best-gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands

Dreamy Gardens to Explore Year-Round Near the Cape Winelands

I love all things garden-related and over the years, I have had the pleasure of exploring many wonderful gardens in and around Cape Town and the Western Cape. Some have been during special, annual Open Garden events while others have come from impromptu solo missions. Regardless of the occasion, the Cape has some glorious gardens to explore. And in this post, I share my pick (so far) of the best gardens to explore yearround near the Cape Winelands!

Cape Winelands Gardens for Every Season

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-stellenbosch

Gardens are always great during spring and summertime. But I want to show that in the Cape especially, you can enjoy garden treasures and natural beauty no matter the season!

The Best Gardens to Explore Year-Round Near the Cape Winelands

From stunning wine estate gardens to artistically inspired sculpture gardens and gardens that have stood the test of time – this post has your garden fix.

So whether you are a nature lover, gardener or traveller, this post has a garden gem for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Glorious Gardens Near the Stellenbosch Winelands

De Meye Vineyards

best-gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-de-meye-vineyards

This family-owned wine farm, situated in Muldersvlei, near the Stellenbosch Wine Route, is a gorgeous estate to visit. Not only do they offer excellent wine tastings and platters but they are also the home of popular Cape Winelands restaurant, The Table at De Meye. They can also serve as a magical venue for intimate weddings.

the-table-at-de-meye-lunches

But what really steals the show here at De Meye is the simple, yet poignant way this wine farm combines rustic Cape beauty with quality food and wine offerings for all to enjoy.

A visit to De Meye, which offers some of the most stunning garden settings I have enjoyed anywhere, is not simply an outing – it is, instead, a cherished experience.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-de-meye-restaurant

Where:

Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

Free. Because you can enjoy the gardens when you visit for a delicious meal (or seasonal picnic) at The Table at De Meye. Or for a lovely winetasting and/or platter at De Meye Vineyards.

Garden highlights:

de-meye-garden

To be honest, everything about the gardens at De Meye Vineyards are absolutely stunning. During summertime, the garden is alive with the heady scents and sounds of hot summer days, while it turns dramatically to copper, burnt red and gold hues during autumn and early winter.

And of course, during spring, this garden is like a living dream, filled with flowers and freshness after the hard, cold Cape winters.

We visited during summer for a picnic experience but trust me on this: De Meye’s garden spaces are enchanting all year! (Yes, even in winter.)

Two of my personal highlights from the gardens at De Meye is the old forlorn tower, swirled with bougainvillea, and the homely, wholesome veggie garden.

garden-tower-cape-winelands

 

De Meye – and indeed The Table at De Meye – have created a natural paradise for foodies, travellers and families alike thanks to the natural beauty and great food and wine they offer guests.

Children have space to run and play, while adults can stretch out leisurely at the beautifully set outdoor tables or near the winetasting area.

picnic-de-meye-stellenbosch

Tip:

If you are planning to pop the question – few places could be more perfect for a proposal than De Meye’s beautiful garden spaces! ๐Ÿ™‚

Contact details:

Contact details vary depending on your reason for visiting, so please see here.

Website:

demeye.co.za

 

Joostenberg Wine Estate

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-cape-winelands-joostenberg-wine-estate

This five-generation, family-owned- and run-working farm and boutique wine farm is one of the loveliest you will find anywhere in Stellenbosch.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-cape-winelands-joostenberg-manor-house

Situated in Muldersvlei, the farm has a multi-dimensional feel to it. Especially as it offers organic vineyard farming, seasonal cut flowers, herbs and vegetables, free-range cattle and of course, the excellent Kraal Restaurant.

the-kraal-restaurant-joostenberg-wine-estate

Where:

Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

The estate is free to visit for a lovely organic wine tasting or delicious weekend meal at The Kraal, their on-site restaurant.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-winetasting-joostenberg-wine-estate

They have lovely garden spaces that can be enjoyed or savoured when visiting the estate for a slow farm lunch or wine tasting. Better still, you can also order gorgeous seasonal, cut flowers from the estate.

the-kraal-joostenberg-wines

Garden highlights:

The family have maintained the gardens beautifully over the years. Honestly, these are some of the prettiest garden spaces I have seen on any Cape farm.

roses-the-kraal-restaurant

Everything from the relaxed farm yard to the enclosed lawn and garden spaces that edge the tasting room and The Kraal are divine.

tasting-room-joostenberg-wine-estate

I visited the farm during winter and even then, the gardens were serene and beautiful to see. I also love the estate’s quality organic wines and delicious Kraal fare so I definitely recommend an estate visit.

sunday-roast-the-kraal-joostenberg-wine-estate

joostenberg-wines-myburgh-bros-muscat

It’s hard to pick a particular garden highlight because both the garden- and orchard-settings are lovely and well-maintained. So let’s just say everything is a highlight here.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 200 9903, winery@joostenberg.co.za

Website:

joostenberg.co.za

 

Spier

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-cape-winelands-spier

Spier is one of the most family-friendly and well-rounded estates in the Stellenbosch Winelands.

