Starting over in Knysna

When the devastating fire swept through Knysna in June 2017, the Knysna Hollow Country Estate was razed to the ground. Rebuilding commenced in October 2017, and exactly one year later the estate reopened with a completely new design of the buildings and the extensive garden.
Prior to the fire the thatched estate was surrounded by mature trees, and the garden comprised mostly shade-loving plants. The architects proposed a sleek, modern design for the rebuild, and well-known landscapers in Knysna, Lynnette and Minnaar Joyce from Earthbound Landscapes, presented an equally modern and innovative garden design to complement the new buildings.

The only surviving structures on the estate after the fire were the two swimming pools, and these were naturally the starting point for the new design. An outdoor lounge was built at each of the pools, where guests can relax and enjoy a magnificent view over the beautiful gardens.
The next critical step in the design process was to ensure a comfortable flow for visitors between the various amenities. The designers introduced a series of generous lawned circles which form the nucleus of this expansive design. Paths lead off each of these open spaces, providing easy access for guests to their rooms and all other amenities.

The garden is densely planted with roses, perennials, ornamental grasses, fynbos and succulents, providing swathes of magical texture and colour throughout the year. Planting areas were firstly zoned according to their specific light conditions. The sunny areas are dressed with pink roses, Salvia, Agapanthus, Dietes, Gaura, Felicia and a variety of fynbos plants such as Coleonema, pincushions, Gazanias, Euryops and grasses. In the shaded areas around the units, tree ferns, arums, asparagus ferns, Plectranthus and Felicia, have provided a restful palette of textures. The clever colour palettes that are so immediately obvious were allocated to different sections of the estate, always with an overlapping colour that links one section to the next.

The gardens at Knysna Hollow Country Estate are a visual delight and should be on your list of places to visit if you are in that area. They have attracted great interest from overseas and local visitors who enjoy strolling through the vast gardens or stopping to photograph the plants and their pollinator guests.

To read the full article, get the February issue of The Gardener and Die Tuinier, on shelves now!

The Gardener