PO BOX 1050, HOUGHTON
SOUTH AFRICA 2041
TEL: +27(0)11-646 4122
FAX: +27(0)11-646 1529
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The rewards of nine years of holistic management (first organic, then biodynamic) and skilful indigenous planting are now clear to see in the estate's lively new beauty and steadily increasing biodiversity.
The garden at Brenthurst Estate is rated as one of the finest in South Africa and can certainly be placed amongst the great gardens of the world.
Its history goes back to the turn of the last century, when the elegant gabled house, now known as Brenthurst, was built for Drummond Chaplin by Sir Herbert Baker.
The dramatic Cape Dutch gables are delicately balanced against a Gauteng kopje, and the house is now set amid a range of formal, informal and wild gardens.
Brenthurst has become what Strilli Oppenheimer planned it should be:
an inspirational teaching garden that every gardener and every one interested in the natural world can relate to and enjoy.
With the implementation of biodynamic and naturalistic gardening principles a new aesthetic has come into play.
The conservative eye needs to adjust to this approach. Plants that were once considered weeds now belong in the picture.
Paths are meticulously maintained but elsewhere there is much less control and cutting back. Fallen leaves and flowers are part of the scene, as are dead branches, seed heads and nibbled leaves.
The picture is one to be enjoyed over four seasons. Allowing the plants to fulfil their natural cycle also allows other forms of life to do so.
The indigenous, biodynamic approach is aimed at encouraging a web of rich diversity in which all elements thrive.