Thurlow Flora Producing Plants with Pedigree Specialising in Colour Breeding.
Sean is a farmer by profession and concentrates his efforts on growing Sugar Cane, Citrus and commercial Timber plantations. He also runs a small herd of Nguni cattle, which have been bred as Stud since 1977, and is one of the oldest Nguni studs in South Africa. Above all Sean is a nature lover and conservationist with a wide interest in all living creatures and plants. Devoted to propagating only plants native to South Africa he was once referred to as a Philistine for having very limited knowledge of plants not Native to South Africa. Sean has grown Cycad species and Indigenous trees commercially but know concentrates his efforts on a few species namely; - Clivia, Scadoxus, Velthemia and Kniphofia.
The interest in Clivia started at an early age while attending high school at Hilton College. Sean would collect and grow Clivia seed found growing wild in the forest. The real passion for Clivia and the interest in Clivia breeding began when he acquired a plant that was not Orange in colour but Peach. The early breeding results were very slow and with no knowledge of Clivia breeding and no one to turn to for advice success was limited until in 1994 when the first true breeding batch of Peach seedlings flowered. With a taste for the unusual and uncommon Sean’s efforts in breeding Clivia has concentrated on breeding and perpetuating rare colours and colour combinations. He has a practical approach to Clivia breeding, which will be shared, during his presentation at the 2006 clivia conference.
Sean is also passionate about conserving Clivia history and has probably the most complete collection of Wild occurring Clivia mutations, including Yellows, Peachs, Pinks and other rare colour forms. He has started what he calls the Clivia Heritage Collection, which is essentially a collection of Clivia with traceable origins and history. This collection is only in its infancy and hopefully by keeping this collection of Living historical plants some Clivia History will be preserved.
ABOUT THURLOW FLORA
A visit to Thurlow Flora during August, September and October has left many visitors amazed by the diversity and variation to be found in the Clivia miniata collection at the nursery. With the enormous genetic gene pool that makes up the Thurlow Flora collection, variation and diversity are the norm. A passion for perpetuating rare colour variations in Clivia has produced many line bred families of Clivia. A full range of colour, form and size can be found in the collection, from the big “Mamas” to the “Skinny little guys”.
DIVERSITY AT ITS BEST.
Although much effort has been invested into producing Pastel colour lines that breed true from seed, more recent breeding programs have concentrated on many new and exciting colours.
With a passion for Conservation The Heritage Collection makes up an important part of the Clivia Collection at Thurlow Flora.
Thurlow Flora is extremely fortunate to have a devoted staff member Nelisile who is not only passionate about Clivia but has a sharp eye to spot superior plants amongst the first flowering seedlings. Nelisile has a section of the nursery, which she calls “ Second Chance”. Plants selected for sale are sometimes “Rescued” and put into this section for further evaluation on repeat flowering. Some excellent clones have found their way into the breeding plant collection from the “Second Chance” section of the nursery.
Tayla  and Sara are showing an interest in the Clivia and have exhibited in the junior section of the KZN shows with good success.
Their collections are housed separately from that of Thurlow Flora and the plants are taken care of by themselves. The basis of their collections are plants given to them by a good friend Des Andersson on his immigration to Australia. Tayla and Sara are also given the opportunity to select up to 5 plants per year from the Thurlow Flora seedling nursery. Here they need to be fast to secure the good ones.
Simon is also starting to show an interest with comments like “Nice flower hey Dad”
Many good times can be had by parents and children sharing an interest.