Protecting Nature. Inspiring Change.

Previous Events


25/26 March

The theme for 2017 was Indigenous Colour


33 Lyngarth Road Kloof

The home of Juliet and Anthony Stead. This is is an well established garden with an amazing range of species which will be of interest to botanists!


75A Emolweni Road, Kloof

The home of Shirley and Robin Phillips. This garden is a recent conversion from an exotic garden with a large percentage of invasive alien species (still present in some neighbouring gardens.) It has a mix of sunny and shady species which provide great interest.


5 Mkongweni Road, Waterfall

The home of Lindi and Kevin Collett. This is a young garden for a young family and demonstrates what can be done in difficult terrain. It has an interesting range of species and large rockery.


9 Polela Road, Hillcrest

The home of Nonjabulo and Thami Hlongwa. Designed by Miles Steenhuizen this is a relatively young garden which has been converted from exotic to indigenous. It is designed to meet family needs with interesting features such as a traditional fire pit.


14 Neville Road, Gillitts

The home of Carryn and Donovan Payne. This is an established garden originally designed by Phil Page but significantly altered recently by Donovan to accommodate his young family. The garden is in a stunning natural setting with a stream flowing through it.


11 / 12 June

The theme for 2016 was “Embrace D’MOSS. Live with Nature” and all the gardens on show had a D’MOSS section.

Where this concept has been embraced, as in the gardens on display in 2016, the rewards for the property owners have been significant. Not only did they create environments which are conducive to the protection of the biodiversity of the area but they have also significantly enhanced their own quality of life by blending their lifestyles with nature around them. These gardens are rich in biodiversity not only in the diversity of the flora but also with fauna as the environments which have created have brought back many species such as Blue Duiker, Bushbuck, Porcupine, Slender and Water Mongoose, Caracal and many others. In addition properties are much sought after and their economic value increased.


No. 45 Alamein Avenue – the home of Anitalia Walker and Malcolm Perry – a well established indigenous garden which attracts many birds and has stunning views of Kloof Gorge. Sit in the garden and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere while being serenaded by the many birds.

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No 47 Alamein Avenue – the home of Pamela and Chris Dalzell – Chris is the former curator of the Durban Botanical Gardens and more recently a member of the team responsible for creating the new Singapore botanical gardens. With his wealth of experience Chris has created an amazing indigenous garden with many interesting species and stunning gorge views. Due to the steep terrain parts of this garden are not recommended for persons with walking difficulties.

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Cascades 38 Buckingham Road – Cascades was developed between 2001 and 2003 with a D’MOSS condition on the development being the establishment of a Non-User-Conservation-Servitude (NUCS) to protect approximately half of the property from development. The area to be protected includes a perennial stream, The Ronald’s Kloof Stream and was heavily infested with invasive alien plants (IAPs). In 2005 the residents started a rehabilitation project and included their neighbours. Today the area of approximately 5ha has been fully rehabilitated with funding from most of the residents and is  a de facto private nature reserve and an extension of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. The Cascades property is not fenced on the forest side and as a result the gardens are frequently visited by porcupine, bushpigs, bush-babies, bushbuck, blue duiker, large spotted genets, caracal, water, banded and slender mongoose and the birdlife is equally amazing!

Garden 3a No 8 Cascades – the home of Glenda and Clive McMurray

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Garden 3b No 7 Cascades -the home of Bev and Paolo Candotti

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Garden 3c No 6 Cascades -the home of Ann and Mike Chapman

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Garden 3d No 5 Cascades – the home of Peter Rees

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Garden 3e No 3 Cascades – the home of Maureen and Hugh McGibbon

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Garden 3f No 9 Cascades -the home of Belinda Keppler and Kevin Waller


Garden 3g No 2 Cascades -the home of Brian Dales



No 8 Ipivi Road – the home of Jenny Bosch – situated on the edge of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and on the Uve stream this garden has blended a formal section into the natural forest area with great effect and attracts an unusually high number of bird species. In this garden you can witness a “monkey corridor” which has been planted with indigenous fruiting trees aimed at attracting vervet monkeys away from the house. This garden is linked by a self-guided trail to Gardens No4 and 5 – this trail is not suitable for persons with walking difficulties.

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No 4a Uve Road – the home of Gwynne and Ian Massey – This garden blends formal and informal gardening as well as some non-indigenous species in an effective and interesting way to create a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns which extend into the riverine forest with trails to gardens No4 and No6 – this trail is not suitable for persons with walking difficulties.


 No 8 Uve Road – The home of Cecily Salmon and Mark Liptrot

Cecily and Mark moved into this home in 1997 at which point the garden was a haven for exotic species! Inspired to try indigenous gardening by friends at a Kloof Conservancy event they set about converting into an indigenous garden by copying the natural surrounds which includes the neighbouring Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. This paid off when they won a Pam Golding award for best large KZN garden in 2007. Currently it has over 300 species of trees.

