Universiteit Stellenbosch University
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Stellenbosch Flora Festival

7-15 October 2023 during the US TOYOTA WOORDFEES

Book your R60 daypass at the Woordfees website or cashless payment at the gate​​​​​: 

Daily workshops are booked separately and include a day pass 

The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden (SUBG) is celebrating its centenary year with a week long programme of events: a major botanical art exhibition , daily yoga sessions, tours, a floral art festival, and music in the garden.

What you get for your R60 day pass:​

​​All day

Rare plant vendors daily with twenty vendors over the weekends | Food and wine vendors | Botanical Gin tastings | Botanical Art Exhibition by SA's top botanical artists and illustrators | ​Contemporary Art Exhibition | Strijdom van der Merwe Landscape art installation | The Botanical Garden Gift Shop | Katjiepiering Restaurant serving the best cake and coffee and meals.​

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​Every day tours​ and sessions

09:00 - 10:00 ​​Daily Yoga or Pilates session

10:00 -11:00  Curator's botanical garden tour

12:00 Daily Talk (see programme of speakers below)

12:00 - 14:00 Lunch Time music at the Lily Ponds (picnic baskets available).

14:00 - 15:00   Guided garden tour

​​Botanical art exhibition talks and demonstrations​

Every day 8:30 - 5:30 - Botanical Art Exhibition ​in the SUBG laboratory and office building

Sunday 8th October 12:00 - Art Curator Karen Stewart’s Walk About ​

Sunday 8th October 11:00-13:00 - Sally Sage Botanical Art Demo

Wednesday 11th October 12:00 - Vicki Thomas Botancial Artist’s Walkabout 

Friday  13th October 12:00 - Art Curator’s Walk About 

Daily workshops

​PRICE & booking link
​Saturday 7 October 2023
10:00 - 13:00​
​Bloeme | Floral Artistry by Anja​
​R 350  BOOK NOW
​Sunday 8 October 2023
10:00 - 13:00 
​PLANT PROPAGATION WORKSHOPCherise Viljoen, Master Horticulturist
​R 300​  BOOK NOW
NB Quicket booking link shows as Sunday 7th - it is actually Sunday 8th !
​Monday 9 October 2023
10:00 - 13:00 
​Russ Smal, SUBG Bonsai​
R 350​​  BOOK NOW
​Tuesday 10 October 2023 
10:00 - 13:00​​
​FLOWER CROWN WORKSHOP + GIN TASTING​​Bloeme | Floral Artistry by Anja​
​​R 350  BOOK NOW

​​Tuesday 10 October 2023 
10:00 - 13:00​​
​Cherise Viljoen, Master Horticulturist
​R 300​  BOOK NOW
​Wednesday 11 October 2023​ 10:30 - 13:30
​R 900​  BOOK NOW
​Thursday 12 October 2023
10:00 - 13:00
​Prof Leanne Dreyer
​ ​​R 300 ​  BOOK NOW
​Friday 13 October 2023
10:00 - 13:00
​Russ Smal, SUBG Bonsai​​
​R 350​​  BOOK NOW
​​Saturday 14 October 2023​ 
10:00 - 13:00
​​Martine Robinson
​​R 450​  BOOK NOW
​Saturday 14 October 2023​ 
10:30 - 13:30
​Hermien van der Merwe 
​R 900​  BOOK NOW

​Flower Crown Workshop + Gin Tasting

Enjoy the process of making a fresh flower crown. Anja from Bloeme will demonstrate how to create a flower crown with a variety of flowers and foliage textures, and give you freedom to be creative. Have fun as you play with nature and connect with friends. Take photos with your beautiful end-products afterwards and make lasting memories in this unique workshop setting!

