Harcourts Midlands Open Gardens 2023

It’s that special time of the year once more, when weekends will be full of beautiful and interesting gardens to visit on the Open Gardens 2023 trail. Harcourts will present gardens, both old and new, to give you inspiring ideas and different perspectives on gardening. Retirement villages, with their small gardens, are of particular importance as people downsize.

Both Amberfield and Woodgrove have gardens on display, and such is their love of gardening that there are twelve gardens for you to visit – all depicting individual and clever ways of using small spaces. This does not mean that larger gardens have been ignored. There are farm gardens aplenty.

A trip to the Dargle Valley will be most rewarding for those who love country gardens and glorious vistas. Pietermaritzburg itself is represented by a lovely garden in Hosking Road, where fountains abound and there is lots to see. These are just a few teasers to help you on a journey of discovery of what Midlands gardens can offer, providing a stimulating and enjoyable day out in the country.

All the money garnered over the Open Gardens season, will be donated to charities chosen by the gardeners themselves.

Times: 9:00 – 17:00
Entrance: R10 per garden (some gardens have their own cost)
Enquiries: Jackie 082 924 5892 or Andrew 083 637 0817


Mike and Viv van Breda

Saturday 23 September – Sunday 24 September,

Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October.

Hilton Central, 38 Daisy Road Situated in central Hilton, this is an established and secluded garden. Over 18 years, the owners have lovingly developed and nurtured the entire garden. It features clivias, roses, fuchsias, azaleas, hydrangeas, aloes, succulents and mature trees. Banksia roses and wisteria when flowering in September, create a gorgeous tangle of colour. English country garden and indigenous complement each other in harmony.

Directions: Hilton Central, 38 Daisy Road. From the Rotunda, follow the Cedara Road. Turn second left into Dale Road and second left into Daisy Road. No 38 is the second property on the right.

  • Limited Access
  • Food & Drink

Scott and Barbara Rogers – Old Hay Cottage

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October

A garden that was originally developed over 70 years ago, by the Hay’s of The Hilton Slasto Quarry. Magnificent views for miles and miles, trees shrubs and the sought after white luculia (Luculia grandiflora). The owners have been there for 2,5 years and have made it their own, gnomes and all. It is a continuing labour of love.

Directions: 19 St Michaels Road, Winterskloof, Hilton. At the Crossway traffic lights, continue along Dennis Shepstone Drive. Pass the Police Station, continue until Cowan House School and just after turn left into Amy Wilson Road Pass Ronocco Nursery and continue to the T-junction. Turn left into St Michaels Road 100m up the road to no 19.

  • Plant sales
  • Limited access
  • Picnic spots

Mike and Sarah Bowman

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October

A former show garden turned jungle has been given a new lease on life. Now a vibrant, structured English garden with the addition of over 250 roses, she is shaping up to be a stately breath of fresh air! Designed with kids in mind, follow the little paths through the glades for fairy hideouts, or take in the statement of the symmetrical foundations.

Directions: 18 Flamingo Road, Leonard, Hilton. Coming off the highway, turn into Hilton Avenue, towards the Shell Garage. Turn left into Park Lane (just before the Checkers Centre, and then immediately right into Azalea Road, just below the centre. Continue for 1,5km until you reach a sharp corner with the Garden of Remembrance on your left. Turn right into an avenue of plane trees and continue up to the first gate on your left.

  • Food and drink
  • Picnic spots

The Midlands Rose Society Heritage Garden

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October

This garden was established is 2017, in order to collect as many of the old roses brought to South Africa, starting with the first rose brought by the Dutch East India Company in 1659. Over the years the settlers from many European countries brought roses with them to remind them of ‘home’ and moved into the interior of the country and planted them on their farms and on gravesites. Their aim is to collect and preserve these old roses. All the roses in the garden are those bred before 1945. This past year they were given quite a few new roses from the Rustenberg Wine Farm in the Cape and they are now able to share cuttings with other collectors in South Africa. This year they will be selling rose bushes and seeds from the garden as well as some rose calendars, cards and birthday calendars.

Directions: Garlington Estate, Seeking Road, Hilton. After entering the entrance of Garlington Estate in Seeking Drive, Hilton, drive to the T junction, straight ahead. At the T junction, turn right, continue going through another boom and soon after turn right into Karoo Lane. Continue along this road which goes to the right and loops around the buildings and leads to the Rose Garden on the left.

