Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 this year on the 18th of July 2018 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation has dedicated the whole of 2018, as a centenary celebration, to this great statesman, making every day a Nelson Mandela Day and encouraging each and every one to alleviate poverty in a pro-active, sustainable and lasting way. It’s in our hands to make a difference.
In light of this auspicious year, Lifestyle Home Garden would like to highlight two plants that have been named after this great icon and encourage you to add a touch of Madiba into your gardens to celebrate him year round…
The Nelson Mandela rose was released a week before Valentine’s Day 2018 to launch the yearlong centenary programme.
The rose, a stately floribunda, is a strong, tall grower like the man it is named after. It reaches about head height and can either stand on its own as a focal point or be planted as a screen in front of a wall or fence.
The semi-double blooms, in a striking orange-vermillion colour, are loose and informal, like the well-known Madiba shirts, and are carried in profusion against the shiny, dark green foliage.
This beautiful rose has to be seen to be appreciated – it will take your breath away. You might even do a little shuffle…
Strelitzia reginae ‘Mandela’s Gold’
In 1994, after 20 years of careful selection and hand pollination, the yellow Strelitzia ‘Kirstenbosch Gold’ was introduced to horticulture and in 1996 SANBI was granted permission to rename it ‘Mandela’s Gold’ in honour of Nelson Mandela.
‘Mandela’s Gold’ is a rare yellow form of the well-known crane flower, an easy- to- grow, clump forming, evergreen perennial. It grows to a height of about 1.5m and the striking, birdlike flowers appear in winter and spring. It prefers a full sun position, preferably against a north- or west- facing wall in areas that are prone to frost. Add lots of compost and bone meal to the soil when planting and fertilise monthly during spring and summer, alternating 2:3:2 with 3:1:5. In summer it should be watered deeply and often, until the plant is established, after which it can survive with very little water.
Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia can be grown as a striking feature plant and will lend a lush, tropical feel to courtyards and poolside gardens. They also do well in large pots and tubs as long as they are fertilised regularly at the beginning of their growing season. Strelitzia Mandela’s Gold’ is also tolerant of wind and coastal conditions – a true stalwart and worthy of its name.
So whilst we all focus on doing good in the name of Nelson Mandela, why not also add a touch of him into our gardens this Nelson Mandela Day – Wednesday 18 July 2018