• The Woodturners…

    Father and son team, John and Andrew Early have turned their obsession with the beauty of wood into award winning pieces, using only salvaged pieces of wood. Each bowl is turned from wet wood, left to dry for up to four years, then re-turned, sanded and waxed or oiled. “Pieces will continue to dry throughout their lifetime in a dynamic process that makes them ‘living' art works, says Andrew. Experience John and Andrew Early's beautiful wooden vessels and exclusive furniture, which is sought after by decorators around the globe, and which has earned them an Elle Decoration International Design Award and a Conde Nast House Style Award. 0723656270 www.andrewearly.co.za
  • Michael J Mawdsley Jnr

    Michael trained and worked as a goldsmith and jeweller for over 25 years before turning his mind and hands to sculpture - an almost inevitable move since at the core of all his work, the creative drive had always been the main motivation.

    The whole process of taking a basic idea through to a finished bronze requires the same creative drive and ability whether working as a creative goldsmith & jeweller or a sculptor and although Michael still produces jewellery, he finds the sheer physicality of the bronze art form more challenging and more satisfying.

    Michael’s sculptural work to date covers the triad of African Wildlife, the Human Form and the Local Flora. He has produced works from the very small, often to use as door knockers or business card holders, through to large, stand-alone works of art.

    If you are interested in commissioning a specific work, please either phone him on +27 (0)83 294 0107 to discuss.
    Michael John Mawdsley Jnr: http://www.vivavoce.co.za/

  • Rob Fowler at Corrie Lynn

    Corrie Lynn & Co. furniture has been in operation for more than 10 years. They specialise in custom-made furniture using a variety of different woods.

    Robin Fowler, a self-taught cabinet-maker has successfully been designing and manufacturing wooden furniture for a variety of clients all over South Africa. These clients include corporate businesses, game lodges, hotels, restaurants as well as individuals looking for something different.

    Robin has mentored and trained Corrie Lynn & Co staff to produce furniture from raw wood to the finished product. Staff member’s craftsmanship is recognised through labels attached to the individual pieces of furniture.

    Furniture Making Workshops
    Due to demand, Robin is now offering different courses in furniture making at his workshop at Corrie Lynn Farm in the beautiful Dargle Valley in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

    Courses have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 participants to allow for individual attention.

    The courses vary from a very basic level for first time furniture-makers to more advanced specific courses on joints and specialised machinery. The price of the course includes all materials, refreshments and lunches.

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Our Veggie Garden

Lush, overgrown and green. We love our veggie garden. At Lemonwood we are all about going green. Clean eating, recycling, solar heating and life in the natural beauty.

Visit the NEW Farmer’s Daughter

The Farmer’s Daughter used to be located on the R103 next door to the Belgian Chocolate shop, however these lovely lasses took note of the sensational new development, Yard 41, and have moved to 4 Shafton Road, Howick.

Serving up their farm fresh menu as usual, just in a beautifully new and unique setting.


Their restaurant now looks out over this spectacular view!


The Farmer’s Daughter also cater for events and weddings, and Jen’s cakes are STUNNING! Get in touch with them on their Facebook page, where you can also find more details.

There is a great event happening at The Farmer’s Daughter in August, so for all those art and photography lovers take a look.

Art by the fire

The snow has been falling

The Drakensberg mountains have had their full of snow over the past week which means we have been feeling the chill. You can see the snow as you drive from Hilton towards the Midlands. The last few days have been so clear that the views around us have been absolutely spectacular.

Snow Report SA

Image courtesy Snow Report SA Facebook Page

We are avid followers of Snow Report SA and the pictures that people have been submitting have been AWESOME! Check out their Facebook Page.

Here are just a few of our winter warmer tips for those visiting us soon.

Tip 1 : Pack a hot water bottle. This way wherever you are you will have that extra bit of heating.

Tip 2 : Light a fire. Our cottages are stocked daily with free wood so your fireplace can be roaring before sun goes down.

Tip 3 : Pack wool socks. They say if your head and feet are warm then your whole body will be warm.

Our cottages are warm and cosy with loads of blankets and fireplaces.
We hope to see you with us soon.