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16 /17 May

The theme for the 2015 event was Indigenous Gardening and Environmentally Responsible Development.

In 2009 at the Mail & Guardian “Greening the Future Awards” Cotswold were recognised in two Categories – Innovative Strategies Award” and the “Water Care Award.” The same Year Cotswold Downs was also awarded, through the Estate Landscapers “Uys & White”, an Award of Excellence from the Institute of Landscape Architects of South Africa. The Estate Management has continued to invest in environmental infrastructure and built a butterfly garden and an aloe garden ahead of the event.

The event aimed to show the public and prospective developers who a residential estate can combine human needs and those of the environment.

For the first time we introduced a BLOG to promote the event. The blog was meant as a source of inspiration for the event and  a newsfeed of articles, interviews and images leading up to the show. You can visit the blog at: Indigenous Open Gardens 2015

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Date: 24 / 24 May 2014

GARDEN 1 Anno Torr, 1 Halstead Road, Gillitts

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Arranged as a series of habitats, this 1 acre sloping garden is a combination of old and new. Since Anno moved in 10 years ago, she focused on planting only indigenous species although some exotics trees and shrubs do remain. It was in need of a revamp and many sections are newly planted. As Iphithi Nature Reserve provides forest habitat near-by, Anno has focused on adding grassland and succulent areas as well as a pond and small wetland feature. A woodland walk has been extended up the side of the property from where it winds down towards the ponds, and succulents and grassland species brighten up the central sunny areas.  Focusing on installing a water-wise garden, what does not survive a normal seasonal drought is replaced with a hardier species. This is a garden of rooms and pathways, with something new around every corner. Many bird and butterfly species have set up residence here, and a favourite feeding spot, viewable from the patio, made up of Trema orientalis, Celtis africana, Halleria lucida and a diverse shrubbery.

GARDEN 2 Betsy and Tony Kee, 5 Pearson Road, Everton

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Set on a large property of sweeping lawns, this garden mixes young with mature elements together. After a neighbours’ tree felled a few large species in the boundary forest, new, younger specimens now fill the void, a number of which are not often seen in gardens – three species of Cryptocarya, for example. A lovely specimen of the near threatened Alberta magna and a large fig tree, grown from a seed from the original Uhuru tree in Kenya, are favourites of the owners. The palette mixes indigenous with some exotic, with a lovely indigenous project, only a few months old, already making an impact that will inspire gardeners to begin the introduction of local flora in their gardens. In this garden, even the compost heap is worth a visit!

GARDEN 3A Kirsten and Sebastian Martegoutte, Unit 8, Weston Underwood, Clifton Hill Estate

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This young family- styled garden grew from the bare grounds of a new development. With a blank canvas on which to create, the owners request to the landscaper, who planted the bones of the design, was for an indigenous palette that would take care of itself. The boundaries between neighbours are thickets of wildlife friendly trees and shrubs with Aloes, perennials and groundcovers filling in the curved beds. A grove of Lavender trees forms the skeleton of the children’s jungle gym which is sure to delight all visiting families, and the central sweep of lawn offers enough space for kids’ play time.

GARDEN 3B Audrey and Dennis Allen, Unit 45, Clifton Reynes, Clifton Hill Estate

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With smaller estate gardens being so prevalent in our cities and suburbs, this relatively young garden offers a lovely example of how a variety of wildlife habitats are possible in these communities.  A diversity of screening shrubs on the borders of the property provide thickets for birds, butterflies and other insect species, and a central bed of climbing Aloes, small trees, shrubs and groundcovers creates a green corridor between the boundaries, providing safe passage – a more wildlife friendly option than the traditional open lawn! Tucked away behind a small gazebo, succulents thrive amongst rocks and stones in this hot corner. Paths link these different design elements together inviting one to walk out into the garden rather than simply viewing the small space from the house.

GARDEN 4 Ann and Peter van Eijk, Indigro Nursery, The Walk, Waterfall

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After visiting the Open Indigenous Gardens in 2000, we were inspired to create a garden that was

good for our souls and the transformation began! Being rather impatient and super keen to get going, we adopted a “Scorched earth” policy, scrubbed the canvas and painted a brand new indigenous landscape. The garden is always transitional as plants dictate likes and dislikes. Over the years, the garden has gone from full sun to semi-shade as the young trees formed their canopies, and then back to almost full sun again as vigorous trees have had a well needed trim! We always wanted to live on the gorge with streams and waterfalls, but as we were well settled, we created our own. These indigenous gems thrived, and explosions of seeds created an abundance of seedlings. As we were reluctant to weed them out, we began bagging them up for gifts and so the nursery came about almost by accident! Now we can share not only our garden but its offspring too!

