Cape Floral Kingdom’s Gems

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South Africa is competing in the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show for the 41st year. Its Chelsea exhibit is a replica of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay, which falls within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, “home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet with more than 1,880 different plant species occurring in only 240 square kilometres”.

The Harold Porter is one of the country’s 10 gardens run by the SA National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), with 700 species of indigenous plants and over 100 species of birds. It boasts “mountain slopes with wind-clipped healthlands, deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes with restios, sedges and bulbs, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with specialised salt-adapted plants”.

Oudebosch: Kogelberg Biosphere  

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, just an hour out of Cape Town at the southern tip of Africa, is an area of such natural beauty and floral diversity as to be recognized as perhaps the world’s greatest biodiversity hot-spot that’s home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet, with  77 species that occur nowhere else on earth. To put this in perspective, the whole of the United Kingdom has just 22 endemics.
The next richest is the South American rainforest with just 420 species per 10 000 square kilometres!

For anyone who hasn’t been to the Kogelberg, here is the Cape Floral Kingdom’s model sustainable living environment for all. Why not experience this exceptional bounty for yourself on our Garden Tour set for this October? Travel around the country, led by specialists such as Adam Harrower of Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, who took the top picture.

Below is a miniature of the South African stand at the Chelsea Flower Show taking place in London on May 24-28. Designer David Davidson (far right) says an estimated 160,000 people will visit the show and its 800 exhibits, which can only be visited by 60,000 people a day.

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