Friday, 4 April 2014

Planting Madiba Magic

by Khanyi Ndabeni | 04 April, 2014
David Davidson's and Ray Hudson's 'In Harmony with Nature' exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London
this year features a mural of former president Nelson Mandela made from dried protea seeds 
Image by: SHELLEY CHRISTIANS
They've won 17 gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London over the past 21 years, and floral designers David Davidson and Ray Hudson are hoping Madiba Magic will net them yet another one this year.

The duo's display, called In Harmony with Nature, will incorporate a portrait of Nelson Mandela made from dried protea flower seeds, with a quotation by the former president about the environment. The show takes place next month in London and attracts about 157000 garden lovers every year.

"Mandela's popularity overseas is enormous so we thought it would be appropriate for us to pay tribute to him this year," said Davidson.

The former president died at the age of 95 in Johannesburg in December.

The duo, who represent the South African National Biodiversity Institute at Kirstenbosch in the Cape, said their display would feature vegetation from four natural habitat types, integrated with examples of local architecture and other examples of "biomimicry".

"The display shows the creation of sustainable legacies through the transfer of ideas from biology to technology," said Davidson.

The design will feature:
  • A canopy walkway similar to the one at Kirstenbosch constructed to mimic a boomslang;
  • Grassland vegetation, aloes, thorn trees and a birds nest hide representing the Savanna habitat of Limpopo;
  • A contemporary fynbos garden; and
  • A functioning ecosystem in a mountain ravine habitat.

Davidson and Hudson will join 550 other international exhibitors. South Africa has exhibited at the show for 39 years and has won 34 gold medals.

Lihle Dlamini Director: Marketing and Communications
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
PRETORIA NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
2 Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria, Pretoria
P/Bag x 101, Silverton, 0184
Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5286 Fax:+27 (0)86 538 5008
Email:l.dlamini@sanbi.org.za

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