It is open garden time at the Cape. The next two weekends will see 20 Elgin-area gardens in the Overberg open to the public. Proceeds from the ticket sales go to the Grabouw Animal Welfare Fund.
Jenny Simpson, one of the Constantia Valley Garden Cub’s members, lives in apple-growing Elgin, and she opens Auldearn, her delightful farm garden, every year at this time.
Jenny: “The reason the house and garden are there is simply that this was the only piece of ground on the farm on which apples could not be grown!”
There are wonderful mountain views in all directions: of the Hottentots Holland, the Koggelberg, the Perdeberg and the Groenberg. Situated in the buffer zone of the Koggelberg Biosphere Reserve, the property is visited by many wild animals and birds.
Jenny has a passion for growing plants of all descriptions; she describes hers as “a plantswoman’s garden.” Many of her plants are grown from seed or cuttings and include some unusual and rare specimens. Logically, for an apple-growing region, any plants in the apple family – Rosaceae – do well. Hence the cherry trees, many and varied roses, strawberries, geums, crataegus, raphiolepis, potentilla, cotoneaster, filipendula and prunus. She skilfully mixes these unusual indigenous and exotic plants, focusing on colour combinations.
Jenny’s garden, along with 19 other gardens, is open this weekend (1st and 2nd of November), and next (8th and 9th of November) from 10am – 5 pm.
Entry R15. Tea & rosemary biscuits R10.
Download a map here. Auldearn is 8.5 km from the N2 on Highlands Road.
More info at Elgin Open Gardens.