Home Lifestyle & Travel Lifestyle Rare opportunity to visit one of Gauteng’s most beautiful gardens

Rare opportunity to visit one of Gauteng’s most beautiful gardens

The magnificent gardens of Mulligatawny Farm will be open to the public on the weekend of 12-13 October 2019, from 9am until 5pm. 

Situated on a private estate near to Skeerpoort in the Cradle of Humankind, the gardens were last open in 2017. This year’s open garden is once again in aid of St George’s Turning Point Foundation, which helps young people obtain vocational training.

Clubs and special-interest groups can also visit the gardens on Friday 11 October.

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“These gardens are rarely open to the public, so we advise people to take advantage of the opportunity to see one of Gauteng’s most original – and beautiful – gardens, while supporting a good cause,” says Marianne MacRobert, Chair of the St George’s Turning Point Foundation.

“Because of the distances involved, and the extent of the grounds, people should plan to spend several hours there. Food and drink will be on sale, and there are plenty of places to sit and drink in the beauty, and chat to friends.”

About a 70 minute drive north of Johannesburg, and 40 minutes from Lanseria Airport, this 16-hectare garden is the brainchild of its owner, Michael Hogan, who drew his inspiration from European landscapes and Monet’s Water Gardens at Giverny, France. A keen gardener all his life, Hogan is also an interior decorator and artist, and he has created a garden full of surprises and eccentricities, with an air of whimsy and romance.

“My garden is a place where fantasy becomes reality, so it’s constantly evolving,” he says. “There is always something new being planned.”

It features a matchless collection of waterlilies, thousands of roses and irises, a lakeside folly, a garden cathedral, an orchid house and much else. Other highlights include sculptures, murals and a potager (walled vegetable or kitchen garden) with hand-painted tiles depicting exotic birds.

And talking of birds the garden is exceptionally rich in birdlife – blue cranes and Cape vultures visit regularly.

This year, a flower meadow stretching down to the Skeerpoort River will be on view for the first time, while the thatched structure alongside the lake has been converted into an Indian pavilion, featuring a magnificent peacock mural made by Hogan.

The garden offers many hours of exploration: visitors are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes, and to bring a hat and sunscreen. One only needs to be moderately fit, and there are benches throughout the garden for rest and contemplation. Much of the garden is also wheelchair-friendly. Keep in mind that with many lakes and streams children must be under adult supervision at all times.

Plants, food and drink will be on sale at the venue.  

All proceeds will go to the St George’s Turning Point Foundation, which was established to assist young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to obtain marketable skills through vocational training.

Venue: Farm S86, Skeerpoort, Cradle of Humankind – GPS coordinates:  25°49’03.7″S 27°46’09.3″E

Dates: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2019 – 9am to 5pm (Friday 11 October for groups, clubs only – no food, drinks and plants will be on sale; pre-bookings only)

Tickets: R200 / R100 – children and students / R150 – groups of four or more

Booking: Webtickets – webtickets.co.za or at the gate

Safe parking with a shuttle service to the farm gate is provided

Details: James on 083 326 4493 / [email protected]https://www.facebook.com/MulligatawnyFarm; www.turningpointfoundation.org.za; Twitter: @TPFOpenGarden

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