Grootbos fynbos celebrated in Tourism Month
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve’s Michael Lutzeyer has a way of constantly imagining new concepts to improve the offering of the luxury lodge situated between Stanford and Gansbaai. Michael’s latest idea had all and sundry scrambling for an explanation of the word “florilegium” which translates directly to “the gathering of flowers”. The Grootbos Florilegium opened on 2 September 2022 with a collection of fynbos illustrations as a first of its kind for Africa.
The Grootbos team worked under the direction of Betty’s Bay resident Vicki Thomas and the project took about four years. Also included in the development were Grootbos Foundation Conservation Director, Sean Privett, and resident botanical artist Chris Lochner. Vicki’s work forms part of the Transylvanian and Sydney florilegia and she was involved in forming the Botanical Artists’ Association of South Africa in 1999.
More than 44 South African and international artists contributed to the 124 original art pieces displayed in the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Art Gallery at Grootbos situated close to the newly refurbished Garden Lodge. The fynbos works of art are displayed in exhibition spaces themed according to diversity, pollination, threatened, forest, heritage, and fire. Fresh fynbos was placed in vases created by Kleinmond potter Corinne de Haas while Creation Cap Classique was poured to toast the opening. Stems of the beautiful Erica irregularis dotted the tables and graced the exhibition. Erica irregularis is commonly known as Grootbos Heath and occurs naturally around Grootbos in winter months to paint the landscape with a flush of pink.
The Grootbos Florilegium opened at the start of September which is celebrated as South Africa’s Tourism and Heritage Month. This collection shares the botanical heritage of the Walker Bay Conservancy through art with the rest of the world and gives us another reason to explore our beautiful and interesting surroundings.