Vergelegen Wine Estate is undoubtedly the horticultural jewel in the Cape Winelands’ crown. It boasts five huge camphor trees that were declared national monuments in 1942, an oak tree said to be the oldest in South Africa, and 18 stunning gardens. The estate’s rose garden was the main talking point on Friday 28 October, when it was unveiled with a brand new design that includes over 80 varieties of rose and a glorious central water feature.
Vergelegen’s rose garden was first planted 30 years ago and has been praised by visitors ever since. Regarding its restoration, the estate’s managing director Don Tooth says, ‘The garden was no longer blooming to its full potential. Nor did it match the investment we made several years ago in new hospitality buildings and gardens.’
Step in landscape architecture company OVP Associates. Having already worked on another of Vergelegen’s gardens, they were the most qualified crew for the job. They chose an octagonal design for the rose garden so as to inhabit the full space available. An octagon is also incorporated into Vergelegen’s logo, so the garden’s design corresponds to its setting and historical context as well.
Then there were the roses. Under the supervision of Vergelegen’s horticulturist Richard Arm, 1 500 new roses were planted. Ludwig Taschner and Marie Favard of Ludwig’s Roses supplied the flowers, which come in shades of red, orange, yellow, purple, pink and white.
To top it off, sculptor Stanislaw Trzebinski created a central water feature depicting the Greek goddess Aphrodite. ‘Aphrodite was born from sea foam and as she emerged onto the seashore, the foam falling off her body sprouted into the first white roses as it landed on the sand. Some of the organic forms of the sculpture hint at the connection with the rose itself, with petal-like shapes growing off Aphrodite’s shoulders, head and thigh,’ he explains.
Stanislaw’s creation can also be viewed at ‘Ortus’, an exhibition of his works currently showing at the Jan Royce Gallery.
Garden tours are available at Vergelegen, so if you’re planning to visit the estate for the food and wine offerings, add a walk through the rose garden to your itinerary.
When Mondays to Sundays from 9 am– 5 pm
Where Vergelegen Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Cost R10 entrance into the estate (R5 for scholars and pensioners), R20 per person for garden tours
Contact +27 21 847 2122, vergelegen.co.za
Photography Vergelegen Wine Estate