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2020 Darling Wildflower Show & Plant Fair
It is with regret that the committee of the Darling Wild Flower Society must inform the wildflower loving public that due to the Covid19 pandemic no annual wildflower show will take place in Darling in 2020. Please be responsible when visiting local wildflower reserves, social distance and please do not pick any flowers in the reserves or along the road reserves. Please be safe and see you next year.

Visit our Local Wildflower Reserves webpage to find out more about the local wildflower reserves in the area. There are a few noteworthy tips on our Flower Viewing Tips webpage to help you plan your trip.

Established in 1917 the Darling Wildflower Show is the oldest wildflower show in the Southern Hemisphere. Although the Darling Wildflower Society (DWFS) are not able to host a wildflower show this year there is no need for dismay. Darling and the West Coast region, Yzerfontein to Nieuwoudtville has been transformed into a tapestry of vibrant colours.

Click on the button below to visit our gallery for recent photographs taken in the Darling Reserves.

History of the Darling Wildflower Show

The Darling Wildflower Society’s focus is conserving the area’s biodiversity and the annual wildflower show is it’s public face. It is on record that Mrs. (Ds) Albertyn held a flower show in the old C.J.V. Hall in 1905. It also seems that Ds Luckhoff had an exhibit of Chincherinchees in Cape Town during World War 1. Chincherinchees were sold to the public by ladies from Darling in fancy-dress costume. But it was the much-loved Mrs. Suzanne Malan who put the Flower Show on the road to fame and to becoming as well known as it is today. The first show in 1917 was a flower arranging competition where prizes were given in the various classes and garden flowers were also exhibited.

Years of experience taught the ladies how to arrange the most delicate of flowers – not only in individual bowls but to make the whole hall a feast for the eye. The impact of the massed arrangements on the stage always created “oohs” and “ahs” amongst the many visitors. Competition was a cause of concern to Mrs. Malan and she endeavored to get the whole community to work together to stage the show as she felt it should be done. By doing this, the show acquired a totally different atmosphere. The show has progressed from a hall full of bowls of flowers to natural exhibits – vleis and waterfalls – even to full scale landscaping.

The show has been held virtually every year since 1917, with a couple of exceptions during war years, the time when a fierce Berg wind withered the blooms on picking day and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Generations of families have been involved and the landscaped wildflower exhibition that draws thousands of visitors each year is built solely by volunteers who work tirelessly. Although it takes months to prepare, every wildflower in the exhibition is meticulously collected, transported and placed in position two days prior to the show.  

Visit our Gallery page for photographs taken at previous years’ shows.