3 Reasons to visit the KZN Midlands

The KZN Midlands is one of South Africa’s most visited areas. Filled with quirky shops along the Midlands Meander there are so many reasons to visit, but here are 3 reasons we think you should visit the KZN Midlands.

Reason 1: Beauty

KZN Midlands

Set aside the Drakensberg, the KZN Midlands is lush with green rolling hills, high rise acorn trees, and views out towards the mountains. Surrounding our cottages is the indigenous Lemonwood forest, where there are over 200 species of birds. The KZN Midlands is packed with hiking routes, 360 degree views over farmlands and valleys, and in Autumn the colours of the trees is something you don’t want to miss out on. The KZN Midlands is beautiful and entrenched in history, with it’s ancient wells, landmarks and buildings, there is beauty for all to see.

Reason 2: Culture

Mandela Capture Site

The Midlands Meander is one of the biggest pull factors to the KZN Midlands. The Meander is an eclectic establishment of quirky and creative shops, fine dining restaurants and art galleries of all forms. Along the R103 one can also visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site & Museum. Wrought in South African history and culture this route through South Africa’s land tells stories of hope and restoration. The Midlands Meander is made up of local craftsmen all using their talents to make a living. You can buy leather goods, pottery, paintings, linens, wind chimes, and handmade furniture, to name a few. To get more info about the Midlands Meander have a look at their website HERE.

Reason 3: Rest

Lemonwood Cottages

Taking time out to rest is vital in this day and age. Individuals need rest and families need rest. What better way to revitalise your soul then to get out into the countryside. At Lemonwood Cottages we are all about resting and finding peace in the abundant beauty that surrounds us. Lie by the pool all day, or wander through the forest with your binoculars. There are so many ways to find rest in the KZN Midlands, and we like to think that staying at Lemonwood is one way. Our cottages are self catering, and are serviced daily by our friendly staff. The premises are free to be wandered, and pets are more then welcome. To view our cottages and rates have a look HERE or to make a booking email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za. 

These are just 3 reasons to visit the KZN Midlands, but why not come visit and see for yourself the many other reasons to visit our beautiful, cultural, and restful part of the world.

Happy New Year

new year

Happy New Year!!! Don’t you just love the start of the year? The excitement of what adventures are ahead, what this year will hold. We just love this quote above because it is SO true. The best time for new beginnings is now!

How are you doing with setting resolutions? Don’t go and put pressure on yourself to meet every resolutions with this first mont. We all know that idea will just crash and burn. Be realistic about little changes you want to make, or add into your life.

Travel more? Stay at Lemonwood 🙂 EXCITING NEWS: we have a 4th cottage at Lemonwood now, leading right on to the pool. Laze in the sun on your veranda and take a dip in the pool at your leisure.

Spend the afternoon walking through the forest with your binoculars, spotting all the gorgeous birdlife around you.

Lemonwood is a magical place in the KZN Midlands and we are so looking forward to meeting our 2015 guests.

For more info about our cottages and rates visit our website here.

Winter in the Dargle Valley

Snow reports have come out that the snow has started around the Drakensberg and parts of the KZN Midlands, yes and the Dargle Valley.

We absolutely LOVE winter in the Dargle Valley. It is the time we get to light up our fireplaces, drink lots of hot chocolate and cuddle up under blankets with a good book. Winter in the Dargle Valley is just a magical season as the colours fade and the cold sets in. But yes we do agree that precautions are necessary when it comes to the cold so here are a few winter warmer tips for you.

Winter Warmer Tips

  1. Eat warm food: porridge is a great way to start off a cold day. The carbohydrates will keep your body warm as the food digests.
  2. Layer up your clothes: wearing layers of clothes traps the heat in and keeps your body warmer.
  3. Drink herbal/decaffeinated drinks: although it may seem that coffee keeps you warm it is really just the caffeine increasing blood flow to your skin. This warmth decreases quickly so try stick to rooibos, herbal tea or hot chocolate which will keep you warmer for longer.
  4. Exercise: yes I know, this is the last thing we feel like doing in the cold but the flow of blood in our bodies increases our body temperature and keeps us warmer longer.
  5. Use blankets not heaters: if you are trying to save on electricity this winter then rather get out all the thick, cosy blankets to keep you warm at night. A hot water bottle will also do the trick. Or if you have a fireplace like we do, then get that ablaze just before the sun sets to warm up your home.

