The landscape gardens created in Great Britain saw themselves as a mirror of a natural landscape, as a work of art with picturesque views. This was also imported into other countries in a modified form. The British heritage and enthusiasm for a beautiful garden are still visible in South Africa today – these gardens in Cape Town and the Winelands are best example.
Unique biodiversity in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town is considered to be one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world – no wonder, as it lies in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a botanical zone with an exceptionally large variety of flora and fauna in a small area. On the eastern slope of the Table Mountain, several thousands of native plant species gather on an area of 36 hectares, amongst others South Africa's typical fynbos vegetation and the country's national flower protea. In order to preserve this unique biodiversity, the Botanical Garden was founded on 1. July 1913 yet its origins go back to Jan van Riebeeck who not only planted the first vines at the Cape, but also erected a natural protective wall of almond trees and prickly blackberry bushes on the Kirstenbosch site in 1660, because there was a dispute between the European settlers and the indigenous Khoikhoi regarding the land in the border area. Parts of the `Van Riebeeck’s Hedge` can still be seen in the Botanical Garden. In summer, Kirstenbosch is a popular destination and open-air concerts take place regularly. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is open every day from 8 to 19 o’clock (September to March) or 8 to 18 o’clock (April to August). Entrance fee for adults is 70 Rand, children (6-17 years) 20 Rand, children under 6 years have free admission.
Tickets are available under +27 217998782 oder KirstenboschInfo@sanbi.org
You can find more information here: https://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch/.
Spectacular splendor of flowers at Delaire Graff
The garden of Delaire Graff is as breath-taking as the winery itself and a small botanical wonder that offers a home to over 350 plants. Between the spectacular splendour of flowers that will enchant every visitor from the very first moment, water splashes into a pond again and again and creates a calm and at the same time atmospheric ambience – a real gem created by the award-winning landscape architect Keith Kirsten that treats the visitor a piece of heaven on earth. If you let your eyes wander alongside the paths, you will discover some sculptures by the artists Dylan Lewis, Deborah Bell and Anton Smit, which blend harmoniously into the colourful sea of flowers and offer a magnificent view with the vineyards and the Helshoogte Pass in the background.
©Kirstenbosch ©Delaire Graff ©Vergelegen
Art in the garden at La Motte
Art and nature also form a successful symbiosis in the garden of La Motte. Against the backdrop of vineyards and mountains, the statue `Wine Bearer`, one of the most photographed art objects and one of eleven women's sculptures that are reminiscent of the role of women in society alongside the `Sculpture Walks`, rises four metres high. The opening hours are thursday morning between 10 and 11 o'clock. Registration in advance (by telephone at 27 (0)21 876 8850 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org) is required and the costs per person are 80 Rand. Finally, you get a glass of the La Motte Méthode Cap Classique and you can drink it in the shade of the old trees.
No less impressive is a hike along the five-kilometre circular trail, which leads through a protea garden and allows visitors to experience the local flora and fauna. The winery offers guided tours on Monday mornings (registration required). If you like, you can also explore the nature on your own from Monday to Saturday (9am to 2pm). During the winter months (01 June to early September) the hiking trail is closed. You can find out more about the hiking trail of La Motte here: The best 5 hiking trails from the Cape for beginners.
Admire the centuries-old camphor trees at Vergelegen
No matter during which season you visit the Vergelegen winery - there is always something to see in the 18 gardens. The centuries-old trees are particularly impressive. The five historic camphor trees were planted in 1700 by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the founder of the winery, and have been part of South Africa's national monument since 1942. Just as old as the camphor trees are the English oak and the white mulberry. The latter is, by the way, the only relic that still reminds us today that van der Stel once tried to establish a silk industry at the Cape. Stories like these can be found everywhere in the award-winning gardens, because they reflect the best of the last 300 years. The gardens can be visited during the winery's opening hours from Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. The Heritage & Garden tour starts every day at 9.30 a.m. at the Wine Tasting Centre (cost: 50 Rand per person). It is advisable to book in advance (call +27218472122 or use the contact form). Read here what other South Africa fans experienced on Vergelegen: A day at the Vergelegen Winery in Sommerset West.
Enjoy nature with all your senses at Babylonstoren
The big garden is the heart of Babylonstoren. The Company's Garden in Cape Town served as a model for the breathtakingly beautiful complex. Created in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, it served to supply the ships that stopped at the Cape. The garden of Babylonstoren has a similar function, as more than 300 edible or medicinal plants grow on an area of 3.5 hectares. The fruit and vegetables are processed into delicious dishes in the winery's restaurants. But there is a second, mythological inspiration for the vineyard garden: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar had them built for his wife, who missed the mountains and valleys of her homeland. Adults pay a small entrance fee of 20 Rand (children 10 Rand) - but the investment and a visit are worth it in any case. If you do not want to stroll through the extensive complex alone, you can take part in one of the daily guided tours (booking in advance is necessary and possible via the contact form). The tour starts at 10 am at the Farm Shop. During the one and a half hour tour with one of the experienced gardeners, visitors have the opportunity to experience the garden up close with all their senses and enjoy nature.
©La Motte ©Vergelegen ©Babylonstoren