Friday, May 19, 2006

Blooming marvelous experience for Gigi ...

Gigi has just left Cape Town to join the SA Team at the Chelsea Flower Show. Here are links to the Royal Horticultural Society, the Chelsea Flower Show and the web cams at Chelsea. See if you can spot Gigi at the South African stand on one of the webcams. If you do, you can download the image and e-mail it to her at She has a notebook with her and will be accessible periodically on Skype as well hopefully. We will see if her hotel room has wireless facilities. Apparently the hotel lounge definitely has wireless so she should be able to make occasional contact in the evenings.

Gigi is also a front page star. Her involvement in the Chelsea event appeared as a full front page spread of the local community newspaper Constantiaberg Bulletin. She received lots of calls from local friends wishing her well on her trip and involvement in the event. Thanks to all of you for your good wishes.

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I'm hoping that she will put some pics and news on her own blog, to which you will find a link in the links list at the top right of this blog page. Her hotel is just around the corner from the British Science and Natural History Museums. Guess where she will spend much of her free time! I clearly remember when my Dad was on study leave in London, doing Pediatrics at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1958, my favourite place for an outing in London at the age of 7 was the More..seeum!

I'd like to wish the SA Team good luck in their quest for another Gold Medal. Over the past 31 years Team South Africa have won 27 gold and 3 silver medals.

Below is a picture of the model this year's SA Chelsea exhibit. See more at Waterwise Exhibit Heads for Chelsea.

This year's design theme focuses on waterwise gardening and regeneration from fire, and fynbos will be the exhibit's main focus, with burned flowerheads being the main features. Many of the burned flowerheads are from the Stanford area of the Western Cape that experienced a huge fire during the latter part of last summer. The enterprising livelihoods projects in the area that usually employ people in the cut flower business,such as Flower Valley, have turned to decorating burned flowerheads to generate income. See also Conservation International's link to Flower Valley.

Here is a burned protea head attached to a restio stalk decorated with wooden beads and copper wire. Very enterprising.

Some links to fynbos fires and fynbos in general.

Learn how proteas, survive fires here.

See here to see Gordon Richardson's pics of fire in Fynbos in and around the Cape Town.

Learn the basics of Fynbos ecology from the Western Cape Schools Network.

Want to become a volunteer fire fighter in Cape Town see here

Learn how to grow proteas here.

1 comment:

Andi Wolfe said...

Hurray for Gigi! I can't think of a better ambassador for South African biodiversity. Can't wait to hear all about it.