GARDEN 5 Jackie and Ivan Foster, 32 King George Avenue, Forest Hills

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The Fosters were attracted to the property in 1994 because of its potential as an indigenous wild garden that would be home to and a haven for various bird species and wildlife. The garden was unintentionally re-landscaped in 2009 by a tornado which swept through the area. Heart-broken to see the devastation caused to the garden by that event, it was hard to find the motivation to re-establish it. Nature offered a helping hand however, and the felling of the trees allowed the grassland to flourish and opened up space for more succulent beds. Beautiful grassland species thrive here, including Watsonia densiflorus, normally found in undisturbed areas. Unusual climber varieties are Ceropegia and Riocreuxia spp. The garden is largely informal due to the Foster’s policy of minimal disturbance, allowing the wildlife to thrive, and they have focused their traditional landscaping efforts on the outside verge, driveway and pool areas where a small deck offers views over the grassland and forest. A forest walk awaits the adventurous visitor.

GARDEN 6 Brenda and Trevor Perks, 20 Kloofview Road, Forest Hills

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The Perks bought the property in 2011 from David Wijnberg, a man with the foresight to plant many indigenous trees some 25 years ago. This is the backbone of the garden from which Brenda and Trevor started. Inspired by past Open Gardens events, books and observing plants in nature, they set about designing their garden with the idea of having a landscaped garden nearer the house, becoming more natural and wild the closer it approached the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, their main next door neighbour.  This neighbouring forest extends onto the property in a couple of places, and a maze of pathways opens them up to the wanderer where one can relax for a while on benches and absorb the cool, calm and quiet of this habitat. Large varieties of birds, butterflies and animals have been attracted to the garden, and a number of bird boxes have been home to another generation of hatchlings.

GARDEN 7 Brigid and Pete Turner, 43 Kloofview Road, Forest Hills

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Featured before on the show, this has become one of the favourite gardens of this annual event. Begun 30 years ago, the owners have created a peaceful bushveld and forest retreat along with the accompanying bird, animal and insect life, with pathways giving access to all of the micro-habitats. Bushbuck and duiker are daily visitors and a number of special grassland species can be seen pushing up amongst the wild grasses on the grassland slope. The pond is filled from roof run-off, a natural-look pool sits at home in the landscape, and a fire pit hides amongst a screening shrubbery and over-looks a forested gorge. It is a beautiful example of how, by simply supporting the surrounding environment with your design, a beautiful garden can be created that enhances your life on a daily basis. Wildlife from the nature reserve close by are as much at home here as are the human species. As Pete said, “When we were away for a couple of months the monkeys moved in and held board meetings in the wooden summerhouse”! As the final garden on view over the weekend, it will have a coffee stop for the weary – but inspired!


Date: 22 / 23 June 2013

GARDEN 1 – Jekka and Ashley Irvine, 7 Ronald’s Road, Kloof

This garden is a botanical delight!  Having grown up in Zululand, Jekka has always had an appreciation for KZN’s natural heritage and indigenous flora. Her garden is a storied one, filled with interesting species, collected over the years. Many of her plants were given to her by a notable family friend – the late Ian Garland, renowned conservationist. Having followed Ian’s advice to create a canopy to attract birds, Jekka’s garden is a bird haven. Some of her favourite visitors include Green Twinspots, nesting White-eared Barbets and the Buff-spotted Flufftail. The garden features a number of pathways by which visitors can explore the garden’s micro-habitats, from forest to grassland.

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GARDEN 2 – Carryn and Donovan Payne – 47 Ronald’s Road, Kloof

A little piece of bushveld paradise in the heart of suburbia! The property, previously host to an art gallery owned by Neil and Liesel Wright, has been substantially altered by the Paynes who were attracted by the African style and feel of the house.  With three small children, Donovan and Carryn have embarked on making the garden more child-friendly, while maintaining the indigenous essence of the property. Once sloping, the top section of the property has been levelled and now features an entertainment area and pool, while the back garden features a children’s play area. Donovan is in the grassing industry, and over the years, having dealt extensively with landscapers, has developed an eye for landscaping. Key features of the garden include an exquisiteErythrina latissima specimen, a large pond overlooked by a deck, and a grass-tufted driveway.  The garden illustrates the possibilities for a small garden to meet the needs of family life while providing a flourishing indigenous habitat.

