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.
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.
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.
|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...
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.
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.
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.
In the garden exotic to us delphiniums and foxgloves.
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?
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.
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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