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Author Topic: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds  (Read 3168 times)

YT

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2018, 05:21:43 PM »
YT posted photos elsewhere of this beautiful Moraea atropunctata grown from Silverhill Seeds.
It's a nice way to remember Rod and Rachel at this sad time, I think, showing the beauty they brought to others.
Thank you, Maggi. They send me a lot of joy with their seeds many times...
That would be a great idea to share pictures of plants from Silverhill here.
Tatsuo Y
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SJW

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Steve Walters, West Yorkshire

shelagh

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »
Today from the Daily Telegraph. " South African police have identified the body of a British botanist they believe was kidnapped along with her husband by alleged Jihadists.  Rachel, 63 and Rodney Saunders, 74 disappeared in KwaZulu-Natal Province in February on a trip to look for rare seeds.  Mr Saunders's body was found in the Tugela river. Three suspects are due in court on August 24th to face kidnapping and murder charges."


 edit: and in the Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/15/british-botanist-rachel-saunders-body-south-africa
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 11:38:09 AM by Maggi Young »
Shelagh, Bury, Lancs.

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 03:37:16 PM »
I suppose it is some comfort that the bodies of both Rachel and  Rod  Saunders have now been recovered. frightful end to their tale though. Thank goodness for the  legacy of plants and information they have left behind.
It was good to see an article about them in the AGS journal which arrived here today.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 11:42:35 AM »
What a tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds this has turned out to be. Starting with a suspected kidnapping and its chilling  story and then their terrible deaths, with their bodies eventually recovered.

Plant hunting has always been dangerous - and the 21st Century is no different.  Another sad loss, following the deaths of  Jamie Taggart and of Michael Wickenden.  May their memories live on in the plants they brought us.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2018, 12:09:14 PM »
It seems that at least Silverhills Seeds will continue :

RE: Silverhill Seeds Future... I  emailed them in May,  to express my condolences at the tragic loss of Rodney and Rachel, and also to comment that many plantspeople around the world were worried about what was to become of the business. Ondine sent me a reply, thanking me for the thoughts and message. Here is a quote from her:

 "The business is carrying on, it might end up being slightly smaller, but we are carrying on.  The final outcome will only be known once the investigation is finalised, meanwhile we are trading.

I have worked for Rachel for 20 years and am a horticulturist, I will not be able to collect seeds myself as I will need to keep the office going (only ever Rachel and I in the office), but I have help and seed collectors out there who are willing to collect for us."

So, Silverhill continues to function, please do not refrain from sending them your business.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."

Maggi Young

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Memorial event planned for Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2018, 08:27:28 PM »
So many of us were greatly distressed at the tragic murders of Rod and Rachel Saunders of  Silverhills Seed  fame. News of a memorial gathering and  plans to  publish the book they were working on at the time of their  death.

Memorial for Rod and Rachel Saunders.

'If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy'

There will be gathering on 2nd August at 2pm, at the R Saunders Trust Property, Brackenfell, to remember Rod and Rachel. Please join us to share memories and to celebrate the richness of what they brought to and left in the world.

Address: Smallholding, 31/222 Kruis St, Brackenfell. -33.898315,18.713790

Please RSVP to andy.frontierlab@gmail.com by 27th July 2018.

No flowers, by request.

It is planned to publish the book on Gladiolus sp. that Rod and Rachel were working on and donations to this end would be gratefully received. Details will follow.

(You can make a contribution towards the book through Silverhill Seeds by using PayPal or a credit card and Ondine will keep the money separate, but it might be easier for her if you wait until they have an account set up just for that.)


Directions from Cape Town
From the N1:
Take Okavango Rd offramp.
Turn right, over the N1.
Turn Right at T junction into Old Paarl Rd.
Left at 1st traffic lights (Shoprite Warehouse on left), into Kruis St.
Property is approx 3km along Kruis St, on left.
Look for the sign that says R Saunders Trust, Frontier Lab.
From N2.
Take R300 offramp to N1/Paarl.
After approximately 10km, take Van Riebeek Rd offramp.
At base of offramp, turn Left into van Riebeek Rd and then immediately
1st right into La Belle.
At first traffic lights turn right into Bottelary Rd/M23
At 5th traffic lights, turn left into Kruis St.

Property is second entrance on right.

Please call Fiona (0820969239) if you need additional directions/assistance
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 04:48:41 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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In Memoriam: Rod and Rachel Saunders
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2018, 04:56:25 PM »
Grateful thanks to Ernie de Marie  for permission to  post his  memorial  of Rod and Rachel Saunders, published in the Summer 2018  issue of the NARGS  RGC.


 In Memoriam: Rod and Rachel Saunders

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Our community of plant lovers is a relatively close-knit extended family of sorts, and these last several weeks have been a tough time for many of us who knew Rachel and Rod Saunders. Reports first surfaced in February that they might have been kidnapped by ISIS sympathizers in the Drakensberg in South Africa, and, to our horror, we have learned over the following weeks that four criminal terrorists were involved and that Rod and Rachel are no longer with us.

