The Cape Floral Kingdom
The world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town served as inspiration behind the gardens at Ellerman House. The botanists shared their advice, and plants, to help transform our garden into an indigenous oasis. Our gardens showcase incredibly rare species from our Cape Floral Kingdom as well as iconic South African species from all over the country. Various plants, synonymous with other regions of South Africa, like statuesque aloes (typical of the Eastern Cape) and succulents from the Karoo compliment the impressive architectural features and blend seamlessly into the garden.
On the sea-facing side of the property a series of terraced lawns, edged with aromatic Cape fynbos, provide spectacular ocean views. Sheltered from the prevailing Southeaster wind that blows in summer, the gardens and swimming pool are idyllic spaces in which to relax and enjoy all that the hotel has to offer. Pincushions, proteas, ericas, reed-like restios, scented pelargonium, salvias and buchus are typical of this part of the garden. In front of the restaurant’s terrace, vibrant lion’s tail and strelitzias make a colourful show and also attract various species of birds.
The major benefit of having indigenous species is that these plants are well suited to the Cape’s hot, dry summers and are therefore extremely water wise. The gardens are at their prettiest in spring when many of the species are in flower, while in summer late-flowering proteas create a dramatic display against the backdrop of the ocean.
A unique aspect of Ellerman House is its vast collection of South African art displayed throughout the property. The collection encompasses an intriguing cross-section of genres representing a 100 years of the country’s culture and socio-political history. The gardens play an important role in providing outdoor gallery space for sculptures that form part of the contemporary collection.