Tag Archives: nursery

A Giant Jersey, Pancakes and Silly Fun at Tuinplaas in Albertinia (2018-09-22) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 JUL 2019

With the impossible to miss combination of colourful flapping flags and ridiculously dressed ostriches waving to you from the side of the road, sooner or later you are simply going to have to pull off the N2 at the edge of Albertinia and investigate just what exactly this silliness is that labels itself Tuinplaas. So that then is precisely what I did.

With the girls and myself travelling up for a weekend away in Mossel Bay with my folks, I decided to call up mom and dad (who were already there) and asked them to drive down and meet us in Albertinia for a quick breakfast. Amazingly, they agreed to my plan and soon enough we both pulled up in the vast parking lot of our destination. Hello Tuinplaas.

As it turns out, Tuinplaas is in fact a business that is wonderfully not afraid to throw anything and everything at you in order to be successful. At its core, Tuinplaas probably started out as a garden concrete mouldings specialist (hence the many concrete statues, pots and other garden pieces for sale), but then also successfully dabbles as a plant nursery, with a specific focus on its many beautiful succulents.

On top of all that, next is the homely restaurant (situated right next to all the plants and pots), and beside that, the intriguing farm museum that is host to an incredible collection of scale models (with over 8,000 models on display), ten vintage tractors (the oldest being a 1933 McCormick Deering), and incredibly (because this is Albertinia of all places), the Guiness World Record certified largest hand-knitted jersey (jumper) in the world!

And then there is the very silly, impossible to categorize, R.O.A.R., aka the Royale Ostrich Ancestral Republic, concrete ostriches “installation”. It is very silly (in a good way).

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Succulents and Cake at Fiore Garden Centre and Coffee Shop in Somerset West (2018-04-21) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 05 FEB 2019

Originally setup in Bot River, the family owned business of Fiore Garden Centre (and coffee shop) has since opened up branches in both Somerset West and Greyton. Situated in the leafy suburb of Audas Estate, the Somerset West branch is a wonderfully tranquil space, with the grounds filled to capacity with  a rich assortment of plants, shrubs, trees, Bonsai and a host of interesting garden art pieces.

The main building itself is home to a wonderful little restaurant area, while the big shade covered patio out back offers loads of outdoor seating – the perfect spot to be considering the garden paradise all around you. The menu has a couple of breakfast and light lunch options available, and there is also a pizza oven for when you are in the mood for something a little more substantial.

And yes, they have cake.

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A wonderful little Somerset West hidden gem.

Related Link: Fiore Garden Centre | Somerset West

Roosterkoek and Smoor at Veepos Padstal in George (2018-01-04) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 12 MAR 2018

I mentioned earlier that we were forced to tack on a short stay in George over the December holiday period, during which we hired a Volkswagen Tiguan to do a bit of driving about in (our car was in the shop for repairs).

Now December holidays is not great for our usual tactic of just randomly rocking up at places because of the sheer number of people out and about (visits to Victoria Bay, Herolds Bay, and Redberry Farm confirmed this hypothesis), but pleasingly we did stumble upon one place that seemed rather deserted – the newly established Veepos Padstal.

(And by newly established I mean that we had literally stumbled upon them on their very first day of business!)

On a hill, off the highway, and right outside George Airport, the Veepos Padstal (or Cattle Outpost Farm Stall for us English readers) has been setup by the team who also own/run the small Bargain Nursery next door.

Consisting of three neatly arranged, converted shipping containers, the farm stall has a collection of small pretty things for purchase, as well as a few drinks and some local produce on sale. The main attraction is however their roosterkoek menu, as well as their particularly delightful milkshakes – in fact, Chantelle couldn’t stop gushing over just how much she enjoyed her peanut butter brittle shake!

Once you’ve finished your snack and taken in the tranquility and views of the surrounding area, you can leisurely saunter over to the nursery if you so want, though if you have small children they’ll undoubted clamor to use the toilet, and in the process fall down the stairs and graze their knees, thereby starting a whole chain reaction of unhappiness among everyone.

(Or at least that was our experience in this neat little nursery).

So, all in all, a surprisingly peaceful (and pleasant) little stop.

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“Hartskos”. I rather like that little tagline of theirs.

Related Link: Veepos Padstal | Bargain Nursery | George

Play at Vredenhof Organic Estate in Somerset West (2016-09-03) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 25 SEP 2016

Having been tasked with entertaining ourselves for the day while Chantelle treated her mother with a birthday high tea at the Mount Nelson, the girls and I stumbled across a great little find in the Somerset West area – Vredenhof Organic Estate.