It needs no introduction – offering everything from gorgeous wines to lovely hotel accommodation and amazing farm experiences. These include everything from their seasonal picnics to their farm cafรฉ and fun segway tours.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-spier-picnics

Where:

R310, Stellenbosch Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

The estate is free to visit. There are, of course, paid-for estate experiences – but the gardens are completely free to enjoy!

spier-wine-farm-garden-walk

I have visited this beautiful estate twice. Once during summer and again during autumn, and I never tire of their rolling lawns, scenic bodies of water and vibrant garden spaces.

Garden highlights:

How much time do you have? Because this could take a while. Okay, let’s just say: every inch of Spier’s gardens is a highlight.

spier-outdoor-art

They have some of the best, most expansive lawn spaces around (ideal for visiting families with active, young kiddies) – and the gardens are even better.

Every possible space at Spier is filled with either trees, shrubs and flowers or grass.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-spier-protea

Better still, the estate offers soothing, self-guided walks. These really allow you to immerse yourself in nature, taking you past fascinating outdoor art, water features and vibrant Cape flora.

A Variety of Free-to-Enjoy Garden Walks

Tip:

Download the VoiceMap audio tour app – and listen to the excellent, narrated audio tours as you walk!

There are a few different walks you can enjoy. These include, to name a few:

spier-wine-farm-stellenbosch

– The circular, 90-minute Heritage Walk. The first time we visited Spier, I enjoyed this walk a lot so I definitely recommend it.

This takes you past coral tree-lined avenues and historic Cape Dutch-style buildings, through beautiful indigenous gardens and much more.

spier-farm-cafe

Spier recommends starting this route from the Tasting Room or Hotel for the full experience. Also, wear comfortable shoes.

– The 30-minute River Walk; my personal favourite Spier farm walk. I adore the River Walk. Established by well-known landscape architect, Patrick Wilson and horticulturalist, Wilton Sikhosana, this scenic, river-hugging walk takes you along the south bank of the Eerste River.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-spier-river-walk

As you explore a variety of indigenous plants, enjoy learning about Spier’s alien-clearing and rehabilitation efforts. Spier recommends starting this walk at the Spier Hotel bridge.

spier-wine-farm-self-guided-walks

– The Art Walk. This walk allows visitors to see first-hand Spier’s amazing art collection.

As you explore, you can admire the art and learn more about the artworks, artists and what inspired them.

Spier is committed to supporting local art and artists and this is one of the things I love most about the farm.

spier-art

Spier’s Elemental Play Garden

Another incredible garden highlight at Spier is the relatively new Elemental Play Garden.

Situated near the Spier Farm Cafรฉ and Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, this is a wonderful spot for families to enjoy.

Designed by landscape architect Ed Brooks and local landscape architect, Danielle Croly, this garden, amazingly, uses mostly indigenous plants.

The garden is divided into four sections, each representing the four elements: water, air, earth and fire. Intersecting these, is a spiralling waterway that symbolises the Fibonacci Sequence.

Additional garden features include a fun slide, crawling tunnel, Charl Conradie wind sculpture, the treated, safe water quadrant (perfect for playtime and summer splashes) and a great swing bridge.

Kids really love this garden so it’s especially excellent for young guests to enjoy.

The Elemental Garden is also free to enjoy and is open daily until around sunset.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 809 1100, info(@)spier.co.za

Website:

www.spier.co.za

 

Tokara

tokara-wine-estate

In 2021, I had the pleasure of returning to Tokara for a full estate review. So I can confirm that this incredible wine and olive estate is one of the most scenic, impressive estates in the Stellenbosch Winelands.

It really has, quite possibly, the best views around too! Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the estate is family-friendly with an amazing playground that enthralls the kids!

tokara-deli

With views over False Bay to Table Mountain and across the estate’s own neatly maintained vineyards and olive groves, as well as Helshoogte, a visit to Tokara is a must.

tokara-wine-estate-stellenbosch

Everything from their wines to their extra virgin olive oil and eateries are stunning.

Tokara’s Delicatessen and Restaurant

The child-friendly Delicatessen is lovely, with great stock and tasty breakfasts and lunches, while fine-dining-type Tokara Restaurant is one of the Cape Winelands’ longest-standing, most renowned restaurants.

Where:

Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

Tokara is free to visit for those wishing to enjoy a beautiful winetasting. Or lovely bite at the Delicatessen and/or a special meal at the scenic Tokara Restaurant.

Garden highlights:

When I first visited the estate in 2014, Tokara’s main garden highlight was undeniably the breathtakingly panoramic views that you enjoy from the deli and tree-encircled lawn area outside.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-tokara-vineyards
Photo credit: Non Stop Destination

Since then, the estate has added an amazing children’s playground by the deli. It really is one of the most incredible play areas that I have seen on a wine farm.

In addition to this, the estate also has a curated art gallery and sculpture garden (also found near the Delicatessen).

I also love the Orchard Walk through the olive groves. It connects the tasting room and restaurant with the deli section.

Yet it is the estate’s private gardens that really blew my mind during the Stellenbosch Garden Week 2021.

tokara-estate-gardens

Tokara’s Open Garden and Plant Fair

The estate also sometimes host an annual Tokara open garden and plant fair. So keep an eye out for this usually annual event!

