Flora Cameron, Barrydale resident since 2005, jokes about her first name. ‘My name is Flora, and I’m a botanist’ is her opening line on any of the talks she gives on the subject of indigenous and endangered wild flowers. It always raises a laugh.
Flora has spent the last five years promoting the conservation cause by working for CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers) on a voluntary basis, advising farmers on land that should not be grazed or ploughed because of its plant value, recommending suitable indigenous plants for private gardens, climbing mountains with Hildegard Crous in search of rare orchids, even consulting on the establishment of flower trails at country lodges and estates.
Her work has included identifying wild flowers for Bontebok Park and Sanbona, conducting fun workshops for school children in Bontebok Park and consulting on environmental impact studies.
One of her most time-consuming projects was the establishment of an indigenous wild flower garden at the Drostdy Museum in the grounds of the old Zanddrift Restaurant, now known as ‘Sabine’s’. This project has been one of her most daunting, battling as she has with lack of water and suitable assistance. Flora’s determination to keep the garden going against all odds has demanded immense courage and humility, and it’s hats off to her that visitors to the restaurant and the museum are treated to a wonderful display of the endemic plants of the region.
Flora can be contacted on 028 572 1596 or 082 853 6452.
Written by Leslie Howard | Monday, 27 September 2010