Thursday, May 11, 2017

Concerts at Back of the Moon

On Saturday Afternoon (3pm-4pm) and Sunday morning (11h30am to 12h30 pm) you will be treated to a delightful array of different musical flavours by Christian Carver and his adorable wife, Mandy.  They will be bringing with them an array of musical instruments to sooth our autumn souls with some inspiring melancholic  and popular musical vibes.

The tickets are a steal at R100 per person and please book beforehand for the two shows with Norma 082 42147743.

A little bit about Christian:                                                

He was born in Rhodesia in 1959 and moved to SA as a young man.  After working as an assistant in a research chemistry lab, he enrolled at Rhodes University, where he met his future wife, Mandy.
Christian and Mandy joined Andrew Tracey's band and later got married.

Christian dropped out of Rhodes Univ. and decided to enrol in a four year course in auto-mechanics. He managed to obtain his certificate in only 2 years.

During the turbulent 1980's he was called up to do military service, and it was then that Christian decided to move to the UK. After 7 years in England, they realised that they were Africans at heart, and moved to Uganda, where Christian worked as a technician and repairman for a hospital, where he maintained medical vehicles, renovated a hydro-electric power scheme, developed medical equipment and maintained a spring – fed water system.

Shortly after Nelson Mandela was elected as president of SA., they returned to SA and Mandy was appointed as the music teacher at St Andrews, Grahamstown. Christian was hired by Andrew Tracey's wife, Heather as a workshop foreman at  African Musical Instruments (AMI) . AMI bought the company Power Marimbas, the oldest marimba making company in South Africa.

Christian re- engineered  the marimba design & is now working on streamlining the kalimba production.

Christian Carver is a  -     
  • the preserver of culture
  •  a tool maker,
  •  a visionary and more importantly,
  •   a renowned instrument making trainer.

He is director of  African Musical Instruments   ( AMI ) organisation, based in Grahamstown.

Earlier this year, he ran a workshop in Johannesburg, training people from all over Africa, in the art and craft of music instrument making & repair., especially in relation to indigenous instruments.
Participants had the opportunity to learn form established music instrument making companies in Johannesburg.

Mandy is currently working on her PhD, and we wish her all the best in the writing of her thesis.

These two people are you can imagine.... as the music that they conjure up!!!

Here is Christian showing Mark Holdaway a riff on the huge Akadinda, a traditional Ugandan marimba, at ILAM, the International Library of African Music, at Grahamstown, South Africa.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Accommodation for Autumn Celebration

Azalea Family Cottage
We had quite a few inquiries about which places still have accommodation available, so we will keep this list updated....
  • Azalea Cottage and Oaktree Cottage
    From R500 Per couple per day
    Contact Christine 082 453 3091
    Oak tree Cottage
  • Laragh-on-Hogsback cottages.
    Contact Jenny 0827810470
  • Trengwainton. 8 sleeper house with  a loft.
    R1000 pn for 2 people and R200 pppn thereafter
    Contact Jo 
  • Kings Lodge
    Spoil the ladies in your life by taking advantage of our discounted weekend special .....R799pp Friday - Sunday bed and breakfast. KING'S  LODGE is situated in the heart of Hogsback. Call us to secure a spot. ... (045) 962 1024
  • Athanor Cottages
    This beautiful family cottage can accommodate 6 guests, one bedroom with a queen size bed, two 3/4 beds in the loft, and a single day bed and sleeper couch for one in the open-plan living area. Set in a beautiful garden, with a magnificent view down the Thyume Valley which you can enjoy from the deck with many birds playing around in the trees.
    R1830 for 6 people
    Contact Naomi 082 444 7145
  • Away with the fairies Also still have space available
    Contact: 045 962 1031
  • Hogrock Falls Cottage set in the forest close to waterfalls
    Contact Leigh  0729813993
  • Pond and Garden Cottage
    Martine 0836611750 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hurry to book for the cook-off demo at Hurry

On Saturday afternoon you can participate in an exciting cook-off demo where you can experience the cooking prowess of Jaco Kotze, one of the the distinguished master chefs on our mountain.

He will be doing a North African vegetarian friendly mezze with braised lentil koftas, pulled lamb koftas, roast beetroot humus, yellow pepper humus, and plain hummus, rocket and herb salad, cucumber Riatta and some home made bread. It'll be a cooking demo but due to the time constraints some of it will be prepared at home.

There are only a few places left so hurry up and book with Lizzie for the Hurry Cook-off (0827870927)

Just to get your taste buds going, feast your eyes on these....

