Celebrate the Bounty of Nature this National Garden Day
It is time to grab a sun hat, lather on some sunscreen, and head out into your favourite green space.
National Garden Day, observed on the 15th of October in South Africa, is the perfect time to celebrate the beauty of nature and the bounty of the earth, while pausing to consider our environmental impact.
This National Garden Day, consider enjoying the following activities with your friends, family, and fellow South Africans…
1. Escape to a Natural Oasis
Visit the naturally resplendent Franschhoek Valley and stay at one of the luxurious Leeu Collection Cape Winelands properties - Leeu Estates, Leeu House, or Le Quartier Français - to marvel at the flora, fynbos, foliage, and outdoor artwork that adorn each property.
Numerous varieties of fruit trees have been planted on the properties, including mango, apricot, banana, quince, lemon, lime, fig, plum, and pomegranate. Green-fingered guests often report enjoying whiffs of sweet and fruity scents in the air.
Moreover, the properties are host to both newly-planted and legacy olive trees, which are hand-picked and used to create rich, extra virgin olive oil.
Nestled on 100 hectares of vineyards, expertly landscaped gardens, and unique fynbos, Leeu Estates in particular is at the top of many nature lovers’ and gardening enthusiasts’ bucket lists.
It is impossible to visit the Estates without being awe-struck by the natural setting and pristine grounds. The perfectly manicured lawns have been thoughtfully designed to showcase the monumental artwork dotted throughout.
This year, the Estates vineyards yielded a harvest of 7.6 tons per hectare of Sauvignon Blanc grapes used to create award-winning Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
Scenic walkways traverse both the vineyards and riverside, offering a more natural experience than the formality of the rest of the gardens.
In addition to the vineyards, olive groves, and rows of pomegranate trees, there are thriving vegetable, herb, and fruit gardens in separate growing areas all along the west dam of the Estates. Under the expertise of our resident horticulturist, Christine Stevens (who has been building edible gardens for over 20 years), the Leeu Locally Grown edible gardens provide farm-to-fork produce to the spectacular restaurants on Leeu Estates. Everything is grown following natural farming principles, with no pesticides or herbicides so as to ensure that the finest, tastiest vegetables and herbs are available for the chefs.
2. Take a Garden Tour
Resident guests at Leeu Estates can book an exclusive guided garden tour on Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays) from the 1st of October.
The 45-minute morning walk through the famous Leeu farm-to-fork picking gardens is led by Christine Stevens, and includes fascinating information about our garden-to-table philosophy and the unique indigenous fynbos and other flora featured throughout the picturesque Leeuscapes. Become inspired, introspective, and at ease as you make your way around the property’s exquisite green spaces.
3. Reap the Rewards
Enjoy wholesome, delicious meals inspired by the seasons and local surroundings by embracing the principles of farm-to-fork dining.
Farm-to-fork restaurants source their produce directly from local and organic farmers, and eating at a farm-to-fork restaurant means that your meal will include truly fresh produce, often delivered by farmers just a few hours (or minutes!) before your reservation.
The Leeu Estates organic edible gardens provide farm-to-fork produce not only to The Dining Room and La Petite Colombe on the Estates, but also to Protégé and Épice at Le Quartier Français in the heart of Franschhoek.
4. Embrace Botanical Beauty
Leeu Spa by Healing Earth on Leeu Estates uses pure and premium natural products that harness the restorative powers of Africa’s rich natural resources, from herbs and flowers to minerals and natural oils.
Reflecting the spectacular natural location, the extensive range of world-class treatments includes vinotherapy options, which make use of the uniquely South African Pinotage grape for the antioxidant properties of its seeds, skins and stems for skincare that not only reflects the essence of the winelands, but is also effective in guarding against free radicals and the elements, while leveraging the powerful anti-ageing effects of polyphenols.
5. Go Green at Home
No matter how big or small your garden or green space - from a few pot plants to a lush and tumbling vegetable patch - acknowledge the power of your green fingers and harvest some fruits of your own labour, from easy succulents to lovingly nurtured herbs, flowers, and vegetables.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden at home, create a plan for your next update, and visit your local garden centre or nursery to pick up the supplies. You could even make a day of it by heading out to enjoy the pristine natural setting of the winelands, and stopping in at the delightful Pink Geranium nursery in Franschhoek, which stocks all that a budding gardener could need.
Be sure to get the whole family involved - including the enthusiastic little ones and knowledgeable elders. Everyone can benefit from spending some time getting their hands a bit dirty!
6. Pack a Picnic
Should you have a green space of your own, invite your loved ones to come together for a picnic with all the trimmings. You could also head to a park, botanical garden, or reserve to munch on some yummy snacks whilst soaking in the sun.
If you are able to get out of the city and into the picnic-perfect winelands, Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Patrysfontein farm, and the Franschhoek Pass Lookout Point are all fantastic spaces to lay down your blanket for the day.
Ready to celebrate in style this National Garden Day?
Contact us to learn more and reserve your unrivalled Leeu Collection experience today.
Resident guests at Leeu Estates can enjoy an evening stroll through the manicured grounds.
The manicured Leeu Estates gardens are offset by the rugged mountains that surround the property.
The Leeu Locally Grown gardens are teeming with organic produce.