These are just a few ideas to keep you going through the cold winter months. We hope to see you in the Dargle Valley soon.

Contact booking@lemonwood.co.za to book one of our cosy cottages.

Mid-Week Specials

We are so excited about 2014 that we have decided to run a fantastic mid-week special.

Stay at Lemonwood for 2 nights or more, from Monday – Friday, and get this special rate.

mid week special

Contact us on +27 82 052 6072 or email booking@lemonwood.co.za

Please go ahead and share this post with your social media friends/fans.

We look forward to seeing you at Lemonwood!

Owl Rehabilitation at Lemonwood

Last week we received 2 barn owls from HowickOwl Rehabilitation, and for the next 6 weeks will be going through a rehabilitation program with the little fellows. On the right you will see a picture of one of the owls. This male owl has a damaged foot and is very skittish at the moment however our hope is that through rehabilitation both owls will be able to fend for themselves in the wild and carry on normal lives.

Lemonwood has been home to a few owl rehabilitation programs. On finding injured owls the community, and organisations like FreeMe, have turned to Kate who has taken owls in to her home and is determined  to protect these gorgeously mysterious creatures. Her aim is to create an environment where the owls will start to relax, thereafter she encourages them to source their own food and eventually be able to live in the wild again.

The forest around Lemonwood is full of bird life, exotic looking flowers and lush greenery. It is the heart of all who live in areas like ours to protect the fauna and flora in whatever way we can. We are so hopeful for these owls and know they will make a full recovery!

If you ever find or hear of injured owls in the Midlands area please contact us at Lemonwood and we’ll gladly help where we can.

Lemonwood Supports the Sustainable Living and Indigenous Plant Fair

Lemonwood farm


The Sustainable Living and Indigenous Plant (SLIP) Fair is an annual event in Pietermaritzburg. It is the kind of event that excites us at Lemonwood for its vision and it is something we wholly support as part of our ethos.


This years SLIP Fair will be held at the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens from the 25th to the 28th of April and entry to the Gardens is free. The fair will feature stallholders and speaker that will make for an educational, informative, and entertaining day out. The fair itself supplements the SLIP Open Gardens which started last weekend; the remainder of which will take place this weekend between 9am and 4:30pm. These gardens extend from Ashburton to Hilton and serve to show guests the beauty of indigenous gardens in the hopes that they will follow suit and go indigenous, as this is a primary contributor to the protection of biodiversity.


These Open Gardens will serve as inspiration for the plants on offer at the Fair and the ultimate goal is to encourage sustainability in the KZN Midlands and beyond and stimulate a ‘green economy’. The Fair will present guests with an opportunity to chat to stallholders and local service providers on ideas and information on how to effect a lifestyle change that is more sustainable and environmentally conscious.


For those of you travelling from a little further afield, Lemonwood would be happy to have you; and it would be the perfect setting for the ideology behind the Fair – to be ensconced in the beautiful, indigenous landscape of the Dargle Valley. It is also the ideal time of year for fires, snuggling up, and taking in the spectacular winter views in this special part of the world. Consider it an extension of the fair in some respects 🙂


Images from lemonwood farm

Top Ten Road Trip Tips from Lemonwood


With the holidays approaching, we know that you are looking forward to getting into your car to do some travelling. Road trips are an amazing way to spend some time with your favourite travel companions. There is something about a road trip that gives an unparalleled sense of adventure – whether you know your destination or not.


Whether you plan to go cross country with the family or to the next dorpie with your friends for a change of scenery, here are our top ten dos and don’ts for road trips.




  1. Restrict yourself in terms of time. Road trips often include the inevitable – traffic jams, prolonged stops, the discovery of a special view. Be flexible and allow yourself the freedom to take as long as you need to reach your destination.
  2. Don’t rely on conversation for the WHOLE drive. At this time of year, there are many road trip movies televised that show happy families singing and talking on their journey. This is usually a poor depiction of real life. Take lots of music and/or audio books to fill the quiet spaces and to entertain you while you travel (singalongs optional).
  3. Stick to the highway. Buy yourself a map or check the route on your GPS and see if you can go off the beaten track a little. You will definitely be given the chance to see attractions you otherwise would have missed. In South Africa, going along the back roads is the perfect way to explore what the country has to offer.
  4.  Neglect maintenance of your vehicle. Do all of the necessary checks before you leave to avoid being stuck on the side of the road.
  5. Forget your dog! If you are coming to Lemonwood for your holiday, your furry friends are welcome as part of your family. We would love to have them!



