In July, South Africa honours its late iconic humanitarian and peacemaker, President Nelson Mandela. And what better way to remember President Mandela in the garden than with symbolic blooms? We feature peace lily plants, his favourite flowers, as well as uniquely designed roses. Get ready to look at each flower and what they mean, to bring his spirit and vibrant outlook on life, alive.
Showcase stunning blooms for a July garden and beyond
Gardening in the depths of the winter months offers an opportunity to bring in colour as well as symbolism. Trees, plants and flowers have long represented special sentiments over the years. Each plant holds its unique meaning, which we will explore from peace lily plants to the creation of the Mandela Rose. When welcoming these special additions to your garden, be sure to do winter garden preparation. You’ll be on top of your garden maintenance, making way for an ideal space ready to feature special flowers.
Goodwill, gardening and the meaning of Nelson Mandela month
“A garden was one of the few things in prison that one could control. To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction. The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a taste of freedom.” Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom
After 27 long years spent on Robben Island, President Mandela left with a sense of urgency to lead South Africa for the better, out of apartheid. Gardening not only left a lasting impression of hope and freedom on him, but provided a creative outlet — something which many gardeners can attest to. The rewarding act of maintaining and nurturing a garden is something we celebrate every day at Plantland. We align this love of gardening with Nelson Mandela’s birthday and month tributed to his humanitarian legacy. To get involved, think about how you can bring honour to his memory through everyday acts of goodwill in the world and work in the garden.
The symbolism of peace lily plants and Mandela’s favourite flowers
Often called the ‘the hand-holding flower’ for its while sheath looking like hands reaching up. A popular indoor plant since the 1800s, this plant was deeply revered. This plant symbolises peace, prosperity, healing, enlightenment and more. Hailing from the tropics of Venezuela and Colombia, the peace lily does well in the similar climate of South African homes and gardens. We love this choice for its universal meaning and air purifying qualities. Breathing in clean air and goodwill? Yes, please.
Another iconic symbol, Protea cynaroides is a smaller, deep red King Protea. Displaying stunning red-pink flowers on long stems in both winter and spring, this popular flower is also suitable for the home garden. A wonderful feature in any home, office or gift to give to a loved one returning home from travels abroad. It loves the sun and is water-wise, a great addition to any garden.
Not to forget one of Mandela’s favoured plants — aloes. Native to South Africa, these flowers bloom during the chilly months of winter, symbolic of overcoming harsh adversities in frosty, dry regions. We love these plants for their colour and for being a top winter favourite for an indigenous garden.
Among other symbolic blooms, cosmos represent order and harmony. Found en masse in Maropeng’s Cradle of Humankind, you can also enjoy this pleasant bloom at home in white and pink varieties. They will be sure to bloom once frost has passed, a welcome sight in your soon to be spring gardens.
Made for Madiba
Nelson Mandela has many accolades to his name as well as having flowers dedicated to him.
The Nelson Mandela Rose
Conceptualised in 2000 by horticulturalist Keith Kirsten, the Nelson Mandela Rose was presented on the 8th of February in 2018 for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Taking Mandela’s “vibrancy, stature and love”, Kirsten channelled these values into creating a tall, disease-resilient, orange-vermillion prolific floribunda. In good conditions, it grows to more than a metre and thrives in sunny spots. Add this rose to your garden for a burst of colour and special symbolism.
Strelitzia reginae “Mandela’s Gold”
Upon his election as the first democratic president in 1994, the National Botanical Institute of Kirstenbosch in Cape Town presented the Strelitzia reginae — Mandela’s Gold. This compact Strelitzia flowers in summer with a vibrant yellow. Not only an evergreen, but this strelitzia is also water-wise and attracts birds, an ideal choice for South African gardens.
Plant peace, garden goodwill
May your July fill up with kind acts and symbolic blooms like peace lily plants and more. For more information on the best seasonal picks for your garden and indoor plants, contact us.