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Concept to Delivery


January 2016







January 2016 | Volume 2, Issue 1

January 2016



January 2016




Happy New Year to you all and a warm welcome to 2016. The Pro Landscaper Africa team returns with rested minds and invigorated spirits, ready to embrace the year ahead. Our magazine aims to bring you a well-rounded and eclectic summary of what our industry has to offer in 2016. As well as news, in-depth national and international projects, and business tips for you to enjoy, we also bring you the latest products in landscaping. Pro Landscaper Africa is determined to unite industry professionals under one title, to share knowledge and highlight the fantastic work being carried out in southern Africa. There is something for every member of our landscaping community in this magazine, and we would like to thank all our associations for their extended support and all our contributors for their involvement in Pro Landscaper

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Africa. We can’t do it without you and we are proud to set the tone for 2016 with our January edition as we interview former Springbok World Cup winner and founder of Africa Lawns, Chris Rossouw. We also feature exciting and interesting projects from the region, including Vergelegen’s East Gardens, a rain harvesting garden at the University of Pretoria and a community development Smart Park by the parks department of the City of Cape Town. The renowned Marcel Oudejans and Lee Burger return again this year, as well as a new contributor to the Business Tips pages, Stephan Barnard. In this edition we also feature an exclusive look into the restoration process at The Castle of Good Hope in the heart of Cape Town, and bring you upcoming association

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events and news to kick off 2016 in our association news segment. Our latest products this month features a focus on outdoor grills, fires and the latest in outdoor lighting. As always, our Little Interview is a great way to get to know members within the landscaping community and our news pages promise to bring you an up-to-date understanding of the latest developments within our community. We are happy to be back and are preparing for a fantastic year ahead. Your contributions make our magazine a success, so feel free to email me at Chanel.Besson@eljays44.com with any enquiries. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and keep up to date with industry news via our website, www.prolandscaper.co.za. We will attend various trade days and events throughout the year, so keep us updated to ensure we don’t miss anything!


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Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Pro Landscaper’s content is available for licensing overseas. Email jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016


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January 2016 Volume 2 Issue 1 6

News Shed


Association News


Out & About

Industry news from southern Africa ILASA annual conference information and SALI and CGF’s joint end of year function Urban Landscape Solutions on its restoration of The Castle of Good Hope

BUSINESS TIPS 12 New Year’s Resolutions

Lee Burger serves up some handy hints to help your working year ahead


Indigenous Goals For Your Garden


Does Your Online Presence Speak ‘Customer Service’?

Stephan Barnard says it is beneficial to focus on endemic flora when landscaping


Marcel Oudejans says the best policy is to deliver more than your customers expect

INTERVIEW 17 Let’s Hear it From

Springboks World Cup-winning legend Chris Rossouw about life on the farm and running family business Africa Lawns

PORTFOLIOS 20 A Study In Sustainability

Neal Dunstan created a living laboratory in the shape of the Rain Harvesting Garden at University of Pretoria


East Meets West


The Art Of Playing ‘Smart’

OvP associates won the contract to design and construct a feature garden at the historic Vergelegen Estate



Pro Landscaper Africa takes a look at one of Cape Town’s award-winning new spaces – part of the city’s Smart Parks project

PRODUCTS 31 Outdoor Grills 32 Lighting PEOPLE 33 Trading With... K-Rain 34 Little Interview


24 Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016




The indigenous trees which prove irresistible to wildlife

Solar makes a mark in small-scale landscaping Villagers in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe, have welcomed a solar-powered horticulture project which proves that the clean energy can work on smaller landscaping projects. Devices were recently installed in the area in a bid to grow more crops in one of the country’s driest areas. The villagers had been depending on government food handouts but the advent of the solar-powered water pumps has allowed villagers to grow their own food.

The programme is being funded by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission and implemented by charity Practical Action. A solar-powered pump submerged in the Maleme river pumps water into a big tank, which people use to irrigate their crops. The pump is buried in the sand and taps into the water table. Each household has two vegetable beds and two maize beds. Melody Makumbe, of Practical Action, said the scheme would be expanded.


The owner of a Western Cape nursery has outlined the best southern African indigenous trees to use when a client requests species that will help to attract wildlife. Dean Kingham founded the Habitat Mature Tree Nursery in 1991. He outlined which species he thinks are the best to attract birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife, something an ever-increasing number of landscaping customers are requesting as part of their brief. For deciduous specimens, he recommends Erythrina caffra (coast coral tree),

which attracts bulbuls, yellow weavers, sunbirds and orioles. Combretum erythrophyllum (river bushwillow), he adds, attracts other birds such as southern black tits, which tap the fruit, and pied barbets, which eat the seeds. For evergreens, he said, Nuxia floribunda (forest elder) proves irresistible to bees and insects, while Vepris lanceolata (white ironwood) is nectar to citrus swallowtail butterflies. Based on an article in Conde Nast’s House and Garden. www.condenast international.com

Bookings now open for Agri 2016 international show The 5th International Conference on Agriculture & Horticulture (Agri 2016) will take place in Cape Town on June 27 to 29, it has been announced. With 14 topics being covered over 92 sessions, organisers of


Agri 2016, which will be hosted by DoubleTree By Hilton Cape Town Hotel, claim the event will offer a comprehensive programme that addresses “current issues in the industries”. Topics will be covered via presentations, symposia,

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

workshops and exhibitions. The horticulture section of the event will cover seed physiology, and landscape plantation and management, among many other topics. The event will also exhibit products and services from commercial and non-

commercial organisations. Bookings are open for exhibitors and attendees. Abstracts for the programme can still be submitted on the Agri 2016 website below. www.agriculture-horticulture. conferenceseries.com



US university is helping to kick-start Africa’s next generation of plant breeders Attempts to kick-start a new generation of plant breeding in Africa have been boosted by a US university. A new, three-year R11 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow Iowa State University (ISU) to produce professional development materials for three African universities to teach plant breeding to Master’s students. Michael Retallick, pictured right, an associate professor of agricultural education and studies at ISU, said the project would produce development tools for the faculties to shift teaching to incorporate real-world problem solving and handson learning. ISU personnel will travel to the African universities for week-long visits, to

observe classes and conduct workshops. ISU will also host two symposia a year in Africa. By the end of the grant period, Retallick said the project would have produced a set of best teaching practices and professional development tools for African faculties to teach plant breeding more effectively. The overall project, entitled ‘Plant Breeding E-Learning in Africa’, began in 2013 as an effort to design and develop online and electronic educational materials for students seeking Master’s degrees in plant breeding. The e-learning materials are being designed for use at the University of KwaZuluNatal in South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, and Makerere University in Uganda. Walter Suza, assistant


to protect plants from drying out too quickly. She also recommends minimising the planting of roses, flowering annuals and bedding plants, which require a lot of water; reducing lawned areas; choosing hardy indigenous or exotic shrubs and installing a water tank. The recent water restrictions in many regions and the alarming projections for water availability in South Africa are wake-up calls to landscapers

Grand Designs returns

Home and garden show Grand Designs Live will return to the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg from May 20 to 22, with more than 300 exhibitors. The Grand Gardens section will focus on all aspects regarding landscaping. www.granddesignslive.co.za

Standing together

professor of agronomy, said: “Right now we’re seeing a lack of trained plant breeders to bring about the changes we’d like to see in crops of importance to Africa.” Suza, who grew up in Tanzania and worked in Angola and Zimbabwe, said ISU was tailoring content to match plant breeding challenges specific to Africa. www.news.iastate.edu

Tips to make your landscapes water-wise Horticulture expert Esther Townsend has provided tips on planting for a waterwise landscape. To offset drought conditions, she advises adding organic compost to enhance the condition of the soil by binding together particles which hold water and nutrients in place, also giving plant roots something to anchor on to. She added that mulching also helps to retain moisture


