Our plants from South Africa are still at sea but getting much closer

By: Steve Ruddy - 23/03/2010

The ship carrying the plants for Kew's South Africa Landscape at the British Museum is getting closer to the UK. All hands are on deck in preparation for their safe arrival. But will the weather be kind?

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The arrival of our plants from South Africa is imminent...Thursday 25 March we are told. Initially we thought the journey would take around three weeks, but our ship has sailed with a fair wind and saved us a few days.

Next up, we need to make sure that the shipping company in South Africa has released the necessary documents to our agent at the port in the UK. Once this is done, we can go down there and collect them. It's all getting pretty tight and my hair is turning a silver colour as we speak!

South Africa landscape plants in transit

Putting plants in a container at the Nursery in South Africa (Photo: Janine Frylinck)

We have lined up some emergency space with a marquee at the UK port, in preparation for the arrival of our container of South African plants. This will help to protect the plants if they are released from the container. This morning for instance, I noted a frost as I was running down the Thames tow path to get to work (I'm training for the London Marathon).

The build phase of Kew's South Africa Landscape at the British Museum starts on 29 March. So all eyes are now on the UK weather. The team at Kew are now geared up to begin shaping the Landscape. Once this work is underway we can start to introduce our new additions from South Africa...

Check back here for more news as it happens – worried of Kew!

- Steve Ruddy -

(Head of Garden Development Unit at Kew)



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About the South Africa Landscape

This spring, Kew and the British Museum are bringing a small corner of South Africa to the heart of London. The South Africa Landscape, sponsored by Barclays, which opens on 29 April 2010 on the Museum’s west lawn, will highlight the rich diversity of plant life from South Africa’s Cape region – an area that is home to all three of the country’s internationally renowned biodiversity hotspots. 2010 has been declared International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations and the Landscape will also coincide with the spotlight on South Africa in the run up to the FIFA World Cup.

4 comments on 'Our plants from South Africa are still at sea but getting much closer'

Nadia says

14/04/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Africa is such a place to be discovered. I guess they call it the Cradle of Humanity for a reason – among more upsetting news from South Africa, a new hominid species was identified, dubbed Australopithecus sediba. A juvenile male and female's remains were found, and classified – this is the kind stuff you would like to donate a payday loans worth or so to science. It helps us better comprehend where we come from, and the elegance of the natural world and the way it works. Regards to the guy who discovered it.

Damian Rafferty says

30/03/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Those big container lorries at the British Museum this morning wouldn't have been carrying your precious cargo would they?


25/03/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Great Work steve. Well done!


25/03/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Great good, well done steve!

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