Prof. Braam van Wyk, one of South Africa’s leading botanists will be visiting the Garden
Museum this September to talk on the beauty and ecology of South Africa’s stunning
Highveld Grasslands. After his main talk, Braam with be joined by Professor James Hitchmough of the University of Sheffield.
Braam’s passion for this part of South Africa is legendary and inspirational, and he is a much sought-after speaker both in his native country and internationally. His presentations
are exceptionally interesting from an ecological perspective since he regularly focuses on the adaptations and survival strategies of plants within South Africa’s generally harsh
Braam’s childhood interest in ecology and plants in particular, led him to become a
professor of botany at the University of Pretoria. He has written numerous books and
articles on this unique landscape and is considered the leading authority on Highveld plants in the world. His book“Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Highveld” is viewed by many as the ‘bible’ for identifying flowering plants in that landscape.
When & Where
The Garden Museum was set up in 1977 in order to rescue from demolition the abandoned ancient church of St Mary’s which is the burial place of John Tradescant (c1570 – 1638), the first great gardener and plant-hunter in British history. His magnificent and enigmatic tomb is the centrepiece of a knot garden planted with the flowers which grew in his London garden four centuries ago.
In 2008 the interior was transformed into a centre for exhibitions and events by the construction of contemporary gallery spaces. Three exhibitions each year explore the making of British gardens, and a programme of over 30 talks and interviews celebrates heroes and heroines from the forgotten plant-hunters and gardeners of the past to the designers and writers in fashion today. Visitors will also see a permanent display of paintings, tools, ephemera and historic artefacts: a glimpse into the uniquely British love affair with gardens.