The South African Nursery Association (SANA) and South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have announced a joint convention for 2016. The event will be held at the Protea Hotel Stellenbosch from June 7 to 9. www.sana.co.za www.sagic.co.za

Ethiopia hails growth

The Ethiopian flower industry is flourishing with the help of government incentives. The nation is now the secondlargest flower exporter in Africa, behind Kenya. In Ethiopia, flower growers get a five-year tax holiday, duty free imports, access to bank loans and land, and 100% exemption from export customs duties. www.worldbulletin.net

Submit your news stories to Pro Landscaper Africa

across the country, she said. She added: “Water availability will change in the near future, and we will all have to change with it.” www.gardeningatleisure.co.za

If you would like to submit any stories regarding African landscaping projects, floating tenders, contract awards and new trends in green design and build, please email them to chanel.besson@eljays44.com or tweet to @prolandscaperCB

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016





The Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA) will host its annual conference on September 29 and 30 at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria. The conference theme will be the “reinterpretation of landscape significance in the spheres of ecosystem benefits, social meaning, global changes, and regeneration”. The event will ponder how perceptions of landscape architecture

The Cape Green Forum (CGF) and SALI (South African Landscape Institute) held their fourth joint end of year function last month at Joostenberg Bistro in Stellenbosch. The festive evening started in the gardens with beer and wine-tasting. Stellenbosch Brewery has recently moved to Joostenberg, where it brews craft beers under the Stellies label. The wines also came from Joostenberg and


are changing in Africa and beyond, and how these perceptions manifest in the projects carried out in South Africa and other countries. The reinterpretation of landscape in theory and practice will be considered through four sub-themes: • Landscape as provider • Landscape as cultural system • Landscape as transformer • Landscape as life support

Abstracts can be submitted until 1 February online at www.ilasa.co.za, where you can also access more information about the event. The conference is being organised by ILASA’s Gauteng Committee, consisting of Ida Breed (president designate), Eamonn O’Rourke (chairman), alongside Gina Switala, Mitha Theron, Kara-Lee Prinsloo, Wessel Oosthuizen and Ralene van der Walt. The National Executive Committee for 2016, which will also oversee the conference, consists of Antoinette de Beer (acting president), Ida Breed, Eamonn O’Rourke, Cobus Scheepers, Nadia Funke, Mitha Theron and Donovan Gillman. www.ilasa.co.za

ILASA said the conference would “seek demonstrative design projects and proposals that exhibit positive interventions to re-evaluate and re-interpret landscape in original and

imaginative ways”. The association added that the conference would look at the way different roles within the landscape architecture industry can work together to assess, design, plan and interact with the landscape. The conference aims to attract landscape practitioners from within the landscape architectural profession and the broader built environment professions, while also hoping to include people from the natural and social sciences disciplines. A confirmed keynote speaker will be Mario Schjetnan, of Mexico-headquartered interdisciplinary design group Grupo de Diseño Urbano. There will be two types of moderated and respondent sessions: paper and case study.

the brewer, wine-makers and chef were on hand to answer questions. Guests mingled as a trio of Somerset College music students played jazz. Each table was set with red begonias wrapped in hessian in the centre and Nandinas at each setting with the compliments of Nonke Plants. Grow-Rite also supplied a gift on each table. The 80 guests were welcomed by Di Irish, of the Cape Green Forum, and Norah de Wet, SALI chairperson, who announced that Reliance had won the presitgious SALI

• Grow-Rite Supplier Of The Year award. • GvH Landscapes The three-course Greece• Hotel Verdé inspired Mediterranean meal • Nonke Plants was interspersed with lucky • Paarman Landscapes draws, with winners scooping • Peninsula Landscaping convection ovens, weekends • Reliance Compost away, meal vouchers and packs • Stellenbosch Brewery of wine, to name a few. The Cape end of year function • Vula Environmental Services www.sali.co.za is a relaxed event that allows www.capegreenforum.co.za members from all spheres of the industry to mingle and celebrate the passing of another year. Both associations would like to thank the event’s sponsors: • BioCape Wines The joint CGF/SALI end of year function at Joostenberg Bistro

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016


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RESTORING THE CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE Urban Landscape Solutions is more than halfway through a 21-month project to restore The Castle of Good Hope’s green areas to their former glory in time for this year’s inaugural Cape Town Flower Show


he Castle of Good Hope was built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679, making it the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa. The heritage site underwent restoration in the 1980s, but Urban Landscape Solutions (ULS) is more than halfway through a 21-month contract to replace soil and lawns throughout the castle grounds, including the banks of its moat. ULS started on the project in early 2015 by spraying all lawn areas with a broad spectrum herbicide to kill weeds and any Cynodon grasses. After a couple of weeks, when the herbicide had taken effect, ULS removed a 300mm layer of soil from all grassed areas, which are mostly positioned on the castle’s bastions and parapet walls.


It has been a labour-intensive project and, to date, Urban Landscape Solutions has removed and replenished 2,600m³ of topsoil from the site, using mechanical lifts and shoots. The soil in these areas is being replenished with compost. In one area of the castle, the Buuren bastion, additional soil had to be removed to a depth of 700mm to allow building contractors access to the castle roof beneath so they could fix leaks. New Horizen Farm Nursery, a sister company of ULS, is currently growing Buffalo sprigs, which will be planted from March. Alien vegetation and weeds are being removed from the castle’s outside walls and, since the start 10

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa

of 2016, ULS has also been removing grass from around the moat and replanting all castle embankments with Buffalo sods. After all the sprigs and sods have been planted, maintenance will consist of making sure the lawn areas are well watered and kept weed-free until sufficient grass coverage has been achieved. The gardens are currently irrigated using turf valves and manual watering. However, most of the castle’s irrigation system is not functioning and many sprinklers are missing. To make the system function more efficiently and keep the lawn in a better condition, ULS is investigating the possibility of installing an automatic irrigation system that would use water from the moat. The project needs to be completed by September, when the castle will host the inaugural Cape Town Flower Show. Wikus Jordaan, ULS contracts manager, said: “We are excited to be part of the renovations of such a historical icon.”

Removing topsoil has been a labour-intensive project



Alien vegetation and weeds were removed from the castle’s outside walls

A lift helped with operations

To start, all lawns were sprayed with a broad spectrum herbicide

Moat banks had to be worked on

Embankments will be transplanted with Buffalo sods


There are wonderful views of Cape Town from the castle walls


Under the guidance of Eric Cherry, a highly qualified horticulturist with 30 years’ experience, Urban Landscape Solutions has succeeded on a range of prestigious challenges, including the fast-tracking of enormous projects such as the Green Point Urban Park and the One&Only hotel and resort on Cape Town waterfront. www.urbanlandscape.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 11


Principal of Irene School of Garden Design Lee Burger dishes out some handy hints to make your year ahead a little easier It is the time of year when everyone is rested and ready for the new year ahead but, for the landscape designer and installer, it is often a time to critically plan the company calendar as landscapers’ work differs to businesses that rely less on the seasons. I am probably the last person to hand out financial advice. Instead, I have decided to write about some other prep work that could make your year ahead just a little easier.

Staff A workforce is often a headache but such a necessity. It is important to invest in various ‘types’ of staff. I have often seen people in positions that truly make them unhappy and, at the other end of the scale, seen people busy on tasks they probably shouldn't be doing. In my opinion, having a wide spectrum of staff in various income brackets is a good thing for a company. Let everyone find their place and find their own ‘happy’. Reward people with things that are beneficial to the company as well

as themselves, such as education, courses, or an unexpected day off. Their mental and physical health is your greatest investment.

