Things To Do in RosebankStarke Ayres
Where? 21 Liesbeek Parkway, Rosebank, Cape Town
How? Call +27 (0)21 685-4120
How much? Free to browse
This well known nursery lies tucked away in a sliproad off Liesbeek Parkway in the grey area that lies between Rosebank and Mowbray, across the road from the canalised Liesbeek River, the edge of which forms a park, directly across the road from the nursery.
Getting there is an 'insider's secret' as you need to turn into De Villiers Avenue and then into the slip road of Vredenburg Avenue that runs parallel to Liesbeek Parkway - not something you will manage on the first visit unless warned. This part of Rosebank is filled with old-style blocks of flats and wonderful, converted cottages. It might be on the 'wrong' side of the railway line, but it's infinitely trendy.
And within all of this leafiness, the mountain directly in view, lies the garden centre that incorporates not only a large indoor and outdoor nursery, but a shop, a restaurant called Fraiche Ayres, and a Sinnful icecream outlet - there is another in Camps Bay that is, by all accounts, extremely popular and hence usually on the verge of running out of your favourite flavour. This particular Sinnful outlet has eco credentials too, as once you've eaten your icecream, you can fill your container with soil and a couple of seeds - gratis - and take it home to watch it grow on your windowsill.
The nursery has a large collection of Starke Ayres seeds, as well as a wonderful herb, fruit and vegetable seedlings section. Plants of every description adorn the outdoor area, some in shade, others not, but all beautifully set off against the backdrop of the mountain.
For a first hand review of this nursery see our article at "Starke Ayres in Rosebank - much more than a nursery".