Mulligatawny – a secret gem in the Cradle of Humankind

A rare opportunity to visit this special place in the Cradle of Humankind

Do you know what a folly is (apart from various current heads of state)? And what is a potager? This is your chance to find out. And at the same time you can have a wonderful day out of Joburg and support a really worthwhile charity.  The privately owned farm of Mulligatawny holds occasional open days with all proceeds going to the St St George’s Turning Point Foundation an amazing organization which helps young people acquire vocational skills and obtain work.

Stay at Liz at Lancaster Guest House

Stay at our well located Guest House and visit The Cradle of Humankind. View our Johannesburg Guest House for Rates and Availability!


There are over 130 different water lily species . Source: Trevor Matterson

This 40 acre property was purchased in 2002 by the interior designer Michael Hogan. Originally  a tobacco farm and then a flower farm, it  was completely derelict.  Hogan set about clearing and relandscaping, removing many alien species like syringas, jacarandas and poplars. His vision remained heavily dependent on European prototypes, even down to echoes of Monet’s water gardens at Giverney.  Yes – there are over 130 varieties of water lilies as well as a thousands of roses plus an amazing orchard.  And then let’s not forget the potager – which is basically a vegetable or kitchen garden … but set out in formal and elaborate designs.

What is a folly?

And then there are built echoes of  18th Century European landscape devices such as follies and even a grotto.  Some people settle for concrete gnomes and metal birds in their garden but wealthy landowners back then introduced buildings into the landscape which had no practical purpose (hence the name ‘folly’) but were rather decorative and symbolic. So ruined cottages and watermills suggested rural values; eastern temples and pyramids were built to evoke exotic travel both geographically and back in time; and of course Graeco-Roman ruins were a favourite suggesting classical values and learning.  

Moss covered ruins In English and French landscapes suggested history, heritage and long-standing land ownership, and hence status.
Mulligatawny’s ruins. Source: Wantedonline










               True to its sources, Mulligatawny has its own ruined garden cathedral. So if you can’t get to the heritage homes in England and the France, the next best thing is to take a trip out to Skeerpoort!  And it’s a wonderful way to be able to leave the hustle and bustle of the big smoke.  Apart from the huge beautiful garden and various curiosities and garden sculptures, there is always a wonderful plant sale. Plus the bird life is abundant and you might even be lucky to some see buck from neighbouring properties. Food stalls offer amazing picnic fare. 

For more info: Call James on 083 326 4493/ or visit their Facebook page 

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