Communication Again, I am preaching a bit to myself. I often try to be like an English butler – discreet, unseen, but the job is always done and done well. However, this approach often leads to me overloading myself. Communication is key, and being able to communicate how, why and when things need to be done will be a particular focus of mine for 2016. Aftercare communication is also something we should all do better, and simply checking in on a client a year later on their birthday makes a lot of sense. After all, clients are the best form of advertising.

Criticism All too often we just pile the angry letters on the bottom shelf or shred them all in December, but I have always learnt a great deal

about people and my business by listening to, and addressing, criticism. After all, this is how Irene School of Garden Design’s landscaping course came to be one of the best courses in the industry. I ditched the old-fashioned paper questionnaire and now schedule a proper sit down, asking people to prepare beforehand on what works, what doesn’t, and what could be different. It is important to note that it is not a performance appraisal – that, in my mind, is always a pretend-to-listen exercise – it is an open, honest discussion, with a willingness to change something that doesn’t work.

Self Perhaps you could schedule time to boost your knowledge. I like to read, attend seminars and visit gardens whenever possible. One of my students gave me some of the best advice I've received as I was starting out almost 10 years ago. I was overworked and getting ill, but refused to take time off because “who else would do it”? He advised me to always remember: “You are your company’s most valuable asset.” ABOUT LEE BURGER Lee Burger is principal and senior lecturer at the Irene School of Garden Design. He is an assessor for leading educational institutions and universities in South Africa and is a prominent consultant on a variety of projects, especially in design and architecture. Lee has written numerous books and articles and his company, ISGD, is responsible for an array of projects. He is a founding member of the Independent Gardener’s Forum for South Africa. www.gardendesignschool.co.za


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016


Be sure to visit the


GrandWest Sun Exhibits on Wednesday 24 February 2016, 09h00 - 15h00 Our exciting new venue, Sun Exhibits at GrandWest, is central and offers loads of space. Exhibitors will create beautiful displays to promote the many varied products used in the horticultural industry. The Cape Green Trade Day offers exhibitors the opportunity to speak directly to their clients and gain exposure to new potential clients during the day. It also allows visitors to view a wide range of products used in the industry in a short space of time. If you’re involved in the horticultural industry in the Cape, make sure to visit! TRADE ONLY / ENTRANCE & PARKING FREE

For more information email info@capegreenforum.co.za or call 082 376 0377 www.capegreenforum.co.za

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INDIGENOUS GOALS FOR YOUR GARDENS Stephan Barnard says that it is ecologically beneficial, when involved in a landscaping project, to focus on flora that is endemic and unique to your area The term ‘ecological’ has become a generalised term encompassing a wide range of supposedly sustainable actions, mostly used in marketing campaigns to attract investors or clients. The rise of eco-estates in southern Africa is probably the biggest culprit. Eco-estates are hailed as a chance for residents to enjoy back-to-nature living, with careful integration of infrastructure with the natural environment. But what does the term ecological even mean? According to the dictionary, ecology “includes the study of interactions organisms have with each other, other organisms, and with abiotic components of their environment”. If you followed that to the letter, you would have to study these relationships and have a concrete plan of how they would be maintained or enhanced before you could proceed with your landscaping plan. So ask yourself – what will be the main goal of your ecological garden/landscape?

• Will it be to increase or maintain a viable

population of a specific species in the area – be it fauna or flora? • Will it serve a network or corridor purpose by connecting nearby critical population islands? • Will it merely be preserved as an aesthetic function of the landscape? • Does the ecological integrity serve an important function, such as mitigating the effects of flooding or other natural disasters? How can I actually make a difference? In large developments as well as smaller, residential-scale projects, it is important to ensure you have a good understanding of the existing ecological state of the surrounding environment. It might be a perfectly functioning ecosystem within a pristine environment – in which case the main goal is to mitigate effects the development would have on this ecosystem. 14

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

If, however, the site is already in a degraded state, the goal is to increase the functioning of the ecosystem or introduce measures to create a sustainable ecosystem. It might not always be possible to rehabilitate the original ecosystem. Instead, a newly evolved ecosystem may form. When ecosystems are altered the outcome may not always be favourable, even if the ecosystem seems to be functioning well. It might lead to the arrival of new species, which can cause localised extinction of competition-vulnerable species.

ASK YOURSELF – WHAT WILL BE THE MAIN GOAL OF YOUR ECOLOGICAL GARDEN/LANDSCAPE? It is important to know what the purpose of the ecosystem will be. The simplest form of creating a workable and sustainable ecosystem is to pull in components from surrounding functioning systems. This can be done by setting up a plant list of the prevailing flora which, in turn, will attract the desired fauna to create this functioning system. Constant monitoring will be necessary if you are to maintain this system. Indigenous, endemic or exotic? Regarding this, many estate and council by-laws are flawed in this manner as they encourage the use of indigenous plants in general. In South Africa, the term ‘indigenous’ includes all fauna and flora species within our national borders. ‘Endemic’ is more loosely defined as it is a species unique to a defined geographic location, which can be anything from a small mountain outcrop to the entire African continent. If any ecological

improvements are desired, plants would surely need to be endemic and not merely indigenous? What use would a flowering plant endemic to a small portion of the Cape Peninsula have in a Highveld ecosystem 1,000km away? Therefore, it is important to include perimeters to the definition ‘endemic’ – you can link endemism to a specific veld type, geographical area, political area or even a fixed measured area. The term ‘exotic’ is mostly used for fauna and flora that only occur naturally beyond the borders of South Africa. Exotics are not to be frowned on entirely as there are many much-needed ecological attributes that can only be found in some exotic species. The use of exotics requires careful study before implementation. At the end of the day, it is always ecologically beneficial to focus on flora that is endemic and unique to your area. In that way you help to sustain the unique environment. This, in turn, creates the environment needed to sustain endemic fauna populations and, ultimately, a healthy ecosystem. ABOUT STEPHAN BARNARD Stephan Barnard is a partner at Seas of Green Global, managing the company’s international client base, focusing on the US. He studied landscape architecture and botany and has worked on a large variety of projects in South Africa and around the world. He has been involved in everything from large-scale planning (Fifa World Cup 2010), urban zoning studies (City of Tshwane), hands-on planting design and landscaping, and intensive garden design. www.sogdesign.net https://za.linkedin.com/in/barnardstephan



videos that showcase my best work. I publish them with a ‘call to action’ – that is, an offer to solve a common problem many of my best prospects may have. Use your creativity to find interesting, unusual, fun or even wacky ways to demonstrate that the solutions you offer consistently work. Consistency is the key to creating trust. Look at your online presence and ask yourself whether the way you present yourself is consistent with what your prospects are looking for. Do you offer an easy way for your customers and prospects to stay in touch? The majority of my best supporters are on

DOES YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE SPEAK ‘CUSTOMER SERVICE'? Marcel Oudejans says the best marketing policy is to consistently deliver more than your customers expect – and to make sure your online brand reflects this Online marketing of products and services will have undoubtedly become a vital part of growing your business. Considering how easy it has become for people to find and communicate with you and your competitors online, I recommend taking time to think about your online presence and the message it sends. Realistically speaking, though, relying on online marketing alone is not a good idea. Ultimately, the best marketing you can do is to consistently deliver more than your customers expect – and that’s exactly the kind of ‘language’ your online brand needs to ‘speak’. Even if you have an existing online presence, it is still valuable to regularly assess what you’re already doing and consider any improvements you could make. When I say online presence, I'm referring to your website, social media profiles, Facebook pages, blog posts and email communications, as well as your use of graphics and photos. All these online features work together to form a brand identity, and you need to ensure your identity is consistent with who your best customers perceive you to be – in the ‘digital’ and ‘real world’. Here are some questions to ask yourself when pondering your online presence. www.prolandscaper.co.za

