I am becoming a bit gardening obsessed at the moment, and find myself searching for gardening books almost as often as cookbooks.
It is, I feel, in anticipation of things to come but in the meantime I am finding inspiration in the gardens of others.
A few weeks ago I posted this beautiful garden in Tangier, and now I am zooming right down south to my home turf (so to speak) to show you some of the beautiful and inspirational design and planting on the farm Babylonstoren which we were lucky enough to visit a few months ago.
The gardening here is on a grand scale, but within that are so many corners and design elements that can be translated into a much smaller space.
I know I have definitely filed a few ideas!
The classic Cape Dutch architecture of the house underpins the entire garden design which is based on the original gardens for the Dutch East India Company in Cape Town.
You can visit the farm for a meal, stay overnight, or simply wander around the gardens.
Sculptural elements are introduced on both a small and a grand scale – like this 70m long tunnel which is also a shade house for the clivia collection.
One of my favourite areas was this healing garden which is a tranquil space filled with medicinal plants and herbs, planted in sections relating to parts of the body.
In the wild bird area of the garden there are woven human sized nests . . .
. . .as well as wild bird nests that create a wonderful sculptural detail above planting done specifically with these birds in mind.
Not even the humble insects are forgotten but instead are provided with stylish accomodation in their own Insect Hotel!
I loved the swimming pool because it referenced so many of my childhood memories on our family farm in South Africa where the farm reservoir doubled as a pool, and inflatable fun was had by using the inner tubes of old tractor tyres.
This mosaic was inspired by all the old bits and pieces of delft ware porcelein dug up during the process of creating the garden – literally every element in this garden is thought through and creative.
And alongside all this creativity is the underlying practicality of a functioning garden that provides sustenance and nourishment.
I’m off to do some digging and planting . . .
WITH THANKS FOR ALL IMAGES TO BABYLONSTOREN