Constantia Open Gardens in October

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Life gets hectic - we haven't been to Constantia Open Gardens since we lived in Camps Bay. It is only alternate years, with an extra gap during our drought so I follow them on Facebook - is this the year? Sometimes open garden lists are overwhelming - more driving than actual being in a garden (thinking of Elgin). This was a lovely satisfying mix of four very different gardens.

1

Recycled pallet planters by Small Space Gardens
Recycled pallet planters
by Small Space Gardens

A garden in Meadowridge shares size and sentiment with ours. Her recycled pallet planters, filled with mixed succulents, to hang on the wall - are for sale from Small Space Gardens.

Bees at work in Meadowridge
Bees at work in Meadowridge

The lawns are gone. This is her view from the main bedroom, a peaceful green oasis. Organic and full of life. We couldn't get too close as she had found a gracious way to protect her bees (and any allergic visitors). The hive is behind the slatted wooden screen. Beginning the pattern, all four gardens used soft purples.

2

Salvia lanceolata at Bel Ombre
Salvia lanceolata at Bel Ombre

Stately home in the ambassadorial belt has custom hardscaping and sculpture, including a theme park corner for the kids to play in. The signature plant on our day was a dusky pink Salvia lanceolata - very effective when that unusual colour was echoed across the garden. Handcrafted stacked stone cladding. Sigh...

Sculpture at Bel Ombre
Sculpture at Bel Ombre

Chunky wooden steps to cross two levels. The garden is on a slope and the boardwalk has frequent erratic steps - go carefully now! The cat promotes local craftsmen; the stone slab a permanent resident.

Bel Ombre garden
Bel Ombre garden

We have a pot at the front door. They have a water feature and an Olympic diver poised for ever cramping on the brink. Long views WITHIN the garden. And borrowed scenery (beyond the formal hedge) to the neighbour's trees, then Kirstenbosch and the mountains.

3

Klein Constantia garden for tea
Klein Constantia garden for tea

This garden served tea / coffee and cake. At the gate a lady dipped under my sunhat - Are you Diana? - Yes? - I follow your blog, would love to see your garden! - this from one of the Constantia Garden Club members - I was walking on air for a while.

Here supporting baristas in training from Sozo Foundation. We queued at the other kiosk, where the coffee machine was playing up, and some entitled patrons were rude in their lack of patience and understanding. Great respect for those young baristas politely doing their very best.

Delphinium and foxglove
Delphinium and foxglove

In the garden exotic to us delphiniums and foxgloves.

Sculpture of hares
Sculpture of hares

Drifting towards midday when we had tea, and we were all looking for shade. Like these hares dozing by the fountain. Wonder who the sculptor is?

4

Grey house with topiary
Grey house with topiary


I love greys, and taupes - but my husband finds them chilly, so I compromised with subtly pink taupe, mushroom beige, for our house. Once day these colours will become as dated as the rough plaster Tuscan trend I remember. Not a fan of spiky plants, but I do like how a few topiary balls make a garden sing. This was the house with the plant sale.

Garden sculpture by Right Mukore at Montebello
Garden sculpture by
Right Mukore at Montebello

I will track down one of these garden sculptures carved from pine chunks. Perhaps for our front garden. By Right Mukore at Montebello.

Only two years to wait. PS neither affiliate links nor sponsors on this post.

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Pictures by Diana Studer

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed this summary of your garden tour, and the gardens themselves. I love those pallet succulent planters and contemplated making one of my own before finally giving up the empty pallet that sat behind our garage for too long. I love Salvia lanceolata and grow it in my own garden but mine isn't nearly as robust as the one you photographed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are my inspiration for showcasing our wildflowers!

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  2. So you're a famous blogger! But of course you knew that already?

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  3. The gardens in Constantia look wonderfully cool, green and healthy. Your rainfall must be stable now. I would just love to have that view to the mountains. I also loved the Salvia lanceolata, but I'm sure it wouldn't flourish in my garden in the same way.
    Very nice to be acknowledged for your blog, now you must have an open garden!

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    Replies
    1. Warts and all? Instead of rose tinted blog blinkers ...

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  4. I love the pallet planters. A clever idea.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And her selection and placing of plants makes it stunning!

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  5. Oh, I love those succulent planters! And the peachy-pink Salvias...fabulous!

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  6. I enjoyed all the gardens, especially the beautiful hanging gardens created from lowly recycled pallets. The Klein Constantia garden looks like a great place for tea. I love the hares!

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  7. Thank you for the tour of some beautiful gardens.

    Those rabbit sculptures are masterful--they look like they are ready to spring to life and dash off to eat my roses.

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  8. Those four gardens were stunning with ideas I would love to copy. I love the pallets and the pink salvia. I do like the dark grey building, it provides a good background to the plants. Sarah x

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