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The Witness Open Gardens
14 Sep 2009

The Witness Open gardeners have all enjoyed a Gromor compost sponsorship this Open Garden season – situated in Cato Ridge Gromor was established in the late 1960’s to handle the chicken litter from Rainbow Chickens, and as a result of this, in somewhat primitive conditions, they started making compost for the garden market – the Field range of products followed, as well as the Gromor range of water soluble hydroponic fertilizers.

In the 1980’s with the growing popularity of soilless growing media, trials were initiated on composting pinebark to be used as a medium base. The early pioneering work, done under the guidance of Dr Irwin Smith, of the Horticulture Department, at the University of Natal is still used today.

In the early part of the present century, a pelleting plant was added to the Cato Ridge operation and Gromor Accelerator organic fertilizer pellets hit the market. To cater for the growing ‘organic’ market (local and export), organic certification by Ecocert was embarked on and obtained.

Gromor continue to grow their range to meet the demand of both the nursery and agricultural markets –the compost supplied to the Open gardeners was received with great joy – Sally March, one of the gardeners from Greytown said that ‘Gromor compost is the best there is – you are guaranteed weed free compost – and everything grows!’

Gromor products are supplied in both bags and bulk to cater for the retail, wholesale, nursery and agricultural market – you can buy their comprehensive range of gardening products from your nearest garden centre and retail outlet. Log on to www.gromor.co.za for more information about their products and useful gardening information.

WIN WITH BERRY’S MOWERS AND POOLS

The Witness Open Gardens and berry’s Mowers and Pools have once again pooled their efforts to bring you a fabulous array of prizes for this garden season – with 5 Pacer lawnmowers and trimmers to be won, make sure you get your copy of The Witness each day from 29 September to 3 October and collect the coupon you’ll find on the competition ad – all you have to do is collect all of the coupons, paste them on a card or the back of an envelope and get them to our competition boxes quickly – and you could be one of our ten lucky winners! But that’s not all – Berry’s have been selected as one of the top lawnmower dealers in the country for several years – so when you buy from them you’re buying into a business that not only looks after its product – they look after you! The company offers a comprehensive lawn service and offers expert advice on the maintenance and care of lawns, servicing of lawnmowers and competitive pricing. Berry’s advise gardeners not to neglect their lawnmowers as they represent a considerable investment. Utilise the slower growth season to have your mower serviced and keep the blades sharpened. Simple home maintenance can also preserve your lawnmower and extend the lifespan by several years - simply make sure that your mower is cleaned after use, sharpen the blades and, if it is an electric mower check the cord regularly for breaks.

Lawns represent the largest part of your garden, yet often receive the least attention - keep your lawn weed free by using one of the many broad leaf pesticides annually and, at the start of the summer season give your lawn a good dose of fertiliser which is well watered in. By boosting the growth of your lawn you will choke out the weeds resulting in a lawn that is lush and green and complements your home and increases the value of your property.

The Berry’s success story is also attributed to the fact that the shops are ‘family run’ - at every branch of Berry’s you can expect to find a member of the family and service remains a cornerstone of the business, and the company prides itself in looking after their customers... a policy which has made the company a forerunner in the lawnmower business! So, this year, call in at Berry’s for all of your pool and garden needs. You can visit them at 3 Peter Kerchhoff Street (Chapel Street) Pietermaritzburg.

1. Rosehurst Garden custodian Candy Wise 239 Boom Street Pietermaritzburg central Telephone: 033 394 1443 OPEN 26/27 September, 3/4 October, as well as weekdays and Saturday mornings.
Now almost thirty years old, this delightful town garden was established by the late David and Lorraine Kettley, well known PMB heritage and garden personalities. Influenced by Sissinghurst Castle Garden in South- East England, it is a Victorian – style garden featuring hedges, topiary and relatively informal plantings set upon a formal framework. It is divided up into a number of ‘garden rooms’ each with its own predominant colour theme: small entrance garden, pink lawn garden, yellow sundial garden, mauve side garden, white gazebo garden and potager. Highlight: Light refreshments will be served in The Café until 4pm.Classic rose plants are for sale and a number of interesting shops in the house and outbuildings will also be open. No entrance fee, any donations to Hospice will be most welcome
Directions: Proceed up Chief Albert Luthuli Road (Commercial Road), turn left into Boom Street - ‘Rosehurst’ is situated Between Albert Luthuli and Peter Kerchhoff Streets and there is safe on-street parking.

