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Posted on: Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spring Into The Stihl Open Gardens

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Every spring marks the return of the Stihl Open Gardens which take place in the town of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. Gardeners are kind enough to open their beautiful gardens to the public and are delighted to share their gardening tips and secrets!

Although some of the gardens were only open for a few weekends in October and have already closed, there are still a number that are open during weekends in November and December.

Harrow Hill Guest Farm

Caroline Gemmell has a beautiful farm garden with old trees, perennials as well as a variety of cannas, day lilies and alstroemerias which flower towards the end of November. Tea will be served on the verandah!

Open: 22 and 23 November

Address: 8 Karkloof Road, Howick

Phone: +27 (0)82 554-3678


Pietermaritzburg Open Gardens

Alskeith Farm

The garden of Ashley and Sandra Milanese is a two acre delight with mature trees, rare shrubs and a mixture of European and indigenous plants and shrubs. Ample parking is provided and donations are kindly accepted for FreeMe Howick and the Howick SPCA.

Open: 1/2 and 8/9 November

Directions: From Durban and Pietermaritzburg take exit 107 and turn left to Tweedie. Turn right onto R103 towards Lions River. After Piggly Wiggly turn right to Caversham. The farm is 1.5km on the right.

Inkwazi Farm

Jan and Val Jefferiss have a magnificent garden in their farm in Balgowan. An eight year old garden that was started from scratch by the couple, the main feature is an ornamental dam which is also home to a number of ducks and birds. The property is wheelchair friendly and parking is available. There is an entrance fee of R15 per person and all proceeds go to the SPCA.

Directions: take the N3 towards Howick and take the Tweedie exit. Turn left to Tweedie and continue with the R103. Turn right towards Balgowan and Nottingham Road. Pass Michaelhouse and continue towards Nottingham Road. Inkwazi Farm is situated exactly 1.4kms from the entrance to Michaelhouse.

Endebeni Forest

This 60 acre garden is a spectacular display of azaleas, rhododendron, bluebells and dogwood. In addition to this the English park-like garden has beautiful views of waterfalls and an indigenous forest. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a day of soaking up the sun in this very special garden. There is a R50 per person entrance fee although the third person in the car gets in for free! Proceeds go to a charity of the Gardeners choice.

Open: 13th September to 16th November

Directions: take exit 107 from the N3 and travel towards Tweedie. Turn right onto the R103. Travel 11kms to Lidgetton Village and turn left under the railway line. Follow the Endebeni a Forest signs.

Hymany Estate

The estate offers beautiful river walks and rolling lawns which are surrounded by pine forests. Birders are in for a treat as birdlife abounds and in addition to this, there is plenty of wildlife with duiker, reedbuck, waterbuck, bush pigs, porcupine and rabbits all making their home at Hymany Estate. Guests are welcome to. Ring their own picnic but finger lunches and teas are available.

Open: 1/2 and 8/9 November

Directions: from Pietermaritzburg travel to Tweedie. Turn left onto Main Road and at the T junction turn right onto the R103 and travel for 10.6kms. Turn right onto the dirt road after St Matthews church. Turn right at the T junction, take the 1st left and follow signs for Hymany Estate.


Pietermaritzburg Open Gardens


The garden of Colleen Slatter is found just outside the town of Greytown and is a large English garden with many mature trees. Azaleas, mollis, rhododendron and other English shrubs are planted under the trees.

Open: 1/2 November

Directions: take the R74 from Greytown towards Muden. The G114 leads straight to the residence.

The Country Nursery

The view at the nursery is impressive, as is the maze of 800 freylinas. The maze covers an area of 500 sqm and is definitely worth a visit. There is also a beautiful lavender display. Enjoy a cup of tea in the garden after you’ve enjoyed what the nursery has to offer.

Open: 1/2 November

Address: off Durban Street, Greytown


Established in 1997, this garden was planted with indigenous plants. There is a mix of mature trees, shrubs, aloes and bulbs.

Open: 1/2 November

Directions: coming into Greytown on the R33 turn left at the first traffic lights on the R74. Travel for approximately 1km and turn left at the Tranquility-Tea sign. Travel a further 150m.

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Pietermaritzburg Accommodation
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Natal Midlands Attractions
KwaZulu Natal Hotels


Pietermaritzburg Open Gardens


Helen Rushton


After living in London and travelling the world for many years and more recently living in the Mother City, I now reside on a tranquil sugar cane farm in Kearsney; an area steeped in the history of South Africa’s sugar industry. During the summer months I get involved with the community by assisting the local primary school with swimming lessons at our country club. Some of my favourite things are reading or picking freshly grown vegetables and Iceland poppies in our garden. Milly, my boxer loves her walks to the river that runs through our farm and sometimes, Sandy the cat I hand reared, joins us for a stroll!

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