South Africa has done it again! Its stand won Gold at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show in London, UK. This is 36 times in the 43 years that SA has exhibited at the international flower show, that it has been awarded Gold.
All accolades for the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden exhibit go to Leon Kluge, master designer and gardener, and his team for this year’s culturally-oriented display.
The display features not only SA’s unique flora, but also the Cape Flats – the area between the heart of the city and the Winelands where the former apartheid government shunted people in its policy to divide black from white.
Did you know that the Cape Floral Kingdom is one of only six floral kingdoms in the entire world, and also the smallest and by far the richest?
The reason why, is that unlike much of the northern hemisphere that was subjected to a severe ice age that ended about 100 000 years ago which effectively wiped out its entire plant life, South Africa by contrast was not disturbed by such violent glacial forces.
Fynbos – or the Cape Floral Kingdom – is an ancient vegetation type, with many of its plant families developing over the past two to three million years – or even longer in the case of restios (reeds) some of which date back to 60 million years!
The ancient lineage of fynbos, combined with the large number of different landscapes and micro-habitats, help account for its incredible diversity and enormous number of plant species.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) said “what better day to receive the award than on the #InternationalDayforBiologicalDiversity
I caught up with Leon Kluge who, with his incredible team, built the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden display at Chelsea. What an amazing job they have done! #RHSChelsea #TheTravelingGardener #ProudlySouthafrican #LeonKluge
Posted by Tanya Visser on Monday, 21 May 2018
Video courtesy Tanya Visser, Editor of The Gardener