Our labour of love over lockdown has born fruit…and some veg, and herbs and loads of fragrant blossoms. That’s right! It is our pleasure to present the Brahman Hills’ pleasure gardens to you. We are hoping you find them as beautiful and utterly rewarding as we do. To tempt you to take a stroll around our new botanical wonderland in the Midlands, we going to let you know just what went into creating them, what you’ll find there and how your garden-loving selves can best enjoy them!
The seeds of the Brahman Hills Garden began germinating even before the chaos of 2020 descended and upon us. Blissfully unaware of what the future held, we had designers in and plans drawn up to transform a part of the Brahman Hills Estate into a flowering paradise. We thought: Nebuchadnezzar had his handing Gardens of Babylon, the Greeks had Hera’s Garden of Hesperides and the Bible had its Eden. So as a premier wedding venue, Brahman Hills had to have a little bit of magic, myth and legend in our gardens too. That is, after all, what weddings are all about, not to mention engagement shoots, picnics and intimate weekends away. Nothing quite beats the romance of a profusion of flowers and foliage arranged in just the right way. So how did we do it over one of the oddest years on record? We did it together.
Even though things ground to a halt and services shut down, the “family” that lives at Brahman Hills decided to take on this massive project themselves. We couldn’t care for guests, prepare meals or host weddings during lockdown. But we could make a garden! The chef was transformed from a culinary connoisseur to an irrigation specialist as he laid out pipes and set out the watering system. Meanwhile, instead of pouring drinks and waiting tables, the bar staff were in the trenches digging ditches and bringing structure to the flower beds. Even our general manager got in on the garden act and become chief cement specialist mixer and pourer, creating winding pathways that weave through the greenery and curve around into circular focal points built around central landscaped beds or water features. Everyone was hands-on and willing to take on roles outside their respective areas of expertise, and their toil has paid off in spades! What emerged from the chaos of 2020 was a breathtaking formal garden meticulously landscaped and carefully nurtured, and maintained by the many loving hands at Brahman Hills. The folks here are so proud of our home-grown garden in the Midlands, and we can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, have a look at this video which will show you how the garden is structured and get you inspired for an outing at Brahman Hills.
The gardens boast a formal layout with repeating geometric motifs in circles and rectangles of the hard landscaping, which are softened and beautifully contrasted by the abundant flowers and plants. Interspersed throughout are oases of water - fountains, ponds, formal pools and, of course, the lake beside the Lake House. Shady pergolas are dotted along the structured pathways that lead to the central focal points. The garden is a sensory delight: the lush green foliage offsets the bursts of blue, purple and delicate pinks. With the gentle splash of water and the peaceful setting, it's an idyllic spot to be. The landscaping is given dimension and interest thanks to the tiered terraces and multi-level flower beds. These levels also provide unique outlooks for those taking in the sights or, from the other perspective, enchanting backdrops for photoshoots.
Not only is the garden a pleasure to amble around, but it also serves an essential function. Aside from the ornamental planting scheme, the design also includes an extensive kitchen garden which is used to supplement the Brahman Hills kitchen. This is so important for various reasons. Firstly, we can reduce our carbon footprint; secondly, we can provide the freshest seasonal produce as it's grown basically right outside the kitchen door and lastly, we can be 100% sure of the quality and ethical sourcing of our products because we grow, harvest and prepare them ourselves. So what does our veggie garden include? Well, we have a range growing their little botanic hearts out to make it to your plate: Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, a variety of lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, chillies, green peppers, beetroot, kale, peas, beans, carrots and mielies. The orchard is also home to succulent peaches, pears, figs, crabapples and delicious grapes. Meanwhile, the herb garden is well-stocked with coriander, parsley, celery, basil, mint, thyme, origanum and chives. And even our ornamental planting has some tasty nibbles in the form of edible Nasturtiums, Begonias, English violets and calendula.
Now, we love the fact that the garden is a wonder to behold, and we're just as pleased to be using its harvest in our kitchens, but hands down the most important reason for the creation of the Brahman Hills' garden and all the staff's work was to create a garden for you. We wanted something that stood out, and was unique and captured people's interest and their hearts. It means the world to us to become the best wedding venue in KwaZulu Natal, and to do that; we have to keep offering the very best. We were also eager to provide guests with another facet to their stay, to deepen their enjoyment while they are with us. Out of this ambition grew our garden. And we can't wait for you to come and play. So whether it's a curated garden engagement, engagement shoot, wedding, picnic or high tea, our glorious garden is waiting for you.