  • Dogs allowed
  • Wheelchair access
  • Picnic spots

Birnam Wood

Precious – Carol and Kevin Sacke

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

This garden is a dedicated memorial to Kelli Ann Sacke. The garden has special rooms – the Heart Garden, the Champagne Garden, the Fruit Garden and the Put-your-Feet-Up-and Rest Garden. Furthermore, there is a Japanese Garden, Children’s Garden, streams and ponds. It is a garden not to be missed where you can forget your worries and look at the beauty. Carol, an artist has worked in this garden for eight years.

Directions: 12 Broadacres Country Estate, District Road, Merrivale Heights, Howick. From Howick take the Underberg turnoff, turn right under the bridge. Go over stop street and turn left at Wilson Road. (Peel’s Honey on the left-hand side). At the T-junction turn right into District Road onto the Birnam Wood Road. Travel about 1km to Broadacres Estate on the left-hand side.

  • Dogs allowed
  • Wheelchair access
  • Food and drink

Michael and Ruth Croeser

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

Full of roses and lots of colour make this an appealing cottage garden.

Directions: 11 Broadacres Country Estate, District Road, Merrivale Heights, Howick. From Howick take the Underberg turnoff, turn right under the bridge. Go over stop street and turn left at Wilson Road. (Peel’s Honey on the left-hand side). At the T-junction turn right into District Road onto the Birnam Wood Road. Travel about 1km to Broadacres Estate on the left-hand side.

  • Food and drink

Rivendell – Lesley and Gordon Cunningham

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

Directions: 10 Broadacres Country Estate, District Road, Merrivale Heights, Howick. From Howick take the Underberg turnoff, turn right under the bridge. Go over stop street and turn left at Wilson Road. (Peel’s Honey on the left-hand side). At the T-junction turn right into District Road onto the Birnam Wood Road. Travel about 1km to Broadacres Estate on the left-hand side.

Entrance: R10 donation



  • Food and drink

Glenn Read, Our Secret Garden

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22

A beautiful and peaceful garden which was developed on a slope deemed to be unsuitable for development of units. It had become a dumping site for builder’s rubble. Over the years it has been transformed for residents to enjoy. Peaceful, serine, indigenous, wildlife and birds abound.

Roy Cunningham, 12 Loerie Lane

A most impressive collection of cacti and succulents in a pristine garden.

Lyn Gemmell, 9 Jacana Lane

Planted a year ago after clearing an overgrown property. A mix of as many flowering shrubs, perennials and annuals as possible. Including approximately 30 roses. The south-facing front entrance patio contains a large, mixed grouping of potted plants. Bright, colourful, happy, peaceful.

Andrew and Jeanette McLean, 28 Weaver Lane

Colourful, mixed borders of exotics in the front garden with indigenous plants and succulents at the back. Mixtures of texture and colour.

Rikki Abbott Wedderburn, 7 Loerie Close off Hornbill

A very challenging shady and waterlogged garden. Despite the problems, it is abundantly colourful in the spring. This garden features a beautiful young dogwood and a large collection of fuchsias.

Liz Denison, 17 Francolin Lane

Informal, cottage garden with colourful borders with lots of roses. A little gem!

Dave and Aileen Goodenough, 12 Canary Lane

This garden has small trees and shrubs, including deciduous azaleas and rhododendrons. These are varied in colour which Dave cross-pollinates by hand using a small paint brush to collect pollen. The resulting seed from these crosses is germinated for plant propagation. Some unique, beautiful plants.

Nanette (Nan) and Brett Foss, 1 Plover Place

Fully made over in 2019 to a private 95% indigenous garden with trees, shrubs, under planting and a variety of multi-season bulbs and plants. The main object was to attract a variety of birds and to provide future nesting possibilities. Wonderful results to date.

David and Ingrid Dyas, 11 Canary Lane

This garden has been lovingly tended. The front section has pretty borders with lots of interest and the back area has been cleverly designed using pots to bring lots of colour to a shady difficult area. A true plant lovers garden.

Margaret Mackenzie, 6 Kestrel Lane

Informal, small garden that is colourful, bushy, mixed and secluded.

Pieter and Aletta Swanepoel, 10 Hornbill Lane

This stunning garden has an interesting combination of indigenous and succulent plants. The most impressive succulents have been sourced from Namaqualand.