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GARDEN 3 – Janet and Ed Weakley, 6 Tunzini Road, Hillcrest

This is an example of an indigenous garden in seamless conversation with a home. Janet (a teacher) and Ed (an engineer) both work from home and their work spaces relate functionally and creatively to their garden. The garden adjacent to Janet’s classroom provides opportunities to enrich extra lessons with environmental observations, while Ed’s office outlook provides for a calm and peaceful working environment.  Enjoying the outdoors, Janet and Ed spend countless hours on their deck, looking out on to a small forest canopy. In the midst of the busy suburb of Hillcrest, the front garden easily transports one into a peaceful bushveld setting. As a whole, the garden is multi-layered, comprising different ‘rooms’ of texture and colour. As Janet puts it, “it is a garden where you can lose yourself and just be.”

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GARDEN 4 – Highbury Place, 5 Commonage Road, Hillcrest

Two gardens at Highbury Place, a complex in Hillcrest, will be on show.

On buying their property, Penny and Stuart Wartnaby inherited an old English garden, with Cyprus and Gum Trees, and Grecian urns going up the driveway. Today, it is a thriving, low maintenance indigenous garden which attracts a multitude of wildlife. Swallows return each year to nest on the side of the house, and the property is a local haunt for Spotted Eagle Owls. Penny, originally from the Free State, has always been inspired by the Karoo landscape and aloes in particular. Featuring many aloes, the entrance to her garden is ablaze with colour in winter.

Vauneen and Dave Douthwaite’s immaculate garden is in ‘transition’, illustrating how a progression to an indigenous garden can be achieved.  Having moved from Zimbabwe in 2002, the Douthwaites have gradually realised the necessity to go indigenous in order to be water-wise in a water-scarce South Africa. Vauneen, a road and trail runner, is becoming increasingly inspired by the South African landscapes she sees while running.

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GARDEN 5 – Scott Bader, Hammersdale

You won’t be able to spot anything overtly unusual about Scott Bader, beyond its unique environmental features, which include thriving wetland habitats and a formal indigenous office garden. The property, however, is in fact one of the most innovative and pioneering examples of a successful industrial clean-up and habitat rehabilitation.  Scott Bader is a UK-based multi-national company, which produces resins and polymer materials for the composites, coatings and adhesives industries. In the early 90s, the company developed an independent manufacturing presence in South Africa and occupied what is their present site in Hammarsdale. The site was, however, an environmental disaster. Previously owned by a company engaged in used oil reclamation, the property’s soil and groundwater were badly contaminated by illegally buried oil drums, and a small dam had an inch of oil floating on its surface.  At Scott Bader’s request, the oil company funded a postgraduate biology student to introduce oil-eating bacteria as part of a process to rehabilitate the soil and ground water.  Scott Bader then embarked on planting wetland reeds and sedges in the dam, and as the oil eating bacteria did their job, a beautiful wetland emerged. Another wetland area was also rehabilitated downstream.

While you won’t be able to see the oil-eating bacteria, you will not be able to help but marvel at the remarkable rehabilitation work which such tiny organisms have contributed to. Two wetland areas provide a thriving habitat for birds, small mammals and reptiles, and insects and butterflies. Scott Bader’s bird list stands at 47 species, reptile/amphibian list at 10, and butterfly list at 50. The property also boasts 38 tree species.  Nectar plants are always in bloom, which ensures a year-round bird and butterfly show. African Openbills have also been known to make their homes at the site.

The children’s competition will get particularly exciting at this point, and the first 100 children to visit this garden will receive a special free gift symbolising the amazing rehabilitation work done at Scott Bader.

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GARDEN 6 – Gari and Sandi Edwards, The Stone House, Hill ‘n Dale Farm, Hammersdale

Gary and Sandi Edwards have occupied the “Stone House” on Hill ‘n Dale Farm (formerly Bartlett Estate) for some 25 years.  The house is situated on a working farm (primarily sugar cane) and was built in the early 70s.  The garden was typically sprawling and decorated with exotics prevalent in nurseries at the time, but 15 years ago, Gary and Sandi took a conscious decision to go indigenous.  Practically, this had to be a gradual process – beds were re-laid and many big undesirable trees were removed, excepting the important windbreaks.  Gary and Sandi’s main reasons for going indigenous were to bring wildlife into the garden, and to save water – a precious farm resource. Collected over time, there are some interesting plants in the garden. Below the formal garden, a section of grassland has been rehabilitated, forming a sweeping extension to the expansive views beyond. The property is the highest point between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and the garden consequently boasts stunning views towards the Berg.

A visit to Gary and Sandi’s garden also provides a unique opportunity to take in some local history. Collected from local farms over time, a few historical artefacts and implements will be on show, including a wagon. A small section of the original Boer wagon road (with whell depressions) has been conserved and can be viewed a short walk away from the garden. There will also be a second-hand book stall, with some interesting wildlife/ gardening/ historical books for sale.

Zimbabwean metal worker, Carsten, will be displaying and selling his unique art works at the garden.