Cost:  R350 will include: day pass to the SU Botanical Garden | A variety of of flowers to choose from | A prepared flower crown base and wiring  | Gin tasting

Time: 10:00- 13:00   Dates:  Saturday 7 October and Tuesday 10 October 2023  Limited to 25 pax per session

​Cyanotype printing (Sun printing) Workshop with prof Leanne Dreyer

In this workshop we will play with cyanotype printing (also known as sun prints), one of the oldest photographic printing methods, that has gained popularity as an interesting art form in recent years.
We will work with sheets of cardboard that has been painted with a mixture of sun-sensitive chemicals. A variety of interesting dried leaves, twirly stems, feathers and other nature-inspired objects will be made available for making your very own prints. You are also welcome to bring own objects along – the only pre-requisites are that they should be dry, relatively thin, and fit onto an A4 sized sheet of paper.)
We will arrange our objects onto the painted sheets in an interesting way, cover them with glass / Perspex covers to hold the objects in place, and then expose our artworks to sunlight. Ultra-violet rays will react with the print during the short exposure time, whereafter we will wash our prints, and witness the most amazing hues of blue emerging on the unmasked background, while portions of our pictures covered by out biological objects will remain white.
During subsequent rounds of printing, we will add salt and diverse other substances to our prints to explore the interesting special effects can be created in this way.
All levels are welcome. This workshop is designed for those with no prior knowledge of using cyanotype.

Cost R300 will include: day pass to the SU Botanical Garden | Source plants for printing, interesting dried leaves, twirly stems, feathers and other nature-inspired objects |   Glass/Perspex covers | All cyanotype chemicals and materials are included  

Time: 10:00- 13:00 Dates:  Thursday 12 October

Propagation Workshop with Master Horticulturist Cherise Viljoen

Join in to learn something new or add to your knowledge of growing indoor and herbaceous plants from leaf & stem cuttings while best practice methods, tricks and tips are being shared. To keep you propagating you’ll take home a small propagation kit of essential items, along with a tray of cuttings you’ve will made yourself to watch them root and grow. Bring any plants from home to have a personal demonstration of how best to propagate that plant. Ages 10 upward. No previous experience required.

Cost R300 will include: day pass to the SU Botanical Garden | Small propagation kit | Plants and cuttings trays | Media and materials

Time: 10:00- 13:00 Dates:  Sunday 7 October and Tuesday 10 October 2023​

The Art of Bonsai with Russ Smal

Intrigued by the ancient art of Bonsai? Join us for an afternoon of live demonstrations on how to design, shape and wire a tree.  Instruction from our Bonsai Specialist, Russ Smal, will include plant and pot selection, basic styling techniques, and aftercare, so you will know how to care for and admire your Bonsai for years to come.  The workshop is suitable for beginners or for people who have some experience growing bonsai.
Our Workshops are held in the Stellenbosch Botanical Garden where you can stroll under the trees, enjoy the market vendors, gift shop, restaurant and have a coffee/drink before the workshop starts - doing something fun and creative!

Cost R350 will include:  Entrance to the Botanical Garden |  2- 3 hour workshop | Use of tools | Guidebook | Introduction to Designing, Shaping & Wiring

Time: 10:00- 13:00 Dates:  Monday 9 October and Friday 13 October 2023​

Plantmateriaal Monodruk met Hermien van der Merwe

By dié werksessie deur die fynbos kunstenaar, Hermien van der Merwe, werk elke deelnemer op ’n tuisgemaakte gelliplaat om mooi, tekstuurryke kunsmonodrukke op papier te maak. Van plante, lap, kant, tou tot tydskrifte en meer word in die drukkersink geplaas om ’n monodruk van die tekstuur op die gelliplaat te maak. Daar word hoofsaaklik op vorm, kleur en komposisie gefokus om die beste produk te skep. Geen vorige ondervinding is nodig nie. Elke deelnemer gaan huis toe met ’n klein versameling pragtige, oorspronklike kunswerke. Alle kunsmateriale en gereedskap is ingesluit by die kaartjieprys.