Jocelyn Boyley and Eddie Parsons, 4 Rameron Close

This small garden shows how the owners, using creative flair, hard work and a love for gardening has resulted in a colourful, happy space. They made use of the Lofferstein wall, a collection of pots and slips from their previous garden and from friends in and around Amberfield. This goes to show that a budget is not necessary. A tapestry of plants.


Peter’s Gate Herbal Centre- Geoff and Karen Makin

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

The gardens were first established in 2008. Today they offer visitors a chance to explore an interesting collection of medicinal, culinary and ornamental herbs. The garden is roughly a hectare of land and overlooks the Caversham Valley in all its glory. It is a working herb farm and all the plants are utilised in production. Free guided tours will be available for visitors who would like to know more about the plants and their various uses. There is also a nursery on site.

Directions: From the N3 take the Tweedie off ramp and turn towards Tweedie. At the Zenex garage take a right at the T-junction towards Lions River. Continue straight into Lidgetton. Keep going 2km outside of Lidgetton, the entrance is right next door to Granny Mouse Country House.

  • Dogs allowed
  • Wheelchair access
  • Food and drink
  • Picnic spots


19A Hosking Road, Pietermaritzburg

Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 November

The garden is noteworthy for its variety of features: an Italian passageway, an English walled garden, a potager and many formal water features. It also includes a marvellous selection of cast iron gates and railings, sourced from all over Pietermaritzburg. This garden is terraced in the front with wide sweeping steps leading to the lower terrace where one can look back at the house. The whole property is in a state of wonderful work in progress; nevertheless, it is a delight to visit. It is not suitable for people who might struggle with steps, slippery surfaces or heights.

A fascinating little pavilion built in traditional Maritzburg style forms a backdrop for the concerts and dinners that are held on the lawn. The owner would like to acknowledge the help he has received over the years from Mike Hammersley and Sue Tarr (garden design); Guy Sterling (metal work) and Tom Eddie (building and tiling).

Directions: From Howick Road, pass Redlands Hotel on the right and take the second right into Hosking Road. The house is just a few hundred meters up that road, has a grey wooden gate and is on the corner of Hosking and Edgehill Roads.

Open Gardens Midlands 2023 Pietermaritzburg

Woodgrove Retirement Village

28A Howick Road, Pietermaritzburg

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

  • Food and drink

Sandy Andrews, 22 Cypress Way

A pretty cottage garden full of roses planted on a slope.

Dave and Ina Ryder, 31 Conifer Drive

A larger Woodgrove garden offering front and back gardens with new sections. Creative layout offering shape, colour and texture. Diverse and visually stimulating.

Meddy and Mary Thrash, 4 Tibouchina Crescent

New homeowner with a small front garden being developed with a variety of succulents and indigenous shrubs offering privacy.

Pete and Deb Avery, 1 Tibouchina Crescent

Small low-maintenance front and back indigenous garden, offering contrasts with a raised vegetable garden.


Millford Farm – Tim and Kate Baynes

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 October

A large rectangular lawn provides a vantage point to gaze through the architectural formality of terraces onto the beautiful Dargle Valley. Planted with many traditional English flowers that frame the view and seamlessly melt into the indigenous bush below. Over the last 5 years, the garden has changed, creating new spaces and reinventing some of the old spaces.

Directions: Before Piggly Wiggly on the R103, turn left onto the Dargle/Impendle Road. Follow for 14.2km then turn right onto the D666 (dirt road). Drive for about 4km (sign posted) and then turn right into the large Stone Gates and follow the signs.

  • Limited access

Ivanhoe Farm – Jean Campbell

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 October

English country garden.

  • Dogs allowed
  • Food and drink
  • Picnic spots


Glengarry- Rose Sivright

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 October and Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October

The grounds are extensive and park-like and home to a wonderful collection of English perennials. Acid-loving shrubs abound including rhododendrons, both deciduous and evergreen azaleas, pieris, leucothoe, kalmia, loropetalum and deutzia. This is a plants-person garden with many delightfully different plants. A fairy garden to enchant both young and old is waiting to be discovered.

Directions: Highmoor Road, Kamberg. Take the Nottingham Road exit from the N3 and travel through the village of Nottingham Road and along the R103 to Rosetta. At Rosetta turn left onto the Kamberg Rock Art Road and proceed for 31km to the Highmoor and Glengarry turnoff to the left. Glengarry is 500m along this road on the right, just as the tar road comes to an end.