Where do your best prospects look to find the services you offer? In online marketing, the ‘where’ in the question refers to the online services your prospects use to find you. If your best customers use Facebook frequently and Twitter less so, it makes sense to focus your efforts on Facebook. Your business needs to be easily found and, as any good search engine optimisation (SEO) consultant will tell you, frequently updating your presence with advice and portfolios is a fundamental and ongoing task if you want to attract and keep customers online. In most cases, I recommend purchasing a welldeveloped and mobile-friendly website first before focusing on other online networks. Are your contact details easy to find? Make your prospects’ lives easier by ensuring your details are up to date, easily visible, and that you can be notified quickly if someone contacts you so you can respond as soon as possible. Does your online presence create the impression you are knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy? It has really helped me to use great photos and

Facebook, so I make sure my Facebook page remains active and relevant. I share links to resources and articles I’ve written, photos and videos of my work, and the occasional client review or testimonial. This ensures I’m constantly ‘top of mind’ and, by doing this regularly, I’ve gathered a good following of people to hire, promote and recommend me to new prospects. Remember, it depends on what your best prospects prefer. Perhaps they would like a regular email with advice, tips or news? If so, you should offer an option to subscribe to a mailing list. But whatever medium you use to keep in touch, bear in mind when you do so that the communication is friendly, valuable and expected. Don’t bombard people with special offers or irregular and irrelevant communication – this approach is seldom successful. Ultimately, to stay ‘on top’ of your online marketing, make sure you maintain your community of supporters regularly. Schedule time to identify your customers’ problems and create campaigns that reiterate your offer to solve them creatively, consistently and efficiently. ABOUT MARCEL OUDEJANS Marcel Oudejans is a conference speaker and entertainer. In 2007 he published his first book, The Serious Business Owner’s Guide To Creating Customers For Life, and has become a highly requested keynote speaker for industry conferences, combining magic and comedy to deliver his message. Marcel has been registered with the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa since 2008. www.corporatemagician.co.za/keynote

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 15

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my blood. I longed for the idea of the farm and the life that goes with it. It’s a great environment for a kid to grow up in so that was also a deciding factor when I started my family.

Let’s Hear it From

They say it can be tricky being in business with your family. Working in a business alongside your brothers, do you ever clash? Our family’s business portfolios are managed separately, so each of us operates in two or more different companies, including Rossouw Boerdery, Rosle Boerdery, Rossgro Poultry, Rossgro Factory Outlet, Rossgro Feeds, Eagle Creek, Africa Lawns and Rietkol Voerkraal. A family business is a challenge, yes. We are all strong-willed people but we can thank our mother Naubie. She has been the glue holding us together.



CHRIS ROSSOUW Chanel Besson talks to a Springboks World Cup-winning hero about his experience running Africa Lawns, life on the farm, and what makes the Rossouw family businesses such a success What subjects did you study prior to your rugby career and what were your other aspirations as a child? I studied for a B.Com in agricultural economy and went on to do my B.Com Hons (Economy) in 1994. I grew up on the farm. My family have been farmers for our entire lives so I had a burning desire to become one myself. I also loved economics and that has become an integral part of farming. Today, www.prolandscaper.co.za

farmers also have to be economic strategists in some way or another. That is why I chose to study agriculture. I found it incredibly interesting. At university I played for Tuks first team (University of Pretoria) and so rugby and agriculture were both ingrained in me. Is that why you continued to farm after your highly successful career as a Springbok? My love of farming was obvious. After all, it is in

Are you all responsible for individual tasks or do you work together? Every person in our company is delegated certain tasks. I firmly believe the secret of our success is the freedom given to employees to take responsibility of their departments and perform. This has established an atmosphere of pride and we are lucky to have some of the most influential employees in this company that take us to a higher level of performance. How would you describe your business? What is your company ethos? I believe in staying ahead of the curve. We constantly try to distance ourselves from our competitors by doing something unique. Quality products and friendly, hassle-free service are our top ideals. We want to make a name with our products and service and that means happy and satisfied customers. We aim to immediately find solutions to any problems that arise. We aim to stay at the top and that means you have to constantly re-evaluate and make sure you are performing to the highest standards, yet still leave room to improve. Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 17


What sort of characteristics does it take to run and maintain a successful business? Wisdom, tenacity and responsibility – failure is not an option. Take responsibility and make things happen, don’t wait for somebody or something else. Go and get it has always been a strong characteristic of mine. Wisdom to handle any situations that arise is also important, as is the ability to make important decisions at the right time. Then there is tenacity. You know to continue when things look a bit bleak and unsure. Setbacks are part of any business so to persevere you have to have faith in your ideas and believe it will work. Has your successful record as a Springbok added value to your brand? Yes it has. It has opened a lot of doors and we former rugby players have an understanding

between each other. I have done a lot of business with them. They are from all walks of life. In South Africa, rugby is so loved people always make a connection and are interested or friendly towards you, which makes for an easy starting point.


Africa Lawns has won the SALI Supplier Of The Year award twice. How do you take measures to ensure you stay at the top? By pursuing continued customer satisfaction. It’s about delivering our grass without a hitch and,



even when problems do arrive, to go the extra mile in helping clients. Time is of the essence in a business directly affected by so many variables, such as weather and machinery. We also look to provide as much certainty as possible during these volatile times, and we see communication as an integral part of the process. How many staff do you employ? A total of 32, all of equal importance and all key to this well-oiled machine. The management who clients get to deal with directly consists of chief executive Tiaan Rossouw, logistics and financial manager Annelize De Beer, Hannes Visser, our field specialist and production manager, and production and maintenance manager Vernon Wallace. How many varieties of grass do you offer? Three varieties. Kikuyu, which is a strong grower and can handle traffic, the most common grass in South Africa, Princess 77 Cynoden, which suits sports fields and is more heat-absorbent and fine in texture, and Cool Season, which is green throughout the year and resistant to cold weather. There are other varieties in the pipeline as we experiment with some patches and mixes. We will release a new variety this year but it has yet to be perfected. Do you produce the grass on your farm in Mpumalanga? Yes. We farm just outside Delmas in Mpumalanga and plant 256ha of grass, roughly 200ha Kikuyu, 50ha Cynoden and 8ha of Cool Season. We have four sod harvesters and capacity to harvest about 12,000m2 per day, although we average between 8,000m2 and 10,000m2 depending on the season. How long have you owned the business? Since 2005. Although some thought it was an absurd idea at the time, my nephew Jannie Van Der Schyff and I took the chance and started Africa Lawns. We have never looked back. What notable prizes has your company won? We won SALI Supplier Of The Year 2015, which we are extremely proud of as we view this as the highest honour in our industry. We also won


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016




the award in 2011. SALI is the top standard and it means a lot after a tough and emotional year in which Jannie Van Der Schyff tragically passed away. The award gives Tiaan confidence that Africa Lawns can further the brilliant foundation left behind.

great opportunities to our children to further build and improve on this legacy in a variety of businesses. Therefore, Africa Lawns must be improved by the next generations.

Do you belong to any organisations or associations? Turfgrass Producers international and SALI. We have to measure ourselves.

What do you and your brothers do when you aren’t at work? Being extremely busy we aim to invest time in our families and children whenever we can. We are a very close-knit family and spend lots of time together. Our children are very busy with sports so supporting them is a big part of weekends. Fun activities include golf and travel. Nature is also a big passion of ours. As a family we also have homes at Leopard Creek and Hoedspruit, where we love to spend time in the great outdoors.