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-tokara

This allows visitors to purchase a wide variety of indigenous flora (from fynbos to proteas).

You can also enjoy tranquil walks past local, larger-than-life or sweet art sculptures, with great views across the large garden dam, which is one of the most stunning settings I have encountered.

tokara-private-gardens

Other open garden highlights include the dedicated indigenous garden, cork oak forest, terraces of the picking garden and the mountain stream that flows through the lily ponds.

tokara-estate-gardens-stellenbosch

Contact details:

+27 (021) 808 5900, wine@tokara.com

Website:

www.tokara.com

 

Warwick Wine Estate

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-cape-winelandswarwick-wine-estate

Warwick Wine Estate is another Stellenbosch stunner, especially when it comes to estate gardens and grounds.

I have visited this farm twice (in autumn and summer respectively) and both times, the natural beauty has made a lasting impression.

warwick-wine-estate-picnic-pod
Photo credit: Alicia Chamaillรฉ

Add to that a hugely family-friendly atmosphere, relaxed lawn and chic pod picnics and superb wine tastings and Warwick is a classy estate on every level.

Where:

R44, Stellenbosch

How much it costs to visit:

warwick-wine-estate-wine-tasting
Photo credit:
Alicia Chamaillรฉ

The estate is free to visit. Pop in for a wine pairing, seasonal picnic or fun 4×4 wine safari.

Garden highlights:

picnic-pod-warwick-estate

Arguably the biggest garden highlights at Warwick are the gorgeous garden spaces that are dotted with chic picnic pods and jungle gyms.

The gardens are also edged by vineyards on the one side so you get a nice working wine farm vibe too.

warwick-wine-estate-vineyard-safari

I also love the expansive lawn, which overlooks a pretty dam, and the beautiful water features that are a delight for little ones.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-warwick

warwick-wine-estate-gardens

The flowers and shrubs here, as well as the beautiful trees, make Warwick feel like a fairytale estate, while also offering a peaceful setting.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-warwick-picnics

Contact details:

+27 (021) 884 4410, info@warwickwine.com

Website:

www.warwickwine.com

 

Old Nectar

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-cape-winelands-old-nectar

Ah, Old Nectar… The estate gardens at Old Nectar are almost too beautiful and secret for me to share.

This historic estate, which has been lovingly tended by the Van Der Spuy family for many years, is a true hidden gem in the stunning Jonkershoek Valley.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-old-nectar-estate-gardens

Offering both luxury long-term accommodation and the most enchanting gardens around, Old Nectar is an unmissable Stellenbosch attraction for garden lovers and green fingers alike.

Where:

Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch

How much it costs to visit:

Old Nectar costs R50 per adult to visit the gorgeous estate gardens but it is free to under 18s.

Note: Garden guests are limited to groups of 10 people maximum.

old-nectar-estate-garden-map

However, you get a beautifully illustrated garden map and tree list and you are welcome to enjoy your own picnics here free of charge!

Garden highlights:

old-nectar-rose-garden-tamlyn-amber-wanderlust

Honestly? Just the whole four hectares of immaculately maintained and wonderfully inspired garden spaces that are primarily the living legacy of the late Una Van Der Spuy.

waterfall-garden

However, some of my personal highlights include the panoramic, 200-metre-long Pergola Walk; circular Rose Garden; Memorial Bench; Redwood tree and indigenous garden and more.

old-nectar-redwood-tree

pergola-walk-old-nectar

Old Nectar is the most enchanting place for young and old to visit. During autumn, it is a riot of colour.

autumn-colours-old-nectar-gardens

old-nectar-estate-gardens-jonkershoek

Still, the staff assure me the garden is intended to be glorious year-round – and I have no doubt it is.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-old-nectar-manorhouse

Best of all, the garden is open daily – except on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Just call ahead to book your visit, especially during COVID-19.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 866 113, info@oldnectar.com

Website:

www.oldnectar.com

 

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-dylan-lewis-sculpture-garden

Dylan Lewis Studio and Sculpture Garden is another Stellenbosch gem. This incredible place is the masterful work of acclaimed South African artist and sculptor, Dylan Lewis, who is renowned for his animal form sculptures.

While both the studio and on-site coffee shop, The Old Storeroom, are excellent to visit – it is the artist’s creative, carefully constructed sculpture garden that steals the show.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-dylan-lewis-sculptures

This garden is gorgeous during autumn and spring – but it offers immense beauty year-round. Including in winter when I visited.

Note: While Dylan Lewis Studio and Sculpture Garden is open to the public – this is by appointment only.

dylan-lewis-animal-forms

Where:

Mulberry Farm, Paradyskloof Road, Stellenbosch

How much it costs to visit:

Currently, garden entry fees are R180 (per adult); R120 (for students and pensioners); and free to under 18s.ย 

Dylan Lewis Studio and Sculpture Garden can be visited strictly by prior appointment only, from Tuesday to Saturday.

dylan-lewis-old-studio

General opening hours for the garden are from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm, with last entry at 15:30pm. The Old Storeroom is open until 16:30pm.

Note: On certain days and public holidays though, hours vary. Please contact them directly or visit their website for more on this.

