Imagine living amid rolling green hills, cascading waterfalls and meandering rivers, completely removed from the noise and rush of inner city life. Now imagine this dream coming to life.
Such a lifestyle is now a reality for many families and retirees who yearn to live in a tranquil and peaceful environment, yet still be privileged with homes that are equipped with modern facilities to meet today’s needs and wants.
Nestled in the heart of the Midlands, Howick, sits St. John’s Village, a premium lifestyle and retirement estate. It brings a rural way of life to each resident, with lush gardens and healthy cattle grazing on the green pastures, known as, The Meadows.
Life on the estate is embraced by vast green fields as the homes lie amid 100 hectares of conservation and agricultural commonages.
The model of the estate is based on a pioneering concept developed in the UK by Prince Charles, known as agri-urbanism, which was first adopted by England’s Poundbury Village.
Agri-urbanism is a fusion of old and new worlds that come together to create a “21st century village” with residential sites and cottages set amid organic agricultural elements and eco-friendly practices.
The estate comprises of two residential aspects, a sectional unit for retirees and freehold homes for couples, families and professionals.
The Arboretum- Residential sites
St. John’s Village houses 80 exclusive freehold residential developments in a section known as, The Arboretum. These homes are privileged with panoramic views of formal gardens overlooking a distant backdrop of forested hills.
The Orchards- Retirement cottages
The Orchards- a name derived from the abundance of stone fruit orchard planted within the area, forms part of the retirement component of St. John’s Village.
Available to 55 year-olds and upwards, it offers a lifestyle defined by natural beauty, relaxation, security and a sense of community.
The residential infrastructure comprises of 120 semi-detached, sectional title retirement cottages. The options available to potential buyers are one, two and three bedroomed units with either single or double garages.
Additional options include solar heating, rainwater harvesting, open or enclosed balconies and carports. Luxury and comfort defines each home, which has been fitted to a high level spec that includes Caesarstone tops in the kitchen and bathroom.
The residents of The Orchards have access to the well-manicured Arboretum gardens, situated on the boundary of the estate. The garden is ideal for taking time out to relax, unwind and get in touch with nature.
Attractions within the estate
The Orchard House Community Centre
Living amid gardens and farmland is just one aspect that makes St. John’s Village supremely unique. The other is its incredible facilities that promotes fun interaction with fellow residents, family and friends.
The Orchard House Community Centre is a central location where people can come together and socialise – it houses a pool area, dining room, restaurant and bar, a boardroom for private functions and a library. Enjoy cocktails by the pool-side, or a delicious dinner at the in-house restaurant – it all comes together at the community centre.
The Arboretum Gardens
An imperative feature of St. John’s Village is its ecological practices that uphold a promise of a “greener” society. Promoting this vision is the Arboretum, which is a botanical garden that houses a collection of trees, partly intended for scientific study.
St. John’s Village’s Arboretum comprises of 500 trees, including over 200 unusual ethno-medicinal trees and a variety of shrubs, herbs and plants all organically grown. In addition, every homeowner who joins the St. John’s family will have a tree planted.
The Arboretum is available for residents from both freestanding homes and sectional title. The great aspect about living in a location with its own botanical garden is the peace of mind that residents receive knowing that they can retreat to their very own green haven whenever they wish to.
The Vineyards- Freehold Garden Sites
2015 saw the establishment of a vineyard in St. John’s, which has added to the abundance of high quality vineyards that the Midlands is recognised for.
Through research, the estate has uncovered the most suitable cultivars for the north-facing slopes of the area that is regularly met with a cool westerly breeze. Suited to the terrain is soft Sauvignon Blanc and peppery Shiraz cultivars.
St. John’s Shopping Village
Situated on the estate is the St. John’s Shopping Village that caters to all its residents’ daily needs by offering a diverse collection of outlets, including boutique shops, restaurants and medical suites.
Local fresh produce such as estate-grown organic vegetables, artisan breads and home-brewed beers can be found throughout the shopping village.
The architecture of St. John’s Village is based on a code that is authentic to the DNA of KwaZulu-Natal known as “verandah” designs, it comprises of facebrick, plaster and stone finishes.
Subscribing to eco-friendly practices, the estate functions and thrives on a sustainable “green” living ethos with the use of solar geysers, rainwater harvesting tanks and organic produce grown on communal garden areas.
The history of St. John’s Village dates back well-over 150 years ago to 1849, when businessman and missionary, James Archbell purchased a vast plot of land which included present day Howick, and neighbouring farms comprising of Stocklands, Oatlands and Woodlands.
In the early days, St. John’s formed part of the rich and fertile, Stocklands and Oatlands farms and initially was used for a dairy herd that supplied milk to residents. Today, its rich history echoes through with the dairy cows seen today that grace the green pastures of St. John’s Village.
The sheer vastness of St. John’s Village reinforces a sense of country living – it is breath-taking, and its impactful steps towards sustainable living are inspiring.
In total, it is surrounded by 170 hectares of farm and 65 hectares of conservation land, with 60 percent of this retained for open pastures, gardens and walking trails.
Its lush greenery and free-flowing land is not its only allure, the estate in addition, is surrounded by four dams, situated in the north and south boundaries.
The dams and farmland support a diverse ecosystem of wildlife including an array of birds, fish and small game, and this allows for activities for residents such as, bird watching and fishing.
Location is one of the most important aspects to consider when moving into a new home. Home searchers have to relate to the location’s culture, community and way of life before they decide to settle in a home.
However, relating to a chosen area is one aspect of consideration, the other is selecting a location that delivers all your requirements and it is here that St. John’s Village stands tall above the rest.
The promise of the estate is to provide its residents with country-style sustainable living, removed from the stress of cosmopolitan living. The developers have understood the need to position it to be ideally secluded from city life, but close enough to key areas.
St John’s Village lies on Karkloof Road, just 20-minutes from Pietermaritzburg, an hour from Durban and 90 minutes from the internationally renowned mountain resorts of Drakensburg.
Every community, no matter its ethos, needs to subscribe to a set a modern necessities to maintain a functioning society. This includes key amenities such as shopping centres, schools, hospitals and restaurants, to name a few.
St John’s Village is conveniently situated to a host of Howick’s amenities, including a range of shops such as, Spar, Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths Food, a library, churches, sports clubs and restaurants.
For expert medical care, the area houses the newly revamped Mediclinic Howick and the new Life Hilton Private.
St. John’s Village has been developed with the concept of community in mind, whereby residents can enjoy the sheer beauty of the nature surrounding them, whilst interacting with each other in a thriving environment that provides serenity, excitement and balance.Features:
Retirement and lifestyle estate
Nestled in the heart of the Midlands
Ideal for taking time out to relax, unwind and get in-touch with nature
Community Centre for socialising
Housing a pool area
Restaurant and bar
Boardroom for Private Functions
In total, it is surrounded by 170 hectares of farm and 65 hectares of conservation land.60 percent of this retained for open pastures, gardens and walking trails.
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