Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sublime Stellenberg


After today I am suffering from an extreme case of garden envy! I went with my friends Lynn and Karen to visit the Stellenberg Gardens and what an incredible treat it was.

 Divided into a series of garden "rooms" the first room we visited was to the side of the homestead and consisted almost entirely of white flowering plants with just a smattering of the palest pink peaking out here and there.

 Imagine sitting out here in the evening overlooking this magnificent garden when the white flowers really come into their own!

 This table underneath a wisteria would be the perfect cool spot for a cup of tea on a hot day. I particularly  loved the chandelier.

 After that we made our way to the veggie garden which I completely fell in love with.  From the water feature in the center, to the row of pencil cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), to the bamboo trellising to the citrus trees in Anduze pots, to the wicker  baskets for collecting veggies or clippings... I wanted it all!


 We left the veggie garden through this beautiful metal gate and made our way to the rose garden with its perfectly clipped box hedge....

 ....then through a pretty shady walkway and onto the herb garden...

....with a jasmine arbour at the centre.

I loved this bay tree in a wooden planter clipped into a pyramid shape...

....and these runner beans making their way up bamboo trellises.

 After the herb garden we walked onto the main lawns in front of the homestead with the most beautiful hydrangea borders.....

 ....and then onto the walled garden that houses the swimming pool. I think this might have been my favourite area.

  The blue and purple bed was just beautiful!

 The next treat in store was this magnificent garden designed by the late David Hicks.

The central rose covered arches divide the two sections of the garden. On the left, you can see the masculine side with its precision clipped hedges and more minimalist style and on the right is the feminine side with its profusion of plants and colour and soft edges.



 Reluctantly leaving this area which really is the most incredible work of art, we headed to a fairly new area of the garden that has a forest feel with a stream running through it.

 ...and then wandered though this part of the garden called the garden of reflection, beautiful with its series of reflecting ponds and topiaries.

 This led us to yet another arched walkway with pretty fountain at one end and row of benches to the side. There are just so many places to sit and contemplate the splendour of these gardens.


 Finally, we settled down in yet another part of the garden for a well-deserved cup of tea. All this garden envy is thirsty work!

 Are you as inspired as I am? I better get stuck into my garden very soon while the inspiration is still fresh in my mind. Wish me luck!

I hope you all have a lovely week

Till next time

Sharon x

 You can visit the Stellenberg website here

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Good Cheer and a Good Chair

 This time of year when everything happens, from year-end functions to prize-givings to school music concerts to farewell parties, has me in a permanent state of mild panic that I have let something slip through the cracks. The thing that keeps me going is the reward of the lazy days following Christmas when all that is required is a quiet spot, a good book and a G&T. I would also be happy with a magazine and a glass of wine or even a sketchpad and a spritzer, I'm flexible like that. You might have noticed a common trend amongst these different scenarios. Yes... I can see you thinking....this girl always needs a drink... but the truth's all about the chair! When I dream about these lazy days, I always picture myself in an oversized garden chair!


The kind that's big enough for a nap if I feel the urge...

.... a blanket or throw at hand if the weather becomes a little chilly...


...a little table on the side to hold the beverage of choice... 

....under the dappled shade of a tree would be preferable...

 .... but on a shady patio would also be fine...

 Of course, a chaise longue version would make life really comfortable..

...or a matching ottoman to rest my weary legs...


But I think my ultimate would be this version with the "slidy-out" footrest. Yes...this is the one for my Christmas list please....Father Christmas...if you're listening!

Till next time

Sharon x