The gardens at Babylonstoren are described as majestic and it is no small boast. Is it any wonder then that the dream of an annual garden day was born in the midst of these gardens? Sunday the 15th of October 2017 will be the second nationwide Garden Day in South Africa. A day to down garden tools, invite family and friends (or even strangers) and celebrate gardens of all shapes, sizes and forms.
There is probably no better place to celebrate a garden than at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens and Getafix Café. As far as botanical gardens go, this is a new kid on the block. Opened in October 1998, the gardens have a strong focus on indigenous plants and especially those endemic to the Southern Cape region. It is home to about 52 species of butterflies, 26 damselfly species, 8 frog species, 600 plant species and as many as 146 bird species have been sighted.
The energetic, young curator, Klaus Schröder, is a passionate environmentalist who will undoubtedly take the gardens to new heights. With the warmer weather, the gardens have a full program. The weekly parkrun is described as one of the best and well attended in South Africa, together with the summer season of Movie under the Stars, events like Bark in the Park, garden concerts as well as the annual Carols by Candlelight affirms that these gardens are gearing up for a busy season ahead.
Among all the fun events, Klaus and his team are hard at work. There is a monthly environmental education session by WESSA, presentations at schools and educational school tours, also guides taking groups on a variety of walks covering heritage, water, biodiversity and botany. The Southern Cape Herbarium is also found in the gardens which holds more than 12000 specimens.
The nursery sells only indigenous, and more specifically, endemic plants propagated from waterwise parent plants in the botanical garden and hand waters young plants for the first free months. A registered NGO; all funds are invested in increasing biodiversity, focusing on threatened species, not only in the gardens but also throughout the different southern Cape biomes.
Both Garden Route Botanical Gardens and the Getafix Café are rich in history with the remnants of the first irrigation system in George found on the premises.
Getafix Café owes its name to its owner’s love of Asterix. If not for the unique location at the foot of an ancient Ficus Sur, or Cape wild fig, Mike Cawood would have never been in the business, however he just couldn’t resist. During the last two years he has built the café into a popular hotspot. With its wide open lawn, great kiddies play area and hearty menu, it is an easy choice for the entire family. If you take into consideration that the café also boasts a doggie menu, there is absolutely no other place to be for a fun family, pet-friendly outing!
The first Friday of every month, the venue hosts an Entrepreneurs Night Market from 17h00 – 21h00. This includes live entertainment, as well as the monthly drumming circle presented by Garden Route Drumming.
You can visit Garden Route Botanical Gardens:
Monday to Friday from 07:00 to 19:00 (Sep – Apr) and 07:30 to 18:00 (May – Jul)
Entry fee per adult: R10 per person / free for members
Entry fee children under 12: Free
You can contact the Garden Route Botanical Gardens on 044 874 1558
Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Garden-Route-Botanical-Gardens-137328263002070/
Visit their website at www.botanicalgarden.org.za
You can contact Getafix Café on 044 873 5729
Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GetafixGardenCafe/
Visit their website at www.getafixcafe.co.za
You can visit Getafix Café:
Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:00
Saturday from 08:00 to 16:00
Sunday from 09:00 – 16:00