Tip:

dylan-lewis-studio-and-sculpture-garden

If you want to experience the full beauty and inspired greatness behind the garden, book a private tour.

For more information on tours, please visit their website.

Garden highlights:

aloe-garden-dylan-lewis-sculpture-garden

It is very hard for me to narrow down only a few highlights, especially as the complimentary garden map sets out some 39 different attractions.

Suffice to say, the sculpture garden is one of the most amazing places I have visited. It is, essentially, one spectacular garden highlight from start to finish.

dylan-lewis-studio-sculpture-garden

However, I still have a few sections that especially interested or attracted me with their emotiveness or natural beauty.

Dylan Lewis Garden Gems

aloe-garden-dylan-lewis-tamlyn-amber-wanderlust

Some of my personal favourites include: The Central Lawn and River Bush Willow Grove; the impressive Pavilion; The Old Orchard and The Wild Olive Grove; The Heather Hill; The Aloe Garden; and the Monumental Fragmented Forms.

monumental-fragments-dylan-lewis

Contact details:

+27 (021) 880 0054, reservations@dylanart.co.za

Website:

dylanlewis.com

Kleinood

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-kleinood

This small, yet beautiful farm is known for its award-winning Tamboerskloof wines and de Boerin olive oil. Situated in theย Stellenbosch Winelands, Kleinood is, by all accounts, a hidden gem of note. Here, tucked away among the trees, one unearths a secluded oasis in this dreamy, rustic working farm.

kleinood-wine-tasting

There is a lovely tasting room, walled garden courtyard and boutique store on-site (you can alsoย shop online via their website) and a short walk from this, one finds the enchanting estate gardens.

These gardens, which are beautiful and tranquil beyond words, are testament to the owners’ passion and care for Kleinood and its grounds.

kleinood-gardens

Back in 2000, despite its beautiful setting and the river that runs through it, this farm was sorely in need of some TLC. The transformation of love began, as the owners slowly cleaned up the forest and river areas. They also planted some 200 trees, hundreds of shrubs and a couple thousand bulbs. In time, the olive trees and vines also came.

kleinood-estate-gardens

Today, the result speaks for itself. Kleinood is one of the most beautiful little farms I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Not only do the stunning mountains create the most impressive backdrop, with distant heather, fynbos and deep valleys adding to the picture-perfect charm but the estate dam and gardens are truly breathtaking.

kleinood-estate-garden

Their garden is vast and we actually only scratched the surface of it; here is aย fuller overview of the garden, including the magical-looking Kleinood Map of Trees.

Where:

Upper Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

Gardens are free to enjoy when visiting the estate.

However, I would recommend visiting their boutique store for some takehome goodies and gifts or pre-booking a delicious platter and wine tasting.ย 

seasonal-platter-kleinood

Kleinood is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 16:00 pm.ย They are closed on Sundays but open on public holidays.

Garden highlights:

kleinood-estate-stellenbosch
Photo credit: Alicia Chamaillรฉ

Some of my personal highlights from the estate gardens include the laid-back orchard; purple and white jasmine that blooms like stars above secret bowers; shaded jetty (which reaches out into the edge of the dam) and lastly, the angel-like garden sculpture and wicker bench around the dam. These create the perfect space for soaking up the farm scenery, garden beauty and above all, the impressive mountain vistas that frame the farm.

Kleinood-dam

I also loved the colourful bee hives dotted about the garden (Kleinood produces the most incredible raw and/or rose-infused raw honey; available for purchase from their store) and the sweet ‘duck/goose’ house structure. This floats out in the middle of the dam for the waterbirds to enjoy.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 880 2527,ย tastingroom@kleinood.com

Website:

www.kleinood.com

 

Delaire Graff Estate

best-gardens-to-explore-year-round-cape-winelands-delaire-graff

Jeweller Laurence Graff has created a paradise for guests and visitors in what is, quite possibly one of the most well-situated estates in South Africa.

Delaire Graff oozes natural beauty, as it is encircled by mountains and blessed with stunning vistas for miles around. Beyond that, this luxurious Stellenbosch estate offers an incredible array of boutiques, world-class accommodation, mind-blowing food and wine experiences, spa facilities, a helipad, numerous artworks and yes, you guessed it, gorgeous gardens.

The gardens are the brainchild of celebrity horticulturist and world-renowned, award-winning landscape designer, Keith Kirsten.ย 

delaire-graff-gardens

The Gardens of Delaire Graff: Daring to be Different

The Delaire Graff gardens were designed to provide a tranquil oasis where art, sculptures and garden beauty come together. Rather than follow the traditional vines and roses approach adopted by most local estates, they have dared to be different.

gardens-delaire-graff-stellenbosch

With over 350 indigenous and imported, exotic plants, Delaire Graff’s gardens offer biodiversity, beauty and botanical brilliance. Aside from the plants and flowers, water features and imposing artworks (by local artists such as Anton Smit, Dylan Lewis and Lionel Smit) add to the garden’s ‘wow factor’.

