Skip to content

This art installation is not to be missed when you visit this gorgeous garden

Check out these colourful artworks at Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West

Bookmark article to read later

By House & Garden South Africa | March 19, 2023 | Travel Leisure

One of the Western Cape’s best-loved garden collections, at Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, is being further enhanced with exquisite, highly detailed mosaic art works which reflect the botanical bounty of their surroundings.

Local Somerset West mosaic artist Romé Zurnamer has completed two works inspired by the colourful birds, plants, butterflies and insects that are abundant on the 323-year-old estate. She has now started a third Vergelegen art work, with a fourth mosaic also in the pipeline.

Romé created her first mosaic for Vergelegen in 2020, to complement a long, narrow water trough in the Sundial Garden near Stables Restaurant and the Wine Tasting Centre. This area was being replanted at the time and is abundant with varieties such as lavender, day lilies, galadia, verbascum and pineapple sage.

The intricate, colourful mosaics generated so much interest from visitors that Romé was commissioned next to decorate a drinking fountain, in the East Garden. This area is home to a vast collection of 15 000 blue, lilac, purple and white agapanthus flowers in 21 varietals, whose colours and shapes are reflected in the mosaic panels.

The panels have now been attached and the drinking fountain installed.

Romé is starting work on a larger, more colourful, eight-panelled drinking fountain near the children’s playground. This will reflect cosmos and agapanthus flowers, and birds, in a more colourful palette.

Romé is a self-taught artist with no formal training, but has had a deep fascination with art for many years. She explored a multitude of artistic platforms, ranging from abstract and fine art acrylic and oil paintings, to indoor and outdoor murals, before settling on mosaics.

“The water trough at Vergelegen was my first commission for a garden mosaic. It’s probably the most special project I’ve ever had. It’s been a wonderful opportunity.

Romé works with large sheets of stained glass, imported from Mexico, which she hand-cuts and sets against a background of reconstituted stone. This stone is slightly thicker than the glass, creating a three-dimensional effect. It also wraps around the glass’s sharp edges, making it safer for the playground area.

Romé’s other commissions include painted murals for the Somerset West night shelter, as part of their upliftment programme, and mosaic school crests for Bishops, Somerset House and St. Cyprian’s Prep schools as leavers’ gifts.

Visitors can view the mosaics at their leisure, or book a heritage and garden walking tour.

This includes the gardens, significant trees, the historic homestead and library. Cost R50/person, departing from the Wine Tasting Centre 09h30 daily. Book 021 847 2122.