Stellenbosch is pulling out all the stops for gardeners and lovers of the great outdoors in a new week-long festival, kicking off with a flower parade and running from September 30 to October 10.
The inaugural Garden Week Stellenbosch – inspired by the world-famous flower festival of Girona, Spain – is a collaboration of several local businesses, including restaurants and activity providers, as well as Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch Visio, Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, Rama, Remgro, Candide App, and Garden Day SA.
Visit Stellenbosch CEO, Jeanneret Momberg, says after many challenging months, Team Stellenbosch has “really pulled together for what promises to become a major annual highlight in the Cape and much-needed boost for the tourism economy”.
Local stores, wine farms and accommodation providers will have special offers and rates for the duration of the festival.
Garden Week will also feature several installations by local landscapers and botanical artists. Located at landmarks throughout town, these works will include a giant centrepiece – a plant labyrinth at The Braak, the town’s main square.
Many of the region’s public gardens will be open to visitors, including the historic Old Nectar estate in the Jonkershoek Valley, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Paradyskloof, Spier Wine Farm and Delaire Graff Estate.
During Garden Week, Visit Stellenbosch has also partnered with Rama and New Life Microgreens to provide children with ‘Micro Shooters’ – microgreen grow kits in a tub.
The project is an extension of Rama’s work with the Department of Education, which has been teaching schoolchildren about the value of good nutrition via the Rama Good Breakfast programme since 2017.
“We are so proud to be partnering with Micro Shooters for the Stellenbosch Garden Week, when 6 200 school children will be provided with a Rama tub filled with goodies that allow them to experience the wonderful world of growing good food,” says Rama Brand Manager, Sasha Sathianathan.
Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens has compiled a special programme of daily walks and talks throughout the festival. Workshops will be presented at the Rupert Museum, Blaauwklippen Wine Farm off the R44, Jordan Wines, Spier Estate and Babylonstoren, where tours will be presented by Ernst van Jaarsveld. Topics will include flower arranging, dye art, photography, growing-your-own and learning about bees.
Another festival highlight is a seven-course Botanical Banquet prepared by JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town, which brings the JAN experience to the Stellenbosch winelands for the first time. The meal will comprise elements from SA Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s award-winning establishments in Nice and the Kalahari, at a table created by renowned floral designer, Alwijn Burger.
Finally, the Stellenbosch Arts Association will also present a botanical drawing workshop.
The full programme and pricing will go live tomorrow (August 17) at https://www.visitstellenbosch.org/.