Our first open garden day, next Friday, starts at 2pm in the afternoon. “But why not open the five gardens to the public in the morning?” people have asked.
Mystery solved: The morning is given over to the Seniors Tea. Now in its eighth year, the tea is aimed at local seniors and pensioners who love gardens, but who are unable to manage traffic congestion, and who do not get out to enjoy them.
Liz Simpson, a Soroptomist and member of the Constantia Valley Garden Club, contacts about 15 local retirement homes and a contact for Zimbabwe Seniors, to advertise the event, which is open to all seniors regardless of whether they are in a retirement home or not.
Soroptimist International is a world-wide organization working for the upliftment of women and children. Liz’s club is Cape of Good Hope. The organization was originally started in America over a hundred years ago, when women were not allowed to belong to Rotary (!). There are now seven federations, and clubs all over the world.
For the Seniors Tea, Soroptimists supply transport where necessary, the eats, and help with serving tea. In 2012 a record number of 200 Seniors visited in the morning.
Then follows a very speedy clean up, with fresh tablecloths, fresh water on the boil, and the setting up of hundreds of cakes, sandwiches and muffins for the teas to come, when the thirsty ticket-holding visitors arrive at 2pm.