  • Plant sales
  • Wheelchair access
  • Food and drink
  • Picnic spots


Endebeni Forest – James and Tessa Chance

Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October

Endebeni Forest is beautiful at any time but spectacular in the spring and breathtaking in autumn when the leaves change colour. It is a traditional English park garden, 24-hectares in size, well-established and filled with abundant plants and trees like azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwoods, magnolias, Chinese and Japanese maples, pin oaks, flowering cherries, liquidambars, swamp cypress, iris, snowflakes, bluebells and berberis to name but a few. There is an eleven-hole, six-green mashie golf course, close to the water lily-filled lake. The reflections in the water from the surrounding natural bush and hills are sublime. Please bring your own picnic and picnic blankets.

Tickets: R50.

Directions: From the N3 North, take the Howick/Tweedie exit. At the T-Junction turn right onto the R103, pass Lion’s River and Piggly Wiggly, then turn left at the Lythwood Lodge turnoff. Follow the Lythwood signs along this dirt road.

  • Plant sales
  • Picnic spots
Open Gardens Midlands 2023 Lidgetton


Waterford Hall

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 October

Eileen Stuart Comfortably nestled on the side of a hill, Waterford Hall is an intriguing home that looks out on a borrowed vista of trees and water. This sets the tone for the beautifully planted garden around the house. Entrance is via a dual stairway, flanked on either side by roses and old-fashioned perennials. The path leads to the Chinese pavilion – always a favourite – and on to the white garden at the rear of the house. Here a combination of white flowers and roses leading to a domed gazebo – an additional delight.

Directions: Travel through the main road in Howick and take the Karkloof Road. Pass the Amber Valley, Amber Ridge entrances and after passing a large dam on the left, take the next road left. Waterford Hall is sign posted.

  • Food and drink

Benvie – John and Jenny Robinson

Saturday 23 September – Sunday 15 October

This magnificent garden with its park-like setting was the brainchild of John Geekie – a man who loved trees. He came out from Dundee, in Scotland to South Africa in 1856. The property was purchased in 1883, with the express intention of creating an arboretum and to spend the rest of his life realising his dream. The south-east orientation of the garden was ideal for his purpose.

Seedlings were brought by ship from all over the world, transported from Durban to Merrivale by train and finally taken to Benvie by ox-wagon. Conifers, cedars, ginkgo, magnolias, grass trees, hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons, were amongst the tree and shrubs planted in this 30-hectare garden. They are still lovingly cared for by his descendants, some 136 years later. Bring a picnic basket and spend some time in this beautiful garden, and do not forget your binoculars if you are a birder.

Entrance: R50 (R30 pensioners on Thursdays only), children free. Open every day during the open gardens season.

Directions: From Howick take the Karkloof Road past The Ambers. Drive for 33km and turn right onto the York/Hanover Road. Travel a further 3km, down the hill and you will find a Benvie sign on your left; then follow the signs to the garden.

  • Plant sales
  • Picnic spots
  • Baynesfield


Baynesfield Museum Trust – Gary Stopforth

Friday 1 – Saturday 2 September

Joseph Baynes moved into his magnificent new home – a typical example of Victorian grandeur – in 1882. Right from the beginning he was determined to beautify his property, and flower beds, paths and sweeping lawns were laid out. Trees were his love. He imported trees from all over the world, but was particularly interested in growing yellowwoods which were indigenous to the area.

Visit the new maze which is based on the plan of the maze at Hampton Court and visit the historic homestead which has been beautifully renovated.

Directions: From Durban take the off ramp from the highway just after Camperdown to Richmond/Eston/Umlaas Road/ Umbumbulu. Make sure you follow directions to Richmond which is the R56 and turn right soon after you have turned off the highway (do not go straight which will take you to Eston and Mid-Illovo). About 10 minutes from this point, you will come to a T-junction where you turn left to Richmond and soon after that you will see a turn to the right to Baynesfield/Baynesfield Estate. Come down the hill, over a bridge, the bacon factory is on your left and then a level railway crossing. Continue up a slight hill, with houses on your right, until you see an avenue of plane trees ahead. Go up this gravel road in the avenue until you see a building on your left and more buildings on your right with cars parked under a huge yellowwood tree.

Enquiries: info@baynesfield.co.za

  • Dogs allowed
  • Food and drink
  • Picnic spots
Proud Sponsor of the Open Gardens 2023
The Gardener