So what exactly is a chocolate garden? Well we know that chocolate (as we know it) does not grow on trees, can you just imagine?! The chocolate would not survive a day in Durban’s humidity!
Instead, a Chocolate Garden is a garden inspired by chocolate including chocolate colored plants, chocolate scented flowers, chocolate mint, chocolate sunflowers and vines. You will find these and more at Africa’s first Chocolate Garden at the de Charmoy Estate in Kwazulu Natal.
Planted in early August 2017, all the plants selected were chosen with great consideration given to non-invasive plants, balancing water needs, chocolatiness of course and the climate in KZN. Lauren (de Charmoy) Machanick (owner) enlisted the help of Garden Design expert and Principal of the School of Garden Design (Lindsay Gray) to bring her vision and dream to life.
Did you know that many plants have chocolate versions? For example, the chocolate and choc chip versions of the Ajuga plant. Chocolate coloured Orchids, Anthuriums and Arum Lilies, Roses and chocolate succulents were specifically selected for their chocolate influence from chocolate leaves, flowers or centers with pops of beautiful purples and apricots in between to bring the garden to life. There are even pelargoniums that smell like Turkish Delights and the most magnificent tree with chocolate coloured leaves (Chrysophyllum oliviforme) which we have renamed our Chocolate Tree.
The Chocolate Garden encompasses a new coffee shop/restaurant and the menu includes chocolate versions of tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, herbs and the like, with a focus on freshness combining chocolate and botanicals.
All found on the picturesque de Charmoy Estate in Kwazulu Natal, home to a wedding and conference venue, a 4-star B&B and spa, where you will be welcomed by friendly staff and roaming giant tortoises!