Rod and Rachel are best known as the owners of Silverhill Seeds and provided seeds of innumerable species of southern African plants to plant enthusiasts worldwide. They were passionate about their craft and their collective knowledge of the local flora and its cultivation was immense. I was one of many people that have had the great honor of being hosted by them on a couple of visits to South Africa back in the early 1990s when I worked at the New York Botanical Garden. I remember staying with them as one of the highlights of my life. They were kind, knowledgeable and just really nice company. I learned what a “middelmannetjie” is from them—it’s the dirt part of the driveway between the cement tire tracks they parked their “bakkie” (van) on. It’s a good Afrikaans word that we really don’t have a simple translation for in English. I remember vividly the numerous flowers growing in their middelmannetjie from the leftover seed chaff they would scatter there after cleaning seeds. The ursinias, arctotis and other flower heads of the taller species would bounce up and down as we drove over them when taking the bakkie out for another floral adventure.

We went to the Tulbagh area one time to look for seeds of babianas and other bulbs along the road verges and I drank water from a mountain waterfall, somewhere near Franschoek I think. They told me with confidence that it was safe so I just stuck my mug into the cool fast moving water and drank it, something I would never have done had I not been with such experienced hikers.

I learned from them not to press the button above the bed I slept in because it was a “panic button,” a not uncommon feature in South Africa that brings the neighborhood private security squad barging in the front door as the local police aren’t necessarily reliable nor quick.

I also think I first had honeybush tea at their place; it is the better known rooibos tea’s cousin. It is also made from a fynbos legume, in this case, Cyclopia intermedia rather than Aspalathus linearis, which is the source of rooibos (red bush) tea. I also remember being tasked by them to look for seed of Aloe microstigma when I went off with Ernst Van Jaarsveld to the Klein Karoo. I did manage to bring back a decent quantity of it and no doubt there are plants from that collection growing around the world. I helped clean seeds and learned the value of using different sized screens to separate seed from chaff.

Rod and Rachel were great conversationalists and gracious hosts who ably represented the best of South Africa. They had several long-term employees (along with Rachel's mom) who worked for many years with them and they were also close to their cats, mostly rescues that changed over the years but were always well cared for. I had seen them briefly a few years ago here in New York after a talk they gave to the Manhattan NARGS chapter and I corresponded often with Rachel over the years.

When we got our current house in 2012, I was finally able to create the gardens of my dreams on the 0.63-acre plot. It includes a large South African garden, but there are many South African plants in all of the gardens (there is no lawn, I converted all land and even some patios to gardens). Many of those plants came from Silverhill Seeds. Indoors, when winter is at its harshest, many bulbs and other wonders of the Cape flora sustain my soul under lights; again, many if not most of them coming from Silverhill Seeds. I cannot look inside nor outside our home and not be reminded and grateful for what Rachel and Rod have done over the many years I have known them.

We often have a dream of some sort that we hope will come true one day, and one of my dreams was that I would return one day to South Africa, perhaps after my retirement in a few years. I would meet up with Rod and Rachel, and we could wander the veld in search of treasures again. Or that one day they would come to the U.S. again and stay with us so that I could return the kind hospitality they showed me, and I could show them the fruits of their labors in my extensive gardens. I know I have invited them to do just that if they had a chance one day. Now Rod and Rachel have been taken from us, and these dreams of mine will remain unfulfilled. However, my memories of Rod and Rachel cannot be taken, nor will the wonderful plants I grew from their seeds. I am inspired, as I am sure many others are, to work even harder to preserve their legacy in our gardens and collections in the future.

Ernie DeMarie

Photo of Rod and Rachel courtesy of Dave Lehmiller
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragic tale of Rod and Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2018, 05:11:32 PM »
Update  from  Silverhill Seeds -  Message from Ondine Lewis Schrick, a long time colleague of Rod and Rachel, who  has been left the  business by them.....

Ondine says that....
 " ..... we will keep as many different varieties as we possibly can and as things settle down we can start collecting again.  We will carry on buying in the seeds we used to and start collecting others ourselves.  Anthony Hitchcock will be adding his knowledge and collecting skills to Silverhill, so we will certainly have a good seed selection.

The Gladiolus book being worked on by Rod and Rachel  will be published and donations towards that would be most welcome.

Donations may be made  by Paypal (info@silverhillseeds.co.za) or Credit Card ( email  details to Ondine: info@silverhillseeds.co.za) might be the easiest to our Silverhill Account and we will keep a record of them and as the accounts get sorted out we can separate the donations from the business account, Or if people prefer they can do a SWIFT Transfer to the following bank account, the only problem with this is that bank charges are high on both sides.


Account Name: Personal Trust Nominees

Account Number: 1009 308 599

Bank: Nedbank

Branch: Cape Town

Branch Code: 100 909

Reference: RM Saunders – Book Donation

SWIFT: NEDSZAJJ

 
When money gets paid in I would like Names so we can dedicate a page or 2 (or 3) to the people who donated funds for the book.

Kind Regards
Ondine "

Silverhill Seeds and Books
P O Box 53108
Kenilworth
7745 Cape Town
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 762 4245     Fax: +27 86 591 3472 (Itnl)    Fax: 086 591 3472 (South Africa)



Added  by  M. Young : Paypal certainly seems the the simplest  route to me to make a donation securely by  credit card.

As Ondine  mentions, SWIFT   bank transfers can be  very expensive and to that end I have recommended  Transferwise to her as a  reliable and  less expensive method of sending  money. (https://transferwise.com/  )
We have used this  with success to send money at very little cost to various countries and I would certainly  use it again.  One would use the bank details given by Ondine to make such a transfer via TransferWise.

 



 




« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 05:24:18 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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