What does the future hold for Africa Lawns and, as it is a family business, do you wish to pass on this legacy to your children? Africa Lawns is looking into new varieties and new opportunities within the industry, without stepping into any of our clients’ fields. This is such a wonderful industry and people are like a family. We are so thankful for guidance and help given to the company in a tough year when we lost our former CEO Jannie Van Der Schyff, who had also been the pioneer for Africa Lawns from the start. Without giving away too much, we can simply say we would like to bring a little something extra and will also focus on other market segments. Like my father, I believe in leaving behind a legacy which can be passed down to my kids and future generations. We work to create an empire which can accommodate and give www.prolandscaper.co.za


7 1

(Previous page) Springboks’ World Cup-winning front row. From left, Balie Swart, Chris Rossouw and Os Du Randt

2 Loading the turf on to the back of a lorry. Africa Lawns grows three varieties of grass 3 The company’s farm just outside Delmas features 256ha of grass 4 & 5 C  hris in action during the 1995 World Cup final 6

Chris at home

7 Africa Lawns has four sod harvesters

ABOUT AFRICA LAWNS Founded in 2006, Africa Lawns produces top-quality instant lawn. The company is a division of Rossgro Group. Tel: 013 665 9200 Email: tiaan@africalawns.co.za www.africalawns.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 19


Picture: Arch Architects


Picture: Neal Dunstan


University of Pretoria Mining Engineering Study Centre Rain Harvesting Garden

SUSTAINABILITY The story behind the University of Pretoria’s Mining Engineering Study Centre Rain Harvesting Garden project is one of perseverance and a heartfelt quest to provide a state of the art ‘living laboratory’


he University of Pretoria identified a need for a dedicated study centre that could serve its engineering programmes and, despite numerous conceptual designs and site allocations, a lack of funding meant the project failed to emerge alongside its planned Engineering 3 project. Construction of the Engineering 3 building on the Hatfield Campus provided additional lecture 20

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

halls, laboratories, an access road and parking for 1,000 cars. The design was already well advanced when Neal Dunstan, the university’s campus landscape architect, was appointed to the project in late 2011 and tasked with pushing ahead with the Study Centre plans. The site development plan was submitted in December 2011 and tender documentation prepared for February 2012, by which time a deal had been

SIZE Landscaped area 4,500m2 PROJECT COST About R2 million TIMELINE November 2011 to September 2013

concluded between donors and the university to fund the centre. Construction of the centre started in April 2012, the bulk of the landscape works commenced in April 2013, and the project was completed by September 2013. The project fell within two of the university’s faculties, the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The site also fell within the 3.5ha Manie van der Schijff Botanical Garden, bringing with it a legal obligation to www.prolandscaper.co.za


maintain and develop this internationally recognised facility. The garden contained a number of protected trees and all were retained and incorporated into the final design. Dunstan worked hand in hand with Jason Sampson, the botanical garden’s curator, in the planning and design of the space. Since the mid 1950s, large portions of the University of Pretoria’s Manie van der Schijff Botanical Garden had been lost to campus development. Created in 1934, the growing conditions were poor due to acidic soil conditions. The new building features a 1,700m2 roof, which placed considerable pressure on the overloaded stormwater infrastructure. This was the first project by the university to merge the landscape and building through blue-green engineering in a quest for a ‘living laboratory’.


Picture: Arch Architects

Picture: Arch Architects


The design team studied stormwater management and theories by professors Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden, of the University of Sheffield in the UK, who were involved in the design of the London Olympic Village. The core of the design revolved around the concept of a ‘rain garden’, an engineered combination of specially selected plants, soils and mulch designed to collect, retain and cleanse rainwater that runs off impervious surfaces. Re-use of cleaned stormwater, in turn, enabled the creation of a microclimate for various species of flora and fauna. The study centre is one of the few buildings in the world to incorporate an integrated rain garden system. The system harvests 17,000 litres of water for every 10mm of rain from the study centre roof and has transformed a previously dead space around the Engineering 1 building into a successful water retention facility. A suitable microclimate enabled the university’s ‘hidden’ tropical African cycad (Encephalartos) collection to be transplanted so this missing part of the university’s acclaimed plant collection could be enjoyed by all. In total, 56 specimens from 22 species were replanted. A fine of R25,000 was worked into the Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 21

PORTFOLIO building contract for the protection of existing trees on the site and was applicable to all contractors/sub contractors. However, engineering lecture facilities beneath the Study Centre were not waterproofed so the traditional rain garden approach could not be applied there, leading to a hybrid solution. The issue of waterproofing and inadequate stormwater infrastructure was estimated to cost R8 million if resolved by conventional means. However, a UV-stable EPDM rubber liner, manufactured by Firestone, was selected to contain the water and prevent seepage to the lecture halls below. The liner, installed by Belgro Landscaping, presented a challenge and a Firestone technical director visited the project to advise, resulting in a number of changes to the design, the majority of which led to a cost saving of about R6.5 million. The product has been tested as a liner for water reservoirs worldwide. It is durable, flexible, has a 300% stretch capability and can shift with any ground movement that may occur without stress to the installation. Clay soil placed on to the liner was sourced from the university’s Prinshof Lecture Complex and would otherwise have been discarded. All compost supplied for the project came from the university’s waste recycling and composting project. Clay-rich soil was placed on top of the liner.



BEFORE/DURING The heart of the study centre’s system revolves around stormwater being collected from the roof and surrounding hard surfaces and being allowed to flow into vegetated swales, the kidneys of the system. From there, the cleansed water flows into a permanent pond and then on to tidal ponds. All excess water from these ponds flows into a 130m3 tank beneath the staircase that ramps on the western side of the study centre. This water is used to irrigate the botanical garden and to circulate the system so water is never static. Total capacity of the pond system (excluding the tank) is about 550m3. Dunstan explained that in addition to having a water harvesting function, the ponds operate as a treatment wetland and the reed beds have filtration ability. He said the permanent ponds were planted with water lilies, reeds and a few exotic (but non-invasive) ornamentals. In the wet season, the tidal ponds flood from stormwater

run-off. The water in the system is continuously circulated through the swales and ponds. The tidal pond has a valve system which allows the water level to be lowered in winter. In total, 160 indigenous and exotic aquatic and terrestrial plant species were used in the spaces in and around the system. Planting had to complement and facilitate the system’s bioremediation potential (a waste management technique that involves the use of organisms to remove or neutralise pollutants) and to keep the water clean as well as soften the hard lines of the building and create habitat for wildlife. All paving used in the project was recycled in one form or another. The in-situ concrete paving lifted during the demolition phase was retained and reused as permeable paving, cladding for pond walls, and energy breakers for stormwater entering the system. The blocks used for paving were partly sourced from waste material left over from platinum mining operations. All rock used in the landscape came from excavations on site and from another project in Groenkloof. Specially cast pavers by WilsonStone depict the logos of the Botanical Garden (cycad cone)



Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016


PORTFOLIO and the Department of Plant Sciences (a baobab tree). The embossed pavers were also installed at the controlled access points. All copings were retained and used for repairs and as stepping stones. To prevent access to the deepest bodies of water retaining/seating walls, which are free flowing organic forms, were constructed to assist movement and help the visually impaired. Subtle, low-level LED wash lighting was added to the retaining/seating walls but, as a whole, external lighting to the Study Centre was kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with the natural day-night cycles of the plants, frogs and fish, which were introduced into the system for ecological purposes and also for research. Soft landscaping installation was carried out by Pretoria-based company Origin Landscapes. The project was presented to the California Horticultural Society and reached the final adjudication round of the International Sustainable Campus Network’s annual awards. It is also part of an ongoing worldwide research project on biomimicry in the UK by Professor Jas Pal Badyal, of the University of Durham. The garden hosts numerous research projects by students from the departments of Zoology, Plant Sciences and Engineering, with land art group Site Works conducting a year-long photographic project. To date, seven fish and three frog species are present in the garden. 1 Work begins around the Engineering 3

building on the university’s Hatfield Campus

2 Belgro Landscaping installs the EPDM liner 3 In total, 160 indigenous and exotic aquatic and terrestrial plant species were used

