In 2011, OvP Associates won a competition to design the new ‘East Gardens’ – a new addition to the existing 17 gardens of the 312-year-old Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West.
The brief for the design was to provide a garden of visual delight with recreational activities for all ages – complementing the new wine tasting building and deli restaurant at the estate. The garden is edged by treed windbreaks and a low werf wall which both frame the view of the nearby mountains. The east-west axis, extending through the buildings and beyond is further strengthened by linear water features and pergola structures.
The garden includes an extensive agapanthus garden over an area of 1,500m2. Some 12,000 agapanthus, with more than 15 species, are planted in bold diagonal bands, showcasing the great variety of different colours, sizes and flowering times. A 700m2 maze is positioned to the side of the agapanthus garden. The maze ‘walls’ have been planted with vines, and the octagonal internal form of the maze is another unique element of the maze, while in keeping with Vergelegen’s symbology.
An adventure playground located to one side of the east gardens incorporates plastered sand bag walls which curl through timber play structures and form the edge of a large colourful rubber surface. An interactive play stream meanders through the play area, and life size sculptured wooden animals (from felled trees on the estate) are placed around the play ground. These playful elements enhance characteristics experienced within the broader estate.