Date: 22 October 2011
Location: The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia
Walkers: Dorothy, Jenny, Iain and Helen
For other open garden visits (from 2010) see here, here, here and here.
I haven't been doing any walking due to a very sore back and extreme busyness. However when friends Iain and Jenny mentioned that the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel was having a open garden I made a plan to visit as this was just what I needed in this stressful time: some gentle exercise to loosen my strained back, and time in a beautiful environment to soothe my rather frayed nerves.
The property, in leafy Constantia, dates back to 1693. While some of the buildings are from those early times, the rather grand main manor house was completely rebuilt in 1907. And the garden itself was redesigned about a decade ago. It covers a large area. We happily picked up a map to guide us. We started at the white garden, walking up the road.
We had a quick peek at the courtyard garden. Such a bright bougainvillea!
A family of ducks waddled past. The herb garden has beds with a mix of flowering plants, herbs and vegetables: fabulous-looking spinach and broccoli thriving amongst the irises and pansies.
It was a very cold blustery afternoon, with the threat of rain. The cheerful flowers really lifted my spirits.
From the herb garden we got a great view back to the manor house.
We left the road and followed the path towards the woodlands.
I loved the mix of red and green in these beds.
Grassy lawns led up to the hotel buildings.
Our path look us past the water garden. Yellow irises, white arum lilies and lots of lush ferns surrounded the small pond.
Below this we found the famous camphor trees. There are eight of these magnificent trees here, 200 years old. And amongst them: trees ferns, clivias and other shade-loving plants. By now a soft drizzle had started so we were glad to be in the forest. We had to tread carefully though as the paths were extremely slippery!
Our meanderings took us up through the rustic garden.
Here we found all sorts of pretty and colourful flowering plants.
As well as some green ones.
We passed through the garden gate to reach the the citrus terraces.
From here we climbed past the herb terraces to the arches. I loved the chequerboard paving with the mondo grass.
The weather was looking threatening so we went in search of a cup of tea, passing the rose garden on the way.
The peach-coloured rose was so pretty.
Up on the balcony of the manor house we watched the rain pour down as we had tea and scones.
After our refreshments we strolled down the lawns in front of the house.
No ducks welcome in the swimming pool.
I really liked the reds and orange shades in these front beds.
And I can never resist a lily.
We walked around the perimeter path, past the vineyard.
English lavender and white roses...
... and an usual white lavender caught my eye.
As we walked around the garden again we kept close to the Cellars building, enjoying the more formal plantings here.
Water features and small sculptures feature amongst the flowering plants.
We passed the formal reflecting pools, took a turn around the golf green...
... and finished where we started, at the white garden.