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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Johannesburg Zoo, Bensusan Photographic Museum, SAB World of Beer, Satyagraha House, Hillbrow Tower, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Moyo Restaurants, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill, Rand Easter Show, Apartheid Museum, Radium Beer Hall, Oriental Plaza, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
Hiding behind high walls and thick foliage is one of Johannesburg’s most beautiful private gardens. Brenthurst Gardens is located in the leafy and exclusive suburb of Parktown and is regarded as one of the city’s green jewels.
The estate on which the Brenthurst Gardens stands was originally owned by Sir Drummond and Lady Marguerite Chaplin in 1906 and called Marion Court. It was later purchased by mining magnate Ernest Oppenheimer who renamed the estate Brenthurst. The property remains in the hands of the Oppenheimer family.
A staggering 45 gardeners tend to the 18ha Brenthurst Gardens daily which is wholly organic and mostly indigenous. Sections of the estate are allocated to a rose garden in the shape of a snail’s shell, a fragrance garden, children’s garden and a formal Japanese garden that includes a waterwheel imported from Japan.
Excellent works of art are scattered throughout the garden, some of which are of South African design. The garden is deemed a Quiet Garden, a place for meditation and religious prayer.
Remnants of the original Sachsenwald forest can be seen in the gardens. Fast growing blue and red eucalyptus trees were first planted during the gold rush era to provide wooden supports for mine shafts and many of these century-old trees still stand.
Three hour tours of the garden are conducted twice weekly and the small admittance fee is donated to a charity organisation.
Walking through the delightful gardens, it’s easy to forget that outside its walls are the noisy highways and frenetic pace of Johannesburg city.