SANBI’s KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden was awarded Silver and Bronze awards for their exhibits at the 40th Witness Garden Show. The show was held in Pietermaritzburg from 24 -27 September 2015. The chosen theme for this year’s “Chelsea Flower Show of South Africa” was Symphony of Spring and both the KwaZulu-Natal NBG’s feature garden and sustainable garden exhibits interpreted this theme successfully.
Feature garden exhibit – Bronze Award
The feature garden exhibit displayed a harmonious habitat for biodiversity with bright spring colours to attract birdlife and provide the perfect environment for pollination. A natural pond served to attract a variety of insects and aquatic animals; a cycad section highlighted the significance and value of South Africa’s plant heritage as displayed in the KwaZulu-Natal NBG’s newly developed cycad garden. A picnic spot in this garden provided a family-friendly ambience.
Recorded sounds of nature’s biodiversity complemented the exhibit’s distinct sections conveying the true symphony of spring. The display showed the tranquillity that one experiences when visiting one of SANBI’s havens of biodiversity across the country.
Sustainable Garden Exhibit – Silver Award
This garden exhibit showcased a sustainable way of living in harmony with nature. This was demonstrated through depicting human activities that are not harmful to the environment and biodiversity. It featured a home that uses river water for all household activities including the watering of a permaculture garden.
In the display the permaculture garden used compost from the home’s kraal for growing organic vegetables. Used tyres were re–cycled to create the permaculture garden in which vegetables and flowering plants were grown. These plants in turn attract pollinators including birds and bees. Recorded forest sounds including a water spring accompanied the exhibit. This display was a demonstration to learners and other members of the public of how we can live in harmony with nature’s biodiversity.
Gratitude goes to the KZN National Botanical Garden team for making this exhibit a success each year.