2. The garden of Vic and Dawn Pellew 18 Clifton Road, Athlone, Pietermaritzburg Telephone: 082 890 7257 OPEN 3/4 AND 10/11 OCTOBER
This third of a hectare garden was started by Vic & Dawn in 1968 from what was then gum-tree-stump-ridden grassy slopes. The initial careful planning has stood the test of time and together with subsequent development has produced the present-day harmonious whole. The sloping nature of the ground together with use of sunlight and shade has allowed for illusion of distance and depth. Although there is a degree of formality, especially in the vegetable garden, yet the overall impression is one of flowing; almost random symmetry. There are essentially two gardens – the upper entrance – parking area and the lower main garden. Please explore the many facets of both – Vic & Dawn will be happy to join you in your wandering. Bed and Breakfast also available. Entrance fee R5.00 per person, children under the age of 12 - free. Highlight: Plants for sale.
Directions: From the city, drive along Boshoff street and Town Bush road. Turn left into Montgomery Drive and take the first right into Clifton Road.

3. The garden of Richard and Judy Anderson, 9 Silverfern Place, Oak Park. Tel: 033 -347 1563/Cell: 082 4558240 (booking essential for lunches) OPEN 3/4 AND 10/11 OCTOBER
A small garden situated in a quiet cul-de-sac, featuring well established trees and a selection of perennials and annuals, as well as unusual container planting combinations, which the garden is renowned for. Judy has paid a lot of attention to detail in her garden and will also be running a tea garden where light lunches and refreshments will be served on the open weekends – booking for lunches is essential. Bring your clients, friends and family to enjoy the tranquility of this charming garden. Donations to All Saints Church and schooling for the gardener, Ken’s, twins.  Light lunches will be served – there will be a variety of musical items –proceeds to ‘God’s Pantry’.
Highlight: Light lunches will be served – there will be a variety of musical items – please phone to book – proceeds to ‘God’s Pantry’
Directions: Go up Town Bush Road, past the Cascades Centre turn off. Turn right into Ireland Road and immediately right into Waller Road. Silverfern place is on the right.

 

4. The garden of Pauline and Alan McCarthy, 529 Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg Telephone 033 347 3179 OPEN 26/27 September, 4 October
This large 2 acre old informal, romantic garden with some cottage garden effects, has been planted to give colour and perfume throughout the year. The garden features hundreds of roses which cascade over arbours, trellises and in more formal plantings. Another feature of the garden are the various fruit, avocado and banana trees, as well as a host of mature trees which add depth and colour year round. There are all sorts of hidden surprises in the garden – an unexpected mirror, or a statue strategically placed to draw you into the garden, and is well worth a visit.
Directions: Take exit 82 off the N3 and follow the road through a slight left curve through the robot and traffic circle. Exit at three o’clock and proceed straight up the hill past Grey’s hospital. Continue through the robots and at 500 metres past the second robot you will see no 529 on the left - there are large white entrance gates.

5. The garden of Mike and Gill Wilson ‘Ramblin Rose Cottage’, 22 Ridge Road (Corner Milborrow and Ridge Roads), Scottsville Telephone 033 386 9864/082 895 2767 OPEN 26/27 September, 3/4 October
Mike and Gill began developing their small Scottsville garden into an English cottage garden at the end of 2003. This proved to be an enormous challenge, as the hot and dry conditions in Scottsville don’t generally favour cottage garden plants. Gill’s passion for roses shines through in this garden which is packed with roses of every variety – there are arches covered with ramblers and climbers, English and Heritage roses, hybrid teas and Floribundas. The roses are underplanted with colourful garden annuals and perennials and the garden is a riot of colour in the spring. English roses will be on sale. Donations to a charity of the gardener’s choice. Highlight: Teas will be available at the garden throughout the day.
Parking is available in Millborrow road – the garden entrance is around the corner in Ridge Road.
Directions: From Alan Paton road from Pietermaritzburg turn left into Ridge Road, (from Durban turn right) the garden is on the corner of Millborrow and Ridge on the left hand side, but the garden entrance is in Ridge Road.

