The Garden at Babylonstoren

relax,tour,kids in Franschhoek

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Hol

Open 7 days a week from 10h00 - 18h00

Our daily garden tour starts at the Farm Shop at 10h00. 

The days are intentionally unscripted at Babylonstoren, and for our hotel guests there’s much to do. In addition to exploring our 200 hectares of farm, in season you can take part in the harvesting of fruit in the orchards or the pruning of our vines. Whatever the season, our garden is an everchanging tapestry of fruit and vegetable plantings. Hotel guests are invited to join in the harvesting.

Set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the big garden at Babylonstoren is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. But we also link back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon. Those were thought to have been created by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC, for his wife who longed for the mountains and valleys of her youth.

In 2007, owner Karen Roos commissioned French architect Patrice Taravella to plan the layout of the garden. His work at Prieuré Notre Dame d’Orsan in France had impressed her greatly. There Patrice had reconstructed a medieval cloistered garden on the site of a restored 12th-century monastery. "I was drawn to Patrice's inherent discipline. It is almost Cartesian in the tradition of classical French gardens," says Karen. "And he's remarkable in that he really understands the movement of people: how to make a garden hold you and calm you down."

Taravella gave the garden geometric bones. His creation sits on an axis that extends east to west along the traditional lines of the old whitewashed Cape Dutch werf (farmyard), then north to south from Babel Restaurant to the Babylonstoren koppie. It comprises 15 clusters spanning vegetable areas, stone and pome fruits, nuts, citrus, berries, bees, herbs, ducks and chickens, a prickly pear maze, and more. Gravity feeds water from a stream by rills into the garden, flowing through ponds planted with edible lotus, nymphaea lilies and waterblommetjies.

Every one of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. They are also grown as organically as possible and in a biologically sustainable manner. The fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants. Along the edge of the garden, a natural stream flows from the Simonsberg mountain to the Berg River, creating a space for indigenous wild olives to flourish. In their shade a collection of some 7 000 clivia lilies explode in a spectacular display every spring. Our head gardener Liesl van der Walt and her team tend the plants that have flourished beyond expectation – so much so that it’s quite hard to believe that the gardens are still relatively young.

Our daily guided garden tour starts at the Farm Shop at 10h00. One of our experienced gardeners will be your guide on this tour, during which we encourage guests to pick, taste, smell and touch while walking through our garden. Each of the 300 plant varieties is edible or has medicinal value. The beautiful garden is not only pleasing to the eye, but also provides the restaurants with fresh produce, harvested daily. Our enthusiastic guides will share some of the garden’s special stories with you and give practical gardening tips. We hope you will enjoy our garden and be inspired when you leave to plant your own!

Visit our Garden

Booking is essential for the garden tour – please phone +27 (0)21 863 3852.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat in summer and wellies plus an umbrella in winter. A famous Swedish proverb holds: There ain’t no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.
Entrance fees payable at the gate go to the Babylonstoren Trust for the education of our local children.
Weekends and public holidays: R20 per person | R10 per child under 12.
Weekdays: R10 for all
Free entry for RHS members.
Regrettably no dogs are allowed, as this is a working farm with lots of feathery friends.
Kindly note that all pathways in the garden are gravel and in some areas covered with peach pips.

Become a volunteer

As we are passionate about our garden at Babylonstoren, we welcome fellow gardeners, horticulturists, botanists or those who are interested in learning more about gardening. If you’re happy to get your hands dirty (you'll be planting, harvesting, pruning and mulching) and eager to learn and/or share your knowledge, we'd love to welcome you as a volunteer at Babylonstoren. You’ll work with our gardeners in every aspect of the garden but most importantly get a chance to contribute to the garden in a real way.

Verwyder asb die foto van swembad –ons het nie meer hierdie area nie.
Vervang asb inligting met hierdie:
Like everything else at Babylonstoren, the Garden Spa is inextricably linked to the garden and the ever-changing seasons. We like to think of it as a living spa, set within a forest of bamboo with tranquil greenery and a myriad leiwater channels to set the tone. Some of our traditional treatment rooms are housed in our pavilion constructed of bamboo, which comprises a hammam, chill room and a gym.
We have a wonderful selection of classic treatments to be enjoyed in our light and spacious spa rooms. From hydrating body wraps to bespoke facials and deluxe pedicures, our spa menu will cater to your every need.

Experience an ancient cleansing ritual that is supremely good at relieving stress. The treatment increases circulation, relieves muscle tension, increases metabolism and keeps skin fresh as it rinses out toxins.

Our massages are so relaxing it may well send you to sleep. Our fascination with the bamboo plant is rooted in heritage – we’ve used it to create outdoor spaces in which we perform our rejuvenation treatments and also use it during our signature deep-tissue bamboo massage.

Our Lilian Terry wraps include a full-body scrub, wrap and application of a body oil.

Facials and beauty
Available as parent-and-child treatments. We use two natural, organic product ranges at the Garden Spa. Dr. Hauschka is a German product and Esse a local product.

Hands and feet
Available as parent-and-child treatments.

Every morning, fresh herbs such as rosemary, lavender and lemon thyme are picked for use in the Spa’s daily rituals and for our palate-cleansing spa food menu. Dictated by what is ripe and delicious, our spa menu is focused on fresh juices and whole fruits from our garden, as well as unusual varieties. We also offer mouthwatering salads and delectable bowls of wholesome lentils or soba noodles. You’ll leave our spa feeling refreshed, replenished and restored.