For the longest time now, I’ve wanted to visit Chart Farm in Wynberg to wander among the roses and – best of all – pick a selection of my own to take back home.
But, on one condition: that my mom could come along, as her love for these fragrant blooms runs deep and connects with a tender nostalgia for the birthdays of her childhood in Piet Retief. Born on the 16th of November, my mom’s celebration of life falls slap-bang in the middle of peak rose season, which also happens to be most spectacular in the highveld areas of our country.
So, when my parents announced that they were coming through to Cape Town this past Saturday to watch a show at the Baxter Theatre, I decided that we’d simply have to round the weekend off with an early birthday treat for my mom at the Chart Farm on Sunday. Finally!
Along with my dad and Guillaume, we started the morning off with a delicious breakfast at The Terrace Coffee Shop and then headed out into the garden to pick our own roses for the special Sunday price of R3.50 a stem (any other day of the week, it will cost you R5.50/stem). After we handed over our car keys as a deposit, they provided us with secateurs with which to snip the thorny stems and a bucket to store our harvest in as we went.
We spent a good hour-and-a-half wandering about, burying our noses in the soft centres of already-opened blooms and picking the buds that looked most likely to unfold into fresh blossoms over the next few days. Between my mom and I, we gathered a burgeoning bucket of 29 roses, which my dad valiantly lugged around for us most of the morning. The whole bunch ended up costing us only R101.50! I repeat, R101.50 for 29 magnificent roses.
During all this time, Guillaume indulged in a covert harvesting mission of his own, and surprised me with a whole extra bouquet when we got back to my flat! And another little one for his mom as well… How sweet, right?
I must admit that, since I had been looking forward to going for so long, I was a little scared that Chart Farm would end up being underwhelming. But, it was quite the opposite!
It ended up being an experience as magical as I’d imagined and definitely tops my list of lesser-known, quirky places to visit around Cape Town.
Here are a few pics: