Honesty, compassion, transparency and an impeccable work ethic, those are the stated values of Helderberg Hospice, probably the most well known of the palliative care service providers around the Helderberg area. Serving an area that includes Gordon’s Bay, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Strand, Somerset West, Lwandle, Nomzamo, Macassar, Firgrove, Croydon, Raithby and Faure, Helderberg Hospice promotes and provides compassionate palliative care to anyone facing a life-threatening illness, offering care and support to those living with Cancer, HIV/Aids, Motor-Neuron Disease and any end-stage illness.
An independent community organisation that has been operating since 1986 (making it one of the first hospices in South Africa), Helderberg Hospice obviously relies heavily on donations and fundraisers, with one of the big money raising events being their annual Helderberg Hospice Open Gardens which sees a dozen or so private homes who have taken great pride in their gardens, throwing open their doors and allowing anyone with a ticket to come on over and have a walk about their flowerbeds.
Tickets and a map featuring the addresses of all the participating gardens are first collected at the Helderberg Hospice grounds (where their own beautiful garden layout serves to kick the tour off), after which you are free to tackle whichever homes in whichever order you like. This we took to heart, visiting ELEVEN stunning gardens flung all over Helderberg, taking us from the hills of Somerset West to the heights of Sir Lowry’s Pass, and all the way back down to the flats of Strand. (We ran out of time so sadly didn’t get to visit the Gordon’s Bay offering).
We visited gardens and homes of all sizes, marvelling at the incredible patches of green that often lurk behind big walls. There was a magnificent protea fynbos garden, a Japanese themed garden, a Mediterranean villa styled garden – in fact, it was probably this incredible spread of styles and plants that kept us interested enough to keep on going, much to the annoyance of our two girls mind you! Beautiful spaces and a peek behind walls that you would normally never get, this certainly was a very lovely and different experience, perhaps even more so after having spent so many months locked in our own spaces thanks to this persistent COVID pandemic.
In any event, we were out for pretty much the entire day, and so to quell the moans and reward the patience (and in the process hopefully return some smiles to the girls’ faces), Panarottis pizza for supper it was! It was delicious.