South African Garden and Home
Spring Image Credit: South African Garden and Home
Spring Image Credit: South African Garden and Home

The Essence Of Spring

The Hayhoe's Nottingham road country garden is a joyful ode to spring

Anne Schauffer

Gavin and Ann Hayhoe live on Braemar, a glorious 1,6-hectare property at the end of a little Nottingham Road country lane. Ann’s family has lived there for over 82 years, so the gracious Cape Dutch home and garden is redolent with history.

“My maternal grandfather built the house for my parents when they married in 1936, and my sister and I were born here,” she says. “Gavin and I moved to Nottingham Road in 1978 to help Dad on his farm, and when he died, took over its management. We moved into the house in 1982 when my mother moved to Pietermaritzburg.”

With the colour explosion at Braemar in spring, it’s almost contradictory to suggest the garden is intensely peaceful. Yet it is. The underlying sense of history, the towering trees, and the lichen-splashed brick and stone paths, walls and archways, paint a love story between the generations and their garden.

Amble down the driveway and there’s the front garden, ablaze with cherry blossom and English country flowers such as foxgloves and daisies; wander under the pergola along the weathered walkway and marvel at 60-year-old heritage roses. Behind the house, a change of mood – layers of multicoloured annuals, dazzling azaleas and cherry trees, in more shades than imaginable. The Braemar garden


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