Open Gardens season: soak up the splendour of city’s great green offerings

2012-10-11 00:00

TAKE advantage of the weekend’s overcast weather and head for some of the beautiful gardens that are open for The Witness Open Gardens season.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal gardens will be open this weekend. With a wide variety of rare species, the gardens are immaculate and largely indigenous and well worth the visit.

Around the city, Richard and Judy Anderson will host lunch and music in their garden and Dawn Pellew, the well known floral artist, will also have delicious lunch available in her English garden, which overflows with an abundance of roses.

Norwood, the garden of Tim and Sabine Featherby, the old hunting lodge of one of the governors of Natal, is simply spectacular. Bursts of colour come from Californian poppies, bright yellow and purple Louisiana lilies and scented roses.

Cordwalles will be staging a “flowers through the school” event where you will be able to purchase the Cordwalles brick red rose, which celebrates the school’s centenary year.

Erick and Wiida Badenhorst’s garden in Old Howick Road is worth a visit. The formal lines are softened by clever planting, and the symmetrical theme of the garden belies the fact that it is a mere 10 years old.

Also in Old Howick Road is the garden of Zegrys and Henriette Pelzer, which is new on the open garden list. Further up the road the first of the Hilton gardens to open is that of Sonja Purdon, beautifully maintained with lovely roses and informal beds. The remaining Hilton gardens only open next weekend.

Further into the Midlands in Rosetta is the garden of Rose and Revell Sivright, Glengarry, which also offers accommodation and a nursery.

Milestone Forest in Balgowan is open throughout Spring and visitors are welcome to take a wander through the national heritage forest.

Endebeni Forest in the Lidgetton Valley, the garden of John and Adri Smithers, is absolutely magnificent, with an expansive, English park-like garden in an idyllic midlands setting with spectacular views of beautiful waterfalls and indigenous forest.

Massive sweeps of azalea, rhododendron, acer, flowering cherry and dogwood provide spectacular seasonal colour.

While the dogwoods are just past their best, the garden offers something for all seasons.

Bring a picnic basket and walking shoes and enjoy a day soaking up the splendour of this extraordinary second generation garden. A cash bar is available.

The R50 entrance fee goes to the Endebeni Staff Education Fund and the Howick SPCA.

Under 12s get in free.

Brochures are available at the gardens and throughout garden centres in the city, or you can e-mail for a full listing or log on to The Witness Open Gardens Facebook page for more details.

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