My friend Malu grew up in the beautiful Stellenberg, a manor house built in the early 1800's and home to her family for some 80 years.
Its glorious gardens are the work of Malu's mother, Sandy Ovenstone, and they are every bit as beautiful, timeless and gracious as their creator.
This formal garden was designed by the great David Hicks, it consists of two symmetrical knot gardens seperated by an arched walkway.
Over time, Sandy grew a little tired of its relentless rigidity and in a show of feminine triumph, some unruly flowering was allowed to flourish. In deference to the good Sir Hicks, Sandy still maintains one side in his original design.
If you ask me, Sandy's wild interpretation is altogether more endearing. The garden is divided into many themed 'garden rooms', each with a unique style and purpose.
This then is the garden of contemplation...
And this a little herb garden, surrounded by a much larger vegetable one. Malu wont let you leave without a few armfulls of whatever is ripe and abundant on the day of your visit. (I'll be cooking melezane for weeks at this rate!) Everywhere you look is a feast for the senses. Fountains. Old wrought iron gates. Garden walls with the patina of centuries.
Its a place of bliss.
And there are lots of smaller houses on the estate.
If you want to wake up to the view from the window in this lovely old homestead when you next visit Cape Town, it's available for short lets. But only to very nice people.
And of course, only very nice people read this blog.