We were determined to have a Wildflower show this year after two, Show free years due to the global pandemic. Planning for our Show starts early in the New Year. This time we were still subject to COVID 19 restrictions, so planning was problematic. We had no idea whether folk would be willing to venture out even if this were allowed. And if freedom of movement were restored in time for the Show, whether there would be limits on the numbers allowed to attend.
All this made Show time a very risky prospect for us. We are a small Society staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. With extremely limited financial backing a high cost, low attendance Show would spell financial disaster for us. This time we knew we had to plan for a smaller scaleShow, and this meant a move to a lower cost, lower risk venue. Fortunately, the Darling Museum and Swartland Municipality stepped up and provided us with a venue that satisfied our basic needs.
Unfortunately, one of our major partners, responsible for entertainment and the market pulled out of this year’s Show at an extremely late stage which left us a little light in this area. We learned an important lesson here; that will never happen to us again.So, to those of you who were disappointed in our market area we apologise; we know we must and can do better next year.
Having said this, it is the wildflowers that are and always will be, the Stars of our Show. They are unequivocally our number one priority. And by showcasing our wildflowers at this event we raise funds for the conservation and education projects we run throughout the year. So, if it is markets that are your number one priority, we reluctantly recommend that you pass us up and carry on to the market that best satisfies your needs and desires!
Finally, it is Mother Nature and her seasons together with local weather conditions that determine the scale of the displays that we can build. Our flower picking teams can only pick the flowers that are in bloom two days prior to the Show. So put simply, availability drives the outcome and our flower pickers put in the same effort whether the flowers are prolific or sporadic.
So, big thank you from us for coming to support us this year. We are building back from COVID, and we aim to grow and improve the next Show using the experience we gained this year. And to anyone who was disappointed this time we are sorry. But thank you for coming anyway and thank you for your feedback; we will put it to good use!
Society and community members are invited to attend the Darling Wildflower Show Post Show meeting on 13 October 2022 at 6pm at the Darling Museum where we will discuss the highlights, negatives, lessons learned and suggestions of the 2023 Darling Wildflower Show on 15 to 17 September.
Less than a week to go! The oldest consecutive wildflower show in the Southern Hemisphere begun as wildflower arranging competition in 1917 and has over time evolved into a meticulously landscaped display and specimen table which allow visitors to see the beauty of the region up close. Each of the regions unique habitats namely strandveld, sandveld, renosterveld, granite outcrops and vleiland (season pans) is represented and specimens can be seen up close at a specimen table with labelled specimens.
This year the Darling Wildflower Show will take place from the 16 to 18 September 2022 at the Darling Museum. Tickets are R90 per person (12 years and up), children under 12 years are free and on Friday 16th pensioners pay R60 per person. Online tickets can be purchased from Quicket.
In addition to the landscaped display and specimen table visitors can purchase indigenous and water-wise plants at the Darling Wildflower Show market, explore the Darling Museum, visit the Darling Arts Exhibition at the Marmalade Cat. marvel at the orchids at the Annual Orchid Show at Duckitt Nursery and visit the Darling Brew market place. Not to mention the several wildflower reserves to be explored in and around Darling.
We look forward to welcoming you to Darling this weekend.
The Waylands wildflower reserve was started by Frederick Duckitt in the early 1900’s. Visitors have been allowed access to the reserve during flower season and are encouraged to enjoy the spectacular spring displays on the farm.
Carpets of Arum lilies, Blue Flax and Chinckerechee paint the landscape while small and delicate Froetangs, Dew flowers and Wine Cups can be seen up close while exploring on foot.
The wildflower reserve forms an integral part of Waylands farming activities, and is actively grazed by cattle and sheep from the time the seed has set in late November to the end of April before winter sets in. This allows the animals to actively spread the seed, in addition to occasional autumn burning of the veld every 15 years, is imperative in promoting the growth of the wild flowers.
This fascinating reserve is located on the R315 between Darling and Yzerfontein and has an extensive network of paths to explore, leading visitors into its 22 ha of Swartland Granite Renosterveld and associated seasonal wetlands. The site is home to a spectacular array of different bulb species with a flowering season peaking during August and September.
Tienie Versfeld Nature Reserve forms part of a farm, was donated to the Botanical Society of South Africa by Marthinus Versfeld, known in the Darling area as ‘Oom Tienie’. Marthinus’s sister Muriel was one of the founding members of the Darling Wildflower Society.
All are welcome to join the Darling Wildflower Show & Plant Fair Pre-Show meeting at the Darling Museum. Join us at 6pm on 11 August 2022 to find out how you can be part of one of the oldest wildflower shows in the world!
Back by popular demand, the Darling Wildflower Society will be offering guided wildflower walks during August and September 2022.
These walks offer a great opportunity to see the rare and endemic species such as the Darling Wine Cup, Chincherinchee, Bobbejaantjie, Snotrosie, Lewertjies and Sambreeltjies up close. Easy, informative and family friendly.
Contact us at 022 492 3361 or email@example.com for more information and bookings.
The Darling Wildflower Society is excited to announce that after two years of restrictions the Darling Wildflower Show & Plant Fair will take place on the third weekend of September 2022. Join us for a weekend of art, award-winning food & drink and of course wildflowers.
Date: Friday 16 September 2022 to Sunday 18 September 2022
The Darling Wildflower Society is excited to share our newest project. The Village Garden
The Society will take on the maintenance and management of the public open space and vlei off the Main Road. The vlei itself is home to an array of endemic bulbs, indigenous grasses and sedges.
The project aims to establish an indigenous, water-wise garden with footpaths and rest areas for the entire community and visitors to enjoy as well as restore and maintain the seasonal vleiland as an example of the unique and endangered habitat.
The Society will maintain the garden once established and hopes to create opportunities for the entire community to become involved. Funding has been allocated towards the project by the Swartland Municipality. Thank you to Swartland Municipality for their ongoing support of the Society.
You might have noticed. . . our chairman, Charles Duckitt, and the reserve team kicked off the first phase of the project on 11 Feb. 2022 by removing weeds and litter from the open space. Drop in with a few cold drinks and have a chat with Charles about the project and how to become involved.