Founded 16 years ago, the annual Bedford Country Gardens is an Eastern Cape midlands lifestyle experience that has visitors returning again and again for a dose of down to earth country fun. For three days gardenistas and nature-loving families explore country roads, linger in lovely farm gardens and discover soul-mates. The hosts are on hand ready to swap ideas on how to bloom were you are planted (as the saying goes), hundreds of kms from the nearest garden centre.
The routes straddle mountain and grassland biomes, and traverse a number of game farms. The variety of birds and trees is eye-popping (check-lists of both are posted on this website). This is prime terrain for hiking, trail-running and mountain bikes.
Open farm gardens offer refreshments; some serve light lunches and a couple set aside spots for picnickers.
In the Bedford village, there are more open gardens, The SA Rosarium, plant nurseries, lots of shopping, live music, warm hospitality and the scrumptious food the region is known for. Art, quilts, photography, funky scarecrows and floral arrangements pop up all over.
Small group walks round the old part of town are led by Bedford's local history enthusiast. Early morning birding excursions take visitors into the pristine mountain forest which forms Bedford's backdrop.
PLANTS SALES grab the bulk of retail activity. And plants are for sale all over the place. Garden assistants are encouraged to propagate plants and sell for their own account at open gardens.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
Keep an eye on the Bedford Country Gardens facebook page for updates and explore the website which includes information about the area in general and the festival in particular.
There is no official entry point - visitors come in from all over, starting their visit wherever they fancy. You pay for entry at each garden gate.
What you said about earlier Bedford Country Garden Weekends
"Don`t miss this unique experience.........beautiful gardens, lovely vibe and the best hospitality you will ever experience!"
"Fantastic garden festival! Each year is better than the last"
"We can't stop talking about our time in Bedford and we will all be back for your next event. We will spread the word about our fabulous weekend and maybe Bedford will have to consider building a second hotel!" Marilyn Petzer
"(Norwood) is wonderful ... my favourite by far. The whole farmyard feel just made me feel so warm inside. Thank you for all the inspiration you have given me." Kelly
"my friends from Hermanus and St Francis were blown over! They couldn't believe we have such beauty, hospitality and warmth just two hours away (from PE)." Rene de Reuck
"...a wonderful garden show as ever. We visited the township gardens and loved the gardeners... they are so proud." Jane Tucker
"I fell in love with the white gardens at Cavers." Nicolette
"wonderful hospitality ... we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.. had such a great time at all the events we attended." Julie Velosa, Neutrog SA