Inspired by the world-famous flower festival of Girona, Spain, will encompass everything from horticultural tours to flower art; dining to hiking; and, guest garden specialists, all in a majestic setting.
DIY vegetable gardening, wine tasting, painting, guided bird walks, wreath crafting, moss educationals, drawing with thread, honey sampling and much more – it’s all on the programme this year.
Garden Town Stellenbosch is an initiative of Visit Stellenbosch, which comprises the region’s tourism stakeholders and partners, including the Stellenbosch Municipality and Stellenbosch Wine Routes.
The Stellenbosch CBD will be decorated during the festival with a flower theme and prominent installations. As with last year’s event, colourful floral displays will be added to public spaces in Bird Street. Look out for cars, bicycles, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a trolley adorned with flowers and on display around town.
The programme of events kicks off with a grand flower parade and the official launch of Garden Town Stellenbosch on 20 October. And everyone is invited! This is your invitation to dress up for the theme. If you need help, there will be a stall at the Braak – the departure point – selling appropriate paraphernalia.
The parade will be followed immediately by a floral version of the town’s summer pop-up street soirees - a Garden Soiree. This takes place from 7pm to 9pm at the recently landscaped gardens at Voorgelegen.
Numerous presentations and installations will take place at the Stellenbosch Town Hall, in the heart of town. These are organised by the Western Cape Association for Flower Arrangers (WCAFA). There will be participation by flower clubs as well as workshops and flower arrangement educationals and master classes from 22 to 29 October. The Town Hall will also host an art exhibition by The Voice Collective.
Private home gardens will open to visitors on 21 October, 28 October, 22 October and 29 October. Visitors are advised to check the programme to see which gardens are open when. An entrance fee of R20 per garden will be charged. Alternatively, a weekend passport may be purchased that gives access to all the gardens for a once-off fee of R200.
Some private gardens will be the subject of new competition. The municipality’s inaugural Mayoral Garden Competition will showcase gardens in new housing and community developments. Five new housing areas were considered: Mandela City, Klapmuts; Hillside, Ida’s Valley; Watergang, Kayamandi; Jamestown, and, LaMotte, Franschhoek.
Famous gardens of the region have naturally been dressed up to show their best during the event, including Old Nectar, Babylonstoren, Hawksmoor, Schoongezicht at Rustenberg, and Aspidistra and Bonne Esperance. Check the programme for respective opening times.
Many of these will present workshops as well as talks and tours. Babylonstoren, for example, will demonstrate the making of a tussie mussie; focus on the work of bees during a guided walk; host a tour by Ernst van Jaarsveld of its special collections as well as a tour through its kitchen garden.
Workshops will also be presented in Stellenbosch Kloof’s Canettevallei, famous for its lavender products. These talks include the making of Protea origami, a lavender wand, natural soap, and a lavender talk and wine tasting.
At Joostenberg wine estate, a Spring farm walk will be presented – the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Stellenbosch.
Boschendal’s Farm Tours are a guided walking tour offering rare personal insight into the history of the farm, regenerative farming practices and sustainable gardening while experiencing and enjoying the beauty of the farm and its gardens. Guests will also be harvesting seasonal herbs from their herb garden whilst the farm’s soil to fork philosophy, and future plans to preserve the beautiful surroundings will also be shared.
The Garden Town website goes live on Spring Day, September 1, providing dates, times, locations and relevant costs.