Although sections of the estate (especially the lodge and villa areas, as well as the spa facilities) are generally restricted to guests in residence or those with half- or full-day spa packages, day visitors can still enjoy exploring different parts of the estate gardens and vineyards. Provided you stick to the pathways and don’t intrude on anyone’s privacy. If you are unsure where you can explore, check with reception or the estate security.

Oh andย  be sure to grab an estate map for ease of navigation! ๐Ÿ™‚

delaire-graff-vineyards

Where:

Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch Winelands.

How much it costs to visit:

delaire-graff-art

The Delaire Graff gardens are free to visit and are open to the public from 09:00 am to 19:00 pm daily.

However, please note that some areas of the estate are restricted to guests in residence or those with spa packages.ย 

Garden Highlights:

Aside from the rich array of flowers and plants that bloom for 365 days of the year, the artwork and sculptures are certainly a major drawcard of the estate gardens. Indeed, the estate offers some 400 works from Laurence Graff’s own collection.

art-delaire-graff-estate

These adorn the walls, garden spaces, ceilings and entrances. In fact, I need to revisit the estate for a proper winetasting and art appreciation.

Some of my personal favourite garden highlights include the vineyards below the wine lounge/general parking area; Dylan Lewis sculptures dotted about the grounds; Lionel Smit’s contemplative ‘Morphous’ sculpture and quite honestly, the estate’s immaculate driveway.

It is honestly one of the most beautiful I have seen, lined by trees and lush plants that overlook the vineyards on one side and sweeping distant valleys on the other.

delaire-graff-stellenbosch

Both the gardens and vineyards at Delaire Graff are stunning to behold – with quite possibly the most breathtaking views around.

The estate’s gardens are beautiful year-round but I definitely recommend a visit in spring to enjoy their full beauty!

Contact details:

+27 (021) 885 8160, info@delaire.co.za

Website:

www.delaire.co.za

 

Magical Gardens Near the Franschhoek Winelands

Babylonstoren

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-babylonstoren

What can one say about Babylonstoren’s amazing garden that hasn’t been said before?

This Franschhoek estate and working wine farm is famous the world over for its glorious garden. It is arguably the most well-known feature on this list.

babylonstoren-wine-farm-western-cape

The incredible garden is a paradise and safe country haven for young and old alike. Inhabited by everything from feathery friends to busy little bees, Babylonstoren’s garden is the stuff of gardening dreams.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-babel-restaurant

Aside from its garden paradise, Babylonstoren also has amazing hotel and spa offerings, two lovely, child-friendly restaurants in Greenhouse and Babel, a brimming farm shop, beautiful wines and more to enjoy.

babylonstoren-farm-shop

Where:

Klapmuts, Simondium, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

babylonstoren-greenhouse-franschhoek

Because Babylonstoren is a working farm, a small entry fee of R20 per adult and R10 per child under 12 is required for anyone visiting the gardens or joining the estate for a meal.

The garden is open daily from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm, last entry is at 16:00 pm.

garden-workshops-western-cape

Garden Membership Launch

However, in June 2021, the estate has launched a new Babylonstoren 12-month, once-off-payment garden membership.ย This allows the purchaser to enjoy unlimited daily admission to the farm for yourself and four guests.

babylonstoren-wine-farm-garden

You can also learn about plants with a plant identifier, listen to an informative audio tour and interact with Babylonstoren’s gardeners through their Candide app.

For more information, please see their website.

Garden highlights:

This beautiful, 3.5 hectare garden is the perfect blend of fruits, vegetables, trees, plants and flowers.

Designed by talented French architect, Patrice Taravella, the garden comprises of 15 main clusters. These offer everything from veggies to berries, herbs and even the Insta-worthy prickly pear maze.

chickens-babylonstoren-farm

Babylonstoren’s garden is a wholesome, healing experience and a wonderful outing for everyone from active kiddies to seasoned green fingers.

With fun waterways and a brand new splash spiral called the Old Bullfrog, which features lizards and amphibians – the farm is a kids’ dream destination.

I love everything about Babylonstoren’s gardens from the beautiful garden map to the cycad exhibit, waterways and adorable resident farm animals, like donkeys, fowls and ducks.

cycad-collection-babylonstoren

Perhaps what I love most is how the garden changes and expands with every season.

No two visits to the garden are the same because there is always some new display setup in the fun, 70-metre Puff Adder walk or spotted throughout the garden as they grow and thrive.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-babylonstoren-estate

I have only ever visited Babylonstoren during autumn – but if any garden is made for every season (and every kind of weather, fair or otherwise), it is Babylonstoren’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

Contact details:

+27 (021) 863 3852, enquiries@babylonstoren.com

Website:

babylonstoren.com

Boschendal

boschendal-wine-farm-western-cape

Boschendal is famously one of my most timeless, beloved wine farms. Since I first visited the estate as a wee six-year-old, this popular Franschhoek wine farm has wowed me time and time again over the years.

For those craving a full, beautiful Cape Winelands experience, Boschendal is one of the best choices around.

food-garden-boschendal

With everything from wine tastings, picnics to farm shops and eateries, outdoor adventure (like MTB or horse riding fun), luxury accommodation and stunning wedding venues, Boschendal offers plenty for guests.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-boschendal

Yet what really draws me to this historic wine farm are its incredible outdoor spaces and vibrant garden settings, set off by breathtaking mountain views and gracious Cape Dutch buildings.

boschendal-cape-dutch-buildings

Where:

Franschhoek, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

While the estate has a host of paid activities and offerings, it is free to visit. This means the gorgeous garden sections are too.

