Vergelegen is more than just a wine estate. Steeped in history, it has been recognised as a leading conserver of Cape cultural heritage, and it has upheld this role through everything it does. Including maintaining it's multiple century-old gardens.
The oldest of these gardens was originally used as a kraal for cattle because its walls were high enough to keep lions out. Today as you walk into the octagonal-shaped garden you would be forgiven if you thought you had just stepped back in time, with beautiful cross-sections of flowering plants, lawns and age-old trees.
Fo the time being, they are still not permitted to provide visitors the opportunity to wander around the gardens and heritage areas. But below is a little taste of what you can look forward to explore.
In total there are about 18 gardens to meander through and you should put enough time aside to enjoy them all. This might be difficult to do in one go, so plan ahead, or select a few that you know you might enjoy. Some of these gardens include a rose garden, herb garden, wetland garden, a yellowwood walk, and a white garden, which includes ponds, bulbs, herbs and a lavender walk.
One of the prime features of this immaculate garden is the internationally acclaimed Camellia Garden of Excellence.
The gardens have attracted various celebrities and heads of state, such as Queen Elizabeth II, USA president Bill Clinton and Elton John - and it's not hard to see why. Indeed, the garden has celebrities of its own or should we say celebri'trees'.
There are 5 Camphor trees that line up near the historic Vergelegen Homestead, believed to have been planted in 1700 by Willem Adriaan van der Stel and declared National Monuments in 1942. There is also an English Oak, over 300 years old that is believed to be the oldest living oak tree in Africa and a mulberry tree dating back to 1700 as the only surviving relic of van der Stel's attempt to start a silk industry in the Cape. It's a great thing to stand under these trees and to marvel at their age and glory.
No matter what time of the year you visit Vergelegen, there's always something interesting to see and encourages all ages to explore the secret nooks and corners.
Have you previously visited Vergelegen Estate? Share your photos of the garden using the hashtag #VergelegenGarden
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