Ready, steady ... show

2019-05-21 06:01
Leon Kluge showing how their stand was going to look. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Leon Kluge showing how their stand was going to look. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is proudly representing South Africa’s diverse floral kingdom at the annual Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show, taking place in London from today (21 May) to Saturday 25 May.

SANBI previously said they are aiming for gold, otherwise it would be pointless for them to attend if they don’t bring home another one.

South Africa has won gold in this competition 36 years in a row. The show is in its 44th year.

Speaking a few days before the show, Leon Kluge, the designer behind Kirstenbosch’s 2019 exhibition, entitled Mountains of Abundance, said they have had a good start, even after their flowers arrived a bit late. “We are making up for lost time. We have an amazing team and the Royal Horticultural Society goes out of their way to accommodate us. It’s always a great atmosphere around Chelsea and everybody attending,” he says.

Despite the team doing so well over the years, this doesn’t make it any easier when preparing for the show. “Pressure is always on in creating an exhibit that will surpass the previous one. The pressure back in Africa to achieve another gold is huge and our exhibit has a massive following,” he said.

With all said and done, the team together with the volunteers are ready to take on the show. “The volunteers are getting excited as the displays all around us are evolving like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, it happens quickly and is extraordinary. People are now focussing on finishing on time before judging. So its a bit more serious in the tent although during the tea breaks it’s laughter and chatter,” he said.


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