HomeLIFESTYLE & TRAVELHome & GardenRenishaw Hills: From sugar cane to showstopper…

Renishaw Hills: From sugar cane to showstopper…


The indigenous gardens of Renishaw Hills have certainly caught many eyes, with both residents and visitors remarking on how spectacular they look all year round. Last year, the KZN Branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa selected the mature lifestyle village to host their Winter Gardens Open Day.

Located in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal, Renishaw Hills is a true coastal gem. Situated within the Mpambanyoni Conservation Development, the developer’s commitment to nature is immediately evident as one drives up their impressive entrance road, across the large wetland currently under restoration. The flourishing setting is indeed the result of the commitment, foresight and work of the developers. This began some five years ago, with the establishment of Izinyoni Indigenous Nursery in order to provide plant material.

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The gardens bordering the 3km entrance road and those within the Renishaw Hills boundary have shown incredible growth. This has been under the watchful guidance of Dr Elsa Pooley and the passion of the developer’s team of experts, where sugar cane fields have blossomed into an indigenous haven. Thanks to careful selection of florae, the gardens in the village need very little intervention. A great test has been lockdown, where residents continually remark on how beautiful everything looks despite hardly any maintenance.

“The indigenous gardens at Renishaw Hills are colourful and interesting throughout the year, changing with the seasons.” – Dr Elsa Pooley.

When asked about the initial vision for Renishaw’s glorious gardens, Elsa added the following: “The designs were planned to provide natural planting, with structure in places. This was done using a varied plant palette to give vibrant colour, privacy where necessary and a habitat for garden wildlife. Not only do these attract an array of birds and insects, but they also provide wide-open spaces for interesting and scenic walks around the village.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing though. Challenges included the securing of steep slopes and the harshness of clay soils. These battles were won with the use of plants like Agapanthus, Aloe chabaudii, Aloe vanbalenii, and species of Kiphofia and Dietes that stabilise the soil. Elsa and her team then turned to local plants such as Plumbago, Tecomaria Cape Honeysuckle and a range of others to introduce colour and provide screening for homes

Elsa’s indigenous top five:

  • Aloes
  • Pelargonium tongense
  • Portulacaria afraSpekboom (as a shrub and another form as ground cover)
  • Orthosiphon labiatusor Shell Bush (it’s tough, waterwise and gives a burst of pink almost throughout the year)
  • Indigofera jucundaRiver (it’s quick-growing and meets the demands of clay soils and dry winds)

Living the holiday has never looked more beautiful

Phil Barker of Renishaw Property Developments commented: “With more days of sunshine and every need taken care of, those golden years could feel like a vacation that never ends. Thanks to a variety of home types on offer and the option to choose your finishes, you could soon be taking a stroll amongst the aloes at Renishaw Hills.”

To book your private tour of the village complete with health and safety protocols, please email [email protected].

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