Monday, May 8, 2017

Autumn Celebration gourmet dinner at Nutwoods

Nutwoods Park is one of the finest restaurants in South Africa where you can experience a gourmet eating experience and lovely ambiance to set the tone for the rest of the weekend's celebrations. You can stroll through their beautifully sculptured garden before you sit down to a scrumptious meal on Friday night.

Please bring your own wine but you will be warmed up with some gluwine to get the warm vibe going. This dining event start at 7h00pm pm for 7h30pm, but come earlier to enjoy the garden. The cost per person is R250.00 and you have to book beforehand due to limited space (045-9621043 Neil).

The dinner menu....

Welcome glass of Gluwein.
Wild Mushroom open lasagne
Chicken noodle Soup
Fillet of Stuffed Fish with browned butter Prawns served on a sweet potato base
Chocolate Lava Pudding with Cherries Jubilee

Autumn Celebration show Garden: The story of Hidden Away

Quinton and Jeanette's story:

"There was only a terraced jungle when we started the garden, covered in periwinkle, brambles and wattle. It took 4 years to clear by hacking and chopping and digging, to make a difference, and with lots of advice from the “fundi's” we have developed an Eden which we tend with love and sweat (no tears) and care. 

There were some mature Rhododendrons and azaleas in amongst the over growth and then we started planting, and we planted and planted to today, where we have colour and perfume from roses, clivias, and azaleas, and many other perennials by the hundreds. We have tried to have colour in all the seasons, and gardeners and non gardeners who visit, have enjoyed our labours. The Alpine phlox and peonies are breath-taking and the autumn colours are stunning.

Many Autumn trees throughout the garden, from Copper Beaches, Liquid Ambers, Snake Bark, Japanese and Chinese Maples, and Pin Oaks show off their colours to every one’s delight. Hogsback is truly a special place."

You can experience the autumn wonder of this unique garden on Saturday the 13th of May between 9 am and 11 am when Quinton will share how they turned a jungle into a colourful wonderland while Jeanette will treat you to her delightful tea fare! 

Autumn Celebration Food and Wine pairing dinner at The Edge

The Edge is famous for its wonderful food pairing events where delicious food are exquisitely balanced by elegant wines. An event not to be missed!! This will all happen on Saturday 13 May 2017 @ 6.30 for 7pm and the cost per person is R295 pp. This this is what is on offer.....


Grilled Galician octopus with olive oil, lemon and smoked paprika served with garlic crostini. This will be paired with a dry Fino Sherry and Lanzerac Chenin Blanc.


For mains there will be slow roasted rack of lamb with quince membrillo and a red wine gravy served with roasted pumpkin and green pea potato mash.  The vegetarian option is Thai red prawn curry served with rice and roasted pumpkin. These delightful choices will be paired with Robertson unwooded Pinot Noir and Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon.


To finish of this taste experience, desert will be Chestnut and dark chocolate PavĂ© with an orange sabayon, complemented by Bon Courage Blush sparkling and Nitida Modjaji Noble late harvest.

Coffee and port will then be served

Booking is essential to be part of this wonderful autumn celebration experience. 
Please book on 0459621159

Saturday, May 6, 2017

How to book for Autumn Celebration events

Please consult the Programme for a summary of times, addresses and booking numbers. There will be an info centre and you can buy tickets for the guided tour at Jikani and at St Patricks Chapel where you will also be able to buy Visitor Booklets. 

Guided Tours

Guided tours are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fee is R100 per person, regardless of if you attend only one or both days! Tickets for tours, as stated, is obtainable at any of the scheduled garden tour venues during the weekend.  The tea and talks are included in this small fee which will be used for garden club village beautification!! The food demonstration at Hurry is additional to the guided tour (See Garden tour map for locations):
  • HIDDEN AWAY -29 Main Road  (9 on map) Times: 9am-11am Saturday morning
    Guide: Quiton Dick
  • LITTLE TIMBERS-34 Main Road (11 on map) Times 11am-1pm Saterday morning
    Guide: Prof Chris Cupido
  • HURRY - 2 Trewennan Lane (4 on map) Times 1pm - 3pm (preceded by the cook-off for which you have to book - R30). You don't have to attend the cook-off  demoto be able to attend the informative guided tour.
    Guide: Irene Nichols
  • THE ARBORETUM - Oak Avenue  Times: 11 am to 1pm Meet at gate
    Guide: Sean Mulholland
Open Gardens
Plant Sales at MISTLEA, 7 Orchard Lane, and self guided tours.

It is recommended to book for all other events to ensure availability, as space is limited – especially for the music performances, children’s workshops, cook off demo, dinners & high tea. Contact numbers  and other info for these events can also be found on the programme.

