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Exhibitions - Chelsea Flower Show 2007
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Kirstenbosch -South Africa exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007
Mosaic planter - part of the 4 elements range   Mosaic planter - part of the 4 elements range   Mosaic planter - part of the 4 elements range   Bead plant    Bead plant

Nature’s Golden Ratio was the inspiration behind South Africa’s medal winning exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show which took place in London from May 22 to May 26 2007.

The Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit, co-ordinated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and sponsored by First National Bank (FNB), was designed by David Davidson and Raymond Hudson in collaboration with Obbligato, manufacturers of contemporary plant pots and garden furniture.

“The Fibonacci series, familiar to architects and artists as the Golden Ratio, can be found everywhere in nature, from the empty flower head of a Protea, to the seed arrangement of a Sunflower,” said Davidson. “The spiral pattern forms ocean currents; orders the pattern of stampeding deer and guides the upward path of a flying-ant towards the light. It gives a mollusc shell its structure, a peacock's tail its enticing allure and a spider's web its fatal snare.”

The exhibit, entitled Abstracts from Nature, also featured various components symbolising the four natural elements, for which Craig and Angela Bax of Obbligato had handcrafted four mosaic pots to represent earth, wind, fire and water.

Umcebo Trust, a non-profit organisation which assists people with special needs to develop their artistic talents and to generate an income and the Woza Moya income generation project for people affected and infected by HIV, both based in KwaZulu-Natal, also collaborated on the project to create four specimen plants made entirely from beads, to compliment the mosaic pots.

“When you think about these four elements and the fluctuations in these elements your mind quickly turns to some of the environmental issues facing us today,” said Davidson. “One of the most topical is climate change and its affect on the earth’s habitats and resources. We hope the garden is a visual stimulus to people to think about the fragile balance of nature which is threatened by seasonal fluctuations.”

Plants used in the exhibit for Chelsea are all indigenous to South Africa, but because some are annuals, usually flowering in Spring in South Africa, these plants will be sourced from Keintzler, plant growers in Germany. South African plants have long been cultivated abroad and have become a common sight in Europe.

Brett Erasmus, Head of Segment Marketing at sponsor First National Bank, said “This exhibit has done the country proud over many years and has also done a significant amount to promote tourism – the lifeblood to many in our special corner of the planet.”

Portfolio of work completed
 RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007

We were honoured to be involved with and to make products for the Kirstenbosch - South Africa exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It was the most fantastic experience being at Chelsea, meeting all involved, including the many volunteers who get to London on their own steam and whose help makes this exhibition possible. Their efforts are to be commended.

The exhibition stand was in the Great Pavilion - the centre-piece of the show - where more than 100 floral exhibits from all over the world create a wonderful display of flora.

Kirstenbosch -South Africa exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007 - the team
Mosaic planter - part of the 4 elements range

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