The best spots to snap a selfie in SA's most Instagrammable public gardens
If you don't have your own garden, don't stress: the country's major cities boast an abundance of public green spaces you can enjoy — and snap photos in
In the age of Instagram and selfies, no-one should miss an opportunity to share the beautiful green spaces we encounter.
If you don't have your own garden, there's an abundance of public spaces to access where you can enjoy not only a multitude of beautiful plants but also spend time outdoors with friends and family.
Candide is a free gardening app that supports Garden Day (taking place on October 17) and has compiled a list of some of the most Instagrammable green spaces and gardens in the country.
Get some friends and a picnic together, don a flower crown and celebrate our most beautiful public gardens:
Selfie spot: Animal sculptures
Claim to Insta fame: The animal sculptures in The Wilds in Houghton, Johannesburg, have become a drawcard. Owl sculptures are suspended in the trees, painted in bright colours to stand out from the forest canopy. There are about 100 sculptures, from the famous 5m-tall pink and yellow giraffe to monkeys, a pangolin, ostriches, a red kudu family, klip springers and duikers.
Address: Houghton Drive, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg. Visit the Friends of The Wilds Facebook page.
THE URBAN GARDEN SANCTUARY AT VICTORIA YARDS
Selfie spot: Urban avant-garde yard
Claim to Insta fame: Victoria Yards is an urban complex in the heart of Joburg that's become a haven for creatives. Urban agriculture is one of the elements of this hub. The buildings are interconnected with spaces filled with vegetables and fruit trees, cultivated to sell their produce.
Address: 16 Viljoen Street, Lorentzville, Johannesburg. Visit victoriayards.co.za
NIROX SCULPTURE PARK
Selfie spots: Stirling swing and sitting sculpture
Claim to Insta fame: Swing in a hanging Studio Stirling chair or pose with sculptor Angus Taylor's sitting man, the famous 5m-high sculpture Morphic Resonance. Situated in the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site 45 minutes outside Joburg, the 15ha park is great to explore, with its cultivated landscape, waterways and magnificent sculptures.
Address: R540 Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp. Visit niroxarts.com
WALTER SISULU BOTANICAL GARDENS
Selfie spot: Witpoortjie Falls
Claim to Insta fame: The Witpoortjie Falls in the middle of the gardens is a favourite picnic spot. The falls got their name from the fact that people travelling from Joburg by train would disembark at Witpoortjie station and walk there. With luck, you'll spot the breeding pair of Verreaux's eagles that have lived in the cliffs for more than 30 years.
Address: Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort. Visit sanbi.org
Selfie spot: Curtains of cosmos
Claim to Insta fame: One of Jozi’s largest parks is a cosmos heaven, flowering in March and April. The wildflowers are native to the Americas, but were brought here during the Anglo-Boer War.
Address: 77 Craighall Road, Victory Park, Randburg. Visit jhbcityparksandzoo.com
DURBAN BOTANIC GARDENS
Selfie spot: Picture-perfect palms
Claim to Insta fame: The tropical palm trees, scattered across the landscape, hail from the tropics (SA has only five different indigenous palm trees). The oldest palm, planted in 1873, is behind the tea kiosk.
Address: 9A John Zikhali Road, Berea, Durban. Visit durbanbotanicgardens.org.za
THE CHAPEL AT BOSJES
Selfie spot: The chapel
Claim to Insta fame: The magnificent chapel at Bosjes is an architectural masterpiece surrounded by landscaped gardens and masses of flowers in the surrounding fields at the foot of the Waaihoek mountain.
Address: R43, Worcester. Visit bosjes.co.za
THE CHART FARM ROSE GARDEN
Selfie spot: Roses galore in all shades of colours
Claim to Insta fame: A gem of a farm-style retreat with 12ha of pretty things, including the rose garden, the main attraction for social media butterflies. There are more than 500 rose bushes, some dating back to the 1900s. Stop and smell the Double Delight, Esther Geldenhuys, Blue Moon, Garden Princess, Garden Queen, Johannesburg Sun and Duftwolke varieties.
Address: 1A Klaasens Road, Wynberg, Cape Town. Visit chartfarm.co.za
THE BOOMSLANG: KIRSTENBOSCH CENTENARY TREE CANOPY WALKWAY
Selfie spot: Boomslang walkway
Claim to Insta fame: The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway is a curved steel and timber bridge inspired by a snake skeleton (which is why it’s often called the Boomslang, after the agile green snake). It winds through and over the trees of the arboretum and is a spectacular walk in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden on the slopes of Table Mountain.
Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town. Visit sanbi.org
Selfie spot: Shoulder to shoulder with the Holderstebolder.
Claim to Insta fame: Head to the Holderstebolder boulder man, a creation by Angus Taylor, an “interactive anti-monument”. The catapulting figure — buttocks in the air, arms and legs stretched out — looks like he's about to roll down the hill.
Address: 4 Steenberg Road, Steenberg Estate, Cape Town. Visit norvalfoundation.org
STELLENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDEN
Selfie spot: Bamboozling bamboo
Claim to Insta fame: Stellenbosch is home to some of the most beautifully curated gardens, where you can marvel at everything green from bonsai to bamboo. The prominent “giant” bamboo at this garden has been accepted as a naturalised species since its introduction into SA in the 1600s. Follow the Bamboo Trail and don’t miss the giant water lilies and redwood trees.
Address: Neethling & Van Riebeeck Streets, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch. Visit sun.ac.za
DYLAN LEWIS SCULPTURE GARDEN
Selfie spot: The sculptures
Claim to Insta fame: Yin and yang. Wild and tamed. One of the attractions here is the mix of more than 60 sculptures and the organic, natural gardens with a focus on indigenous species, particularly fynbos, the influence of Japanese gardens, water and a rugged mountain backdrop. There are so many spots along the 4km of paths to stop and admire that it's recommended to spend the whole day. Visits to the garden are by appointment only. A privately guided tour can be arranged with advance booking.
Address: Paradyskloof Road, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch. Visit dylanlewis.com
Babylonstoren (Western Cape)
Selfie spot: Prickly pear maze
Claim to Insta fame: Channel your inner Frida Kahlo at the prickly pear maze and your followers will think you’re in Mexico or somewhere in Central America, instead of at an old Cape Dutch farm in the Franschhoek wine valley. The maze provides an abundant web of striking cacti backdrops, and apart from the prickly pears in the maze there are 11 varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica (its scientific name) growing on the farm.
Address: Klapmuts, Simondium Road, Simondium. Visit babylonstoren.com
• The Candide app can be downloaded from the Apple App and Google Play Stores. For more information about Garden Day, visit gardenday.co.za
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