Chrysanthemum Show 2023 | Words by Francois Koegelenberg

There is a beautiful place that I am lucky enough to have stayed in for a good 13 years now! It is called Pniël and is in between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch slab bam in the most beautiful wine lands on the globe! Pniël has a long history both happy and sad because the freed slaves of Boschendal were granted 99 plots way back in 1843 when my ancestors decided to give it to them under the supervision of the Church that still have a very positive influence of the local residents. I am proud to say that my family, on my mother’s side, the De Villiers Huguenots’ were involved in this. The name refers to “The face of God” and in the book of Genesis Jacob wrestled with Him. The stunning Simonsberg is the background for the village.

And it was in the residing hall of said Church that I was astonished and fell in love with something that is called Crysanthemum at the annual show on the 6 of May 2023! In Afrikaans we tend to call it “Krisante”. This wondrous flower species is not only the National flower of Japan but also produces the most stunning elegant and brightest flowers that you can imagine.

And as the new King was crowned in London I was watching the winners of the best flowers grown being crowned. A fine gentleman called Mr. Bernard Mentoor outgunned everyone including and should be crowned King of the Krisante! He is a stunning 82 years old. The growers came from Stellenbosch and Oostenberg!

Like all lovers one should always have a favorite and I certainly are in love with the “Spider” a so called “disbutted  cultivars”. I must say that the Anemones also found favor with myself and was as good as the lovely home baked delicatessens which the good people of Pniël are so very much regarded for.

I was explained by the Champion Growers that these flowers are grown for 8 (!) months before the actual blooming takes place in the 9th month! Just like a beautiful baby!

This time, effort and the careful nurturing is well worth the while.

The new podium growers received the coveted Green Jackets as a testimonial to their hard work and then the show was ended when the public could buy the flowers and everything was sold.

So watch out for the next show in the New Year and I promise you that you will be amazed. I know I was! Also keep in mind that there are many fine dining restaurants on the wine farms so why not make a day out of it?

Photo credits: Amour Photo Studio’s


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