Date(s) - 11/08/2015
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
WCC was privileged to host David Davidson, a superb raconteur. He held an audience of about 120 spellbound. The event was presented in partnership with Hermanus Tourism and Hermanus Botanical Society. The lovely snacks and displays outside the auditorium enhanced the occasion.
The SANBI-Kirstenbosch team received Silver Gilt for its 40th exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, to the delight of designers David Davidson and Ray Hudson and the team. The display included a retrospective tableau of memorable exhibits and a display of “Plants South Africa gave the World”.
David vividly described the events leading up to the show, when it looked as if the stand might not be completed in the allotted time. The new shipping agent in South Africa was inexperienced in the complexities of dealing with CITES regulations and there was an equally inexperienced customs official in London. This meant that the whole consignment of flowers was held up at the airport. With hours to go before the cut off time, only part of the consignment had been released, and then not the feature plants.
Then there unfolded a story of camaraderie. Once it became clear that the whole consignment was not going to get there and after the South African predicament was featured on TV, exhibitors from other countries responded with warmth and generosity, offering whatever they could to fill the gaps.
In the end, a silver-gilt was a major achievement. Next to the sign “Plants SA gave the Wold”, another one said “Plants the World gave SA”.
“We showed the botanical and cultural diversity of a range of geographic locations, botanical gardens and biomes of South Africa,” explained Davidson.
Once again, the important role that botanical gardens play in contributing to the country’s tourism statistics was underscored. As a snapshot to the country’s botanical heritage, it is these gardens coupled with the wide variety of unusual attractions that bring many visitors to the country.