FROM an early age, Leon Kluge - the host of Plant Safaris, is broadcast on DStv from March 1 - nurtured a great affinity for plants. His grandfather was the curator of the Betty’s Bay Botanical Garden and his father the curator of the Lowveld Botanical Gardens, while his mother owns and runs a renowned wholesale nursery in Nelspruit.
He went on to study horticulture and landscape design in Israel, after which he was employed by Société Nel Import and Export Company in Mayotte on the Comoros Islands. On his return, he started the award-winning Fever Tree Nursery in Nelspruit.
Kluge has designed and installed gardens ranging in size from immense commercial landscaping to small residential gardens to new landscapes for estates. His projects have been portrayed in countless magazines and published in many international architectural coffee table books.
He is the only landscape designer from Africa to have won the Gardening World Cup held in Nagasaki, Japan. Other awards include Best Designer at the world’s largest garden design event, the Philadelphia Flower Show (USA), and multiple gold awards at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London (UK).
He was the first designer from Africa to win gold at the biggest design show in Asia, the Singapore Garden Festival, and the New Zealand International Flower Show. Kluge has created gardens for Disney, the United Nations, Hollywood celebrities and governments all over the world. He also represents Cape Town and Kirstenbosch at the Chelsea Flower Show annually.
Cape Town-based Kluge has become synonymous with modern contemporary landscaping and garden design. His passion for horticulture takes him all over SA and the world, including Japan, the UK, the Comoros, Israel, Namibia and Mozambique, New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Korea, and Zimbabwe.
* Find out more about Leon Kluge Plant Safaris on page 2 of the February 24 edition of CXPRESS.