  1. Clean your car out before you leave, so one of your children doesn’t wake up with a till slip stuck to their foreheads.
  2. As hard as it may be at times, try to stick to the speed limit – there is nothing like an encounter with a traffic officer and a speeding fine to put a dampener on your trip.
  3. Pack some padkos. Stopping along the way to quell every craving can be a lengthy and expensive procedure. Pack some energy drinks for the driver and some nibbles for the little ones. Stop for frequent toilet breaks.
  4. Take turns driving. This will reduce the chances of driver fatigue and give everyone a chance to take in the scenery.
  5. Keep the end in sight. Sometimes a long journey can make passengers forget that a holiday lies at the end of the road; a time to relax and recline in your favourite holiday spots. Remembering this can help to avoid the irritation that may come from being confined in such a small place for sometimes extensive periods of time.

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  • Pet Friendly @ Lemonwood Farm…

    Bring your dogs on holiday with you to Lemonwood farm!

    Canine Guest Etiquette
    A guesthouse owner's list of dos and don'ts - by Elaine Hurford

    •When you arrive - PLEASE leave your dog/s in the car. Don't let them out on a stranger's property until the host has given you the go-ahead. The resident dogs might not like it. It's best to meet on neutral territory OUTSIDE the gate where they can sniff and get to know each other, and then bring them into the property together.
    •Close gates behind you at all times! This is absolutely vital both in town (traffic risks) and rural areas (there may be farm animals about).
    •Bring the lead! I can't believe how many people travel with no form of restraint for their dogs. It's plain stupid.
    •If you are asked to keep your dog on a lead outside the room or cottage, kindly adhere to this rule. If your dog chases and harms the resident cats or ducks for example, you will have a very unhappy host. Remember that in rural areas some farmers don't hesitate to shoot strange dogs on their property. Sheep and ostriches present wildly exotic scents to urban dogs, and you do not want to go home with a corpse.
    •Bring your own dog bedding AND a big old sheet to cover sofas, chairs, beds or other comfy and tempting places to sleep. The dog will feel more at home and the host will appreciate the fact that your pooch hasn't left hair or mud on the furniture.
    •Feed your dog out of doors or in the kitchen / bathroom, preferably on a piece of newspaper, and clean up afterwards. Pick up dog poos and dispose away from the premises in a knotted plastic bag.
    •Travel with your grooming tool to brush sand and mud out of doors. Don't let wet dogs into the house - you know very well how smelly a wet dog can be.
    •Bring favourite toys and chews with you. It makes the dog feel more secure and prevents furniture damage.
    •Ask ahead whether there is an enclosed garden or patio where you can safely leave them while you go out to a restaurant or shopping. (Some owners do not make this clear in their Pet Policy.) It's not always possible to take your dog everywhere with you, and you can't leave a large pup indoors to consume the furniture and carpets - even for a minute.
    •Check ahead that the local vet will be in residence - or consult your latest edition of The South African Pet-friendly Directory to find out where the nearest vet is. Many small towns don't have a vet. You don't want to be stuck in an emergency and your host won't want to tend to emergencies at night or after hours.
    •If your dogs are diggers, they are best left at home until you've cured them. One remedy is to bury a ball of chicken wire in the hole and cover it with sand, or bury the dog's own excrement in the hole and cover it. Both are unpleasant finds for the digging dog.
    •If your dogs are barkers (and most dogs will start protecting "their" new territory very quickly), keep them quiet until a respectable hour in the morning, and on weekend afternoons. Even if they don't bark at home, you never know what exciting stimuli might be on the other side of a new fence.
    •Please keep your dogs from jumping at the hosts' small children or grandchildren - and for that matter on the hosts themselves! Your dogs may be very sociable but a lavish display of affection from a strange dog may frighten small children.