6. The garden of Barbara  and Scott Rogers 44 Groenekloof Road, Hilton.   OPEN 10/11 and 17/18 OCTOBER Telephone 082 802 5956 
Set in olde Hilton, this informal, park like garden  has many  roses underplanted with perennials and annuals. Well established trees, - including flowering Cherry's and Dogwoods, shade the sweeping lawn and shelter azaleas and mixed shrubs. Two courtyards -  include many containers planted with a mixture of  annuals and perennials, and a vine and rose canopy.  Teas will be available. These will be self-help with an honesty donation box. Highlight: Plants and Roses will be on sale.  The garden is wheel chair friendly.  No dogs allowed.
Directions: Turn left, at theHarcourts office in Hilton Ave, into Winstead Rd, then right into Groenekloof Rd, at the 3 way stop.  300 m. down the road is No. 44

7. The garden of Sonja and Locke Purdon “Tuleni” 16 Flamingo Drive, Hilton OPEN 3/4 AND 10/11 OCTOBER Telephone 083 630 1827.
This garden has a distinctive olde-world charm centered around mature trees and azaleas. The area around the house is formal with soft plantings of roses and perennials. This leads off into colourful informal borders and shrubberies. It is an old Hilton property with mature Magnolia, Cherry and Maple trees and is a mix of formal, informal and old fashioned planting – the garden is styled in keeping with the house, and despite its old feel, is relatively new and still being developed in some areas. Donations to a charity of the gardener’s choice.
Directions: Take the N3 up to Hilton from Pietermaritzburg/Durban. Exit the Highway at the Hilton offramp. Turn left into Hilton Avenue (if you came from the north, you would turn right and go back across the highway). Continue along Hilton Avenue and turn left into Park Lane (opposite the Shell garage). First right into Azalea/Flamingo Drive. Continue for 900 metres, ignoring the house numbers. Turn right where a sign reads ’14,16,18 Flamingo Drive – “Tuleni” is at the end of an avenue of trees.

8. The garden of Sue and Mike Tarr ‘Folly Hill’, Hilton.  OPEN 26/27 September, 3/4 and 10/11  OCTOBER 
Folly Hill is an old rambling property with many lovely old trees and wonderful azaleas. Sue is a well known local landscaper and her garden is a great inspiration to many gardeners.  Borders with roses, perennials and shrubs are well established.  Large swathes of ground covers have been used between the old trees to create a cool, low maintenance woodland garden. The old tennis court has been grassed and converted into a formal green and white garden  which overlooks the Drakensberg. Meander through the nursery, the wild yellow garden and the formal kitchen garden to the house.  Highlight: An old dairy has been converted into a shop and coffee shop and light lunches and refreshments are available.  Donations to a charity of the gardener’s choice.
Directions: From Pietermaritzburg drive up Old Howick Road and turn left into Denis Shepstone Drive at Crossways Hotel.  Drive past the Police station on the right and after about 1,2 km turn right into Folly Hill – opposite the Umgeni Water reservoir.

