Open Gardens at Cellars-Hohenort: I took myself off to the Open Gardens at Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia yesterday afternoon. I must admit the weather was already a bit windy so I was in two minds about going but I’m very pleased I did. The gardens are spectacular and are acknowledged as some of the finest hotel gardens in the world and voted by Garden Design, a top American magazine, as one of the top 30 hotel gardens in the world.
On arrival at the hotel I was met by five ducks and it looked as if they were out for an afternoon waddle, just to keep tabs on their estate! Close behind them was their ‘minder’ who needed to round them up and take them ‘home’ but clearly this was not part of the equation for the ducks at they scattered to hide in the thick foliage!
The hotel has the most beautiful rose gardens and this was not just my sentiment as I watched a fellow visitor crush an insect underfoot explaining as she did so that ‘they kill the roses!’ The roses; in beautiful deep reds, white and oranges are in full bloom and one could almost sit down on the strategically placed bench and breath in the gorgeous scent these flowers give off.
I was unaware how big the gardens are with pathways meandering through wooded areas, over streams, around ponds and up along a vineyard!
Also of interest are the eight Camphor trees. These trees were originally brought to South Africa from Japan by the Dutch East India Company and were planted in 1690 along the road that came out from the castle to Constantia. Most of the trees have disappeared with urban development but eight remain on the hotels grounds and are lovingly cared for.
The hotel and its gardens are situated in the heart of Constantia Valley and boast the magnificently restored 18th century Klaasenbosch wine cellars and the Manor House of the Hohenort. You would want to stay there for the views across the 9 acres of gardens alone! Tables and chairs are placed all over the gardens – beckoning one to sit and just enjoy the stunning surroundings.
I can’t believe this beautiful place is a mere five minutes drive from my home and it’s taken me two years to visit! I will definitely go back to The Cellars-Hohenort gardens but perhaps next time for afternoon tea or a martini too!
Garden Tours every Tuesday morning at 10h30 – Booking essential.
Herb Garden Tours with the Chef Every afternoon from 15h00 till 15h30 – Booking essential
To book phone: +27 (0)21 794-2137
Cellars-Hohenort, 93 Brommerslvlei Road, Constantia, Cape Town