Stonehenge of the Orchids, South Africa

photos by Jim of Cal Orchid, with permission

At Clonehenge we scour the earth for replicas so you don’t have to! Today we bring you an entry from the exotic land (unless you’re from there!) of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, the east coast city of Durban, where the South African Orchid Council held their orchid show in September.

The winning stand in that show, created by the Eastern Province Orchid Society, was (Ta da!) Stonehenge! Scroll down a little at this link for more pictures. We offer our congratulations.

Very early on, we thought of miniature golf courses as likely Stonehenge replica sources, but we can’t believe we didn’t think of flower shows until now. It seems so obvious! The beauty of it is, flower show people have that tendency to be meticulous and to do things right. Hence this rather nice ring with the Spanish moss draped over the lintels.

And who knows–maybe they’ve hit upon something here. Not that orchids were associated with Stonehenge necessarily, but what about plants? Could certain plants have been associated with and planted around certain megalithic sites? Perhaps research has been done, analysing pollen from certain levels of excavations, but we haven’t heard of it. We can imagine medicinal herbs or others regarded as powerful in other ways transplanted there to add to the mystique of the site.

Or maybe not, but these days Stonehenge replicas are often associated with gardens and plantings. The graceful curves and gentle chaos of ephemeral plants are shown off to great advantage against the solid ageless stones, or at least their imitators.

Score: 6½ druids for Stonehenge of the Orchids. It manages to be both humourous and stately! A combination we could all aspire to, especially as the holidays come on.

Note: In the Durban area, evidence of human occupation goes back 100,000 years. Stonehenge, by comparison, would be modern there.


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