9. The Garden of Isabel Johnston, No 1 Cuckoo Lane, Hilton. Open each weekend from 25th September until the end of October 2009
This one-hectare Winterskloof garden is set on a steep slope with views towards Pietermaritzburg.
Colourful borders on either side of a central sloping lawn area are filled with roses and other shrubs, as well as many interesting and unusual perennials, designed to supply colour and interest year round.   A perennial stream flowing through the garden fills a  small pool on one level, surrounded by shade and water-loving plants, and then flows over a waterfall down into a tranquil woodland garden filled with indigenous trees. A rustic path leads the visitor from one level to the next. 
Of particular interest are all the hybrid clematis varieties which adorn the verandah pillars and scramble through the climbing roses.
Highlight: There will be plants, including a wide range of clematis varieties, for sale on the Open Days.
It should be noted that this garden is steep and not easy for people with walking difficulties.
Directions : From the N3 take the Hilton off-ramp. Travel right through the village of Hilton until you come to a cross-roads with The Crossways Inn opposite you. Turn left and take the second turning to your right, Celtis Road. Take the first turning to your right off Celtis Road into Cuckoo Lane. The garden is situated about 100 m along the lane on the right. Look for the two white stone cats at the entrance!
If you are taking the Old Howick Road out of Pietermaritzburg. Follow the road up to the top of the Hill. Celtis Road is on your left. If you get to The Crossways Inn you have gone too far. Follow the instructions above.

10. The garden of Gale and Derek Vinnicombe, 8 Wicken Way, Winterskloof. Telephone 033 343 3922 OPEN every weekend from 26 September to 25 October
From a sunny colourful terrace in this large peaceful garden, follow shady paths amongst spring flowering trees and shrubs. From the Voortrekker Road there is a walk through the Nature Reserve, so wear sensible shoes if you want to try that. Highlight: Plants will be on sale. No entry fee, but all donations go to our gardener, Doris (70).
Directions :- From Pietermaritzburg drive up old Howick road and turn left at Crossways Hotel into Denis Shepstone Drive. Continue for 2.8 kms and turn left into Wicken Way. Straight down hill to Cul-de-Sac at bottom Directions: Drive up Old Howick Road and turn left at Crossways Hotel into Dennis Shepstone Drive. Continue for 2.8km and turn left into Wicken Way. Go straight down to the cul de sac at the bottom of the road.

 

11. The garden of Mrs Nigel Pinnell, “Rosewood Cottage”, 10 Daisy Lane, Hilton.  OPEN 10/11 and 17/18 OCTOBER Telephone 033 343 3473   This cottage garden, created between old existing fruit trees and azaleas, has lots of roses and their companions.  The garden was created around old existing fruit trees and azaleas, and is best visited in the cooler part of the day.  Entrance fee R5.00 per person - children under 12 free of charge.  This garden is also wheel chair friendly. 
Directions: Leave the N3 at the Hilton off-ramp, pass the Hilton Hotel, continue through the village to the four-way traffic lights at Crossways Inn. Turn right into Cedara Road and continue for approx. 1 km, then turn right into Groenekloof Road and left into Daisy Lane. Rosewood Cottage is on the corner.

12. The Ferncliffe Catchment Conservancy Enquiries phone 0787939675OPEN 3/4 and 10/11 OCTOBER 10:00 to 17:00  
Much effort has been put into promoting an "Adopt-a-stream" project which encourages homeowners to adopt the stream areas adjacent to their properties, clear them of alien plants and rehabilitate them.  Dave and Ena Ryder have done this with a great deal of success and the riparian area next to their garden has been transformed from an ugly weed-infested area to an attractive garden with the Town Bush Stream running through it.
Directions: Access to the site is in McCarthy Drive just up from its intersection with Chase Valley Road. Look for the Conservancy’s gazebo across the road from the entrance to Sheraton. Parking available.