Pictures: Neal Dunstan




Soft landscaping Origin Landscapes Tel: 012 362 0503 Email: admin@orginlandscapes.co.za www.originlandscapes.co.za

Specially cast pavers WilsonStone Tel: 011 616 7129 Email: lauren@wilsonstone.co.za www.wilsonstone.co.za Plants Random Harvest Nursery Tel: 082 553 0598 Email: lauren@wilsonstone.co.za www.randomharvest.co.za

Firestone EPDM liner installation and ponds Belgro Landscaping Tel: 082 301 2696 Email: info@belgro.co.za www.belgro.co.za

Water lilies and aquatic plants Aqua Flora Tel: 083 451 9975 http://iwgs.org/aqua-flora/

Architects ARC Architects Tel: 012 362 7350 Email: arcpta@arc.co.za www.arc.co.za


Aquatic plants Wildflower Nursery Tel: 082 801 1741 Email: johan@wildflowernursery.co.za www.wildflowernursery.co.za

ABOUT NEAL DUNSTAN Neal Dunstan has been campus landscape architect at the University of Pretoria since March 2011. He won the 2015 ILASA President’s Award and Award of Excellence for the university’s Mining Engineering Study Centre Rain Harvesting Garden project. Since August, he has also been EXCO and Finance Committee chair for the South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession. www.linkedin.com/in/neal-dunstan-478b3417


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 23


PROJECT DETAILS Vergelegen East Gardens


APPROXIMATE COST R4.6 million (both soft and hard landscape) including professional fees – excluding VAT PROJECT VALUE R18 million SIZE 3,000m2 TIMELINE June 2012 – December 2012


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016






EAST MEETS WEST OvP Associates won the contract to design and construct a feature garden on the historic Vergelegen Estate


ounded in 1700, Vergelegen (meaning ‘situated far away’), is renowned for its wines, history, gardens and cuisine. The estate in Somerset West attracts huge amounts of visitors all year round, with many visiting its gardens, wine tasting centre or to take a tour of the cellars. In 2011, a concept design competition was launched with four landscaping companies invited to participate. The client’s brief was to design a new feature garden within the estate to add to the 17


existing gardens. The new garden was to be built on the eastern side of Vergelegen’s Stables Restaurant, which was being constructed at the time. Requirements for the project included: • Providing a children’s adventure playground to attract families to the estate to eat at the restaurant or to picnic • Using part of the space to plant 12,000 pre-purchased agapanthus plants • Providing a maze within the layout as long as space allowed.

The winner of the competition would be able to utilise the entire open field to the east of the restaurant but also had permission to extend the garden into adjoining fields if required. Footpaths would have to be constructed to connect neighbouring gardens and vistas. Cape Town-headquartered OvP associates won the contest and the company was appointed principal agent to design and manage all construction aspects of the installation of the new East Gardens. The client had requested that the design

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 25


provided a ‘garden of visual delight with recreational activities for all ages’, while complementing the estate’s wine-tasting building and family-style bistro. The garden is edged by wooded windbreaks and a low werf wall, with both helping to frame views of the nearby mountains. The east-west axis, extending through the buildings and beyond, is further strengthened by linear water features and pergola structures. The garden includes an extensive agapanthus garden which covers 1,500m2. More than 15 species make up the 12,000 agapanthus plants, which have been laid out in bold diagonal bands, showcasing the great variety of different colours, sizes and flowering times. As reported in the last issue of Pro Landscaper Africa, the displays have proved hugely popular with visitors. A 700m2 maze is positioned to the side of the agapanthus garden. The maze ‘walls’ have been planted with vines, and has been planted in an octagonal shape in keeping with the estate’s logo. The adventure playground sits to one side of the East Gardens and incorporates plastered sandbag walls, which curl through timber play structures and form the edge of a large, colourful rubber surface. An interactive play stream meanders through the play area, and life-size wooden animals – carved from trees on the estate – are placed around the playground. These playful elements enhance characteristics within the broader estate. OvP associates was involved from concept design initiation through to construction completion. Vergelegen is open seven days a week except Christmas Day, Good Friday and Workers Day. One-hour heritage and garden tours depart from the Wine Tasting Centre daily.


(Previous page) The garden was constructed on an east-west axis


(Previous page) More than 12,000 agapanthus were planted


(Previous page) Centre of the maze



4 & 8 A large, colourful path snakes through the adventure playground

5 & 6 The garden is framed by the mountains

beyond linear water features and pergolas



Vines make up the maze walls

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016



REFERENCES Landscape architects OvP associates 141 Hatfield Street Gardens Cape Town Tel: 021 462 1262 Email: info@ovp.co.za www.ovp.co.za Structural and civil engineers Henry Fagan & Partners Tel: 021 423 0873 www.fagan.co.za Quantity surveyors Bernard James and Partners Tel: 021 461 8707 Email: mail@bipsa.co.za


Building contractor Hare & Liddell Construction Email: ian@hareandliddell.co.za Soft landscape contractor Eco Creations Tel: 021 842 3624 www.ecocreations.co.za

MAJOR SUPPLIERS Water features Water in Motion Tel: 083 227 5950 Email: clivegil@mweb.co.za www.capetownwaterfeatures.co.za



Playground elements Yo! Design Tel: 082 771 9171 Email: theronm@polka.co.za Timber sculptures Tree Tech Tel: 076Â 604 7444 Email: 10trees2climb@gmail.com Agapanthus plants Black Dog Plants Tel: 083 290 8864 Email: jamiesonrh@gmail.com




OvP associates is a design studio involved in landscape architecture, architecture and environmental planning. Based in Cape Town, the company has more than 30 years of experience in local and international projects. Its broad interdisciplinary skills allows OvP associates to bring a range of expertise and solutions to complex projects, resulting in creative and visionary landscape solutions. www.ovp.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 27


PROJECT DETAILS Symphony Way Smart Park PROJECT VALUE R1.8 million LANDSCAPE BUDGET 3 months TIMELINE July to September 2014 1

THE ART OF PLAYING ‘SMART’ Late last year, Cape Town celebrated as it scooped an ILASA Merit Award of Excellence for its Smart Parks project. Pro Landscaper Africa takes a look at how the city is using landscaping to improve the lives of residents within one of its most deprived communities


he concept of ‘smart’ living has become ingrained in modern societies. Whether it involves impressing friends with the latest smartphone, using a smart tablet to read a book or surf the internet, or even joining the family to watch a movie on a newly mounted smart television, ‘smart’ is the trend to follow. This trend has spread to Cape Town’s public open spaces, with the launch of innovative projects that apply the ‘smart’ concept to the planning, design and creation of new parks in the city. The concept of smart parks emerged as part 28

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

of Cape Town’s position as World Design Capital 2014, with projects demonstrating how, by applying design-led thinking, it can be possible to improve communities and the lives of the people within them. Cape Town’s smart parks movement seeks to inspire improved community-led park development for those areas of highest need, and focuses on getting the basics right and providing attractive, creatively designed facilities that are built to last. One of the key aspects when the decision was made to implement the Smart Parks project

was community engagement, so the people who would use the new parks could have a collective say on which facilities would be created. Three Smart Parks have been piloted in Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Blikkiesdorp – each with a unique design to suit the available space and the community’s needs. City Parks is conscious of the immense value parks have in neighbourhoods where residents have little or no garden space. In areas where there are few spaces for children to play, the smart parks will provide them with a space to call their own. Studies have shown that play and recreational activities are critical to a child’s development, and each of the parks will include custom-made play areas that incorporate the latest ideas. The Symphony Way Park in Blikkiesdorp has www.prolandscaper.co.za


