Hospice Open Gardens to delight public in October

Colourful gardens will be on display during the Hospice Open Gardens.

Sixteen gardens in and around the Helderberg basin will be open to the public, on Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 13, from 9am to 4pm, to benefit Helderberg Hospice.

What can visitors expect to see this year?

Van Zyl garden

This is a wonderland garden, filled with Bromeliads and air plants, in a fairy-like atmosphere. The different colours of all the various bromeliads, and the artistic design of using hanging baskets, make for a magical garden. This is a Halloween gardens delight without the mystical, only the sheer magic of colours.

The R44 garden

The six acres were landscaped with passion by the owner since he bought it in 1991. It was a run-down, neglected property, and in desperation, the question was asked “What am I going to do with this garden?” – and the answer was “One day it will be open to the public”. Hence today

There are many surprises the paths take you on, from expansive lawns to a beautiful pin oak tree with sitting area to the rose garden, and there is one spot in the garden that has a magical inner sanctuary womb-like feel to it, where you can put your feet up and forget about the rest of the world. The garden also has majestic views over False Bay and Table Mountain.

The Eco House garden

Down a cul-de-sac, you will be delighted to find the Eco House with a small garden. Load shedding was a rude shock, so the owners had an 8Kw solar system installed.

The house is almost totally self-sufficient and only need to rely on Eskom or the generator on the odd occasion during winter.

The next crisis would be water, and they had three x 5 000 litre tanks installed together with micron filters and a dual UV sterilizing system.

They soon realised that this was totally inadequate, and installed a further 10 x 5 000 litre tanks, four x 2 500 litre and a four x 500 litre backwash system for the solar heated pool.

It’s all collected off the roof and they haven’t run out of water since. They use the water to drink, cook, shower, fill the pool and water the garden. It is tested regularly and is a far better quality than ordinary tap water.

The owners mentioned that the garden has been a hit and miss adventure that gives them so much pleasure.

Calling themselves the “Accidental Gardeners”, they still don’t know the names of a tenth of the plants, but feed them from their worm farm and sort out the bugs with diatomaceous earth and sunlight liquid. Mulch has played a big part in changing our heavy clay soil.

When they first moved into their home in 2014, they hardly saw a bird or a bee. Now the garden is visited by any number of birds and bees are buzzing about happily

Parel Vallei farm-like garden

The owner moves with determined speed to cover her remarkably beautiful farm-like garden on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain. She is a committed environmentalist and has horticulture and gardening in her blood.

Her sister has already proven the family gardening legacy by becoming one of Franschhoek’s finest landscape specialists. The sisters have gardening, farming and nature buried deep in their souls.

With a relatively young 15-year history, the garden looks surprisingly settled, spread over about 8 000 sqm. Critical is colour, balance and 100% organic. Ange has not used any chemical products in her gardens or home for more than a decade. She is 100% committed to nature and balance.

The rolling green lawns that remained very green even in the face of the drought, only managed to do so due to a dogged insistence on fundamental preparation.requiring that at least 50cm of compost be laid prior to the first grass runners being introduced.

Beautiful shades of white, lilac, mauve and pink can be found in large splashes all over the garden, like a fragmented Van Gogh painting. The garden is breath-taking, bold, honest and beautiful – true nurture for the soul.

Tickets are available from Helderberg Hospice’s offices in Old Stellenbosch Road, and cost R90 for adults, R45 for children two to 12 years old, and children under two enter free. Contact Natashja on events@helderberghospice or 021 852 4608 for more information. For security purposes, the addresses of the private gardens as well as the accompanying map will be provided at Hospice.