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Le Grand Jardin is South Africa’s smartest villa to take over in 2021

Written by Travel Adventures


I grew up on the east coast of South Africa in Kwazulu-Natal, where gardens are a thing to behold – there’s an almost overwhelming sense of profusion and unfurling ripeness. In Durban, it’s said you can stick a pencil in the ground and a tree will grow. My love of the subtropical garden began in my grandmother’s rockery, where I helped her feed eggshells and banana skins to her prized orchids. A steadfast companion during my childhood was a low-lying eucalyptus tree whose boughs held my secrets. It was a similar nostalgia that drew Sue and Bernard Fontannaz to the Stellenbosch winelands 20 years ago, when their son Arnaud was just a few months old. ‘For both of us, our best memories growing up are wrapped up in the freedom of rambling outdoor spaces,’ Sue recalls. She was born in a small farming community in the Eastern Cape with only one road and no traffic lights.‘I found everything I needed there as a child – I remember using geranium petals as nail polish.’ Swiss-born Bernard, meanwhile, was raised on the fringes of a nature reserve near Verbier.


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