South Africa won gold at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London on Tuesday. SA has won gold 36 times in the 43 years it has exhibited at the international flower show.
Designer and gardener Leon Kluge of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden an his team presented a culturally oriented display featuring not only SA’s unique flora, but also the Cape Flats.
It’s GOLD!!!” Leon wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday
Kluge told The Newspaper: “It was an experience compared to none representing South Africa at the world’s most prestigious flower show, the Chelsea Flower Show. Winning an award is an added bonus. My team and I hope that we made South Africa proud and that we convinced many, many people here in Europe to visit our magnificent diverse country.”
The theme of this year’s exhibit, and Kluge’s first design, is Iconic Landscapes and the exhibit takes the viewer on a journey around the sub-continent.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute said it was “great news” and “what better day to receive the award than on International Day for Biological Diversity”.
Chairperson Nana Magomola and CEO Dr Moshibudi Rampedi, both at the show, praised the team for the superb work in presenting South Africa’s unique biodiversity to the world.
“Kirstenbosch has done South Africa proud,” said Magomola. “Thanks to our new designers, Leon Kluge and Chris Randlehoff, and our volunteers who worked hard to make the exhibit a success. Mpendulo Gabayi of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Ricardo Riddles of the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden, thank you for your contribution. Well done, you stand on the shoulders of giants who came before you.”
Kluge took over the reins from multi-award winning designers Davidson and Raymond Hudson, who designed and created the Kirstenbosch-South Africa Chelsea Flower Show exhibit for 24 years.