13. Baynes House Gardens. Enquiries phone 033 251 0001 OPEN 10/11 and 17/18 OCTOBER
These well known and much loved gardens are open once again this year.  Many of the beautiful trees were planted by pioneer Joseph Baynes and his second wife Sarah in 1882 when Baynes House was built.  The gardens have been developed over the years with the establishment of summer borders, hedged cloisters and an indigenous hedged maze. Light refreshments will be served.  There will be plants for sale.  Come in pretty hats and bring a picnic basket.
Highlight: Light refreshments and plants will be on sale. Donations are in aid of the Joseph Baynes Salvation Army Children’s' home. The Natal Vintage Tractor Club and the Woodcrafters will be at the garden demonstrating their crafts and exhibiting their collection.  There will also be a number of vintage cars on show. Directions: From PMB - travel up Alexandra Road, past Southgate Shopping Centre towards Richmond on the R56. Just past Thornville turn right to Baynesfield Estate. Travel 3,5 km to the main entrance pillars. The house is situated at the end of the avenue. From Durban - Take the R56 - Eston/Umbumbulu /Richmond offramp from the highway at Camperdown. Turn Right almost immediately and follow directions to Richmond. Turn left at T junction, then right to Baynesfield Estate. Travel for 3,5 km to the main entrance pillars. The house is situated at the end of the avenue.

14. The garden of Dave and Jenny Howells, Blackwood Fruit Farms Contact 082 379 1858 Open 3 / 4 Oct and 10 / 11 October
From formal hedges to clipped topiaries interplanted with country mixes and over 500 roses, this beautiful farmhouse garden is a feast for the eyes. Terraced theme gardens lead you through garden rooms to discover hidden features and secret seating areas. Follow pathways through beautiful shade gardens and admire the spectacular views as you relax in the garden pavilion on the pool terrace. With indigenous as well as old established trees, this garden is alive with birds who love to visit the many water features. Tea will be available in the garden.
Directions: R56 to Richmond, district road D562 , Situated in the Baynesfield area

ROSETTA / KAMBERG

15. The garden of Rose and Revell Sivright “Glengarry Park.” Self catering chalets. Phone: 033 267 7225 Cell 082 7833445. OPEN 10/11, 17/18  and 24/25 October and during the week by request
This large English country garden features stunning young beeches, birches, maples, nyssas and dogwoods. Thatch cottages are surrounded by borders of viburnums, azaleas, rhododendrons, pieris, kalmia and many russell lupins, astilbes, hostas , hellebores with a sprinkling of annual poppies and pansies. Donations to a charity of the gardener’s choice. Glengarry often opens during the year by appointment , please call in advance if you plan visiting outside of Open Gardens.
Directions: Turn off the N3 at Nottingham Road and continue onto Rosetta along R103 (old main road) At Rosetta turn left onto Kamberg Road and continue for 31 kms, turning left at Glengarry/Highmoor Road. “Glengarry Park” is 500 metres along this road - tar to the gate.



16. The garden of Veronica Ratsey “Uskia Garden”, Defence Farm. Phone: 033 267 7442 OPEN 3/4, 10/11 and 17/18 OCTOBER
This garden features many varieties of well established English trees, rhododendrons and pink and white dogwoods. Other plants to look out for are the gunnerer, acers, holly, clematis, irises and beech trees.
Some indigenous plants have been added over the past years and spectacular views over the whole Drakensberg mountain range make this an exceptionally scenic spot. Plants are on sale and donations to the SPCA are most welcome.
Directions: From Rosetta proceed 14 kms up the Kamberg Road, turn right when you see the signboard stating Defence Farm, continue till the blue and white sign stating house/nursery to the left, and shed to the right - proceed left and continue up the driveway - it will be signposted.

BALGOWAN

17. The garden of Priscilla and Peter Francis “Milestone Forest.” Phone: 033 234 4190. OPEN SPRING & SUMMER ENJOY A DAY IN THE COUNTRY!
National Heritage site This portion of indigenous KwaZulu Natal mist forest is a National Heritage site. The Balgowan Conservancy and the Wildlands Trust have over the years developed a tree walk which has been enjoyed by numerous visitors and organized groups – the trees are named and it is well worth the visit. The forest also attracts numerous birds so be sure to take your binoculars and wear good walking shoes. Spectacular Cape chestnuts flower in late spring - the garden is a woodland and informal with many hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons. Highlight: Picnic baskets welcome – have a picnic at the dam and spend a day in the country enjoying the tree walk and have an informal stroll through the garden.
Directions: From N3 take Balgowan turn off left. At the T junction turn left at Caversham sign turning left again into D533 - Milestone is just over 1 km on the left.

