Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Stellenberg Open Gardens

Stellenberg in Kenilworth, Cape Town, has an open day each spring in aid of charity. Last weekend my Sunday morning was spent wandering around the beautiful gardens.

The elegant manor house dates back to the mid 18th century somewhere between 1742 and 1768 and it is classified as an historical monument.

You enter the gardens under cool, shady trees and see first this gracious view of the U-shaped house.

The gardens are what I go to see and a quote from the leaflet containing the garden plan explains why: "The philosophy behind [the] gardening is to plant each section with a different mood in mind, but always to give a sense of peace and serenity to the person walking through it".

You enter past the white garden.

Walk along the main facade of the house and over the sweeping lawns.

Through the wild garden with crisp yellow irises 

... and bronze leafed cannas that dwarf you.

Then along the stream garden with it's stonework bridge now half hidden by a tree.

Through the garden of reflection with that hedge that is fascinatingly, perfectly smooth and vertical and the rows of sculptured shrubs that are as round as bubbles.

A tantalizing glimpse of the vine walk before you get there.

A glimpse of Table Mountain across the corner of the walled garden with its profusion of plants contained by formal little hedges.

An unexpected picturesque arch of roses in the herb garden,

...sweet smelling roses.

A shady walk to the vegetable garden.

Passing another lovely old tree.

And a rest in the all-white rose garden.

...with a glorious view of the mountain.

And finally passing the tall sweet peas, just coming into flower, before relaxing in the busy yet tranquil tea garden tucked unexpectedly out of sight around the corner.

What a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning!


  1. Thanks for sharing this Lyn. It's lovely. I too attended an open garden day in a heritage-listed house for charity recently - didn't think to photograph and document. I now wish I had - it would make an interesting comparison.

    1. So glad you enjoyed the photos and also like visiting lovely gardens. It was like being in another world in those beautiful gardens. This weekend I hope to see some smaller ones that are open for charity and get some ideas for my little garden.

  2. How beautiful, makes me so homesick. Nothing like those beautiful homes with the mountains as a backdrop.

  3. Hi Wendy. Each time I go away and return to Cape Town I feel like I'm home just as soon as I can see the mountain. Perhaps you will come and visit one day.