Garden highlights:

boschendal-herb-garden

Boschendal has so many picturesque outdoor and garden locations but I particularly love the gardens around the Cape Dutch Manor House, Werf restaurant and scenic picnic areas.

boschendal-picnics

The Manor House rose garden is magical but so too is the Rhone rose garden.

boschendal-manor-house-rose-garden

The Werf food garden is another garden gem and one I find absolutely thrilling to explore. With interesting garden features, flowers and organic produce dotted about the food garden, it offers an interesting garden meander.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-boschendal-werf-food-garden

I have visited Boschendal in every season – and no matter the weather, the gardens are sublime here.

Boschendal Garden Walk

boschendal-garden

Another gorgeous garden offering at Boschendal is the garden walk, situated in front of the Manor House. It offers the Heritage roses and other dreamy flowers.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 870 4200, enquiries@boschendal.co.za

Website:

www.boschendal.com

 

La Motte

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-la-motte

Another quality Franschhoek estate is La Motte. This estate is also rather famous for its beautiful gardens that enwrap the main buildings, such as the farm shop, the tasting room and Pierneef ร  La Motte Restaurant.

pierneef-a-la-motte-franschhoek

La Motte also offers guests great food and wine, quality farm shop goods (everything from treats to beautiful homeware and toiletries), a visually stunning museum and even a lovely hiking trail.

la-motte-hiking-trails
Photo credit: La Motte

Where:

Franschhoek, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

Excluding paid experiences and purchases, La Motte is free to visit so all guests are welcome to explore the garden.

la-motte-sculpture-walk

With the exception of their rose garden; this is only open annually during the Franschhoek Open Gardens.

Garden highlights:

pierneef-a-la-motte-garden-seating

I personally love how La Motte offers the most beautiful sculptures in their garden, alongside the flowers, oak trees and plants.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-la-motte-wine-estate

Add to that lush garden spaces and even a vineyard section lined by roses and La Motte is picture-perfect, with gorgeous farm- and mountain-views all round.

Sculpture Walk

la-motte-scuplture

La Motte also offers guided sculpture walks that allow guests to see 11 female sculptures on the estate – from the 560-kg Wine Bearerย  to those displayed throughout the buildings and garden spaces.

la-motte-museum

Held on Thursday mornings, the sculpture walk highlights La Motte’s admiration for both women in society and the arts.

la-motte-hanneli-rupert-music

Each tour concludes with a tasting of the estate’s La Motte Mรฉthode Cap Classique and a traditional French Madeleine beneath the shelter of the garden oaks.

Note: Sculpture walk reservations are essential; cost is R80 per person. Book online or contact the estate directly.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 876 8000, info@la-motte.co.za

Website:

www.la-motte.com

 

Enchanting Gardens Near the Paarl Winelands

Avondale Wine

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-avondale-wine

Hidden away in the Paarl Winelands, Avondale is one of the loveliest, most quality estates around. Everything from their excellent restaurant, FABER to the gorgeous setting makes this Paarl wine farm memorable.

Yet perhaps one of its biggest stand-out attractions is the stunning garden that one finds at Avondale, fronting FABER like a flowering, vine-covered mini secret garden.

avondale-wine-gardens

I also love how serious the estate is about organic wines, farm-to-fork food and sustainable farming practices.

Where:

Lustigan Road, Paarl Winelands

How much it costs to visit:

Avondale Wine is free to visit for those dining at FABER or enjoying a wine tasting.

The farm also offers farm out rides, summer picnics, eco wine safaris, Saturday morning farm walks (R25 per person for those 12 and up) and a lovely OCHRA Deli.

Garden highlights:

avondale-wine-paarl-winelands

For me, the gardens at Avondale are exquisite. They are really the first thing you see when you visit the estate and make their presence felt throughout.

Another garden highlight are the sprawling vines that reign unchecked across the verandah.

FABER for the Food

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-faber-at-avondale-dessert

If you wish to experience the garden’s full, flowering beauty – meals at FABER are best enjoyed outdoors.

FABER is housed within a beautiful Cape Dutch building and the outside verandah seating dreamily overlooks both the vineyards and the gorgeous garden.

faber-restaurant-avondale

The al fresco dining experience that I enjoyed at FABER a few years ago remains one of my best food memories to date.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 863 1976, wine@avondalewine.co.za

Website:

www.avondalewine.co.za

Gorgeous Gardens Near the Cape Helderberg Winelands

Lourensford Wine Estate

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-lourenford-wine-estate

Another of my favourite estates is lovely Lourensford. Situated in the Helderberg Wine Region, this beautiful wine estate has it all.