GREYTOWN

18. The garden of Colleen Slatter “Silverley” Phone: 033 - 4131465 Cell 082 5747185 B/B Montello Safari Lodge. Open 10/11 October 10am – 4pm
A large English garden with many mature trees underplanted with azaleas, mollis, rhododendron and other English shrubs. Highlight: Teas and eats available at R10.00 per person..
Directions: From Greytown take the R74 towards Muden - 6 kms out of town G114 on right - this leads straight into the residence. Entrance free – donations to the St James Anglican Church.

19. The garden of Sally and Nick March 0334131233 Open 10/11 October 10am – 4pm
A newish garden by 4 years,  set in old surroundings,  one of Greytown’s oldest homes.  Quite a few  iceberg roses which should be in full bloom. The garden also features a swimming pool and a small water feature. When the new owners arrived at this garden the only trees that were in the garden were camphor’s, so the newly planted trees are still small, but will give shade in years to come. R5 entrance fee which will be donated to the Arcadia Old Age Home. Sally and Nick look forward to welcoming you to their garden. Entrance is by donation and teas and eats will be available at R10.00 per person
Directions: From Pmb. reach the first traffic lights in Greytown,  go straight over,  cross Voortrekker Street,  straight over, and the next street is Pine Street,  turn left,  up the hill and over 2 speed bumps,  242 Pine St. is on the right hand side,  green and white wall and house. 

20. The garden of Verona and Walter Redinger 230 Pine Street Phone: 033 4172151 Open 10/11 October 10am – 4pm
In 2005 when the Redingers moved to their new home the garden was bare – there was some lawn and old fruit trees with an occasional flower bed – 200 tons of soil, a retaining wall, the removal of the fruit trees and approximately 18 tons of compost later the garden now boasts flowers and colour throughout the year. The backbone of the garden are the roses which flower from spring through to autumn – annuals are planted throughout the year to ensure flowers and despite heavy frosts whish have been experienced, the garden remains a place of beauty. Two water tanks are used to collect rainwater off the roof of their house and used to water the garden. Entrance is by donation and teas and eats will be available at R10.00 per person.
Directions: From Pietermaritzburg – go straight through the robots and turn left at the second street into Pine Street. Cross over Scott street and Harding street – 230 is the second house in the right after Harding Street, just below the steep incline.
From Stanger – turn right at the second robot and follow the as per directions from Pietermaritzburg.
From Muden and Mooi River – turn left at first robot and proceed as per directions from Pietermaritzburg

          

Industrial Gardens
21. Butterflies for Africa 37 Willowton Road, Willowton, Pietermaritzburg. OPEN TUESDAY - FRIDAY 9.00AM TO 4.30PM, SATURDAYS 9.00AM TO 3.30PM AND SUNDAYS 10.30AM TO 3.30PM.
In the heart of an industrial area of Pietermaritzburg lies a 6000 square metre garden, created solely to attract butterflies. This has been done by planting hundreds of host plants, which are the plants that the butterflies lay their eggs on and the emerging caterpillars feed on. Butterflies can smell these plants from up to 3km away and to date the garden has attracted over 100 butterfly species. The butterfly garden forms an important part of the Butterflies for Africa complex where the public can view these creatures in their natural environment. More than this however, the garden aims to create an awareness in the general public of how they can play a part in attracting butterflies to their own gardens and thus help preserve these fragile creatures by growing indigenous plants. Visitors to the garden are constantly surprised that such a venture can exist in the middle of an industrial area and the project is living proof that industry and conservation can exist in harmony. Preserving butterflies goes a long way in conserving this country’s rich flora and fauna and where better to start than in our own backyards? An admission fee is charged.
Directions: Visitors arriving from inland take the Old Greytown Road turnoff, turning left at the first and second set of robots. Those arriving from the coast take the Ohrtmann Road offramp, turning right at the first set of robots then left into Willowton Road. More information is available on their web site at www.butterflies.co.za

