There was a jubilant mood at Africa House at the reception for exhibitors at the Chelsea Flower Show. Both teams won medals at what is widely considered the “floral Olympics”. Underlying the celebration, a serious tone prevailed as the impact of climate change was a strong theme at Chelsea this year. In their exhibits, both teams showcased the unique biodiversity of African flora and how this is being affected by climate change. Durban’s team won silver-gilt for a show themed “Gardening with Climate Change”. Kirstenbosch’s team scooped gold for their exhibit of indigenous South African flora in an exhibit themed “The Heat is On”.
This is the 33rd year has exhibited at Chelsea and this year’s Kirstenbosch gold is the 29th for the country. The Kirstenbosch team also became inaugural winners of the “President’s Most Creative Award”. David Davidson and Ray Hudson’s design was heralded “a living work of art”. r Tanya Abrahamse, CEO of the South National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) said that the organisation was proud of all the participants. B oth exhibits will be going on tour in SA on their return. – Samantha Featherstone