Inaugural Garden Week showcases nature through talks, tours, art, wine and food. Picture: supplied.
Inaugural Garden Week showcases nature through talks, tours, art, wine and food. Picture: supplied.

Visit Stellenbosch’s new festival of gardens promises to be a treat for nature lovers

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Aug 13, 2021

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Visit Stellenbosch announced a new, week-long festival that will transform its streets and surrounding countryside from September 30 to October 10.

The inaugural Garden Week Stellenbosch, inspired by the world-famous flower festival of Girona, Spain, will encompass everything from horticultural tours to landscape art, dining to hiking, and guest specialists to music in majestic settings.

It will include a first-ever Stellenbosch winelands experience featuring SA Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

Other highlights include a flower parade, which officially launches Garden Week Stellenbosch.

The event is an initiative of Visit Stellenbosch, with collaboration from local businesses, including restaurants and activity providers, Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch Visio, the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, Rama, Remgro, Candide App and Garden Day SA.

Advocate Gesie van Deventer, Stellenbosch executive mayor, said the event was the best way to bring in spring.

“As an avid gardener, I regularly get my hands dirty and love the multitude of beautiful gardens we have in our area. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting residents who take great pride in their gardens – from lush traditional havens to smart waterwise and newly established green paradises.

“I encourage all residents and visitors to participate in this event and to support our local tourism and experience economy for the benefit of all communities," said van Deventer.

Visit Stellenbosch chief executive Jeanneret Momberg said the event promises to become a major annual highlight in the Cape and a much-needed boost for the tourism economy.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to Stellenbosch,” she said.

What to expect:

Open gardens and nature walks

Enjoy the historic Old Nectar estate in the Jonkershoek Valley, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Paradyskloof, Spier Wine Farm and Delaire Graff Estate. Guided walks and fynbos wilderness hikes are on offer.

Talks and workshops

The Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens has compiled a special programme of daily walks and talks by specialists. Workshops will be presented at the Rupert Museum, Blaauwklippen Wine Farm off the R44, Jordan Wines, Spier Estate and Babylonstoren. Topics include flower arranging, dye art, photography, growing-your-own and learning about bees. There will also be a botanical drawing workshop.

Food and wine

Stellenbosch is the heartland of South African wine, and home to leading chefs and restaurateurs. Expect festival-inspired dishes to feature on menus, as well as a series of garden-and-wine dining events.

Among them is a Finding Eden experience with South African Michelin star chef Van der Westhuizen. This casual tête à tête will take place at Blaauwklippen Estate’s magical Cathedral and will include an exploration of the gardens in his life.

Another festival highlight is a seven-course Botanical Banquet prepared by JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town, which brings the JAN experience to the Stellenbosch Winelands for the first time. Call 021 886 4310 or e-mail [email protected]

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