|A poppy alive with busy bees in the garden of La Rive|
This is the garden that stole my heart when we last visited Franschhoek. We had espied some of its hidden charm whilst walking amongst the old gravestones, set in the historic cemetery that is situated alongside on the opposite bank of the picturesque river which courses gently through the village. I had seen a lovely, secluded stone bench perfectly framed beneath the deep, enveloping shade of a giant oak tree on the opposite bank. I'd photographed it and then, being the quizzy soul I am, craned my already stretched-to-maximum neck even further to steal a glimpse of what appeared to me to be the perfect filmset for a remake of 'The Secret Garden'. Imagine my delight when we learnt a short while afterwards that this was to be one of the Open Gardens we'd be able to visit. La Rive was our inspiration for attending the Franschhoek Open Gardens weekend and the first garden we elected to visit!
|A section of the large, beautifully landscaped garden on the upper terrace.|
|And there, in the distance, beneath several creeper clad archways, is the bench I saw from the old cemetery, on the opposite bank!|
|The tempting pathway leading to the bench is formed by lengths of old railway sleepers, generously interplanted with fragrant ground covers and clumps of alyssum and pansies in full bloom. A sight too glorious for words!|
|Enjoying some quiet time was this elderly couple...who succeeded in getting themselves into everyone's pictures.|
|The wide, double gate leading to the secret garden is a work of absolute beauty in and of itself. I played around there for ages, capturing it from all angles.|
|Large, planted pots are used extensively in the garden beds at La Rive. We have returned home determined to incorporate several more in our own garden!|
|The bench viewed from the riverside. In addition to the large Oak tree beneath which it rests, are several tall tree ferns which soften the scene in the most pleasing way.|
|Looking back towards the entrance to the secret garden from the pathway leading to the bench.|
|This is the side-ways view that awaits anyone seated on the bench!|
|We took so many pictures of the flowers in this garden, both generally and in close-up...I would need to devote an entire post just to share those with you!|
To conclude this post, I shall share three of several statues that grace the magnificent grounds of La Rive...
|This intriguing and eye-catching, stone sculpture has pride of place in a secluded section of the secret garden. We saw two further works by this same artist in two of the other gardens we visited. We have yet to discover this talented artist's name.|
|This winsome child sculpture gazes across the garden on the top terrace.|
|Deep in thought, she remains poised on a rock at the top of a waterfall that cascades into a koi pond beneath her.|
I do hope you enjoyed accompanying me on a visit to La Rive. I should be delighted if you'd care to join me at each of the gardens we visited. If so, please "watch this space!"