It is the simple wild and diverse natural beauty of South African flora that might win Sanbi-Kirstenbosch the gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, held in London during May.
With its theme Windows on Biodiversity, the circular garden-exhibit with its stunning backdrop of Kirstenbosch and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, beautifully displays our floral wealth.
The exhibit was unveiled at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, yesterday.
Dr Tanya Abrahamse, Sanbi CEO said it was this richness of biodiversity that was one of South Africa’s greatest natural assets.
“On display are plants that represent all ten of South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens in the Free State, Hantam, Harold Porter, Karoo Desert, Kirstenbosch, Kwelera, Lowveld, Kwazulu-Natal, Pretoria and Walter Sisulu.
“South Africa is home to nearly 10% of the world’s plants and contains three regions that have been declared global biodiversity hotspots, so it is fitting that we celebrate this heritage this year at Chelsea,” she said.
“In the 42 years that SANBI-Kirstenbosch has been exhibiting – and winning medals – at the Chelsea Flower Show, the range of flora that has been showcased is a testament to the incredible floral wealth of our country.”
Designed by the award-winning team of David Davidson and Raymond Hudson, the exhibit will provide a glimpse of all nine of South Africa’s biomes to the over 150 000 people who are expected to visit the Chelsea Flower Show.
Davidson and Hudson have been responsible for designing and creating the Kirstenbosch South Africa Exhibit for the Chelsea Flower Show for 22 consecutive years, together with a small core team and an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.
During this time the exhibit has garnered 16 gold medals, as well as the Anthony Huxley Trophy and the Lawrence Medal for the best floral exhibit shown in 2006.
The garden when constructed will be 100 square meters featuring mostly fynbos on the one side and a great selection of aloes, grasses and other Highveld biomes on the other side.