Port Elizabethans will have the rare opportunity to view South Africa’s award-winning Chelsea Flower Show exhibition first-hand at the second annual Sherwood Garden Centre Spring Festival that takes place from October 17 to 26.
First National Bank (FNB) and the Sherwood Garden Centre, in association with Die Burger, are bringing this remarkable floral showcase to the shores of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The display, done by Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, won its 29th gold medal and the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s president’s award for the most creative display at the international show in London this year.
It is the second year that Sherwood Garden Centre will host the Chelsea exhibition as part of its spring festival. “In addition to the Chelsea display, people must ready themselves for an unprecedented gardening experience,” says Carmel Wolf of the Sherwood Garden Centre.
According to her, they are extremely proud and very excited to play host again this year. “The exhibition was extremely well received last year and is sure to draw even more attention this time round.”
Brett Erasmus, head of marketing of niche segments at FNB, says Port Elizabeth is the final stop on the display’s home tour. It was also erected in Gauteng, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town and is an exact replica of the Chelsea Flower Show display.
Erasmus says FNB is delighted to be supporting this proudly South African exhibition for the sixth year.
“This exhibition has proved to be an outstanding ambassador for our country. Not only does it show off our floral heritage to the rest of the world, thereby drawing tourists to our shores, but it also educates gardeners at the same time.”
Vicki Rothman, head of publicity of Die Burger in the Eastern Cape, says they are very excited to be the official media partner of the festival. “It is a wonderful opportunity for us and our readers to share in this unique event.”
Dr Tanya Abrahamse, chief executive of the South African National Botanical Institute (Sanbi), says they are “enormously proud” of the award-winning tradition of the exhibition.
She says South Africa offers immense rewards to eco-tourists. According to Abrahamse, the tiny Cape floral kingdom is home to the highest density of plants species in the world.
“The area has more than 9 000 different plants, 70 percent of which are found nowhere else on earth.”
According to Doug Pudney of Frontier Events, who has been tasked with the responsibility of putting the festival together, the Sherwood Garden Centre Spring Festival will offer something for everybody.
Highlights include mini landscaped gardens by local landscapers, a body art demonstration and fashion show by students from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, informative talks by local and national guest speakers, stalls and entertainment for children.
“Entrance and parking are free, so people really have no excuse to miss this wonderful opportunity,” says Pudney.
The festival will be open to the public daily from 8.30am to 5pm. For more information, phone Sherwood Garden Centre on 041 398 4400 or Carmel Wolf on 074 179 5955.
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