Friday, November 18, 2011

Klein Champagne [Franschhoek Open Garden 2011]

The entrance to Klein Champagne Estate, Franschhoek. Vineyards lined with magnificent roses.
Klein Champagne is a privately owned wine estate set in the exquisitely beautiful Franschhoek Valley. Described on our programme as a "park-like garden, with spectacular roses, a large and shaded river frontage, meandering paths and a lily covered lake", this very large garden was an absolute joy to behold.

I wandered about, totally in awe of all the work that would have gone into planning and designing such a large garden. 

To be accurate, it is several gardens within a garden and I found myself "oohing and aahing" at every turn. 

The only thing that saved me from becoming bright green from head to toe was the knowledge that I not only lack the huge budget necessary to maintain such an enomous undertaking...
I do not have access to what I am sure must be hoards of fulltime gardeners to assist with the upkeep and beautification of this marvel.
This realisation allowed me to relax fully and simply take it all in.
 Apart from the manor house, there were a number of additional buildings (cottages, guest accommodation, offices) and topnotch stabling for the magnificent horses whose grace and beauty added to the ambiance of this glorious estate. I am not going to gabble on. I will leave you to judge for yourselves...

Once again, we took far more pictures than is feasible for me to upload here. I ended up picking this selection blindly, so not all are necessarily the best choices, but due to time constraints, I am unable to examine each one closely before selecting or discarding. I do hope I have given an idea of the scale and beauty of Klein Champagne with those I have shown here. There is just so much to this garden that it is not possible to do it justice in a blog. I will never forget the experience of being there to see it all in person.


  1. Extremely nice picture.


  2. I would be "oohing" and "aahing" too, Desiree! The beauty of nature blends seamlessly with elegant architecture on this magnificent estate. Follow the brick road and glee and serenity await you. Behold enchanting vistas at every twist and turn of your journey. As you pointed out, a team effort is required to maintain a gigantic garden complex like this one, but just look at the results! Here again, strategically placed statuary enhances the visitor's experience. Whimsical features bring a smile including the spider, the reptiles, and the old man reclining on a rock. I also liked the statue standing alone atop that high pedestal. The trellis and multi-tiered fountain are other nice touches. A splendid property, indeed!

    With the weather warming up in your part of the world you are the envy of mutual friends like Thisisme who are already bundling up. Here in Florida the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted another six months of summer! (LOL) Thank you for another delightful pictorial essay on world class gardening, dear friend Desiree!

  3. A stunning garden, deadheading alone must take an army of gardeners.

  4. Your "worst" picture is probably as beautiful as all of these!!! We are coming into late fall here so seeing the blooming bright colors of these plants and flowers just helps with adjusting to cooler temps and dark at 5:00 in the evening. I could get lost in this place!!! Thanks for "brightening" up my day. Hugs.

  5. What a beautiful place to spend a day. Everything looks like it's been there from the dawn of time. Heavenly.

  6. beautiful !!! from me..............♥.. ♥... ♥....

  7. Gorgeous place to be. Don't see anyone gardening. Lovely photo-essay!

  8. Another garden to get lost in! The man in the golf hat was startling to run across--LOL! Loved the other statues/artwork, though. Love the red flowers on the vines.

    You find the most gorgeous gardens! I thank you again for letting me follow you about. :):)

  9. Magnificent. The brick paths, the arbours, the view points......the only similarities between this garden and Pondside are:
    a) a pond
    b)an identical watering can
    Oh well, a girl can dream!

  10. I was oohhing and aahhing over the pictures! I can imagine what it was like to be there in person!

    I think I'd like to live there!

  11. It continues to be hard to find proper words to explain how much I enjoy your picture posts. Even though you say you didn't have time to properly edit which pictures to use this post is a masterpiece. From the beginning I notice how lush and hardy all the plants & trees are. The manicured lawns tell of someone who does a lot of work there as well as the paved areas for walking. I love the way it's all laid out.
    Their buildings are awesome. So white and clean against the green that is everywhere. Looking through that door frame there was quite an interesting statue, makes me wonder what the other side looked like. Linda & I both love fountains and that one sure is great.
    I guess that horse will one day be covered in vegetation.
    One of my favorite shots is the spider and web. Love that detail and you even got a shot from across the water and the boat looked so inviting as did the great bench to just sit and soak all the beauty in.
    Of course how could you top the guy laying on that large rock. What an expression.
    I love looking at beautiful animals and those horses were amazing. Thanks for another home run post.

  12. You managed to capture some beautiful images! I love the cobbled path under the wooden arbor.

  13. I am loving these tours of the gardens. They are gob smacking beautiful. This one is huge and wonderfully kept. As you say a band of full time gardeners would be needed.

  14. Dearest Desiree,
    Oh, the phrase "park-like garden" is really right word, isn't it☆☆☆ And I truly loved the way you described "an absolute joy to behold", sure your pictures speak for itself♬♬♬
    I love these roses a lot. Admiring through your picyures, I wonder how huge the property is and strolling must be like wandering in the most relaxing place like you mentioned!!!
    Your friend said "how lush and hardy all the plants & trees are." and "the manicured lawns". Oh, it must be a time-consuming work to keep this gorgeous and splendid garden.
    Well, my favorite uncle was a gardener for Japanese garden, he must love to see your pictures to compare the work if he still is alive.
    Love and Lots of Hugs to you, Orchid*

  15. Wonderful, beautiful, superb, gorgeous, dazzling,pulchritudinous(oooh Carol knows a really big word)....your photographs are always utterly amazing and I always want to jump on a plane. You are a fantastic ambassador for South Africa- who wouldn't want to visit after coming here and seeing these posts?
    Desiree I have admired your blog for some time now and you never fail to please.

