0 In Events/ Rose Garden

Picnic in the Garden

Its just a little more than a year ago that I appealed to my dear friend, Lady Conyngham, for moral support. She had been a ‘super fan’ of the garden pretty much since I started it.  The pandemic and the ensueing Lockdown had meant that I had to retrench all my staff and the garden had been invaded by a dreadful bindweed. I had no idea what to do.  I was tempted just to let it all go; walk away from it all; skip the country – and then the incredible show of support and generosity from the Plettenberg Bay community and the friends of the rose garden from as far-flung as the UK, began to pour in. All initiated by Annabelle Conyngham and Cindy Wilson-Trollip, the manager of Plett Tourism, who set up an online fund to rescue the garden.  In response to this appeal, Formosa Garden Club (FGC), Knysna Rose Society (KRS), Midlands Rose Society, and the Federation of Rose Societies of South Africa garnered both financial support and pitched to help in the Garden.

Bona fide members of the public did the same with Shirley Redman from Coral Tree Cottages starting the ball rolling. She arrived at the front gate with her ride-on lawn mower on a trailer, her extended family and 5 labourers all armed with loppers, secateurs, and other tools. They worked the whole weekend and reported for duty again the following Sunday with Paul and Sally Falla joining the team.  The immediate impact of their endeavours served as the motivation I so desperately needed.

GvH Landscapes also joined the rehabilitation effort and commenced weeding the rose walk (left).  Many cubic meters of weeds were eventually removed – some of it even had to be cut off the roses with secateurs, branch by branch. The bulk of the clearing efforts took about 6 weeks with the straggled remains of the garden slowly emerging, but we sadly lost a lot of plants that were suffocated by the weeds.

The next phase of the rehab efforts include a late pruning of the bushes and as if to thank us for the attention, a few flowers started to appear. The KRS, FGC and Dave’s Garden Services joined in and we managed to finish the job within a couple of weeks.

The cash that had been raised enabled me to employ 3 men to maintain the gardens, led by Siya Mcanda, whose green thumbs have ensured that most of plants that survived the bindweed onslaught has recovered and are now in full flush – a sight to behold!

We do, however, have a long way to go to return the gardens to their ‘show’ quality and for this reason we are inviting the true friends and supporters of the garden to join us for a relaxed Sunday afternoon with gorgeous roses and some delightful cello played by Lani Groves. The gardens will regrettably NOT be open to the general public on a daily basis as was the case before the Lockdown.

Bring your own picnic – Admission R150pp.

We also offer preset tables and/or pre-booked picnic fare

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, so that you can see how your support as paid off!

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