GARDEN 7 – Cato Ridge Electrical, Cato Ridge

The Cato Ridge Electrical garden promises to be a show highlight not to be missed. It is an award-winning indigenous garden which has been featured on TV and in magazines. Packed with diversity, the property is more of a botanical garden than what would traditionally be considered industrial premises.  In 2003, the Petersen brothers, owners of Cato Ridge Electrical, were inspired to beautify the area around their mother’s memorial tree. During a weekend, the first bed was formed and the creativity hasn’t stopped since. The garden now comprises multiple spaces and levels and also boasts a large pond. Succulents and cycads are predominant features, and in winter, the garden is a riot of colour. It is living and dynamic proof that industrial premises need not be sterile, concreted-over and environmentally unfriendly.

The Cato Ridge café and pub will be open for refreshments and light meals. The pub has a TV with all the sporting channels for those who don’t want to miss the rugby on Saturday and cricket on Sunday . Cycads and a variety of other plants will also be on sale.

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Photo credits: The Gardener Magazine


DATE: 21st & 22nd April 2012

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After a break in 2011 the Indigenous Open Gardens Show is back with a 6 gardens all of exceptional quality and spread across the Upper Highway area

This is a flagship project for Kloof Conservancy and attracts thousands of visitors to the gardens on show. The show is used by the Conservancy to demonstrate to residents the attractiveness and benefits of indigenous planting and consequently the show is a major contributor to the protection of the area’s bio-diversity.

The Tea Garden will be at Forest View Primary School

Garden No. 1 – Marilyn and Rob Payne, 80 Buckingham Road, Kloof

The renowned conservationist, Dr. Ian Garland, moved to 80 Buckingham Road from his farm Twinstreams in Mtunzini in 1996 and established what he called his “New Forest”.

The property was purchased in 2008 by Marilyn and Rob Payne after Dr Garland passed away. The house was renovated but very little was done to the garden as the new owners thoroughly enjoyed what the Garlands had laid out.

Many of the trees are sand forest species and therefore although indigenous are “out of their natural area”. Geoff Nicholls, who helped Ian during the initial planting, visited the garden last year and helped identify many of the trees. In his words it is a “Botanical Garden” with its wide variety of species.Jenny Dean helped by introducing some “pretties” on the forest floor and sunny terraces.

The Paynes love their garden and its feathered visitors and always welcome anyone to visit and share it with them.

Garden No. 2 – Staffan Darnolf, 64 Alamein Road, Kloof

The owner of this lovely garden is a gentleman from Sweden who fell in love with South Africa and its people when he worked here as an IEC official during the elections.

He found and bought this house which was in need of a major overhaul. The renovation project took a couple of years and when it was nearing completion he commissioned “Rooted in Nature” to create a garden to compliment his new home.

The garden was extremely overgrown and harboured many alien invaders. The major building works had taken their toll. It was decided to tackle the garden one section or “room” at a time. A great many truckloads of garden vegetation were removed but plants that had taken years to grow and were desirable were pruned and incorporated into a new scheme.

Sections were re-levelled with loads of topsoil and the pool garden was enlarged to create the feeling of space but at the same time privacy. Care was taken to keep the surroundings peaceful and as maintenance free as possible.

Although the fever trees and Kiepersols are mature, this is a young garden, still fleshing out its skeleton. Many ‘filler’ plants and groundcovers will disappear in time to come as the shrubs reach their desired size. Plant schemes have also changed as the garden has become shadier.

This garden like all gardens is a work in progress – constantly growing, improving and giving joy.

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Garden No. 3 – Helen Terblanche, 13 Valley Drive, Forest Hills

A multiple award winning garden, boasting “Best Large Garden”, “Best Garden of the Year” and “Best Indigenous Garden” for 2011 awarded by the Durban and Coast Horticultural Society.

Large sweeping curves, a tranquil forest area beautifully landscaped and situated on the edge of a Nature Reserve.

Garden No. 4 – Viv Francis and Pandora Lewis, 34a Kloof View Road, Forest Hills

This formerly exotic garden was placed 2nd in the 2011 ‘Medium-sized Garden’competition.

It has breathtaking views of Krantzkloof Gorge and is a good example that indigenous can be vibrant and colourful.

Garden No. 5 – Kerry and Colyn Townsend, 7a Cliff Road, Hillcrest

This garden has recently undergone some big changes. Having fallen in love with grassland gardens, Kerry has removed beds, trees and shrubs to create an extremely maintenance friendly grassland area bordering Springside Nature Reserve. Above this is a lush green lawn.

Steep banks are terraced with natural rock and hold a variety of aloes, succulents, proteas, and other indigenous plants.

The Eastern side of the property meets one of the reserve’s indigenous forests and the use of trees has the effect of merging the forest into the garden. This area is now lush with arums, clivias, plectranthus and other shade loving plants and access through all these areas is by winding pathways and steps.

