A forest garden with hundreds of trees and magical pathways

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Photographs Amora Erasmus

The Tsitsikamma region of the Garden Route in the Eastern Cape is a gardener’s dream: with an average rainfall of about 100mm every month, there’s almost no need to water. Estelle Hester was drawn to the town of Storms River 20 years ago when she began to feel that city life was causing her anxiety. “I initially lived on a farm outside town for three years and fell in love with the forests in the area – their cool tranquillity is magical!” says Estelle. She made Storms River her permanent home in 2005 when she purchased a pristine 4 000m² erf about 1km from the central business district.

At the time, there were only two real yellowwood trees (Podocarpus latifolius) and one tree fuchsia on the property.“There was lots of bracken, plentiful arums, two groups of exotic acacias and the awful invasive Lantana,” says Estelle.

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