SA bags 37th gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Posted by Christi Nortier on 21 May 2019

South Africa has won a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the 37th time.

The team from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens was led by Leon Kluge, a South African garden designer who has won three gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

This is the 37th gold medal South Africa has won in its 43 years of participation in the show. Image: SANBI.

This is the 37th gold medal South Africa has won in its 43 years of participating in the show. Image: SANBI

The theme of the display was ‘Mountains of Abundance’. Kluge said on social media that the display was inspired by the diversity of the South African floral kingdom ‘infused with our rich culture’.

He says Table Mountain alone has more plant species than the United Kingdom has in its entirety. He wants to show that South Africa is the home to many of the flowers exported throughout the world.

Kluge also says South Africa’s display shows just a ‘fraction of our South African biodiversity’. The display focuses on the plants of Table Mountain and the Magaliesberg because of the abundance of flowers in the two areas, in particular the various types of proteas.

This year, the display had a sculptural aspect. The mountain range was carved out of slate, and the artists took inspiration from a Ndebele hat to design a water feature which mimics the flow of a river as the water pours from one ‘hat’ to another.

It took 4 days to assemble the display. Image: SANBI.

It took four days to assemble the display. Image: SANBI

The display was in the Great Pavilion, where 80 specialist growers from around the world exhibit, and which is big enough to have 500 London buses parked inside of it.

The show has been held each year by the Royal Horticultural Society since 1804. It has taken place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London since 1912. The show attracts 150,000 visitors from around the globe, and even from Buckingham Palace.

 

Feature Image: SANBI.

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