Everything from the popular Lourensford Market to gorgeous wedding venues and a slew of on-site attractions, family-friendly eateries and activities.ย  And let’s not forget their excellent wines and wine pairings (chocolate and wine, anyone?).

lourensford-wine-farm-experiences

Yet it is the gardens, with their rolling lawns, water features, wild cat sculptures and little bridges, that people really seem to love about this estate. Myself included, naturally.

lourensford-wine-estate

Where:

Somerset West, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

The estate itself – and the market – is free to visit so you are welcome to enjoy the gardens – but experiences and offerings on-site are naturally paid-for.

Garden highlights:

lourensford-wine-estate-somerset-west

The beautiful gardens at Lourensford are fed by the tranquil Lourens River and they are some of the loveliest you will see anywhere.

I adore every inch of these gardens, which are complemented by the picture-perfect mountain and estate views and gracious Cape Dutch architecture.

lourensford-somerset-west-estate

Personally, I don’t have any specific garden highlights here (unless you count the bridges; I am a sucker for cute bridges) because the whole estate is gorgeous and perfectly landscaped.

However, I do love the garden spaces that edge The Millhouse Kitchen and the chic wine tasting centre.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-lourensford

Children, meanwhile, favour the sprawling lawns and the main fountain, which is a popular play-splash area among the little ones.

This is just yet another reason why Lourenford – and its gardens – are hugely family-friendly and ideal for visitors of all ages to enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Contact details:

+27 (021) 847 2333, info@lourensford.co.za

Website:

lourensford.co.za

 

Vergelegen Wine Estate

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-vergelegen

Ah, Vergelegen – this estate is honestly one of the most naturally stunning you will find anywhere in the world. Suffice to say, this is a garden paradise with everything from historic Camphor trees to intimate garden spaces.

Add to this, two quality restaurants (one of which is very child-friendly), dreamy picnics, good wines and a rich Cape history and Vergelegen is an estate that everyone should try visit at least once. If only for the Cape history and natural garden beauty alone.

vergelegen-wine-estate-gardens

Where:

Somerset West, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

vergelegen-wine-estate

Aside from the paid experiences/activities, the estate itself has a small entry fee of R10 per adult and R5 per pensioners/scholars. Although pensioners can visit for free on Mondays.

However, considering how much you can see at Vergelegen, this is a very minimal fee to have to pay.

Garden highlights:

vergelegen-garden

Vergelegen has so many amazing garden spaces and each is as unique and beautiful as the next. However, I will touch one a few of my personal favourites at this picturesque estate.

  • The Octagonal Garden, which borders the homestead, is certainly right up there for me. It is divided into two seasons (summer (October to February) and winter (April to August)), making it beautiful year-round too.
  • The formal rose garden, cultivated on a former tennis court, is an especially lovely section and well-worth a visit, particularly during spring (October) and summer (January to February).
  • The Agapanthus Garden is a vision and features some 14 000 plants, with 21 different varietals. These flower at different times between November to February.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelandsagapanthus-garden

  • The Reflection Garden, near Camphors Restaurant, is one of my favourite parts purely from a idyllic quality. This evergreen garden peaks during the summer months.
  • The Camphor Forest is the picnic site and one of the sections you should definitely visit during your time at Vergelegen. These trees are absolutely beautiful and vast and have a rich history that ties them uniquely to the estate and the Western Cape as a whole.
  • The Bamboo Garden is one of the more unusual, yet thoroughly delightful finds at Vergelegen. It is beautiful no matter the season and provides lovely shade on even the hottest day.

Overall, Vergelegen is a joy to visit, no matter the season or occasion. This is a wonderful estate for couples, families and friends alike to savour together.

Contact details:

+27 (021) 847 2100, (021) 847 2111, info@vergelegen.co.za

Website:

vergelegen.co.za

 

Charming Gardens near the Constantia Winelands

Steenberg Estate and Vineyards

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-steenberg-estate

The Steenberg Estate overall offers a host of excellent facilities and experiences to enjoy – everything from golf to family-friendly hotel accommodation and spa treatments, two in-house eateries in Tryn and Bistro Sixteen82 and of course, award-winning Constantia wines.

Steenberg Vineyards is one of the estates that I fell in love with at first sight. Even on a moody overcast day, this estate – with its quality offerings and stunning setting – makes an impact.

steenberg-estate-gardens

Situated in the heart of the Constantia Winelands, in beautiful Tokai, Steenberg Vineyards is perfectly poised between city life – and untamed natural beauty, with outdoor attractions like Silvermine a short drive away. Yet it is far enough removed from the city centre to feel like a glorious city escape. ๐Ÿ™‚

Where:

Tokai, Constantia Winelands, Cape Town

How much it costs to visit:

steenberg-estate-vineyards

Steenberg Estate and Steenberg Vineyards are free to visit. So if you join them for a wine tasting, meal at Tryn or Bistro Sixteen82 or other offerings, you can enjoy admiring the estate’s rolling green lawns and beautiful indigenous gardens.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-steenberg-vineyards

For hotel guests or those dining at Tryn, you can also savour the immense, neat beauty of those gardens too.

