On route to Tzaneen, in the heart of the Magoebaskloof mountain area you will find the famous Cheerio Gardens, where hundreds of different Japanese flowering cherry trees come into spectacular bloom during late September / early October.
What makes this beautiful site even more spectacular, is the fact that most other gardens in the vicinity are also then ablaze with the vibrant colours of azaleas, crab apples and other spring-flowering shrubs and trees.
The gardens include at their heart a sequence of dams, their banks lined with huge African tree ferns and English garden features. In spring the hydrangeas, camellias, irises and foxgloves are at their peak, and the array of colour is a rash of pinks, mauves, orange and scarlet, which makes it the perfect spot to take your wedding pictures. A picture perfect view for a picture perfect moment!
Cheerio Gardens was established by Sheila (Box) Thompson and her well known mother Box Thompson, after she was discharged from the army in 1946. She was a keen botanist and wanted to establish indigenous plants in the area. Because of the cool temperatures in the valley, she also decided to grow deciduous trees and shrubs from the northern hemisphere. These included maples and flowering cherries which boasted beautiful autumn colours.
All the terraces where made by hand, and the love and dedication that went into the task is visible as you wander along the moss-covered pathways. The garden has stayed in the same family since inception. Their vision is for visitors to enjoy the peace and tranquillity the gardens have to offer for years to come!
The Cheerio Gardens can be accessed In the Cheerio Valley on the Cheerio Road, off the R71.
GPS Co-ordinates: 23' 53,560' South 29' 57,183' East
Facilities at Cheerio includes
Accommodation3 Self-catering cottages:
- Fully equipped units
- Accommodating 2-10 persons
- Open from Wednesday - Sunday.
- Serving delicious breakfasts & lunches. The menu is varied and caters for all tastes.
- Fully licensedGardens
Walks through the garden
A perfect afternoon's leisurely walk. Picnics
Bring a blanket, a bottle of good wine and a picnic basket, we supply the garden, the tree, the flowers and the peaceful surroundings.
- Chapel & Wedding venue seating up to 150 guests. Ideal spot for a gentle garden wedding. We can also assist with catering and facilitating.
- Conference Venue seating up to 250 guests
- Venue hire - for that special function.
- Kiddies' parties - lots of space for kids to run around and have fun.
There are three trout dams on the property. Bring a fishing rod for the kids while you relax with a glass of wine.
By Mesché Meijer