THE Friends of Madeira and St Michael’s Church together put on a wonderful day on Saturday, that would surely have been thoroughly enjoyed by anyone even vaguely interested in gardens or gardening, flowers and natural beauty in general.
The occasions were Madeira’s biennial Gardens on View and St Michael’s annual rose and flower festival and many a spectator commented on how fabulous the flowers were in spite of the prolonged drought.
Everyone met in the garden at Madeira quite early to receive a list of 11 gardens that they could visit in any order, with Mark and Lyndee Sahd, Ossie and Joyce Schlenkrich, Johnny and Jeanne Bowes, Edric and Polly Russell, Lynn and Chantal James and Heritage Guest House of Roland and Nadia Brown listed to visit before tea.
After that feast, a cup of tea and a “little something” at St Michael’s were most welcome, before they could walk round the beautiful old church with its magnificent stained-glass windows glowing, to feast their eyes on the lovely arrangements done by talented people from Komani and the surrounding areas.
After that there were the homes of Pieter-Ben and Thana du Toit, De Oude Werf (Andre and Elise Naude), Manie and Mariette Lemmer, Webster and Mandy Ndodana and Laurice Shadiack to be enjoyed.
People had really come from afar to enjoy this day. I saw visitors from Steynsburg, Molteno, Jamestown, Dordrecht, Tarkastad, Cathcart, Stutterheim and probably others too and all commented on the beautiful gardens on view. The variety was truly endless – ranging from the manicured, restful and cool green-and-white, to those that were a riot of colour, tunnels for growing vegetables and propagating seedlings, huge expanses of lawn and shady little nooks with secluded benches, some with literally thousands of roses and others that looked as if they were thoroughly lived-in and enjoyed by children and dogs – each was different and each had its own charm… I’d like to go back and enjoy them all over again.
After a surfeit of oohing and aahing and wondering what some of the newer plants were, the guests all made their way back to the Madeira lawns where they could enjoy a glass of wine or juice and a delicious chicken wrap while a lucky draw was done and many could take home a prize to top off a wonderful morning.
Such events don’t “just happen”… they take a lot of thought, hard work and organisation and I’m sure everyone who attended will join me in thanking the Friends of Madeira and the organisers of St Michael’s festival for laying on such an enjoyable event for the public.