Booking Contact numbers:
  • Nutwoods gourmet Dinner- R250 (045-9621043-Neil) (Friday Night)
  • Camelot-Children's Fairy walk-R30 per child (045-9621098- Suzannah) (Saturday Morning)
  • Hurry Cook off demo- R30pp (0827870827-Lizzie) (Saturday Afternoon)
  • Hobbiton extreme activities -R40 per activity (045) 962 1193) (Saturday afternoon)
  • Essential Amathole children's organic gardening (0823744296-Ian) (Saturday afternoon + Sunday morning)
  • Back of the Moon Concerts -2 parts (0824147743)(Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning)
  • Food and wine pairing @the Edge (0459621159) (Saturday evening)
  • Mothers day breakfast At the Edge (0459621159) (Sunday Morning)
  • See programme for other eateries information (no Booking necessary)
Special discounts
  • Hogsback Residents – R50 only
  • HGC Members – free
  • Ticket includes Tea Garden & Presentations @ Litt

Please contact Lizzie 082 787 0927 / Naomi 082 444 7145 for more details

Friday, May 5, 2017

Autumn Celebration Show garden: Hurry

You should not be in a hurry to walk through this wonderful garden!!

The garden was created by John Nichols roughly about 50+ years ago. It was a wattle and pine plantation and it took him many years to dig out and create the beautiful meandering paths. He started building a cottage at the bottom of the garden which he named Crash Cottage where they 'crashed out' in, before building the main house. The property was then named Hurry (for obvious reasons)! He and his family traveled widely and brought back many plants including a variety of beautiful Maples.

Hurry consists of mainly Rhododendrons and Azaleas of various types and over 300 trees, including a large amount of Redwoods which are now really mature. One of John's favourite trees in the garden is the Beach Tree on the lower lawn and when the property was purchased in 2006  by Roz and paul Amphlett. They made a promise to John never to cut it down!

The beautiful stream at the bottom of the garden used to flow the whole year round with sufficient volume to power a ram pump but now unfortunately it does dry out for a few months of the year.

John Nichols ashes were scattered underneath one of his favourite Rhododendron in the garden, so he still resides here in his wonderful creation nurtured by Paul and Roz.

You can come and learn more about this exquisite garden between 13h00 and 15h00 on Saturday afternoon 12 May (2 Trewannan lane).  The guided tour will be led by Irene Nichols, one of our talented gardeners here in Hogsback. For this guided tour you will need to book as space is limited to 20 people. for the cook-off preceding the garden tour. For bookings contact Lizzie Blackbeard (0827870927). You can however come and stroll through the garden on your own during that time slot. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Autumn Celebration: Little Timbers

 One of our open gardens during the Autumn Celebration is Little Timbers.  On Saturday the 13th of May, Professor Chris Cupido and Professor Don Grierson will be giving a talk about Little Timbers at 11 am, followed by a garden tour.

Little background to the garden

The garden came to be in 1933 when Hobart Houghton gave a section of the property to his son Desmond. Desmond and his new bride, Betty, started a unique garden based on her English heritage. As a couple they traveled extensively and brought back exotic plants from all different parts of the world. Later this was carried on by Prof Brian Rycroft and his wife Joan. Prof Rycroft was a past curator of Kirstenbosch and bought the property in 1988. In 1994 the property was owned by the McCullum – Allan family trust and further development continued with the planting of beech trees further up on the upper slopes of the property. 

Sadly a tornado severely damaged the property on 15 Dec 1998. Sometime after this the McCullum family left for Canada and the property became neglected. The present owners are Vincent and Lizzie Blackbeard who has revived this magnificent property to it’s former splendour!

How can you learn more and experience the magic of this garden?

To learn more about this amazing garden and participate in the guided tour, you can obtain a ticket for all the Autumn Open Gardens at the gate of any of the gardens. You will be "stamped" which will allow you entrance to all the other gardens as well. As the gardens will only be open during specific times (except for Mistlea), please make sure that you arrive at the designated times according to the programme. Little Timbers will be open between 11am and 1pm on Saterday the 13th. See you there!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Autumn Celebration programme

To predict the exact time of autumn in Hogsback is almost as difficult as to predict exactly when it will snow up here! All we know for sure is that it is usually a spectacular display of colour and textures!  So this year we are holding thumbs that we have our timing just right in time to welcome all our guests to this years breathtaking Autumn celebration spectacle!

Over the next 2 weeks, we will showcase some of the open gardens that will be available for viewing over the autumn Celebration weekend of 13-14 May. We have also finalised our programme which have something for everyone. Have a look.... (To download PDF version, click here)