South Africa’s entry at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London (24 – 28 May) will feature botanical landscapes from two of our biodiversity hotspots which are also World Heritage Sites: the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Northern Cape’s Richtersveld.
Veteran designers, David Davidson and Raymond Hudson, unveiled a scale model of their double-sided diorama to media today at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. One side features a blaze of colourful fynbos flowers against the backdrop of Table Mountain, while the other uses a dramatic Richtersveld landscape to show off unusual plants such as the halfmens (Pachypodium namaquanum) and the bastard quiver tree (Aloe pillansii). These areas are some of the richest reservoirs of plant life on Earth, and the display is sure to knock the socks off visitors at Chelsea, which is hailed as the Olympics of flower shows.
Let’s hope it does the same for the judges. Over the past 35 years, the Kirstenbosch – South Africa exhibit has achieved 30 gold medals, two silver-gilt medals and three silver medals, plus other special awards.
This year’s entry almost didn’t go ahead for want of sponsors, but the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and SA Gold Coin Exchange have stepped in to provide the necessary funding.
“˜Our two major sponsors have enabled us to continue showing the world why they should be visiting South Africa each year,’ said a spokesperson for Dr Tanya Abrahams, CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi).
“˜Chelsea is also the perfect platform to showcase our cut flower industry,’ said Gerrit van Rensberg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Flowers from a BEE sustainable fynbos farming project near Porterville will be included in the display.
• Vote for Table Mountain:
This iconic symbol has made it to the finals of the search for the new seven wonders of nature (new7wonders). Vote for our mountain by SMSing “˜Table’ to 34874 (SMS costs R2), or online at www.votefortablemountain.com.