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Billing itself as an organic, eco friendly estate of the Cape Winelands, the estate is run by a Swiss family that immigrated to South Africa from Geneva, Switzerland, settling at Vredenhof in 2002.

Following their belief that processed foods are inherently nutrient poor and that poor food quality is a leading cause of many health problems, they established Vredenhof as an organic farm with a farm store in order to supply locals concerned with their health with good quality, fresh organic produce all year round.

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Vredenhof itself is a farm of 27 hectares situated on Bredell Road between Stellenbosch and Somerset West which has been certified organic (complying with European organic standards) every year without interruption since 2004, either by AFRISCO or SGS.

Around 50 different herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown, and you are guaranteed to almost always find something rather unusual being grown out in their fields. Organic seeds are both produced and bought, with sowing and harvesting happening all year around.

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Of course, absolutely nothing of the above are things that interest the girls or myself – what we were however interested in seeing was Vredenhof Organic Estate’s absolutely fabulous play area, which simply put, one of the better ones that I’ve seen in a long time. Covered in wall to wall Disney story murals, the play area features wooden castles, walkways, a pirate ship, and even a gypsy caravan.

(In other words, expect to lose your child to their play area for more than just a little while!)

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On arrival, the girls and I first explored the lower ends of the premises, playing with the giant chess set, examining the mini golf course, and of course interacting with the pigs, goats, and yes chickens that roam about in the pens.

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From there we had a stroll through the rose garden, wandered about the gazeebo, examined the giant stone harp and bucket well water features, looked at the seedlings in the nursery section, splashed in the fountain, admired the art in the art studio, studied the carrots and other vegetables in the farm shop – and then sat down for some coffee, milkshake – and delicious carrot cake.

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It was at this point that my kids ran off to play, leaving me to enjoy a peaceful morning of contemplation over a nice cup of coffee.

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Also, I took a LOT of photos on the morning – much to the annoyance of my kids of course!

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Here’s a handy map if you want your kids to experience this brilliant playground for themselves:

Related Link: Vredenhof Organic Estate | Facebook

Chasing Chickens through Van Den Berg Garden Village in Stellenbosch (2016-08-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 SEP 2016

The area around Klein Joostenberg has a lot to offer, and one of the more visually interesting ones is the slightly ramshackle Van den Berg Garden Village, the unusual plant nursery that greets you when you get out of your car in the car park at the Klein Joostenberg complex.

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Just across the street from Ludwig’s Roses Winelands, and adjacent to the Joostenberg Deli and Butchery,  Van den Berg Garden Village is the work of Dutch-born Toos van den Berg, who studied horticulture before travelling around Europe, arriving in Africa and marrying a man from the Cape.

After developing nurseries in Dieprivier, Durbanville and Kirstenbosch, she eventually moved to this spot, and the result is one of the most interesting nurseries that marries horticulture and art in sometimes quite the eccentric way.

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It was the sound of free ranging chickens that pulled us in, and we spent a fair bit of time ducking and diving among all the shaded little pathways, discovering overrun pieces of art, beautiful flowering plants, and of course, chickens.

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Around 80% of the plants in the nursery are indigenous, supplemented with some intriguing exotic plants from all over the planet. As Toos has remarked before, “The birds don’t know the difference”! ;)

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An interesting little find for all the gardeners out there, that’s for sure.

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Related Link: Van den Berg Garden Village Nursery

Coffee at Mondeor and a Stroll around Cape Garden Centre (2016-06-16) Photo Gallery 18 JUN 2016

Of all the things to catch, I was stuck at home in quarantine with German Measles for a week. My period of quarantine ended the day before Thursday’s Youth Day public holiday, so I promptly escaped my cabin by taking the kids out for supper at the Sunset Bay Spur here in Gordon’s Bay. (Which naturally they rather enjoyed.)

The next day was of course the public holiday, and so after making pancakes for the girls and myself for breakfast, doing a bit of gardening and DIY, and chilling for a teeny tiny bit, I took the girls out with me for a walk around Paardevlei in Somerset West. (Which they kind of enjoyed, but less so than the previous evening’s trip to the Spur!)

Anyway, by the end of our stroll Chantelle’s shift at work had finished, so we rung her up and organised a coffee date at Mondeor Garden Restaurant – always a hit with the girls thanks to their great outdoor play area.

Despite the chilly weather, the girls ran around and entertained themselves, leaving Chantelle and myself to enjoy some nice coffee and every now and then, steal a sip from the girls’ milkshakes.

