A rose by any name

Over 300 fragrant, full-petalled roses and 144m² of fresh soil have transformed one of Vergelegen wine estate’s hidden treasures, a traditional David Austin English rose garden. The estate, situated in Somerset West and 318 years old this year, is considered a national asset and one of the country’s premier tourist attractions. The revamped rose garden lies behind the homestead, in a horticultural area surrounded by high walls built by the original farm owner Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel to keep lions at bay. These centuries-old walls precluded bringing in heavy earth-moving machinery, so digging and removing the old soil was done by hand. Vergelegen horticulturist Richard Arm said he and his team retained the central water feature and classic octagonal shape – the enduring symbol of Vergelegen, but replanted the eight segmented beds. Visit www.vergelegen.co.za for more information on opening times and guided tours.

Pictured is horticulturist Richard Arm, inspecting the newly-planted David Austin English rose garden.