Garden lovers in for a treat in Stellenbosch

An aerial view of the magnificient Babylonstoren gardens at the Babylonstoren wine estate in Franschhoek. One of the activities on the programme this year is a visit to the Babylonstoren Open Garden.

Garden Town Stellenbosch returns this year with a jam-packed programme offering a wide range of experiences for garden lovers, nature enthusiasts and local businesses.

Hosted from Friday October 27 to Sunday November 5, this year’s edition, reveals a statement issued by Visit Stellenbosch, promises to be a remarkable milestone for South Africa’s beloved village of Oaks, offering a fusion of vibrant botanical displays, insightful workshops, engaging talks, and unique garden tours.

Under the theme, Common Ground, Garden Town Stellenbosch seeks to celebrate the universal love of gardening and to foster a stronger, more connected community.

“Supporting communities and nurturing relationships around the shared love of gardening and our beautiful outdoors not only cultivates vibrant landscapes but also fosters connections that can blossom into lifelong bonds,” says Gesie van Deventer, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch.

“It reminds us that our roots are intertwined with those around us, and just like a tiny seed grows into a flourishing plant, cultivating determination and nurturing dreams can lead to success in life, where each effort contributes to a thriving environment for all.”

Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch, also expresses her excitement for the upcoming event. “Garden Town Stellenbosch is more than just a festival; it’s an embodiment of our collective love for gardening and our commitment to building strong, interconnected communities.

“With this year’s theme we aim to highlight the universal appeal of gardening while emphasising the importance of shared spaces that bring people together,” she adds.

This year attendees will be able to experience the magic of Garden Town Stellenbosch, with vibrant swatches of Viva Magenta, the Pantone Colour of the Year. They can immerse themselves in a world painted in the captivating shades of this vivid colour, as the town transforms into a living canvas of creativity and inspiration.

Attendees are invited to don their best magenta outfit and join the Flower Parade on Tuesday October 31.

The event’s epicentre, the Stellenbosch Town Hall, will host an Inner Eden (a botanical-inspired art exhibition curated by the Voice Collective) a bespoke curated range of art and products echoing the voice of hope.

PJ Olivier Art Centre will showcase an exhibition of pupils’ artwork themed, Bursting into Flower.

Adding to the floral splendour, the Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers will present the Viva Magenta Floral Art Show from November 1 to November 5.

The Town Hall will also host the STS Floral Night Run on Wednesday November 1 and Rosé Soiree on Saturday November 4.

According to event organisers, what sets Garden Town Stellenbosch apart is its de-centralised format, encompassing workshops, talks, and tours across various locations. The event offers exclusive opportunities to explore private, home gardens on 27 and 28 October and again on 3 and 4 November.

This experience allows visitors to witness a diverse spectrum of gardens, from expansive farm landscapes to compact housing project green spaces. Also, on show are 11 open or public gardens throughout the celebration.

The Weekend Passport, priced at R200, grants unrestricted access to the showcased gardens throughout the respective weekends.

The festival invites local restaurants to offer garden and plant-inspired menu items, complemented by creative window displays and outdoor decorations. Additionally, visitors can enjoy rosé-themed promotions and activations, as well as accommodation offers. So, it’s easy to stay over and fully embrace this annual celebration of gardens and the great outdoors.

Attendees can indulge in a range of experiences, including the Babylonstoren Specials Collection tour by Ernst van Jaarsveld, a Drawing Workshop by Diane Harper using natural paint hosted by Dylan Lewis, Gelli Plate monoprinting with Hermien van der Merwe, Spier’s Fabulous Fungi and Food Experience, Grow your Own Microgreens workshop at Lanzerac, and more.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy Hazendal Garden Walks, Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden Guided Tours, Nature and Wine Walks with plant expert Cobus Smit, or a Sunset Walk at Glenelly followed by dinner at The Vine Bistro. The Garden Town Wrap-Up MTB ride for Renosterveld, hosted at Jordan Wine Farm, is a fitting finale.

For the festival’s full programme visit gardentown.visitstellenbosch.org