At this workshop led by fynbos artist, Hermien van der Merwe, each participant will work on a homemade gelli plate to create beautiful, textured art monoprints on paper. Items such as plants, cloth, lace, rope, magazines and much more are placed in the printing ink to create a monoprint of the texture on the gelli plate. The focus is primarily on using shape, colour and composition to create the best product. No previous experience is necessary. Each participant will go home with a small collection of beautiful, original works of art! All art materials and tools are included in the ticket price.

The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden (SUBG) is celebrating their 100th year anniversary.  As part of the centenary celebrations, we will host a weeklong programme of events – from daily yoga sessions, tours, arts and plant workshops and a special botanical art festival.​

​Botanical Art Exhibition

Specialist curator Karen Stewart has sourced an incredible selection of works by South Africa's leading botanical artists and illustrators. Many of the works are beautiful threatened or highly local species from the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden collections. All works will be on sale.

Click here for the ONLINE CATALOGUE​

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​Contemporary Art Exhibition: Fynbos in the Garden

Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden: Old Conservatorium, Main Hall (next to the Katjiepiering restaurant)

Oil Painting and Printmaking

Hermien.jpg​​Hermien van der Merwe 

​Living at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Hermien is embraced by inspiration for her work. She regularly walks along the nearby mountain paths in the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, absorbing her surroundings with all her senses. It’s in this walking, seeing, touching, breathing in… that Hermien observes the interaction between fire, drought, and rain on Cape fynbos. And it’s in her brush strokes, paint drips, and colourful markings that she narrates this story. Working predominantly with oil paint, Hermien hopes to raise awareness for fynbos and preserve it for future generations – preferably as a living, adaptable biome but also immortalized in art.

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Joshua Miles

Joshua spent many years painting with oils on canvas, but his passion has always been with reduction block printmaking. His influences in printmaking started at a young age watching his aunt Elsa Miles, artist and art historian, doing woodcuts and then later studying under Cecil Scotness at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Joshua is a landscape artist and is inspired by the play of light on the landscape which leads him to explore his local areas. He is always hunting for qualities flight that evoke emotion, this is often the softer light that brings out the in-between tones and greys most would miss. He is also inspired by the impressionist’s style of loose mark making and by the Japanese tradition of printmaking both of which are evident in his work.

Exhibitor: Botancial designs & fabric – watercolours 



Annelie Janse van Rensburg​

Annelie’s work draws inspiration from nature, which is evident in the delicate floral designs of her ceramic pieces. 

She uses different hand building techniques to showcase the malleable quality of clay as well as the marks she leaves. Her vessels, plates and platters are never completely covered in white slip as she prefers to celebrate clay as a canvas.

https://www.instagram.com › annelie_ceramics


Saturday 7 October 12:00

Botanical gardens in the modern world, and the role of SUBG


Dr Donovan Kirkwood, Senior Curator: Botanical Garden


Botanical gardens have a long and often Eurocentric history. Why do they exist, where do we come from, and what should we be doing in the context of our modern Cape landscape with one of the most threatened floras on the planet? 

Sunday 8 October 12:00

Medicinal plants

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Prof Knox Makunga, Botany and Zoology



Plants are an integral part of the cultural traditions of different societies throughout the entire globe. Because South Africa is home to a wide variety of species that are unique in their character, many plants from different taxa have thus formed a source of medicines for local people. This tour will provide insights into the medical use of plants (and the science behind them) that are. found in different areas of the SU botanical gardens. A large focus of the tour will be linked to those economic plants that are predominantly found in the greater Cape Floristic Region and the role of cultivation in preserving indigenous medicinal plants of high value will also be discussed. 

Monday 9 October 12:00

Oxalis, a Cape plant group in a hurry….

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Prof Leanne Dreyer, Botany and Zoology


Find out about one of our most beautiful and diverse Cape bulb groups. After 30 years of studying ephemeral, winter-growing Cape Oxalis species Prof Dreyer views them as phenomenal plants with unbelievable resilience. As the largest bulb-forming Cape genus, they occupy diverse microhabitats, which partly explains why a third of the 230 SA species are Red listed as threatened. Prospects of hotter, drier winters in predicted future climates will see this number rise exponentially. But why??

