[MORE ABOUT ELVIRA]

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Elvira grew up in Jestet­ten, a small town in south­ern Ger­many sur­rounded by moun­tains, forests and pas­tures. In spring and sum­mer, she would walk in the fields and forests, pick­ing flow­ers; she says she al­ways knew what grew where in each sea­son. Her mother was an avid gar­dener who cul­ti­vated flow­ers and veg­eta­bles. De­spite the won­der­ful gar­den and en­vi­ron­ment in which she grew up, Elvira feels that gardening in the South African cli­mate is a more re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than in Ger­many.

She ar­rived in Cape Town from Southampton on a Union Cas­tle Saf­ma­rine boat in 1975 and moved to Jo­han­nes­burg soon after­wards. “The sheer va­ri­ety of plants that can be grown makes gardening here ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing. And it’s so dif­fer­ent to Ger­many where you get a break from gardening in win­ter – here it’s a year-round job!”

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