The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has a strong bond with the Cape Floral Kingdom, which it considers home, while being located in one of the world’s most biodiverse biomes. The Grootbos Reserve, which has looked after the priceless area for 25 years, is home to more than 800 different types of fynbos. In collaboration with the Grootbos Foundation, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is exploring, inventing, and breaking new ground to preserve and promote the region’s natural treasure.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has led two initiatives focused on botanical art in Africa. The compilation Grootbos Florilegium and the creation of the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Art Gallery. The reserve was motivated to use art as a vehicle to instil a passion for and inspire the further conservation of South Africa’s unique botanical world. The botanical artwork created by 44 local and international artists for the Grootbos Florilegium depicts the uncommon, endangered, and charismatic plants present in the nature reserve.
‘We trust that the Grootbos florilegium will inspire and contribute towards a deeper interest in, and love for, the Cape flora and all its complexities,’ says Sean Privett, Director of Conservation at Grootbos. ‘It is our greatest wish that the art, science and narratives held within these pages will open eyes and hearts to the beauty and value of the landscapes that sustain us all.’
The debut of the first modern gallery specializing in botanical art in the southern hemisphere is the second of the two initiatives. The 120 original pieces of art created by Grootbos Florilegium, which debuted in September 2022, are displayed at the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Art Gallery and show the Cape Floral Kingdom and the insects and other creatures that inhabit it. The structure itself is situated within a milkwood forest and fynbos on a wide nature reserve. Its interior is encircled by a reflection of its surroundings.