As we were greeted by apron clad young ladies distributing maps of the grounds, I was in awe of the canopy of trees protecting the immense flowing garden from the hot African sun. We arrived for a once-a-year open house visit of Ina Paarman’s home and gardens. This is where she not only lives but also develops recipes for her web site, www.paarman.co.za and her product line.
As we began our visit through the various hidden gardens, I was most impressed by the entertainment areas that all had their redeeming features. Whether it was the peek-a-boo views of the majestic mountains
or the babbling flow of the various water features on the property, I was tempted to settle into one of the enticing hammocks, swaying under the watchful eye of the ancient oak trees.
Our tour was a slow meander along the various agapanthus walks and trails to the cutting garden, the fruit orchard and various flowering terraces.
Our final stop landed us in my favorite spot, the veggie garden.
The geometric shapes of this vegetable plot reminded me of Marie Antoinette’s potager in Versaille. The leafy spinach, the perfectly placed pumpkin patch and the abundance of tomatoes weighing down the young plants was mind boggling.
To appease my need for water, there was a constant sound of running water with fountains and waterfalls creating memorable focal points.
Refreshments were served at the development kitchen, which is a modern building that blends beautifully with the main house’s typical Constantia architecture. The treats on hand were coffee and freshly prepared lemonade (from the lemons in the garden)
as well as some luscious treats. I am the first to admit that even my chocolate snobbery melted away as I savored the bit-sized chocolate delicacies that were topped with malt balls.
Best of all Janet, who works on recipes with Ina, was on hand to share the secrets of these treats.
I was a lucky ones who received an invitation from a friend to attend this thoroughly enjoyable morning of discovery. Not only was I thrilled to come accross a hidden paradise but I was also given the chance to have a chat with Ina. She is so down to earth, just like her cooking, and truly inspirational.
Sign up and subscribe to her web site www.paarman.co.za so that you too can have a chance to vist this gem of a spot.