40 Protea Way, Durbanville  is only open to the public during the last weekend of October.

The date for 2013 viewing will be published as soon as it is announced.

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Langverwagt (Circa 1740), Kuilsrivier

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 | 0 comments

Langverwagt offers two units, located within the historic walls of the oldest building on the farm. These two spacious self-contained units, each with the capacity of accommodating up to 4 people, contain many of the building’s original features, dating back to 1740.
Each has its own secure parking, a private entrance, separate en-suite facilities and spacious rooms ( bedroom, bathroom and lounge) A fully-equipped kitchenette with coffee/tea facilities, colour TV and M-Net.

Each morning, a sumptuous, farm breakfast is served within view of the splendid garden. (When we stayed breakfast was brought up to our open plan kitchen / lounge : freshly squeesed orange juice, fruit, maize porridge and to top all that – a fully cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs,mushrooms and tomato!)


LOCATION: Off Langverwagt Road, Kuilsrivier.   ACCOMMODATION: 2 bedrooms. B&B from R400 per person sharing, from R500 single (Prices may vary, confirmation should be obtained upon booking)      ENQUIRIES: tel.+27(0)21 903 1203 |   FEATURES: Large Country garden, Working Farm, Wedding venue, Accommodation.  GARDEN OPEN: only to guests

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The Rare Plant Fair at Rustenberg Wine Estate, Stellenbosch.

Posted on May 30, 2012 | 0 comments

The  annual Rare Plant Fair will be held in the idyllic setting of Rustenberg Wines in Ida’s Valley near Stellenbosch. Teas will be served under the oaks in aid of a local charity. The Rustenberg Tasting Centre will be open: 5% discount on all wines on the day.
Plants will be sold directly to the public by specialist growers:

  • Fynbos, Ericas, Proteas, Buchus etc
  • Bromeliads, herbs, itrises, pelargoniums, succulents
  • Camellias, Japanese maples, rhodedendrons, hydrangeas
  • Salvias and heat loving plants
  • Woodland plants for shady gardens
  • Bulbs, bulbs and bulbs!
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