22. The Bessie Head Library Gardens, Church Street, Pietermaritzburg OPEN DAILY
The Bessie Head library gardens are still relatively new, having only being completed in 2006. While plant material is not yet mature, it is worthwhile visiting simply because of the size and magnitude of the features and the design of the open spaces, and as an interesting alternative to the domestic gardens on offer in the open gardens. The water feature is a central focus of the garden which has brought an exciting new style of landscaping to the city. It is a veritable green oasis, which is already attracting birdlife.
Directions: From the north – go up Commercial road. At the City Hall turn left into Church street. The library and gardens are on your right. From the south - go up Boshoff street, turn left into church street and the library is on the left. The area is busy and parking may be scarce on Saturday mornings, so plan your visit for Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

The Southern Drakensberg gardens Friday 30 October – Sunday 1 November www.underberginfo-online.co.za
Highlights: Ceramics exhibition entitled Botany at the Underberg Studio
Art in the Avenue at Pucketty Farm
Garden Fair on Fiddlers Green
Lecture / Demonstration programme on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November at Underberg Country Club
Tickets, in the form of a comprehensive Pocket Guide for the Festival, are R25 per person (scholars free) for entrance to all the gardens and will be available from the following outlets Bulwer: The Birds in the Barley; Ard Lui B&B
Mountain View (Open Garden between Bulwer and Underberg)
Dartford Farm (Open Garden 11.5km along Coleford Road – 2nd Coleford turnoff from Bulwer – 1st from Underberg)

23. The Underberg Studio, Catherine and Lawrance Brennon, 21 Ridge Road, Underberg. OPEN 30 October – 1 November

This roomed garden was landscaped by the original owner, Doreen Tegg about 45 years ago. It was then lovingly tended by Eileen Brennon until 2008. Lawrance & Catherine Brennon, the current owners, have made it an integral part of their art gallery as various art works are made the focus of particular areas of this picturesque garden. Visitors to the Studio are always welcome to wander around and enjoy the garden – any time of the year!

24. C-Da-Berg, Jenny and Dave Dyer, 27 Thomas Street, Himeville OPEN 30 October – 1 November

Sweeping expanses of lawn are edged with gently curving borders. These are planted with a variety of shrubs and flowers carefully colour-coded ... in all the colours of God's creation. So you will find a red, white and blue garden; red and purple; yellow, with shades of orange; an all-white area and various shades of pink, among others. Well over a hundred rose bushes, chosen for their perfume as well as their beauty, further enhance this twelve year old garden. It is a delight, complementing the stunning panoramic mountain views.

25. “Ard Lui” Lauretta and Piet Grobler, OPEN 30 October – 1 November

This historic homestead was built in the closing years of the 1890s by a Scottish priest. More than a century on, ours is the privilege to explore the garden that has grown from those early beginnings. Be awed by the mighty Cedars and ancient Oaks; be charmed by the discovery of unexpected delights. Marvel at the cumulative vision of a long line of passionate Ard Lui gardeners.
Directions: In Bulwer village, on the left just beyond the Police Station; From Underberg, on the right just before the Police Station

26. “Ericsberg”, Paula and Brian Hein, OPEN 30 October – 1 November
“… and a river runs through it …” This sprawling informal farm garden is situated near the Umzimkulu River with a beautiful view of the mountains. It surrounds the Ericsberg house, the 5th home built in Underberg, over 100 years ago. There are ancient Oak trees, an enchanting woodland walk, herbaceous borders, roses and an orchard. Ah ….enjoy …. It’s just lovely. See you there!
Directions: From Bulwer, travel through Underberg on the R617 to Swartberg. The farm entrance is on the left, 1km beyond the Drakensberg Gardens Road turnoff, opposite the Bushman’s Nek road.

