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Wednesday, 07 October 2015 08:47

Open Gardens of Knysna returns this weekend after eight years

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Open Gardens of Knysna returns this month after eight years

Open Gardens of Knysna will be back this month after several years of drought and severe water restrictions forced the organisers to put the annual show on hold.

Organiser Esther Townsend, who is chairperson of Knysna’s gardening club, Gardening at Leisure, said that the show will feature 11 stunning gardens, from a large farm garden to small town gardens, all charming with their own unique characteristics.

“Knysna has many glorious gardens, none of which are normally accessible to the public. However, with the kind consent of the owners, anyone can now visit and be inspired by these amazing properties.

“We hope many residents and visitors will take advantage of the opportunity to spend an enjoyable day visiting the gardens and, at the same time, help local charities.”

Greg Vogt, CEO of Knysna Tourism highlighted the fact that the Open Gardens initiative is well established in Knysna through the efforts of its founders and the volunteers who serve the cause. “Open Gardens is a Global concept and we encourage businesses hosting visitors both local and international to visit the gardens on show. This community initiative enables us as a marketing agency to link the initiative to the regional Open Gardens project and other Open Gardens platforms, highlight what Knysna has to offer.”

According to Johan van Schalkwyk, marketing manager of Knysna Tourism, this year a wide and varied selection of gardens in Leisure Isle, Thesen’s Island, Belvidere Estate and Estuary Heights will be on show on 25 and 26 October.

Says van Schalkwyk: “This is another great community project that raises funds for local charities which Knysna Tourism is proud to be associated with. We are assisting with the marketing of the event to ensure that it has good support from locals.”

Gardening at Leisure was founded in 2003 by Sheena Maree and Denise Voysey and its mission is to foster the love of gardening, to cultivate gardening interest in its broadest sense, and to promote environmental responsibility. The revenue generated by Open Gardens of Knysna will be donated on a pro-rata basis to the charities nominated by the gardeners: KAWS, Hospice, Vermont Home for the Aged, Knysna

Disaster Fund, Cresset House Gauteng and Knysna Education Trust.

Said Townsend: “We are indebted to the garden owners for sharing their gardens with the public, for their generosity in devoting many hours of back-breaking work to prepare their gardens for show standard, for many rands spent, and for their willingness to be there on the day to interact with visitors.”

Tea and cakes will be available at Belvidere Manor and the Island Coffee Shop on Leisure Isle and the two Belvidere gardens on show will also have an exhibition of ceramics and art.

The gardens are on show on Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 October, from 10am – 4pm. The Thesen’s Island gardens are only open on Sunday 26th. Full details of addresses, as well as maps showing where the gardens are located, are on the tickets which are available from Sotheby’s offices on Leisure Isle, Thesen’s Island and Woodmill Lane.

Follow us on Twitter: @KnysnaTourism or like us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VisitKnysna

ENDS

Photo caption: One of the gardens being prepared for display this weekend (25 and 26 October 2014) on Thesen Island.

Media enquiries: Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, Johan van Schalkwyk: 044 382 5510 / 083 441 2826 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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