Mother City Magic ~Cape Town

Mother City Magic ~Cape Town
Written and edited by Veronica Clark

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Camelias of Vergelegen

Morning from a warm and sunny Cape Town. It is meant to be winter here at the moment, but it feels like summer!! Sadly we have not had  enough rain for a while and I found myself watering some wilting plants this morning!!!

I will be joining Watery Wednesday. Please follow the link to visit other posts from around our wonderful world!

I took myself of to the historic Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West last week on a misty morning to view their collection of Camellias. For a map and detailed directions to the estate click here

There are 17 themed gardens for visitors to enjoy and of course there is the historic homestead, wine tours and tasting and much much more. But I came to see South Africa's newest National Treasure ~ its first International Camellia Garden of Excellence and the second in the southern hemisphere. There are over a thousand camelia bushes in the most exquisite woodland setting.

So, come and have a peek through the gate... these magnificent gentle giants...

The Camphor Trees are the oldest living documented trees on the sub-continent!! Planted around 1700 - 1706 these five remaining giants will still be around for another 150 - 200 years! The other Camphor Trees at Vergelegen are seedlings from these magnificent giants!

Pond reflections....


I adore urns and will always snap a picture....

And here are the beauties I came to see....

It is so difficult to choose a favourite colour or plant...

The collection of Camellias at Vergelegen is the second Garden of Excellence in the southern hemisphere. The other, being in Melbourne's Botanical Garden in Australia. Here at Vergelegen there are about 550 cultivars and over a thousand bushes! Loads of stunning plants.

Love the blooms strewn about the bush...

As it was a weekday morning I was all alone in the garden and was more than happy to have the boardwalk to myself where I could sit and listen to the birds..what bliss!

A view of the river through the bamboo..


It was a rather frosty morning in Somerset West unlike Cape Town, and I needed to warm up with a cuppa and cheesecake before I crossed the river...I was determined to enjoy the outdoors though and sat outside!

Some other beauties adorned the river bank....

Across the swing bridge over the Lourens river is a wonderful woodland walk with some more camellias planted under an expanse of yellow woods which I had all to myself!!

But, first I found a tree cave!!! Have a look. Imagine sitting in there and reading the Faraway Tree to your kids, live prop at hand to enhance the magic tale...

Some beauties from the woodland...

The best time to visit is right now to see the Camellias. They start from April though, the early varieties.

There is so much more to Vergelegen than just wine...

...and of course...

I do hope that you will visit to view  the camellias and enjoy the amazing gardens and history. Of course there is a whole lot more to see as well as a restaurant and you can also enjoy their Camphor forest picnic. booking are essential and via the restaurant. The menu looks great. Have a look here.

That's it folks!

Live well, Live the Mother City Magic



All images are my own with the exception of the table in the woodland. kindly email me should you need any further information at

Your comments makes me happy and I thank you for your visit and taking the time to leave me your thoughts.


  1. Hello Ron. Ek wil jou graag hartlik gelukwens met die pragtige voorstelling van Vergelegen. Ek en my dogter was nou onlangs juis op hierdie terrein. Well done!Mike

  2. So much fun stopping by and visiting with you. It is great seeing beautiful photos of places so far from my little place in the world. Your blog is lovely! I have perused several of your posts and enjoyed each one.

    Kindly, Lorraine

  3. Hello Lorraine. So kind of you to stop by and great to meet you! thank you for your kind comments.

    Dankie Mike. bly julle het dit geniet!


  4. Beautiful. You open a window on your city/area that is changing my mind about where you live. I didn't know much about it, and what I knew was mostly formed by the press. What a treat to visit by way of your blog.

  5. Hi Veronica, thanks for stopping by my world in East Africa. It's great to meet you. My husband and I will be in CT in Sept; after reading your post of this beautiful garden with stunning photos, I think we'll visit Vergelegen. I've added myself as a follower to your blog. Blessings. Jo (Kenya)

  6. Hi there - what a splendid place - I cant imagine how much work it must take to keep the place in order.

    Great set of pictures.

    Stewart M - Australia

  7. Hi Jo. Welcome and please let me know if you need any info of places to visit!

    Pondie, I am so pleased that you are enjouing Cape Town and getting a sense of my life in this gorgeous City.

    Hi Stewart! Yess It take a load to keep the estate going but they do a splendid job and we love visiting it!

    Great to meet you all.


  8. Hi Veronica, thanks for stopping by my world in Alepochori, Greece!!! I like very much your blog!!!!

  9. A great post! I like the the squirrel sign:)

  10. Great post and what a wonderful plac eto visit

  11. Except for the Estate buildings which seem to be in the French Hunting lodge style, it could so easily be anywhere around Melbourne where i am visiting at the moment. If you ever visit Adelaide, the Mount Lofty Botanical gardens are a joy in spring and autumn. In spring with their magnificent collection of Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Lilacs and Philadelphus and in autumn for the colourful leaves.

    Here too we had a dry July but had some good rains last week.

    It is so good to compare to other places in the southern hemisphere where people are not constantly astonished at what season we are in.

    A great and well photographed post.

  12. Hi Arija. that sound right up my alley! Magnolias, rhodos, Azaleas and Lilacs as well as Mock Orange. It must be exquisite. Going to look for a website to take a peek!

    Lol, yes I get loads of mails saying how odd it is that I am in a different season!


  13. Such a marvelous tour stunning.

    Was the cake tasty and of course the wine.

    But so wonderful ,thankyou for sharing.