Closer to the dwelling exotics are mixed with indigenous, which makes for splashes of vibrant colour. Pots, arches and water features add interest and atmosphere.

Garden No. 6 – Tricia and Peter Hoffmann, 32 Forbes Drive, St Hellier, Gillitts

This garden is a loving work in progress. The focus has been to create a natural ‘bushveld-type’ atmosphere thus enticing birds and other creatures to make it their home.

The garden has developed over 30 years with the help of Jenny Dean and is wonderfully peaceful and natural. It features meandering pathways, a stream, a formal knot garden and vegetable garden with sundial.

The pool garden is bordered by a lavender tree forest on one side and an indigenous thicket on another. Plantings have been made as close to the verandahs as possible to bring birds closer. We have found that the more indigenous the garden has become – the more joy we experience; having close encounters with birds as well as the sheer beauty of the different seasonal colour changes
This garden was featured on the TV programme “The Gardener”


Date: 22nd & 23rd May 2010

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2010 will be the 10th year the Kloof Conservancy has organised the event to help towards the preservation of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve which provides a haven for plants and wildlife in the heart of Kloof.

All 10 gardens will be in the magnificent Phezulu Game Estate, a unique residential development in Botha’s Hill comprising of residential properties and a game reserve.

Light lunches provided by the Chef’s School will be on sale. Rowan Stuart will be performing on Sunday 23 May @ about 11 am so come along and share the experience.

There will be plants, garden accessories and art on sale. Elsa Pooley ,Charles and Julia Botha and Lindsay Gray will be at Phezulu to promote their books.

The ‘greening movement’ is also catered for with ‘Energy Wise’ displaying some excellent energy saving ideas and Ezee Bikes with an Electric bike. There will be many crafters showing their wares.

Good ideas are meant to be shared, so if it’s garden inspiration you are after, put on a funky hat, slip on some comfy shoes and head for the Hills. Bring the whole family and spend the day with us.

Garden No. 1 – Paul and Corinne Jones, 6 Fig Tree Close

Good use of interesting design and tasteful blend of indigenous plants makes this a must for the avid gardener.

Garden No. 2 – Gavin Houlden, 5 Fig Tree Close

Jan Blok is a landscaper with the design talent to transform the ordinary into extra-ordinary. This modern garden nestled in the shade of a giant fig tree reflects this vision.

Garden No. 3 – Craig and Caroline Bentley, 32 Mahogany Avenue

A garden with the focus on natural grasses interspersed with wild flowers, attracting seed-eating birds.

Garden No. 4 – Steaphan and Belinda MacDonald, 25 Mahogany Avenue

A delightful young garden that illustrates that with careful plant selection and natural materials, a gorgeous garden can be created in a very short space of time.

Garden No. 5 – Martyn and Tanya Harvey, 17 Mahogany Avenue

Careful use of mass planting has created a tapestry of texture, colour and interest. Many intriguing features such as a rim-flow natural rock pool and cave room add to the charm of this garden.

Garden No. 6 – Malcolm and Karin Turner, 30 Mahogany Drive
A secluded boma forms the focal point in this well tended garden which is a haven for birds and butterflies.

Garden No. 7 – Kathleen Foaden, 22 Mahogany Avenue
An excellent example of how art can be used to add interest to outdoor spaces.

Garden No. 8 – Ashley Dell and Tony and Keegan Dhanookdhari, 2 Bush Willow Close

A small garden with raised beds which creates a feeling of privacy and simplicity.

Garden No. 9 – Alistair and Sue Wren, 8 Mahogany Avenue.

Large Aloes form a striking contrast to the rock walls at the entrance. A massive deck overlooks a sloping garden with shrubs and flowers buzzing with birds and bees.

Garden No. 10 – Mike and Shannon Atkinson, 13 Fuchsia Lane

A young garden with mass planting of wild grasses and other groundcovers.

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Date: 28th & 29th March 2009

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This year Kloof Conservancy presents a bumper weekend with seven exciting indigenous gardens on show, four of which are in one complex. In developing their gardens, the owners have each embarked on a journey of exploration and learning which they are keen to share with you. Experts on gardening and wildlife will be on hand to assist the public and indigenous plants, books and other delightful crafts will be on sale at the tea garden which is at Forest View Primary School.

Garden No. 1 – 133 Lyngarth Road, Kloof – Anthony and Juliet Stead

Established in 1977, this mature garden is a haven for birds. The lady of the house describes herself as ‘bird potty’ and a ‘tree-aholic’, her love of birds being the driving force for the sanctuary she has created. The garden showcases a mix of habitats from shade areas, a wildlife pond, a vegetable and herb garden to their ‘bit of paradise’, a bush clump, reminiscent of the bushveld. Over one hundred species of birds have been recorded in this beautiful garden.

