Jane Ferreira-Eedes of Dainty Bess MCC shares her five favourite gardens she’s visited with her mom, Jenny.
The Dainty Bess project originally started in 2009 when Naas and Jenny Ferreira (Jane’s parents) made a bubbly from a small vineyard planted at Klein Optenhorst, their beautiful home in Wellington. The wine was named after the property. After 29 years, they decided to sell the farm and move to Montagu and their youngest daughter Jane Ferreira-Eedes resolved to continue producing the wine as it holds many memories of special occasions at the family home, the name now changed to Dainty Bess, one of Jenny’s favourite rose types.
As well as drinking and making bubbly, mom and daughter both love gardening as well as visiting beautiful gardens together. Here are five of their favourites as told by Jane.
My mother’s garden at Klein Optenhorst is by far my favourite, mainly because it’s where I grew up. The front is centered around an enormous oak tree with two 100-year-old cypress trees marking the entrance to the garden. The back is terraced and ends with a farm dam and a wonderful view of the Bovlei valley. My mother grew roses and many varieties of Salvia, which enjoyed the hot, Mediterranean like conditions of the Boland. My father planted a small Pinot Noir vineyard, which became the beginning of Dainty Bess Cap Classique.
Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy
While I was on a gap year (many years ago) I met up with my parents in Naples to travel down the Almalfi Coast to Sicily. One of my mother’s motivations for travelling has always been to visit gardens, and this is one of my favourites. We walked up a simple pathway, admiring the splendid views and then arrived at an unassuming wooden door. Once we were through the entrance, the setting of the garden takes your breath away.
Barbara and Peter Knox-Shaw’s garden in Elgin is an annual outing during the Elgin Open Garden weekend every spring. It’s set amongst very mature trees and it has a wild, romantic feel to it. A high-light is the forest of black bamboo.
Old, weathered structural elements marry beautifully with English-style planting amongst mature trees. A double herbaceous border is extravagantly planted and frames a beautiful view of the Stellenbosch countryside.
This beautiful, historic property in Cape Town has elegant structure without being static. It’s always immaculate although the lovely stream garden embraces change in a most creative way.
Prieuré Notre Dame d’Orsan, Maisonnais, France
We visited this now famous garden when it was quite young. It’s south of Orléans in the heart of France and is a beautifully structured organic vegetable garden with the most wonderfully whimsical trellising and support structures. Everything is grown to be eaten in the restaurant which is housed inside the former monastery.