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Kirstenbosch South Africa Exhibit
Kirstenbosch South Africa Exhibit
Description
KIRSTENBOSCH STRIKES GOLD AT CHELSEA

Photo 1: Designers David Davidson (left) and Ray Hudson hold the gold medal award presented to the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Photo  2: Members of the delighted South African contingent with the gold medal award presented to the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The Kirstenbosch exhibit has made South Africa proud by striking gold for the 28th time at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in London.
The Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit, which featured 2 500kg of semi-precious stones among the striking plants and flowers, has won 28 golds in 31 attempts at Chelsea which is a phenomenal success rate at an event that is considered the “floral Olympics”.

The exhibit, co-ordinated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute and sponsored by First National Bank, was designed by Raymond Hudson and David Davidson who took their inspiration from the Western Cape’s crippling water-shortage and the summer’s devastating veld fires.

Brett Erasmus, Head of Segment Marketing at FNB, said: “FNB is incredibly proud to see how the development and performance of the South African team continues to flourish. To be associated with this high level of talent is both an honour and inspiration to all South Africans. We are very excited to bring the medal and exhibit back home!”

Thousands of visitors have been attracted to the Kirstenbosch exhibit, including Beatle drummer Ringo Star and Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson who chatted to designer David Davidson and poses for photographs with the thrilled South African contingent.

The exhibit’s water-wise theme struck a chord at Chelsea this year, because the Royal Horticultural Society had banned the use of hosepipes for the first time in response to water-shortages in the United Kingdom.

South Africans will be able to enjoy the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit when it is recreated courtesy of First National Bank at the Garden World Spring Fair in Gauteng (from July 28 to September 3), at the Sunday Tribune Garden & Leisure Show in Pietermaritzburg (from October 6 to October 8) and at the South African Airways Cape Town Flower Show at Lourensford Estate, Somerset West (from October 27 to October 30).

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PEBBLE-LADEN KIRSTENBOSCH EXHIBIT HEADS FOR CHELSEA


A CARGO of thousands of kilogrammes of semi-precious stones, Fire Flowers, Proteas and other Fynbos gems has flown to London as South Africa prepares to scoop a 28th gold medal at the “floral Olympics”.

The semi-precious cargo will be used to construct the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit to compete at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show which takes place from May 23 to May 27.

The exhibit, co-ordinated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute and sponsored by First National Bank, was designed by David Davidson and Ray Hudson. They took their inspiration from the Western Cape’s crippling water-shortage and the summer’s devastating veld fires.

A pergola using decorative screens, produced by the Working for Water campaign to eradicate alien invader plants, forms the framework of the exhibit which is decorated with flowers, plants and 2 500 kg of semi-precious pebbles and rocks including African Jade, Red Jaspers and Rose Quartz.

Decorative elements flown to London also included 300-year-old stone mortars and pestles, 500-year-old grinding stones and sandblasted Mopanie Roots. The pebbles and other hard-landscaping materials were leant to the exhibit by C&M Landscaping Supplies which runs job creation projects with rural woman collecting the semi-precious stones used in garden landscaping.

Floral and plant specimens among the cargo included a variety of Protea, Leucadenderon, Leucospermum, Erica, Strelizia and Restio. The cargo also included 500 “Fire flowers” and a few burnt Protea bushes.

The “fire flowers” come from Steynsbos in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, where fires ravaged 60 000 hectares of veld and left 4 000 people involved in the sustainable harvesting of wild flowers without a livelihood. The burnt flower heads of Proteas were hand-decorated with wire and beads to produce Fynbos’ Creations fire flowers to be sold to generate an income.

Brett Erasmus, Head of Segment Marketing at First National Bank (FNB) said: “The SA Kirstenbosch Exhibit is a celebration of the richness of our floral heritage – a heritage that has an important part to play in attracting tourists to our beautiful country. As we are all aware, tourism has an enormous potential to contribute to the alleviation of unemployment and all the economic and social benefits associated with this. FNB is proud to be the sponsor of this rewarding initiative.”

Suppliers to the exhibit also include Die Overbergse Veldblom, Boschkloof Gardens, Blomvleioord, High Birnam, Honingklip and the Kirstenbosch and Karoo Desert national botanical gardens. While all of the plants in the exhibit are of South African origin, some have been cultivated and supplied by Proven Winners and Keintzler in Germany.

The exhibit’s water-wise theme is appropriate not just to the drought ravaged Western Cape, home to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, but also to Britain where concerns over water-usage have lead the Royal Horticultural Society to ban the use of hosepipes at the show for the first time.

South Africans will be able to enjoy the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit when it is recreated courtesy of First National Bank at the Garden World Spring Fair in Gauteng (from July 28 to September 3), at the Sunday Tribune Garden & Leisure Show in Pietermaritzburg (from October 6 to October 8) and at the South African Airways Cape Town Flower Show at Lourensford Estate, Somerset West (from October 27 to October 30).

 Picture is of horticulturist Phumelele Kwayimani, one of the Team South Africa members.