Wednesday, December 7, 2011

La Providence [Franschhoek Open Garden 2011]

La Providence's Manor House
The owner of this extensive property is clearly not only an enthusiastic rose collector, on a scale few are lucky enough to achieve, but an avid sportsman as well. Apart from a fully dedicated gym facility and tennis courts, there was a cricket net for practice purposes. It therefore seems appropriate to quote Ben Hogan as we walk across the perfectly manicured lawns admiring roses every whichway we turn our heads: "As you walk down the fairway of life, you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."

If you want to be assailed by the beautiful treasures this astounding garden has to offer, continue reading...

Pausing for a moment, to allow the brevity of Ben Hogan's words to sink in fully...

...let me share with you an inscription from one of the headstones we saw in the old Franschhoek cemetery...  
Remember me, as you pass by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so must you be.

Right! Now let's proceed with viewing this estate, whilst holding those poignant words in mind. Remember, take it all in, knowing you'll only pass by this glorious place, once! Unless of course you care to revisit my posting again :)

The long, rose-lined driveway leading from La Providence to the public road below. I think this property would more accurately be termed, A Gentleman's Residence. The large duck pond (dam) that was undergoing repairs at the time of our visit and had been completely drained, is just visible to the left (the cobblestone edging belies how large and deep it is!)
The Manor House, front entrance (left) and Guest House, front entrance (right). There was also a third dwelling semi-detached from the Manor House at the back and beyond the impressive garaging. I took pictures, but have too many to show you everything! 
Formally clipped hedges and lollipop trees are featured generously throughout this vast and lavish property.
A sea of Iceberg roses welcomes visitors to the main homestead.
Front entrance of the Manor House.
Manor House, side on view of main entrance.

Main entrance to the Guest House at La Providence.
A lovely Guest House lies adjacent to the main house. It is fully self-contained and completely separate from the Manor House, with its own beautiful garden and stunning pool area.

The generously proportioned Guest House was well-concealed by roses and an ivy clad pergola extending around three sides of the house.  
Looking up at the Guest House from the rose garden below.
The front entrance to the Guest House.

The Guest House pool comes with its own life guards. They were having a practice drill when we arrived on the scene. 
"We are having such a lovely swim in the Guest House pool. Our dam is being reconstructed at this time."
The private pool area of the Guest House.
The Guest House verandah which ran along the full length of the house on three sides is festooned with full blown roses. An ivy clad pergola provides welcome shade and a marvellous sense of coolness and calmness.
The view from the attractive verandah of the Guest House. 

The narrow walkway down the far side of the Guest House, which led from the gazebo in the picture below, to the private pool area in front, was also lavishly planted with roses and other flowering perennials.
An attractive, thatched gazebo on the lawn in front of the Guest House, probably used for enjoying al fresco breakfasts and lunches. 
The Guest House gazebo set amidst a prettily landscape garden.
An after-swim nap in the shade of a palm tree. Bliss! 
The side entrance to the formal garden and pool area in front of the Manor House.
Nothing on this property was purely functional. Everything was selected or constructed to offer visual appeal. 
Many of the older properties in Franschhoek had slave bells from days of yore. I doubt this one was a genuine artefact, but it made a most attractive statement as a feature at the far end of the wide, shaded front verandah of the Manor House.
Every part was made into a feature in its own right. This cellar doorway, possibly housing gardening tools and wood for the winter months, was an artwork deserving of appreciation.

