Wherever you are in the world this Sunday, October 15th, we encourage you to celebrate Garden Day South Africa, the initiative of Babylonstoren Farm, one of our top picks for any Cape Winelands itinerary. We wholeheartedly support the idea of a national Garden Day as it encourages us all to celebrate the green spaces that inspire, nurture and ground us. The mission of Garden Day SA is simple: ‘Most of the year we plant, water, weed, and mulch – work, in other words, so this is a time to toss down that spade, invite family and friends around, kick back and celebrate your garden with them.’

We love that it ties in with a mission that underpins every one of our luxury African safari itineraries, that is, to see mankind connect more with nature. We refer to the words of psychiatrist, poet and ROAR AFRICA specialist guide, Dr. Ian McCallum who said: ‘We have to stop speaking about the Earth being in need of healing. The Earth doesn’t need healing. We do. It is our task to rediscover ourselves in Nature.’

The head gardener at Babylonstoren, Gundula Deutschlander concurs: ‘Wild nature can be awe-inspiring, but it’s our human interaction within the framework of a garden that chronicles the point of living. It’s an experience in being part of the whole.’ Of course, the health benefits of gardening have been scientifically proven and include amongst others: lower blood pressure, increased brain activity, lower stress and perhaps most importantly believed, to cut stroke and the risk of heart attack by 30% in those over 60 years of age.

‘I am often taken aback by the impact our gardens have on visitors,’ says Gundula. ‘A few days ago I took a bent and frail old Japanese lady for a walk through our garden. She was led by the hand of her granddaughter and we took our time, stopping to admire a rose or pull a bunch of bright red radishes. At the end of our tour, she expressed her gratitude, saying that visiting the gardens at Babylonstoren had made surviving the terrors of Hiroshima worth it.’

Gundula’s suggestions for ways in which to celebrate Garden Day range from using fresh flowers and greenery from your garden to make flower crowns, to asking friends to bring a rare and interesting plant to swop with other guests at lunch. We’ will be downloading Babylonstoren’s Gardening app, a gardening database in the palm of your hand. It not only connects you to a library of gardening information with useful tips but also gives direct access to top gardening specialists.

‘Gardeners, in general, are rather humble but Garden Day allows us all to be lauded for the heroes that we are,’ says Gundula. ‘We often take for granted the act of tending a backyard or even a few pot plants. You might just be growing a basil plant but you are simultaneously nurturing a multitude of micro-organisms in the soil, insects that feed on the nectar and possibly a bird coming to nab that hungry caterpillar. I see gardening, no matter how big or small, as a remedy for ourselves.’

If gardens of the world are your interest or passion, then the glorious gardens of Babylonstoren are a must, along with a few magnificent private gardens we’d love to show you on your next trip to Cape Town. Mail welcome@roarafrica.com for more information or visit www.gardenday.co.za