Centuries ago the |xam and San communities were the first to collect and use plants for medicinal and ritual purposes. They depicted the invaluable flora on rock, as it was the only medium they had at their disposal. One of our previous ranges — Desert Diaries — was dedicated to these communities. Only in the 17th century did Western artists and collector-explorers arrive to study and record these plants. South Africa’s plant wealth was captured on paper by a variety of artists, but it was specifically the plant-curious Dutch who accurately captured the beauty of our country’s rich variety of botanicals.
Artists like Hendrik Claudius and Robert Gordon, whose animals and Euphorbias were part of our previous assortment, had to work in harsh conditions in the veld to make detailed studies of a variety of animals and plants.
Further research led us to other botanical collectors, researchers and artists, and eventually to the Herbarium, where we obtained some of our latest visuals.
Herbaria in the country have been collecting and recording plants for the past 150 years. Contributing artists sketched botanicals in detail, from leaves in all their stages of growth to flowers that might have bloomed only a few hours a day. Herewith we continue their legacy and share the artists’ fascination in our latest collection, Field Notes and Veld Finds.
My personal fascination with the interesting geometrical shapes found in plants has been inspired by a family tree of plant lovers and collectors, with my great-grandfather from Graaff Reinet being a horticulturist and my great aunt Mary being the local florist.
My mom, Isabella, is a keen gardener and lover of all plants structural and unusual. She rarely visits me without bringing along slips, plants or seeds that delight.