South Africa Garden Tour 2014
Wednesday October 8th to Thursday October 23rd, 2014


October 20th Cape Town

We start the day with a private tour of Vergelegen Gardens - Vergelegen has been a gardener's paradise since the van der Stel era in the 1700's and today 18 exquisitely themed gardens are on display for you to enjoy. Not only a farmer, the founder of Vergelegen, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, was also a botanist, a forester and a horticulturist. He wrote "The African Gardeners' and Agriculturists Calendar' of which much is still relevant to this day.

The oldest oak tree in South Africa, the ancient White Mulberry tree and of course the five camphor trees that were planted in the 1700's gracing the front of the Homestead all bear testimony to his great horticultural talent.

Then we enjoyed a wine tasting - The wines produced in Constantia are recognized worldwide for being of the highest quality. South African Country Life Magazine, April 2010 "One would have to travel far and wide to find a place more enchanting than Vergelegen ..." by Anita de Villiers. With its world renowned handcrafted wines, 310 year old history and heritage, exquisite gardens and refined cuisine, it comes as no surprise that Vergelegen continues to be the choice of the discerning visitor, seeking a total sensory experience. For this reason, the Estate has borne witness to many visits of heads of state and celebrities from all over the world.  and a delicious Lunch as well!
Then a visit to the private gardens of Henk Scholtz. ‘This is probably the most photogenic garden I've ever been to. Everywhere you look, you turn your head and there's a picture.’ Monty Don BBC: "Around the World in 80 Gardens" For 26 years he has lived here and made many changes along the way. Of note are his thoughts to us….think water wise, when in doubt go in circles and have as many flat surfaces as possible.

Finally the Babylonstoren Gardens. Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall. The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. It also hales back to the mythical garden of Babylon.


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