The Gardener Magazine


On this side is a monochromatic planting of Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage).

A tennis court became the Walled Garden. This garden is divided into two by a simple brick pathway and arches decked in heritage climbing roses. An asymmetrical layout of knee-height clipped hedges gives the garden its architectural structure, but allows for seasonal changes in planting style and the colours used.

The Garden of Reflection is a calm space with gently gurgling ponds and topiary cut plants.
The Stream Garden.

When you walk into the werf and past the well to reach the main entrance of Stellenberg Gardens, you are already made aware of (or rather overcome by) a feeling of timelessness, old-fashioned grace and serenity, thanks to just being in the presence and enveloping shade of old and mature trees planted many, many years ago.

Every heritage home and every great garden is enshrouded in history, and this beautiful 18th-century Cape Dutch manor surrounded by a magnificent 5-acre garden in the heart of busy Kenilworth is no exception. The homestead, along with the surrounding land (which used to be much larger), has played many roles in its long history, which also reflects the history of the Cape of Good Hope. It has been a farm dwelling, manor house, country retreat, patrician residence, it is a provincial heritage site, and today is the family home of Andrew and Sandy Ovenstone.

It was Sandy’s vision to create a series of garden rooms interlinked by walkways or allées, as she was surrounded by historic walls, columns, dramatic gateposts and teak railing that enclosed the back courtyard. In the 1980s she began to realise her vision. Her plans were enhanced and broadened with the input of many landscape gardeners and designers who came visiting.

Designer David Hicks, for instance, had a hand in the design of the Vine Walk and Walled Garden – the latter built to celebrate the Ovenstones’ 25th wedding anniversary in 1989. The garden is ever evolving, and Cape Town-based landscape designer Francesca Watson became the creative force behind the Garden of Reflection, Stream Garden, Vegetable Garden and White Parterre Garden.

“A sense of place is the soul of the garden”
–Arne Maynard, English landscape designer
Along the Vine Walk you can rest in deep thought on antique cement garden benches in the shade of grape vines in summer.
The Pool Garden.
The central water feature (symbolising the fountain of life) and crucifix-like pathways create four beds filled with fruit, herbs, vegetables and edible flowers.

Stellenberg gardens have it!

Whether you are just a gentle soul appreciating an outing to a gorgeous garden or an avid gardener looking for inspiration, Stellenberg Gardens has it all. During a visit you will see how to:

• Garden in the shade next to water;
• Create logical links from one area of a large garden to another;
• How to interpret and use symmetry and asymmetry;
• How to create a vegetable and herb garden not only for functionality, but also to please all the senses;
• Use the principle of less-is-more with dramatic mass and monochromatic plantings within a strong framework.

White Garden A lush border filled with white and cream flowering plants. Green is a colour too, with foliage in different hues.


1 Werf and well

2 Main Garden Entrance

3 White Garden

4 Main lawns

5 Parterre

6 Vegetable Garden

7 Paradise Garden

8 Forest walkway and wandelpad

9 Herb Garden

10 Wild Garden

11 Upper and Lower Stream Garden

12 Garden of Reflection

13 Vine Walk with old benches

14 Walled Garden

15 Citrus Lime Walk

16 Pool Garden

17 Stellenberg Gardens Nursery

Walled Garden

Garden visits

Stellenberg will be open on Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 November 2019 in aid of the St Joseph’s Home for Chronically ill Children. Tickets are R50 per person and R30 for tea or coffee with delicious refreshments. For more information call Juliet on 021 762 7733 or email

The Stellenberg Gardens can also be visited, by appointment only, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 – 15:30. Phone 021 761 2948 to make a booking.

The Nursery

A nursery was established in 1996 to propagate perennials and hedge plants for use in the garden and also to sell to the public. It is open on Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 – 16:30.

White Garden

Watch gardenTUBE

for how to create a formal garden