Garden highlights:

steenberg-vineyards-constantia-winelands
Photo credit: Alicia Chamaillรฉ

I love the gardens that surround both the tasting room and Bistro Sixteen82, which are located adjacent to each other in the same impressive building. These indigenous gardens pop with colourful, industrial-style art sculptures by Edoardo Villa. Although it is the vineyard- and mountain-views that make them truly memorable. A stroll around these gardens is a delight – even on a gloomy winter’s day.

steenberg-estate-constantia

The garden setting, which the chic Bistro Sixteen82 and tasting room enviously overlook through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and outdoor bistro seating, is sublime. With the estate’s eye-catching, reflective water features, guarded by noble horse busts, the gardens near the tasting room and bistro are lush and lovely.

bistro-sixteen82-steenberg-estate

Tip:

The food and wine at Steenberg is top-class. I can definitely recommend a meal at Bistro Sixteen82 in particular!

Gardens of Steenberg Hotel


The gardens near Steenberg Hotel look equally magical – with everything from gorgeous roses to Mexican sage (salvia) and herbs growing here in beautifully manicured garden spaces, lined by Cape Dutch beauty.

The gardens near Tryn and the hotel are especially glorious for children and families to explore. There are even lawn games and wide open spaces for active little ones.

Contact details:

Various contact details, depending on which part of the estate you are visiting. Please see here for full details.

Website:

www.steenbergfarm.com

 

Beautiful Gardens near the Breedekloof Wine Valley

BOSJES

bosjes-chapel-gardens

BOSJES is one of the destinations I have been dying to visit for years now. And happily, in early 2021, I was able to do just that. This incredible farm and outstanding wedding venue did not disappoint either.

BOSJES lies a few hours’ outside Cape Town in the gorgeous Breede Valley. Surrounded by rustic farmlands and lovely local wine estates and seated beneath the shadow of the majestic Waaihoek Mountain, BOSJES has a truly enviable location up on high.

bosjes-estate

This family-friendly destination is world-class and offers everything from luxury accommodation and spa facilities to eateries like BOSJES Kombuis and the more casual, SPENS, an amazing winged chapel and wedding venue and of course, amazing gardens too!

bosjes-gardens
Photo credit: Alicia Chamaillรฉ

Where:

Breede Valley, R43, Western Cape

How much it costs to visit:

bosjes-boom-brug

BOSJES is free to visit and welcomes guests of all ages to enjoy its farm grounds and gardens.

Pop in for a great meal, overnight stay, spa treatment. Or even host your own beautiful wedding and functions here.

BOSJES Kombuis and Gardens are open Wednesday to Sunday between 10:00 am – 16:00 pm.

Garden highlights:

The chapel gardens are one of the biggest highlights at beautiful BOSJES. With the imposing white, winged chapel – designed by London’s Steyn Studio – set on the water, encircled by the lush, peaceful garden spaces, these gardens are certainly both memorable and magical to visit.

bosjes-gardens

Disturbed only by birdsong and the distant bark of the baboons in the mountains, a walk in the BOSJES chapel gardens restores the soul. Made of a diverse mix of vegetation – everything from dry desert-favouring plants to tropical plants and flowers – and centred around a unique sculptural water feature, they are truly fascinating to spend time quietly exploring.

Nearby, an elevated garden labyrinth offers the most glorious views of the farm, chapel gardens and of course, the beautiful Breede Valley and surrounding mountains as well.

bosjes-gardens

Tip:

There are also great gardens near BOSJES Kombuis and around The SPENS so be sure to explore the farm on foot to really savour its natural and man-made beauty.

Excellent Play Facilities

adam-letch-bosjes-playground
Photo credit: Adam Letch via Manley Social

BOSJES is ideal for families with kids, as this gorgeous destination offers some of the most wonderful, age-appropriate play facilities I have seen to date.

bosjes-boom-brug-canopy-walk

Mainly situated around the impressive BOSJES Boom Brug – designed by Square One Landscape Architects – the play areas offer everything from a fun zip line to an epic-looking slide (that ends in soft sand) and an incredible kinetic play area, complete with water fountains and a sandpit.

Families with older tweens and teens can also bring along a bat and ball and play near the child-friendly, bistro-style BOSJES Kombuis, which offers lovely lawn spaces just outside.

gardens-to-explore-year-round-near-the-cape-winelands-bosjes-gardens

In addition to the gardens and play areas, BOSJES also offers lovely hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. It is, by all accounts, a natural paradise.

Contact details:

Various contact details available, depending on the nature of your visit. Please see here for full details.

Website:

bosjes.co.za

 

More Gardens to Explore Year-Round to be Added

This garden list is by no means exhaustive. I simply picked some of my favourite gardens near the Cape Winelands for guests of all ages to enjoy year-round.

I will definitely keep adding to this post as soon as I discover more beautiful gardens. So please check back in the future for even more exciting gardens to enjoy year-round! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

COVID-19 DISCLAIMER:

Please remember that COVID-19 rules and regulations may affect opening times and availability of gardens, wine farm restaurants and even on-site activities mentioned in this post.

As such, I can assume no responsibility for any closures or limited services.

For the latest provincial and national COVID-19 restrictions and levels, please visit an official government portal.

Please also remember to:

  • Wear a mask in public (fineable by law);
  • Practice social distancing;
  • Sanitise frequently;
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust – Travel Writing and Photography, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. Despite having a national diploma in Journalism and working as a content writer by day, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *