On her company’s farm in the fruit-growing Breede River Valley in the Western Cape, Adene Nieuwoudt’s usually neat dahlia plantations resemble a small jungle. The soft pastel and deep burgundy blooms have become too heavy for the thin stems, and they’ve fallen over.
"We’re not picking flowers any more," she says, because they are not being bought. "We’re leaving them to bloom out and then we’ll pull up all the plants."
Nieuwoudt, the owner of Adene’s Farm Flowers, made international news in March when her flowers adorned an old-age home just before SA went into a five-week hard Covid-19 lockdown.
"Everything was cancelled. We normally supply 100 weddings and events a week, and suddenly it dropped to three, and then to nothing," she says. "We can supply only funerals now, and that’s a drop in the ocean."