3 1 & 2 The official opening of Symphony Way Smart Park in the neglected Blikkiesdorp area of Cape Town

3 The marquee in the background of the ‘Central’ area

of the park was retained despite the development, as it had become a popular community space


4 & 5 Before Symphony Way was developed, there were few spaces for children to play in Blikkiesdorp


a focus on children at its core and is in a central and easily accessible position. Tree-planting, paving, low-wall seating and picnic sites add value to the space and provide places for people to meet and relax. Symphony Way Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) in Delft, Cape Town, better known by its nickname Blikkiesdorp, is a relocation camp made up of about 1,600 one-room corrugated iron shacks. Blikkiesdorp has been branded unsafe by critics and become notorious for its high crime rate. Two sites within this dense living environment were allocated for public open space and the intention of Cape Town’s City Parks Department was to develop them to make them safe and allow ease of pedestrian movement. By linking the two sites via a tree-lined walkway, what was www.prolandscaper.co.za

previously a difficult environment has been transformed into a comfortable and interesting communal space. The two sites were known as ‘Northern’ and ‘Central’. Northern was an undeveloped area of open space edged by public buildings, community gardens and a row of residential structures. A marquee on the undeveloped Central open space had become a meeting place for the community and had also been used as a soup kitchen, Sunday school, crèche and an event and meeting space. Northern suffered from a lack of definition, with the area dominated by cars. There were no trees or seating to provide shade or places for people to sit, relax, socialise or play. Sewerage and water services cut across the site, limiting development options. However, being next to


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 29


the community gardens offered the possibility of expansion and the space was also near public facilities, including a library, community building and the Hope Centre. Located at the entrance to TRA, Northern also lent itself to becoming a gateway to the community. Traffic-calming measures in the form of tree planting, seating and paved surfaces all helped to improve safety along the main route connecting the parks. It was decided that the play park would be positioned centrally as this was the area children could access most easily. The existing marquee and public square could support a wide range of recreational activities to meet the needs, not only of children, but adults and the elderly as well. Symphony Way was the first Cape Town smart park to open – in late September 2014. Two other smart parks – NY110 Park in Gugulethu and Mandela Park in Khayelitsha – opened last year, to great acclaim. NY110 had custom-designed play equipment constructed to suit a broad range of ages and earth mounds were landscaped to increase opportunities for younger children to play. Synthetic turf was used as the playing surface on two five-a-side soccer pitches plus a netball/basketball court. The park also features outdoor gym equipment at the request of the local community following public consultation. The community of Mandela Park requested the design of a space specifically for exercise that did not require equipment, such as aerobics and yoga. This park also included outdoor learning areas as part of an education space for use by two nearby schools. A further three smart parks will be developed this year – in Atlantis, Nomzamo and Seawinds.


REFERENCES Landscape architects Nicole Strong and Absalom Molobe City of Cape Town, City Parks, Planning & Development Tel: 021 400 1049 Email: Nicole.Strong@capetown.gov.za www.capetown.gov.za Urban planner Bradley Burger City of Cape Town, City Parks, Planning & Development Tel: 021 400 2414







MAJOR SUPPLIERS Email: Bradley.Burger@capetown.gov.za www.capetown.gov.za Soft landscaping Servest Tel: 0860 22 55 84 Email: connect@servest.co.za www.servest.com/sa/ Contractors Abantu Civils Tel: 021 704 3203 Email: info@abantucivils.za.net

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

Trees Just Trees Tel: 021 871 1595 Email: sales@justtrees.co.za www.justtrees.co.za Rubber matting Masterfibre Tel: 021 511 7411 Email: info@masterfibre.co.za www.masterfibre.co.za

10 Images by City of Cape Town, City Parks, Planning & Development


The design for the Central public open space

7 & 8 Artist’s impressions of the

upgraded Central play area


The park within the Northern public open space was developed next to community gardens and other public facilities


This overview of the Northern area highlights space constraints developers had to overcome



FOCUS ON OUTDOOR GRILLS The Friendly Plant Case Study All designs by The Friendly Plant are bespoke and, for one client on Northcliff Hill, Johannesburg, the company created a fire pit area. As the installation was situated on a hillside, the company had the advantage of spectacular views to enhance the design. Built out of bricks and mortar, the fire pit and surrounding seating have circular paving stones as a finish, with cladding to add detail to the vertical surfaces. Cladding and paving materials were manufactured by Colonial Stone Company. One unique element is the cantilever ‘halo’ that The Friendly Plant designed and fabricated from steel and timber, which adds to the overall feel of the area. This installation also makes a beautiful showpiece when viewed from the patio one floor above.

CADAC’s Meridian gas patio barbecues The ‘Meridian’, CADAC’s latest range of gas patio barbecues, allows a variety of cooking methods. The modular grid and accessory system allows grids to be removed and any Meridian accessory to be dropped in. The accessories include Teppanyaki plates, warmer pans, ceramic baking stones, and an ‘Argentine grill’. The range comes with an “easy wash and clean” system. The smooth-walled, porcelain-enamelled construction of the fire box and drainage channels allow grease and fat to flow into a drip cup, which can be emptied, wiped clean and easily replaced into the back of the barbecue after use, the company said. The barbecues are available in stainless steel or charcoal, with a choice of four colours. All come with three grids as standard.



Home Fires 1200 Super De Luxe freestanding braai Home Fires designs and manufactures highquality fireplaces and braais, some of which are patented. A spokesman said all Home Fires products are stringently tested and guaranteed for 15 years. A potjie fitting and options that include grids, steak plates and bread oven, mean Home Fires’ freestanding braais “provide home entertainment at its best”. The units can be installed indoors or outdoors and smoke-free use is guaranteed. The 1200 unit comes with many extras, including stand, 2m flue pipe, rotating cowl, half braai grids, grid lifters, escutcheon plate, potjie hook, ash pan, and touch-up paint.



Earthfire’s fire-pits Earthfire’s fire-pits are made from durable, thermal shockproof NilTherm, with a hard-wearing glazed surface inside and out. The ceramic body stores heat like a hot rock and radiates warmth even after the fire has burnt out. A two-piece ash container makes it safe to use on a wooden deck and the container and stand are powder-coated to provide “a long-lasting and elegant finish”. The metallic black glaze on the inside of the fire-pit reflects the fire’s colours and can be wiped clean with a lightly oiled cloth. The high-fired glaze finish is strong, enabling a kitchen scourer to be used to remove any food drips or wood resin.


Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 31


FOCUS ON LIGHTING Regent Lighting Solutions’ Tower Mini

Vibia Halley lights

Regent Lighting Solutions is part of Johannesburg-based Wahl Industries and has more than 60 years’ experience in the gravity and tilt casting industry. Regent Lighting Solutions was established in 1990 and has grown to become a multifaceted lighting company. Specialising in the manufacture of customised luminaires for local and international projects, the company’s in-house capabilities allow it to fast track development without compromising quality. The company has state-of-the-art design software which, it said, can meet the most demanding of customer needs.

The Vibia Halley light, designed by Jordi Vilardell and Meritxell Vidal, is like a “comet streaking across the night sky”, South African distributor Establishment said. The outdoor LED light shines a beam over outdoor tables, walkways and more. The flexible, highly durable and lightweight Halley Outdoor Light (pictured) is an arcing floor lamp. Several models can be linked together. The choice of glass fibre as the material gives this collection an appearance which “unites technology with tradition”. Other products from Establishment include Vibia Wind, a contemporary outdoor light.