Garden No. 2 (4 gardens) – Cascades Complex, 38 Buckingham Road, Kloof – Nos 5, 6, 8 & 9

he residents of this beautiful complex have taken the initiative to create an indigenous haven for wildlife. The fast-flowing stream running through the property has been cleared of alien invasive plants and surrounding neighbours are joining in to keep this valuable waterway clear. Each garden offers its own delights, including magnificent views across the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. You won’t want to leave

Garden No. 3 – 28a Queens Crescent, Forest Hills – Michele Aubourg

Michele’s garden, ‘Birdsong’, is a serene, indigenous haven that describes the glorious, ongoing song provided by abundant birdlife. A pretty and feminine garden that cleverly combines natural lines with more formal areas, it is planted with an artistic eye for colour and texture and is complemented by a tasteful and restrained use of ornamentation. The sloping lawns run down to a magnificent indigenous forest where a path meanders along a picturesque woodland stream. Michele describes her garden as a “work-in-progress”. She will be exhibiting her paintings of birds and indigenous flora in this beautiful and unique setting.

Garden No. 4 – 42 Queens Crescent, Forest Hills – Kevin Beaumont

This garden nestles in a small private nature reserve. It has evolved over five years from a simple forest rehabilitation schema to a formalized space that allows a flowing transition between domestic home and wild forest. Making use of the natural focus point provided by a stately old Cussonia tree, the garden is characterized by smooth, mass plantings of fine foliage shrubs that blend into the natural forest. Natural materials have been used on the verandah leading to the pool terrace and the swimming pool is referenced to the smooth, rock pools found in the ‘Berg. A ‘secret garden’ hides behind a screening water feature that helps to frame the swimming pool. The entire design is premised on a belief that gardens are best imagined as sacred spaces in which to lose oneself.

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Date: 15th & 16th March 2008.

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“On the edge of the Gorge”

It is appropriate that the theme for Kloof Conservancy’s Indigenous Open Gardens in March 2008 is “On the edge of the Gorge”, as the funds raised through this event go exclusively to the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve to assist with the ongoing invasive plant eradication programme. The five beautiful gardens on show each have a special view of the magnificent Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. Visitors will also be able to get some idea of the magnitude of keeping this valuable heritage site free of invasive alien plants.

The Tea Garden will held at the Kloof Junior Primary School, Abelia Road, Kloof.

Garden No. 1 – 4a Uve Road, Kloof

This property has a spectacular view of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve’s grassland and, to the right, the gorge and beyond. The home is a fusion of Moroccan/African architecture complete with seductive shapes in the form of domes, arches and barrel-vaulted ceilings. The steep garden is retained with dry-packed rock walls. Movement through the garden is made easier with interesting paths, steps and wooden walkways. The owners built an eco-pond to attract wildlife, and a perennial stream already flows at the bottom of their property. Wanting to keep the garden in sympathy with the grassland opposite them, the owners have used various indigenous grasses, interspersed with bulbs, dierama’s and wildflowers that have self-seeded. Down at the tree-lined stream, there is a wooden deck just perfect for viewing birds and enjoying the odd sundowner.

Garden No. 2 – 8 Uve Road, Kloof

This award-winning garden is set on the edge of both the mist belt and the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. There are several natural water sources on the property, starting with a small but significant permanent stream running through it, two additional waterfalls and a larger river bordering the lower edge of the garden. Despite being a suburban garden, this slightly wild garden becomes an extension of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve with stunning views of a section of the gorge with its beautiful grassland and imposing rock face. The garden reflects and celebrates the wildness of the Reserve, supporting a variety of small mammals, buck and zebra and being home to an exciting variety of bird and insect life.

Garden No. 3 – 15 Park Crescent, Forest Hills

What started thirty-nine years ago as a typical suburban garden with expansive lawns and filled with exotic plants, is today an indigenous haven for its owners. Established on original grassland that extended from the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, this gently sloping property has been described as a peaceful haven with its established canopy of indigenous trees. Over the years, the owners have added meandering paths and a series of garden rooms for interest. A spectacular and uninterrupted view of the Gorge can be enjoyed from a seating area under the canopy of a mature flat crown tree. The garden is filled with birds, many of whom return annually to breed. And, much to the owners’ delight, the variety of butterflies frequenting the garden is constantly on the increase.

Garden No. 4 – 9 Watsonia Place, Kloof

When the owners first viewed their property on the edge of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, it was a case of love at first sight. They were prepared to purchase it on the strength of the outstanding view! At that time the garden was well-established, but crammed with exotic trees. At least forty of these have now been removed to open up the view, and to make way for indigenous plantings. This has encouraged a return of wildlife to the garden. Transformation is gradual and ongoing. The ultimate aim is to create a garden that blends with the grasslands and forests of the adjoining Reserve.