The amount of work that this garden requires is mind-boggling!
This is only a small section of the wide expanse that makes up the side on facade of this enormous home. Look at those perfectly clipped hedges and balls.
A view across the pool from one of the screening arbours incorporated into the whole design surrounding the pool, creating an entirely different garden room within the main body of the Manor House garden.
One of the elevated seating areas surrounding the pool, on three sides. One of the formally constructed water features is visible behind the seating. These were built to screen the pool from the garden beyond. Smaller water features were incorporated on both sides of the ornate walls. The walls were in turn separated from each other by formally clipped hedges, serving as a green screen to break up the starkness of the lemon and white painted walls. Additionally, attractive flower beds were also incorporated to further enhance the feeling of being contained within a separate garden. It was evidently a vast undertaking to plan and landscape all of this so beautifully and cohesively.
There were several seating areas surrounding the pool, each at a slightly different elevation. Each of the formal constructions screening off the pool, from the remainder of the vast garden, served as a water feature in its own right. Both sides (front and back) of the wall were put to use. 
Lollipop bushes accent the undulating hills and mountains beyond. 
A wide-angled picture to give some idea of the size of this water garden.
The water garden was huge...I loved the way attractive planters were sunk in the water. 
Pond closeup...the water looked a little green on the day we visited.
Wherever your gaze drifts in this garden, it's bound to rest on a featured rose.
One of three identical features screening off the enormous swimming pool from the rest of the garden.

A section of the formal rose garden situated directly below the extensive manor house swimming pool and behind the gym facility.
The gym and tennis court, surrounded by exquisite roses, planted formally in gardens and tumbling and cascading over walls and up trellises.

The entrance to the gym and tennis court.
Standing in the rose garden adjacent to the gym and tennis court, looking back towards the Manor House. 
The roses surrounding the tennis court were named after Tennis greats.
"Won't you come into the garden. I would like my roses to see you."
~Richard Brinsley Sheridan~
"It was roses, roses, all the way."
~Robert Browning~
"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom."
~Terri Guillemets~
One of my Mother's favourite roses is Elina!  
One stem of these makes a bridal bouquet!
We saw roses of every hue.
This huge garden makes extensive use of pergolas, obelisks and arbours.
Even the birds residing here live in style! 
Roses tumbled over every wall giving true expression to "Roses, roses, everywhere!"


  1. What a lovely delightful sunny ending for a grey hard day, thank you so much!

  2. i love the bounty of white blooms all over the front of the property! and those ducks are too cute, swimming in the pool now!

  3. Wow, that seas of white Iceberg Roses took my breath away! How stunning. Loved the shot of the ducks hanging out in the pool! Thanks for sharing another stunning spot!

  4. Oh my, Desiree, you have presented yet another eye-popping and immaculate garden paradise for our inspection, one that obviously requires and receives countless hours of tender loving care. The guest house alone is a mansion and the property taken as a whole is almost beyond comprehension. I can only imagine the aroma that greets the visitor. How I'd love to rest on the veranda sipping a cool drink and gazing up at the ivy covered pergola, a feature which offers shade, buffers noise and adds drama and importance to the facade. The lollipop trees and abundance of bright flowers remind me of the Land of Oz. I was waiting for a welcoming committee of little people to come marching into frame. Those lucky ducks have it made in the shade and the bird house is no less than a Taj Mahal. The owners thought of everything. As you pointed out no detail was left to chance, all aspects of the estate laid out and designed for both functionality and maximum visual pop. Thank you for the grand tour, dear friend Desiree, and thank you for the inspirational quotes as well. Good night!

  5. Wow! Absolutely amazing photographs Desiree. I love them all. I especially love the roses. What a view. Have a lovely evening! Hugs x

  6. Beyond my dreams! Love all those white roses. It's all immaculate. I hope they know how lucky they are to live there.

  7. Dear Desiree,
    Truly this is a mansion. Really two mansions because the guest house is so large. You used that this was a "vast and lavish property." And indeed it is. I wonder how many people live there and enjoy all the water features. The ducks certainly know how to enjoy their surroundings! I so liked that cellar door with the spears as decoration.

    Thank you,once again, Desiree, for introducing beauty into my life.


  8. What a wonderful tour! The background of beautiful mountains sets it all off to perfection. And I too love the mass of Iceberg roses.

  9. I'm packing up and moving in here. OMG it's so beautiful. Between the layout, the flowers and the style of the dwelling, I don't know if I could leave. Just gorgeous and thank you!

