Here are 6 beautiful gardens that can be found in the scenic valleys of the Cape Winelands. Scroll to find the map of all these stunning spaces.
Set at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek Valley, Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch estates. Its famous garden, covering 3,5 hectares, lies at the heart of this working farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which provided Dutch East India Company ships with fresh vegetables and fruit when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. Babylonstoren’s garden contains 15 smaller allotments dedicated to vegetables, stone and pome fruits, nuts, citrus, berries, bees, herbs, ducks and chickens, and a prickly-pear maze.
Gravity feeds water into the garden from a stream which flows through ponds planted with edible lotus, nymphaea lilies and waterblommetjies. The stream’s banks create a space for indigenous wild olives to flourish and their shade provides a home for vast beds of clivia lilies which explode into blossom each spring.
Most of the garden’s more than 300 plant varieties are edible, or have medicinal value, and have been cultivated in an organic manner. The fruit and vegetables are harvested year round for use in Babylonstoren’s two farm-to-fork restaurants.
🎫: R10 entrance
⏰: 09:00 – 17:00 everyday
📍: Klapmuts - Simondium Road, 7670
🗺: Garden tours start at 10:00 in front of the farm shop
This dramatic garden is filled with the artist’s bronze sculptures, which come to life against a backdrop of fynbos and mountains. Situated on the edge of a Stellenbosch suburb, the garden is located between two worlds, one wild and one tamed.
In this garden, the artist explores the Jungian notion of ‘the wilderness within’ and has more than 60 sculptures carefully positioned along four kilometres of paths. The project began in 2009 when Lewis hired an excavator to fashion a level play area for his children behind their house … and went on to create the seven-hectare sculpture garden.
Lewis describes the process of making this space as intuitive: ‘It is not a linear, Western garden imposed on the landscape. It is very organic, very natural.’ The garden focuses on indigenous species, particularly local fynbos. Although planted to give year-round colour, it peaks from July to September, when its many buchus and ericas are in fragrant flower.
No picnicking is allowed, but guests can enjoy tea and cake in the garden’s Old Storeroom. A selection of artwork is available for purchase in the Old Studio.
🎫: R180 entrance
⏰: 08:30 – 17:00 Tuesday-Saturday (by appointment)
📍: Paradyskloof Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
Located in a beautiful corner of the Groot Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, Boschendal (1685) is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa. Its lovely rose garden, situated beside the manor house, was originally created by Gwen Fagan, honorary president of the Heritage Rose Society of South Africa. It features many of the original roses cultivated in the Cape and East Indies.
Heading down the slope, you come to the farm’s delightful organic vegetable garden and orchards beyond. Much of what you find on your plate at Boschendal’s restaurants is sourced from here.
Treat yourself to a Rhone Rose Garden picnic basket, enjoyed in a spectacular setting with mountain views and surrounded by exhibition vineyards. Your basket will include food made from the farm’s produce, including freshly baked bread, green salads from the Werf Food Garden, Boschendal Butchery charcuterie and homemade preserves.
🎫: free entry
⏰: 09:00 – 17:00 everyday
📍: Pniel Street, Groot, Franschhoek, 7680
🗺: Tours are 10:00–11:30 everyday at R100/person
Dating from the early 1700s, Old Nectar in the Jonkershoek Valley is a superb example of Cape Dutch architecture. Una van der Spuy bought the farm in 1941 and cultivated a world-renowned heritage garden extending over two hectares. She also became a well-known writer on South African garden plants.
Old Nectar gardens have a staggering array of trees and, apart from its iconic oaks, every tree was planted by Van der Spuy over a period of more than 70 years. They include the likes of redwood, elm, copper beech, Lombardy poplar, Cape chestnut, maple, flowering peach and Camellia trees.
The 120-metre driveway to the manor house overlooks an ornamental dam with fine views of the garden and the sandstone cliffs of the Jonkershoek Mountains beyond. While exploring the grounds, look out for the Pergola Garden, a 200-metre path flanked by brick pillars (built by Italian POWs) adorned with roses, flowering shrubs and climbers. Also well worth a visit is the Round Rose Garden planted with hybrid tea roses, some of them dating back to 1944.
🎫: R50 entrance
⏰: open daily
📍: Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
🗺: Guided tours by prior arrangement: R100 per adult
Situated at the foot of Waaihoek Mountain in the Breede River Valley, the farm Bosjes (‘small bushes’ in Dutch) boasts an original Cape Dutch manor house dating from 1790 and a spanking new chapel that is the talk of the local architectural world.
The newly designed gardens that surround the innovative chapel are a wonderful place to meander and meditate. The vegetation is a tapestry of contrasts, from dry desert shrubs to lush tropical plants. Step through the sculptural water feature and wind your way to the top of a small hill for a view of the sublime landscape, before heading down into the gardens themselves, planted with trees and vegetation that have biblical significance (complete with plaques that detail why they’ve been chosen).
Have a snack break in the sunken tea garden in the shape of an amphitheatre, or head through the newly-planted vineyard to Bosjes Kombuis and try out their country dining menu.
🎫: free entry
⏰: 10:00-16:00 Wednesday-Sunday
📍: Bosjes, R43, Western Cape, South Africa
Adenes is a working flower farm in Wolseley, Breede River Valley, that produces beautiful, high-quality, long-lasting flowers and foliage that are freshly cut … think dahlias, roses, anemones, lisianthus and foxgloves.
Established in 2016, Adenes focuses on using eco-friendly growing methods and being environmentally responsible. The valley’s relatively mild winters and long, hot summers are ideal for growing a wide range of flowers.
Adene Nieuwoudt is the driving force behind the farm and her passion for nature drew her to cultivating flowers. Her blooms celebrate the fleeting beauty of each season, freshly gathered from the fields and gardens.
🎫: R70 entrance
⏰: 08:00-12:00 Saturday-Sunday (January-March)
📍: Platvlei Fruit Farm, Wolseley, 6830