Garden No. 5 – 52 Bridle Road, Forest Hills

This property borders the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and has a small rustic deck with breathtaking views of the gorge. Describing themselves as reluctant gardeners, the owners have moved towards a low maintenance garden that compliments the stunning setting and natural vegetation that existed when they bought the land twenty-five years ago. This dry garden has been landscaped mostly with plants indigenous to the area, using aloes, rock and gravel to create an interesting roadside garden, with low plantings on the Reserve side to fringe the edge of the level terrace. A pair of Wahlberg’s eagles nest in the tree canopy below the property and, over the years, bushbuck, porcupine, blue duiker, mongoose, genet and even serval cat have become regular visitors.


Winter Wonderland at Makaranga Lodge, Igwababa Road, Kloof Date : Sunday 24 June 2007

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As part of its fundraising campaign for alien plant removal in the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, the Kloof Conservancy is holding a function with a difference this year. The Indigenous Open Gardens usually takes place every March, but this year the Kloof Conservancy would like to share the beauty of winter-flowering indigenous plants with the public.

In conjunction with Makaranga Garden Lodge in Kloof, a one-day Winter Wonderland will be staged on Sunday, 24 June, where a vibrant show of colour is sure to delight and inspire the public. As part of its educational programme, the Conservancy has organised specialists in their field to talk talk on trees, birds, butterflies and garden design and there will be tours and visual presentations throughout the day. Indigenous plants, gardening books, Tanza Crouch’s beautiful crockery, Botanic art and metal birds will be on sale. Other organisations will be on hand to advise on birds, alien plants and much more.


Date: 20th & 21st May 2006

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Kloof Conservancy invites the public to a bumper weekend of garden viewing, with seven exciting indigenous gardens on show. In developing their gardens, the owners have each embarked on a journey of exploration and learning which they are keen to share with you. But that’s not all. This year, the traditional tea garden will be held in the beautiful grounds of St. Mary’s DSG in Kloof as part of the school’s centenary celebrations.

We have educational displays as well as gardening books, botanical art and plants for sale.

Popular plant specialists, Dr David Johnson (Sat 11 am and Sun 3 pm), Geoff Nichols (Sat 3pm) and Elsa Pooley (Sunday 11 am) will discuss fascinating topics.

St. Mary’s Choir as well as the ‘Cool Strings’ band will entertain you while you relax. Refreshments will be on sale.

Garden No. 1 – Ed and Janet Weakley, 6 Tunzini Road, Hillcrest

Inspired by the beauty of the Lowveld, Ed and Janet embarked on a project four years ago to transform their garden into a tapestry of texture, colour and interest, using indigenous plants. Classing herself as a novice gardener, Janet enrolled on a garden design course and later consulted with two other designers for assistance with projects in the garden. Family members too have added their contribution by transforming a dilapidated garden lean-to into a stylish utility shed. Already the family is delighted with the bountiful birdlife in their new garden.

Garden No. 2 – Douglas and Sheryl Gordon, 10 Sandy Lane, Hillcrest

Douglas and Sheryl Gordon built a new home in Hillcrest six years ago and immediately began implementing an indigenous garden. Inspired by what they had seen at Twinstreams Nursery in Mtunzini, the Gordons decided to fashion a forest on the south side of their property. A year ago, they built a ‘reservoir’ style swimming pool which blends cleverly with the farm-style architecture of their home. Indigenous gardening is a passion for the couple and, they stress, their garden is the result of their own hard work and a lot of learning.

Garden No. 3 – Bruce and Kim Thompson, 17 Meadow Lane, Kloof

When the Thompsons bought their home nine years ago, the garden was smothered by a bamboo hedge, invasive weeds and creepers that all but destroyed its structure. They steadily cut back and removed truckloads of unwanted growth, granting a reprieve to the large trees that lend the garden its air of tranquility. Today, this beautiful garden is again spacious with cleverly placed paths guiding the visitor through different garden rooms. Luxuriant shrubberies of mostly indigenous plants have secured a wide variety of interesting birdlife.

Garden Nos. 4, 5, 6 & 7 – Clive & Glenda McMurray; Glen & Margie Jackson; Paolo & Bev Candotti; Ian & Mal Grant-Stuart, Cascades Complex – 38 Buckingham Road, Kloof

Cascades Complex spans approximately seven acres, housing nine units. It borders the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve in the north and has an unnamed tributary of the Molweni River running through it. The complex is fortunate to have established trees and abounds with a variety of wildlife that is a constant delight to the owners. Artificial barriers have been kept to a minimum creating a natural flow between the gardens. While the gardens are relatively young, four of the owners are delighted to share their gardens with you.