William Boschoff's Garden Of WordsWhilst at Kirstenbosch over the weekend, I came upon what at first glimpse appeared to be a rather regimental field of white flowers, all lined up in neat rectangular rows.

They seemed a bit like a mini-cemetery to me, like dozens of white crosses in stark contrast with the vivid green well-tended lawn on which they ‘grow’.

Turns out that’s exactly what they are.

Willem Boshoff’s ‘Garden of Words III’ is a ‘memorial garden for threatened plants in anticipation of their extinction’.

Very effective, and incredibly striking.

Garden of Words III is an installation of 15 000 artificial flowers, arranged in 15 “beds” in a 3×5 pattern. The “petals” are made of pieces of cloth imprinted with the Linnaean scientific name of plants that are under threat of extinction. Each one is unique, attached to its stem with a bright red button.


The display is on the big lawn near the bottom of the gardens, very close to the main restaurant. It’ll be there for some time yet, so if you have a chance, go and take a looksee!

Related articles:
‘South African ‘art’ garden pays homage to vanishing flora’ – SAWF.org
‘Flowery script’ – ZA@Play

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