Tuesday 10 October 12:00

Exploring the Symbiotic Dance: Biotic Interactions in Plant Physiology

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Dr Itumeleng Moroenyane, Senior lecturer: Botany and Zoology

We will delve into the intricate realm of biotic interactions within the realm of plant physiology. This presentation will revolve around the fundamental notion that plants, in their biological context, do not exist in isolation; rather, they are engaged in a complex choreography of interactions with various microorganisms that comprise their holobiont. This talk seeks to elucidate the profound implications of these symbiotic relationships on plant physiology, with an emphasis on their role in shaping plant health, development, and ecological resilience.

Wednesday 11 October 12:00                                

Lessons from the Cape Lowlands Beds

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Rupert Koopman, Botanical specialist and conservationist

We all love big national parks and endless vistas but come and learn why we fuss about endangered ecosystems, the importance of seasonality in assessing ecological impacts of development and consider which fynbos might just be hanging on in your neighbourhood.

Thursday 12 October 12:00

Growing plants in sterile culture - micropropagation as a tool for conservation

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Dr Paul Hills, Senior Lecturer:  Institute for Plant and Biotechnology

Micropropagation is a method of producing plants vegetatively using tissue culture techniques, to mass propagate plants in aseptic cultures.  This short talk and tour of the Gardens will discuss micropropagation, its value towards conservation as well as its shortcomings, and provide context through a few examples currently in progress as a collaboration between the Institute for Plant Biotechnology, Department Botany and Zoology and the Stellenbosch University Botanical Gardens.

Friday 13 October 12:00                     

Discovering Scientific Research in Botanical Garden

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Frikkie Becker, Phd Candidate, Botany and Zoology

For most, scientific research is such a far-removed practise that operates in often dark and obscure ways. Join the discussion as we expose the relevance of research on our day-to-day lives and unravel how science ultimately aims to disprove what we believe to be true.

Saturday 14 October 12:00

Climate change and our world

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Prof Guy Midgley,  Director of the Stellenbosch University School for Climate Studies.

Prof. Midgley is one of the world's foremost researchers on the impact of global climate change on our natural environment. Join him to get the latest on the evidence and impact of how human fossil fuel, agriculture CO2 and other emissions, together with habitat loss are changing our world. What will happen and what can we do about it?

The first Stellenbosch Flora Festival + SUBG are celebrating our 101st birthday​

The past few years has seen this garden transformed into a wealth of unique, local conservation stories. Wander through and find threatened plants from the surrounding landscape and all over the world. The legacy includes a Welwitchia that was planted in 1924 as one of the original teaching displays, to new threatened lowland habitat displays, and the living Oxalis collection - the largest and best curated collection in the world. 

Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden (SUBG) - the oldest academic botanical garden in South Africa - celebrates its centenary this year with a week long programme of events during Woordfees. Established in 1922, you will find this unique botanical garden of 1,7 ha in the centre of Stellenbosch on the corner of Neethling Street. The location is part of the fabric of our teaching and conservation work, in the middle of the Cape Floristic Region's globally significant botanical diversity, and the highly threatened lowland ecosystems of the wine-growing regions. 

SUBG is an academic garden - a teaching garden - substantially supported and funded by Stellenbosch University resources and stakeholders, with the enormous potential to support aligned academic work and leverage academic expertise. At its core, SUBG works for conservation, education, and academic support to the University. Since registering as a BGCI Conservation Practitioner Garden in 2018, SUBG has hugely expanded of teaching and restoration collections by 1,500 species. Nearly 300 of these are conservation grade collections of critically threatened plants, a key buffer against outright extinction.

All proceeds from the Stellenbosch Flora Festival support the Stellenbosch University Garden conservation, education and research support work, while celebrating and showcasing the botanical garden and our work. We're looking forward to seeing you here in a couple of weeks!

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