I recently found myself in a rather unique valley that lies hidden between the Atlantic Ocean and the Klein Karoo, visiting some of the increasing numbers of bespoke and exciting spots that keep popping up on these fertile soils. Perhaps one of the Breedekloof Valley’s most notable, if not most photographed structures is the chapel on Bosjes Farm. But this undulating roof, designed in sync with the early evening silhouette formed by the Slanghoek Mountains, may have some stiff competition if it is to retain that title.
As a working Boland farm, Bosjes has, in recent years, evolved into a day-out venue of choice for families seeking a respite from city life. Accommodation, eateries, wedding and function facilities have been added to the offering, the design of which has been guided by a philosophy central to every aspect of this emerging farm life. Led by Coetzee Steyn of London-based Steyn Studio, this philosophy draws inspiration from the ways of earlier San and Dutch inhabitants of the valley, celebrating a blend of culture and tradition, natural beauty and inspired design.
An immersion in nature
The landscaped gardens are essential to the visitor experience on the farm. Spread across three sloping terraces, they effortlessly continue in the execution of Steyn’s design motif. The gardens provide a visual link between the various areas of rich floral diversity cultivated at Bosjes, from woodland landscapes, forested play areas, spacious lawns and a conservation garden planted with endangered renosterveld.
A series of water furrows and channels speak to the ingenuity of generations of farmers gone before, while fragrant citrus groves in front of the Winkel farm shop and the Spens garden café are a subtle reminder of the region’s rich agricultural tradition.
To ensure that the farm is enjoyed by both the young and the not-so-young, play areas pay homage to South Africa’s traditional farm dams and reservoirs, complete with purpose-built equipment, children’s sandpits, splashpads, a mini zipline and a clamber frame at the end of a treetop walkway, known as the Boombrug. The Boombrug offers a platform from which you can take in stunning views across the Breedekloof Valley while keeping an eye on the kids at play.
Beneath the Boombrug, woodland groves merge subtly into beds planted with a wide array of indigenous grasses, succulents and bulbs, carefully chosen to ensure a planting palette of seasonal interest that celebrates the colourful diversity of Cape flora.
Highest landscaping honour
Square One Landscape Architects, who tackled the mammoth task of creating the floral display that today comprises the farm’s landscaped gardens, recently won the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA) President’s Award for exceptional work. This coveted accolade is recognised as the highest honour in landscape architecture in South Africa.
Mark Saint Põl of Square One Landscape Architects shares his insights into the award-winning project: “Our design approach for this iconic property was to work ecology into a cultural landscape. Our work at Bosjes shows what is possible when a visionary client teams up with inspired architects, engineers, ecologists and landscape architects to create a captivating place that brings people together while simultaneously reinforcing the link between nature and the cultural environment.”
ILASA aims to advance the skill of landscape architecture, specifically the role this profession plays within South African built and natural environments.
Be sure to pop into Bosjes Farm when you next find yourself in the Breedekloof Valley. But go with time on your hands and your camera batteries fully charged; you’ll thank me later. And so will your kids.
Bosjes Farm is open to day visitors from 8.30am to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal information in line with global data protection standards. To understand how we process and protect your information we encourage you to read our Privacy Notice
By clicking subscribe you agree to TSAM processing your personal information for the purpose of this request.