27. Mountain Airs, 27 Ridge Road, Underberg OPEN 30 October – 1 November. Enjoy a pleasant stroll through the colourful smaller gardens of this complex. Each garden reflects imaginative creativity and individuality. It is quite remarkable therefore how, together, they contribute to the overall ambience and comfortable sense of continuity. This will be a happy walkabout, filled with unexpected gardening delights and friendly country gardeners.
Note: The Mountain Airs Clubhouse is open, offering restroom facilities.

28. “Hanlith”, Joy and Harold Taylor, Hlogomo Crescent, Underberg OPEN 30 October – 1 November. This comfortable cottage garden is filled with a profusion of roses, perennials and many unusual annuals. Joy is a well-known rose expert and she treasures her collection of enchanting Heritage and David Austen roses. The formal feature planted with herbs just a couple of years ago, adds further interest to this charming and much loved garden, filled with beauty and birdsong; peace and tranquillity.

29. “The White House” Lyndsay and Nico Bonsma Eaglescliff, Easton Farm OPEN 30 October – 1 November
This is a charming five year old garden clearly reflecting the joy the owners derive from its ongoing development. The beautiful view of the Drakensberg and the farm lands are seen as an extension of the garden. “I am constantly looking for new and different plants and ideas for improvements,” says Lyndsay
Directions: 2km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road, just beyond the Duck and Doolittle. Farm entrance on the right hand side.

30. Gail and Joffs Coni, 8 Polo Way, Underberg OPEN 30 October – 1 November
A young family lives here – little children laugh and play on the lawns and swings. This is a garden promising a future rich in colour, texture and interest, showing that time spent in careful planning and initial plant selection is well rewarded. As Gail says, “Creating an interesting garden from bare veld with no established trees has been a challenging but satisfying task. With lots of persistence and ‘hands on’ work, we are finally getting there!”

31. “Dartford Farm”, Lisa and Clynton Fraser OPEN 30 October – 1 November
Dartford Farm was settled in 1898. The gracious dressed stone farmhouse in classic Victorian style was completed in about 1914 and a sense of its colourful history prevails. How cleverly this large informal English country garden completes the picture - with roses, shrubs, perennials and a charming water feature. Be sure to see Dartford!
Directions: From Bulwer it is the 2nd turnoff to Coleford. From Underberg, take the first turnoff to Coleford. Travel 11.5km on gravel road to reach the sign on the left, with the farm entrance on the right.

32. Judy and Bruce Hansen, 657 The Meadows, Sani Road, Underberg OPEN 30 October – 1 November
This informal English country-style garden is a mere 18 months old. It was flattened by hail in its first year and has endured heavy snowfalls in each of its two winters.
It requires minimum maintenance and is characterized by a large variety of plants and shrubs. A kaleidoscope of colours, textures and fragrances is enjoyed throughout most of the year and the flower beds are accessed and viewed via formal pathways leading from one area of interest to another. Over 40 different roses feature prominently and interest is further maintained by water features, statues and pots; relaxation areas; a succulent garden and a herb checkerboard. Views from the garden, over the open farmlands and dams and up to the mountains, are spectacular.

33. “Mountain View” Debbie and Dave Mingay OPEN 30 October – 1 November
This is a farm garden with a view of the Maquwa Mountain and the Loraine River. The garden has great character – with a variety of interesting features and a wide selection of plants. Every garden lover will find something of interest in this charming and tranquil retreat.
Directions: From Bulwer travel for 12km on the R617 towards Underberg. Turn right onto the farm road. Travel 3km to the homestead. From Underberg travel 26km on the R617 towards Bulwer. Turn left onto the farm road. Travel 3km to the homestead.

34. “Bon Jardine” Michele and Colin Roodt, 63 Thomas Street, Himeville. OPEN 30 October – 1 November
Much love, time and care have been devoted to the design and development of this interesting village garden. Sweeping lawns curve gently to meet herbaceous borders which are generously and colourfully planted. Pathways beckon the curious to explore further... often through rustic archways. The recent introduction of some bold features reflects Michele’s energy and infectious enthusiasm for gardening.

 


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