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Elgin Open Gardens

Escape to the country this weekend and roam through sprawling country gardens, punctuated with the scents and blooms of spring. The annual Elgin Open Gardens starts this weekend (and will be showcased again next weekend), coaxing all green-fingered disciples out of the woodwork. Be inspired by structured gardens, kitchen courtyards and blushing landscapes, while you peep into cosseted grounds, behind lattice frames and terraced beds, in the shadows of the orchards. This year there will be 23 gardens on exhibition, ranging from established estates to young gardens in villages and on smallholdings. Belfield Wine Estate is making its debut appearance, with its soulful leafy garden which flows into legions of vineyards. Other newcomers are South Hill, a contemporary indigenous garden animated by sculptures, and Oak Valley Flowers, who will be providing two daily tours through their production units, which promise a fascinating glimpse into the world of high-tech cultivation and propagation. The open gardens are divided into 5 routes, spanning from Elgin to Vyeboom and Bot River, and are listed as follows: Route 1 Grabouw & environs

Route 2 Viljoenshoop Rd Route 3 Highlands & Valley Rd Route 4 Villiersdorp Rd & Vyeboom Route 5 Houw Hoek & Bot River A handful of the gardens will be offering tea and light meals for visitors to enjoy in the magnificent surrounds, and will also be selling local plant varieties. Other events not to miss in the region are a host of art exhibitions, wine tastings, walking trails and delightful farm stalls. A free leaflet with attached maps  can be found at most nurseries in the Western Cape, and at Sithanda Nursery and farm stalls in the Elgin area. Alternatively, download it off their website, at elginopengardens.co.za. The gardens are open Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October and Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November from 10am- 5pm. For more information visit elginopengardens.co.za