Tempest Torch Syam Distributors formed in 2004 after spotting a gap in the South African market for bespoke and approved appliances. Syam offers outdoor gas lamps, such as the Tempest Torch (pictured), which create a natural flame that doesn’t require a fan or electricity. The torch can be placed outdoors by swimming pools or lining business fronts and walkways. There are two Tempest Torch heads and a portable patio model, with manual or electric ignition. The electric IPI model allows you to install up to 25 torches on a single 15 amp circuit. Electric IPI torches can be used with programmable timers or wired into a smart home system.



Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

Delta Light Flip Light Delta Light has combined functionality with “atmosphere and innovation” in its outdoor collection. A new feature in the range is the combination of LED with a lens, fusing architectural light effects and energy efficiency, “offering new possibilities in exterior lighting”. A spokesman said that outdoor fixtures which use a lens provide a unique effect when used on their own, but could also add an attractive and artistic touch when used in a composition. Delta Light’s LED array technology consumes only 4-6W, and the company also said the LED/lens combination cast greater amounts of light so fewer fixtures were required in a lighting plan. ELDC is the supplier and distributor of Delta Light products in South Africa.

www.eldc.co.za www.prolandscaper.co.za



Pro Landscaper Africa talks to K-Rain international business developer Gui Azambuja about the company’s range of irrigation products, a remarkable total of patents, and its Grows Green initiative What range of products does K-Rain supply? We design and manufacture a full range of quality irrigation products for residential, commercial and sports fields applications. Our line consists of rotors, pop-up sprays, spray nozzles, rotary nozzles, solenoid valves, rain sensors, regular 24V controllers and Bluetoothoperated battery controllers. What is K-Rain’s vision? To manufacture high-quality products that are affordable for the irrigation contractor. In addition, we aim to have products that are the easiest to install and adjust, which will increase productivity for the irrigation contractor and

provide beautiful landscapes for homeowners to enjoy. How many countries do you supply to? Currently, more than 70. How many patents do you own? Carl Kah, K-Rain founder and CEO, owns more than 100 patents specific to the irrigation industry. Some of the most remarkable ones include Intelligent Flow Technology (which reduces throw distance and flow proportionately on rotors) and top arc indication (which makes rotor adjustment easier). What is the warranty on your products? All K-Rain gear drive rotors carry a five-year limited warranty from date of purchase, while all other K-Rain products carry a two-year limited warranty from date of purchase, unless otherwise stated. Can you customise your products to suit a client’s needs? Our RPS75 and Super Pro rotors can both be customised in a way that we stamp the contractor’s logo and phone number on the rotor rubber cover. This exclusive branding service allows the irrigation contractor to receive more leads and referrals. How is sustainability embedded into your business? Since our products are directly related to water consumption for irrigation, we work hard to provide the most water-efficient products that save water while also sustaining a healthy and beautiful landscape. It is important to highlight


that a proper irrigation system design and installation is just as important as the products used to save water. What is the K-Rain Grows Green initiative? Our Grows Green initiative involves fostering a corporate culture of social and environmental responsibility. That includes volunteering and sponsoring social programmes in the communities in which we live and operate, developing a digital strategy that reduces total supply-chain paper consumption, and developing educational programmes for the irrigation industry that promote water recycling and conservation. What is unique about your product? We have competitive advantages throughout the whole product line. Our rotors are frequently said to be the best in the world, but the truth is we have a very solid line from top to bottom. Where can suppliers/contractors purchase your products? Our products are distributed in South Africa through Agriplas. They have three branches – in Western Cape, Nelspruit and Gauteng.

CONTACT Name: Gui Azambuja Company name: K-Rain Email: guiazambuja@krain.com Tel: 0561 844 1002 Web: www.krain.com For more information on K-Rain products, contractors and suppliers can visit www.agriplas.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 33


Pro Landscaper Africa asks a few quick-fire questions to gain an insight into the people who are lighting up our industry To feature on these pages in future issues, email chanel.besson@eljays44.com or call 021 410 8957



Executive director, Leitch Landscapes

Manager, Forget-me-not Gardens


Your most referred to gardening book of all time Pooley’s Trees Of Eastern South Africa: A Complete Guide, by Richard Boon and Elsa Pooley Most inspirational garden (worldwide) The world’s rainforests. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Dutch hoe. Favourite plant Prunus serrulata (cherry blossom). How is sustainability embedded into your business? Training, empowering and staff development is key in any business as well as providing your clients with a top-class level of service


and product. Focusing on biodiversity by using indigenous plants in the gardens we install, and educating our clients of new landscaping trends and water preservation. Biggest life influence Family and friends. Describe yourself in three words Lover of nature. Three people you would invite to a dinner party God, Shaka Zulu, Ivanka Trump. Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Any beach sport. Favourite tipple Long Island iced tea.

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016

Your most referred to gardening book of all time Creative Gardening With Indigenous Plants: A South African Guide, by Pitta Joffe, although I am addicted to Indigenous Plant Palettes, by Marijke Honig. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Kirstenbosch. I am a huge fan of indigenous plants. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? My Felco secateurs. Favourite plant Celtis Africana or Grewia occidentalis. How is sustainability embedded into your business?

The business I am concerned with is very much about communication, understanding the client’s requirement and meeting it with great service at a reasonable price. Biggest life influence Living on a moshav for a year or so, travelling overseas and meeting people from all over while in my early twenties. Describe yourself in three words Loyal, direct, honest. Three people you would invite to a dinner party Nataniel, Jamie Oliver and Richard Attenborough. Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Bon Jovi. I’m not a sports fan! Favourite tipple Champers.



CHARL VAN DER WESTHUIZEN General manager, The Green Zone www.thegreenzone.co.za Your most referred to gardening book of all time The South African Which Flower Is That?, by Kristo Pienaar.

Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Secateurs. Favourite plant Phoenix roebilinii.

Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Kirstenbosch.

How is sustainability embedded into your business? Processes that are in place and been followed.

Three people you would invite to a dinner party Evita, Casper de Vries, Keith Kirsten.

Biggest life influence My friends.

Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Liverpool FC.

Describe yourself in three words Reliable, hard-working, friendly.

Favourite tipple KWV 5 year.



Principal landscape architect, Habitat Landscape Architects

Co-owner, VVD Projects

www.habitatdesign.co.za Your most referred to gardening book of all time Creative Gardening With Indigenous Plants: A South African Guide, by Pitta Joffe. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Palace of Versailles. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? My tablet (business) and camera (pleasure).

www.vvdprojects.co.za passionate about our profession and always place the interests of the larger society before our own. Biggest life influence All the people I meet who share their life stories. Describe yourself in three words Committed, passionate, high-spirited.

Favourite plant We need them all.

Three people you would invite to a dinner party Steve McCurry, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela.

How is sustainability embedded into your business? As a project team we are

Lifelong (sporting) fan of… I’m a rugby fan – Blue Bulls and Springboks.


Your most referred to gardening book of all time Tuis magazine. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Tape measure. Favourite plant Dietes grandiflora. How is sustainability embedded into your business? Communication, leading by example, and working together as a family.

Biggest life influence My dad. Describe yourself in three words Determined, loyal, trustworthy. Three people you would invite to a dinner party Trevor Noah, Jonathan (radio raps) and Adam Sandler. Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Springboks. Favourite tipple Ice cold beer on a hot day.

Pro Landscaper Africa / January 2016 35

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Pro Landscaper Africa January 2016  

Pro Landscaper Africa January 2016  

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