Take a relaxing trip through 27 glorious gardens

Fragrant flower beds, indigenous plantings, creative water features, winding pathways and shady tea gardens are once again the lure for hundreds of visitors who will stream into 27 beautiful gardens throughout the city this weekend.

The Pam Golding Properties Gardens of East London show, which has grown from 13 show gardens in 2011, has raised more than R700 000 for the city’s charities over the years, with each garden owner donating their ticket sales to their chosen charity. For their R50 ticket, visitors qualify to roam around all 27 gardens during today.

“Apart from recognising the beautiful gardens in our town, the show helps illustrate the potential every garden has to add value to the property, while at the same time creating an attractive and tranquil space for relaxation and enjoying quality family time,” said Pam Golding Properties East London franchise principal Sean Coetzee.

Charities included this year are CHOC, the Carel du Toit Centre, SPCA, Compassionate Friends, Masithethe Lifeline, Salem Baby Centre, CANSA, Breath of Life, Alzheimers, Guardians of Hope, Uthixo Ulungile Ministry, Berea Gardens Service Centre, Child Welfare, Greensleeves Place of Safety for Children, Intervolve, Sophumelela Centre, Felzoo, Passion for People, McLelland Adult Centre, Hospice, Child Welfare, Hilltop Animal Outreach, Buckaroo and the Guild Theatre’s The Show Must Go On fundraiser.

The Vineyard Guest Lodge owner Ester Botha said she was looking forward to visitors admiring the fruits of her labour in her expansive farm garden on Schafli Road on the East Coast. It will be the first time her country garden will be on display in the annual event, now in its seventh year.

“It’s a massive farm garden that is about five years old but it has lots of big trees,” said Botha, whose guest lodge is also a wedding venue.

“The garden has a wide diversity, from bromeliads to roses to succulents. and it has gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean across the farmlands. It’s not a proper English garden because it has a twist.”

Botha said a tea garden beneath the coral and flamboyant trees will serve quiche, chocolate cake and scones.

Botha picked CANSA as her charity of choice because her husband died of the disease 15 months ago.

Another expansive garden with countryside views is that of Ben Terblanche.

His Summerpride garden has rolling hills, lots of trees and stunning flower beds.

He runs Peace of Paradise B&B from the property.

Terblanche is selling tickets in support of the Guild Theatre’s The Show Must Go On fundraiser and so, in addition to craft stalls and a tea garden, visitors will also be entertained by a variety of musicians and singers.

l Tickets, at R50 each, give visitors entry to 27 gardens and are available at the gardens, which will be open from 10am to 5pm today and tomorrow. See the Pam Golding East London Facebook page for more. — barbarah@dispatch.co.za