  10. I always knew I loved roses of all colors, but I never knew how much I loved white roses until today. :) What a gorgeous, gorgeous place!!

  11. It's almost too much to take in. As I was gazing at all the roses the next photo showed the wonderful mountain views. Unbelievable.
    Thank you for the tour. You do know, don't you, that you'll have all of Blogdom planning a trip around the Open Garden next year.

  12. I keep thinking that your Franschoek tour cant get any better.... but it does. Oh, I could move right into that guesthouse any time. I love all those clipped hedges right alongside the cascading profusion of roses. There are roses there that I have never seen before, that purple blue one , and the tiny wedding bouquet one. thanks so much once again for sharing with us.

  13. Wow, I wouldn't mind it if the fairway of my life lead to a house like that someday. But either way I will stop and smell the roses.

  14. Exquisite gardens, devine photos, you never fail to amaze and delight me. I've had the longest day, 12 hours at work . . . and what a joy to sit and wander visually through this magic place with you!

    Thank you, Desiree, for not only your sharp camera eye, but your wonderful way of using the right words and quotes to make this tour memorable.

    Where to next??

  15. Seriously, those close-up pictures of the roses caught my breath! You are so right about the amount of work that place requires being mind-boggling. Wow! Wow. Wow. Wow. (Loved the headstone. So true!)

  16. Wow, indeed. Gorgeous place. I think I should stay there, in spite of the grave stone. Have to like the poetry in that.

    I so enjoyed all the roses. Can you imagine?

  17. Oh My, Desiree! What an amazingly beautiful garden! I could almost smell the roses, there were so many. I bet it smelled just wonderful to actually be there. I love roses, but they are so much work to grow and tend. I am going to miss these garden tour posts when you finish them.

  18. Dearest Desiree,
    Wow, La Providence's Manor House, or "A Gentleman's Residence"!!!
    "A sea of Iceberg roses" Yes, amazingly well-kept or pruned roses and the drive way shows how huge it is.
    I TRULY LOVE the way you introduce us Adorable animals in between the GORGEOUS places and pictures♡♡♡
    Thank you SO MUCH for another marvelous tour of Franschhoek!!!
    BTW, I didn't know who "Ben Hogan" is,p;) Famous golfer, haha.

  19. Magnificent what a wonderful and beautiful property I loved the tour you have shared with us and it really lifted my spirts this evening thank you

  20. Oh Desiree all I can say is that garden is just perfect.

  21. Desiree, thankyou for sharing your visit to La Providence with us, another stunning virtual tour.

  22. WoW Desiree!! you sure have some amazing gardens out your way!! SO MANY ROSES!! it's just so breath taking!! and the views...spectacular!!
    my favorite are the deep purple roses!! and the white one--close up--with the water droplets!

    cute ducks...swimming in the pool...i hope they're potty trained! ha!

    thanks for another amazing walk...

  23. Eye popping photos indeed my friend (as Shady has already pointed out!). If I won the lottery, I would fly right out there to see it all for myself in person. It just looks like heaven right here on earth, and, as always, we have the majesty of the mountains in the background. I wasn't sure about the Inscription on that headstone. Gosh, that pulls one up a bit, doesn't it?! Beautiful, beautiful post once again, to delight us. I could almost smell all those roses! Big hugs to you xx

  24. December is the month for roses! Here it is June for roses.
    Lovely rose photos! Thanks for sharing!

  25. hy Desiree,
    just found your space...amazing space you have...excellent posts with nice presentation..
    love your beautiful cliks..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime.
    Tasty Appetite

  26. Just a magic place. Everything so picture perfect. It would be grand to live there. The roses are stunning.

  27. Those pictures are lovely and that inscription--I LOVE that! :0)

  28. Hi Desiree, blogger is trying to get on my last nerve making my comment disappear. Sorry I am late responding but somehow I missed this one and it turns out to be probably the best one you have ever posted. Like you said, even the birds live in style. The ducks were adorable and I was blown away thinking how much attention to detail went into making everything look so wonderful. Thanks for another masterpiece,


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