Oh, and because we were in no rush to get back home, we then strolled around for a bit in the adjacent Cape Garden Center, marveling at all the pretty flowers and wishing that they would somehow just transplant themselves straight into our garden without any intervention from us at all!

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Oh, and an embedded map, because I think that this might become a sort of regular thing for the blog…

Related Link: Mondeor Garden Restaurant | Cape Garden Centre

Die Kloof Padstal in Montagu (2015-07-09) Photo Gallery 02 AUG 2015

If you are out and about in Montagu and are looking for a great kid-friendly place to take the kids while you sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, or perhaps something more substantial, then look no further than the excellent Die Kloof Padstal.

IMG_20150708_153824 chantelle lotter with jess and emily at die kloof padstal farm stall in montagu

This farm stall is the first building on your left as you enter Montagu through Cogmanskloof and has been in the Zilverentant family for the past 10 years. There are three distinct parts to the business, namely a small little nursery, an interesting arts/curio gallery, and then of course, the restaurant. Outside is a large kids playground, with loads of tables and chairs dotted for those interested in getting fresh air or to keep a watchful eye on their children running about!

Needless to say, we ended up there more than just once on our recent Montagu holiday trip! :)

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Related Link: Die Kloof Padstal

Coffee at Stodels (2015-03-08) Photo Gallery 11 MAR 2015

Having had quite a busy Saturday out and about with the kids, followed by a rare date night, Sunday saw us finish up our market cheesecake and make the drive through to Bellville in order to pick up the kids from Oupa and Ouma – and treat Monty and Cheryl to something to drink at perennial crowd favourite, Stodels nursery, in the process!

IMG_20150308_125535 monty montgomery with cheryl and jessica at stodels in bellville

As it turned out, Sunday was a particularly gorgeous day, and Stodels nursery as expected was jam-packed with people. Although we weren’t there for flowers, Jessica loved seeing all the fish, birds and other little animals in the pet section of the nursery, and needless to say rather enjoyed playing in Stodels’ big kids area – until her nasty fall that gave her a blue eye of course!!

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As for the adults, well we eventually managed to squirrel a spot at a table, and after a lengthy wait, managed to enjoy some coffee and beer – which isn’t the worst of ways to spend a late Sunday morning after all! :)

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Pitstop at the Weskus Padstal (2015-02-06) Photo Gallery 09 FEB 2015

Friday saw our weekend away down the West Coast kick off, and with the kids collected early, it was off in the Accent (which embarrassingly turned out to need two full cans of oil added before our departure – been a while since we last checked it would seem!).

Even more embarrassingly though, our trip to Jacobsbaai took an eventful turn when, as we were hurtling down the N7, it dawned on us that we had completely missed the Melkbosstrand turn-off to join the R27, meaning a sudden and slightly confused stop was in order.

With the radio immediately silenced because I couldn’t think (beautifully detailed in Defending the Caveman, well worth checking out if you ever get the chance), it was a quick husband/wife argument, then some fumbling with Google Maps on Chantelle’s phone (the GPS on my phone remains broken), followed by some jerky wandering around through the Atlantis area.

Sadly, our (unnecessarily) chosen route to join up with the R27 turned out to be a long, dusty, gravel road affair, which needless to say didn’t please me very much. However, as luck would have it, we did stumble upon a pretty cool sight: a light aircraft coming in for a landing right across the road in front of us – turns out we had happened upon Skydive Cape Town’s home base!

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Anyway, we did eventually join up with the R27 and were soon happily hurtling along again (or at least, driving as fast as the average speed camera system would allow us), and before long we happened across the eccentric West Coast Farmstall, that farm stall/diner/aviary/lion park/nursery that we’ve stopped at before.

Perfect… time for lunch (and a well deserved lunch if I say so myself)!

IMG_20150206_144515 jessica lotter smiling with sunglasses

As per usual, the Weskus Padstal is an absolute assault on the visual senses, the artistically inclined owners literally throwing anything and everything on the walls, creating an absolute visual treat that keeps you interested despite the fact that you just know that you’re actually sitting amongst a giant junk site.

I love it. It’s like being in a typical, junk-laden Afrikaans bar that just happens to have spilled outside.

Anyway, with Jessica and Emily happily entertained, Chantelle and I both ordered some wildsvleis (venison) pie, which I am happy to report was quite delicious.

IMG_20150206_150605 chantelle lotter eating venison pie

A relaxing, tranquil and enjoyable stop, it’s no wonder that I now seem to always include the West Coast Farmstall on the itinerary whenever we head down the West Coast! :)

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Related Link: http://www.westcoastfarmstall.co.za