"Botanical landscapes" is the theme for the 2011 Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Inspired by two of South Africa's eight World Heritage Sites, this display will mark the 36th year exhibiting at what is known as the "Olympics of Flower Shows".
Earlier this year, the exhibitors announced that South Africa would be unable to attend the flower show due to lack of funding. However, last-minute sponsorship from the provincial government of the Western Cape (PGWC) and the SA Gold Coin Exchange ensured that South Africa’s long run at the event remains unbroken.
Visitors to the show will once again delight in the exotic and innovative South African entry.
Designers David Davidson and Raymond Hudson have focused on the Cape Floral Kingdom of the Western Cape and the arid, mountainous desert of the Northern Cape’s Richtersveld region for this year's display. Each region provides a dramatic setting and some of the richest reservoirs of plant life on Earth.
"Given South Africa’s diverse culture and history and her spectacular natural resources and wildlife, it is not surprising that it is home to eight World Heritage sites. Of these, the two sites chosen are the most divergent... offering a fascinating mix of plantlife and a window on South Africa’s diversity," Davidson said.
The display is managed by Sarah Struys, Kirstenbosch events manager, the designers and a team from SANBI: Lufuno Konanani, horticulturist at the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden in Pietermaritzburg, and Adam Harrower, horticulturist at Kirstenbosch.