  16. Well, here I am, turning up right at the end, like the proverbial bad penny!! The photos never let us down my friend. They are always absolutely delightful, and you have picked a good range for us there, from the lovely roses, to the statues, fountains, cottage garden like flowers, and I loved the old man leaning against the stone! What delightful gardens you find for us to explore with you. Thank you for sharing them all with us. I have been looking at these photos whilst having breakfast this morning. Shady is right, we are now entering the darker side of the year, but, as long as we don't have constant rain, I don't mind it really, because it's nice and snug indoors when it gets dark at around 4.30 p.m., and we have all the Christmas festivities to look forward to. Sending hugs your way x

  17. There was a nice variety of photos you have put up for us today. Nice statues, and I liked the little "man" lying in the grass and the crocodiles were so cool. Just lovely!
    Enjoy your Day my friend!
    Hugs x

  18. desiree, i don't even know where to begin! i just LOVE all the roses...especially the red ones climbing the house! and the old brick paths...trails...walkways...
    the spiderweb, of course!!
    the water lilies...crocodiles...ALL the colorful blooms!
    so much to see...SO much beauty!!
    it would be hard to leave...

  19. These are beautiful my friend. The sixth picture made me feel like I was back in France. The picture with the trellis and the stone path makes me want that in my yard. :)

  20. Dear Desiree,
    Another garden that whets my appetite for taking a garden tour here in Missouri. But I suspect I'd have to search for months to find such a lovely example of wild flowers, roses, everyday objects that become art, and sculptures.

    The brick path that wended its way through your photographs entranced me.

    Thank you, Desiree, for commenting on my posting today. I wasn't surprised that you picked up on the peace and contentment I felt by the creek. I grew up sitting by that creek with Arthur--my imaginary lion friend. I so missed it in the convent.

    I hope your weekend is filled with joyous possibilities.


  21. Reading and enjoying your pictures, makes me wish to come and spend some time there! Lovely

  22. Oh what wonderful pictures you have shared with us truly makes a person wish they where there to see them in person........

  23. What a fantastic garden Thankyou for the tour.

  24. Hi Desiree, This was a fantastic journey to "magic land", my new nickname for your part of the world. My favorite was that stunning photograph of the willow tree across that luxurious green lawn. To walk into your world is a fantasy for me! You can take the girl out of the garden, but can never take the garden out of the girl. Thinking of you often and with love...

  25. Oh my gosh! All the colors in the gardens are overwhelming. That's my kind of place ....bedazzling!!
    Have a wonderful day, Desiree!!

  26. Fabulous. Your photos are a joy to behold, never mind the garden. I'm beginning to think a 'gardens tour' of SA would make a great holiday.

  27. Hi Desiree
    Your pictures of the gardens tell a wonderful story. The gardens are amazing. We can celebrate summer! Thanks

  28. Urocze, piękne miejsce i cudowne zdjęcia. Lilie wodne maja niesamowity kolor. Pozdrawiam z Polski

  29. Every post you come up with is better and better, and your photography is exquisite. I love that verandah with the row of pots, oh! and also the dinghy, and the waterlilies, and the rose garden - gosh I could almost smell the perfume. Ok I will go ahead and say it,... I loved each and every one of those photos, thanks so much for brightening my day with your photos.

  30. Ahhhh... Gardens like this makes you wish you had the space to have one of your own. And the team of gardeners to tend it while you just enjoy it. *sigh*

  31. In such a garden, it would be possible to find a different location for quiet reflection every day of the year!

    I'm guessing the house owners employed a professional garden designer?? (who has done an excellent job!)

  32. Hi Desiree, I appreciate the time that you must take to put to have put these posts together. It is a great treat to see a garden half way round the world in a way that makes you feel as if you were right there. The highlight of this garden for me has to be the sea of foxgloves. They are such tall, grand flowers. Beautiful!

  33. Why am I not surprised you were oh and ah'ing I would have been as well, it was a joy to behold even just in the photos so in real life, well! Thanks so much for sharing your visit with us. I am also very grateful for your continuing support of my blogging activities and your loveley comments, especially for my latest project Travel Tales.

  34. The commentary from you, I wrote: "Charming, beautiful place and wonderful pictures. Water Lilies May amazing color. Greet the Polish". In understanding the body of the post with someone not known to me the language helps me GOOGLE TRANSLATOR. In addition, I have a blog on Google Chrome and has a translator. On my stronce is Google Translate and anyone can translate my post in the chosen language. GOOGLE TRANSLATOR is not a great translation, but you can understand. It is thus possible to communicate with the world :-). Yours

  35. Miracle - is all I can say about it. Each picture was prettier then the next. Waterfalls, flowers, bricks - gorgeous. Never knew something that gorgeous could truly exist.

    And how long did it take you to upload all those gorgeous pictures?

    Thank you for doing that so we could all share in the beauty you get to witness.

    It was beautiful!

  36. Yikes! I nearly missed this garden! Desiree, We're even. I feel like I always say the same things about your photos, usually because I am dumbstruck at the beauty of them! I'm glad you get my little snips and snaps of humor! By the way, if I could borrow your camera, I might have better luck with my pictures!

  37. I Oooh'd and Ahh'd through every photo. I love the one with the old man statue...sweet!

  38. Oh myohmyohmy! I'm in awe -- I love that curving brick walkway. The picture of the boat looks like a painting...

  39. What a gorgeous garden with all those roses too!
    I wonder if I shall get the chance to travel to that part of the world. I wish to. You have made me curious and I long or new sights :)


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