October and November see Cape gardens at their best and many are showing off their beauty with open garden days.  Here are our Top 6 Cape Open Gardens 2013:

19-20 Oct: McGregor Open Gardens. Ten water wise and indigenous gardens reflect the individuality of their owners, from free and wild to secret or formal. Entrance is free, but donations will be given to the Bram Care Centre for chronically and terminally ill, 50% of which are AIDS patients.

25-27 Oct: Franschhoek Open Gardens Festival. Ten of Franschhoek’s most spectacular gardens are open; from village to farm, indigenous and out of town. In typical Franschhoek fashion, there’s plenty else on with a tea & bubbly garden, live music, fresh goods market and a hugely successful plant sale. R100 gets you a weekend pass, R50 for Sunday afternoon 12 noon onwards. Tickets available on the day in the centre of town in front of the Town Hall.

26-27 OctGreyton Rose Fair. This year’s theme is ‘ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE’ and the main attractions are the fabulous displays of roses. Now in its 22nd year, there’ll be judging and prize-giving, a large market and a number of local gardens also on show, many within walking distance of one another. The Greyton Rose Fair is a Seniors fundraiser and absolutely every cent raised is ploughed back into the community.

2 Nov: Stellenberg Gardens Open Day, Upper Kenilworth.  It’s a real treat when Stellenberg opens it gardens to the public. The 18th century Cape Dutch house is one of the most beautiful in the Cape Peninsula and the gardens and nursery do it justice. The philosophy is to plant each section with a different mood, but always with a sense of peace and serenity. Entrance fee R30 to raise funds for Cape Mental Health.

26-27 Oct: Klein Optenhorst Spring Open Garden in Wellington. This beautiful terraced garden is home to one of the largest collections of Salvias in South Africa. A selection of rare and unusual plants are available in the nursery from 9:30am to 4:30pm and the R40 entrance fee includes tea & home-made scones and cream and viewing an art exhibition with paintings and ceramics by Carolyn Metcalfe.

2-10 Nov: Elgin Open Gardens.  There are 21 open gardens in the Elgin, Vyeboom and Bot River districts over two weekends, offering a real treat of variety and size (some so large you can almost get lost in). Many gardens offer teas and light meals. Entry fee according to each garden. Download the open gardens map here.

Have you visited any of these open gardens? Tell us your experience.


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