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Concept to Delivery

DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN

October 2015

LET’S HEAR IT FROM

ALL ABOARD

HOP ON THE MOBILE MARKETING BUS

THE COROBRIK ILASA AWARDS

FOCUS ON WALLS AND FLOORS

MAGIC MOUNTAIN HOUSE PLUS THREE MORE STUNNING PORTFOLIOS


M ’T

! S IS

N O D

UK’S LEADING LANDSCAPE EVENT

GULF

london – 17 november FutureScape is the largest UK event for the landscaping industry and is a must for all landscapers, designers and architects within the landscaping sector. The event takes place at Sandown Park Racecourse in Surrey on Tuesday 17 November, little more than half an hour’s journey from London Gatwick airport. The continued success of the event year after year has solidified it as the leading landscaping show in the UK, with this year proving to be even bigger and better than before.

We have worldwide industry leaders speaking at our seminars, an incredible line up of more than 150 exhibitors selling the latest products and a long list of experts available for your questions in our live debates – all for free! Along with the added opportunity to network with industry peers from throughout the world, FutureScape promises to be an unmissable event for all in the landscaping sector and is well worth travelling over to the UK to visit. Register now at www.futurescapeevent.com.

: L I A M E , s t e k c i t e e r f r u o y k o o b o t

jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com

www.futurescapeevent.com


WELCOME Concept to Delivery DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN

October 2015 | Volume 1, Issue 2

October 2015

LET’S HEAR IT FROM

ALL ABOARD

HOP ON THE MOBILE MARKETING BUS

Welcome to October 2015

THE COROBRIK ILASA AWARDS

FOCUS ON WALLS AND FLOORS

MAGIC MOUNTAIN HOUSE PLUS THREE MORE STUNNING PORTFOLIOS

Welcome to the October edition of Pro Landscaper Africa, The first signs of summer are in the air and our October edition is here, promising to highlight and celebrate the wonderful work being carried out within our landscaping community. Pro Landscaper Africa is continuing to make waves within the landscaping industry by providing a meeting place for contractors, landscape architects and associations to unite and share information. We have been incredibly busy putting together an issue packed with insightful content and inspiring projects. We have also been out and about attending many landscaping events and networking with readers. Our October edition has some fantastic features and tips that will help you manage and market your

Eljays44 Ltd 7th Floor, Mandela Rhodes Place, Corner of Wale and Burg Street, Cape Town 8000, South Africa Tel: 021 410 8957 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570

businesses. These pieces are written by leaders within the industry to give you an insight into all your business know-how. Our business and marketing advice this month comes from Mike Laws and Marcel Oudenjans, together with a thought-provoking opinions page from returning contributor Lee Burger. In this edition we feature three special projects that are sure to echo our nation’s heritage and inspire our industry. The Dutch Gardens within the much loved Company’s Garden is showcased in this section, together with a Mountain House in the mountains of Cape Town and the intriguing development of Rattray Park in Ghana. Our interview this month is with Gregory Straw, owner of Earth

ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 588 Sales Manager – Andre van der Merwe andre.vdm@eljays44.com Tel: 021 410 8957

Publisher – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 589

Accounts Assistant – Lisa Woollard accounts@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570

Editor – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 579

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 589

Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 577

MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Tel: +44 (0)1903 777571

Commissioning Editor – Chanel Besson chanel.besson@eljays44.com Tel: 021 410 8957

Subscription enquiries jessica.garrard@eljays44.com

Production Editor – Martin Cooper martin.cooper@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 602

www.prolandscaper.co.za

Outdoor Living and creator and owner of the Fourways Farmers Market in Johannesburg. We chat to him about his ambitions, projects and propagation methods, and gain insight into his work on the Nelson Mandela Museum gardens. We give you a glimpse into ILASA’s winning projects and take you to the 98th annual Darling Wild Flower Show. Our products section is all about walls and floors this month, featuring some of the industry’s most exciting new products and Ideas. We are also excited to share up-to-date industry news with you, and introduce you to IPSA and The Guild of Landscape Designers in our association news segment. What we ask from you is that you help us by sharing your ideas and experiences with your fellow landscapers through the medium of Pro Landscaper Africa magazine. We hope you enjoy our October edition, and keep an eye out for our November issue. You can email all enquiries and feedback to chanel.besson@eljays44.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Design – Amy Downes amy.downes@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 602 Printed by Paarl Media Paarl, 15 Jan van Riebeeck Drive, Paarl, South Africa

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 / October 2015

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CONTENTS

October 2015 Volume 1 Issue 2 6

News Shed

9

Out & About

10

News Extra

12

Association News

Industry news from southern Africa

The prestigious Corobrik ILASA awards

98th annual Darling Wild Flower Show

The latest from GoLD and IPSA

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OPINION 14 Save Our Life-Giving Soil Lee Burger

BUSINESS TIPS 15 Quick Response Can Seal the Deal Marcel Oudejans

16

Ditch the Crazy Talk Michael Laws

27

INTERVIEW 17 Let’s Hear it From

Greg Straw’s portfolio includes the Museum Garden at Nelson Mandela’s burial site

PORTFOLIOS 20 Mountain Magic

Room To Grow utilises natural sandstone in a stunning setting

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Restoration Piece

26

Perfect Pathway

29

Garden City’s Green Heart

Urban Landscape Solutions transforms the historic Dutch Gardens in Cape Town

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Cape Contours transforms the gardens at Nathan House

The Friendly Plant’s new development at Rattray Park in Kumasi City, Ghana

PRODUCTS 31 Walls and Floors PEOPLE 34 Little Interview

www.prolandscaper.co.za

17 Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

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NEWS

NEWS SHED Plant enthusiasts flock to Pietermaritzburg The 40th Royal Agricultural Society Garden Show in Pietermaritzburg has been hailed as a massive success. Despite the sweltering heat during the show, which took place at of the Royal Showgrounds from 24 to 27 September, plant enthusiasts from all over KwaZulu-Natal attended the event. Tanya Visser, magazine editor and presenter of TV programme The Gardener, gave the show a new look and feel while maintaining the show’s traditional elements. ‘Symphony of Spring’ was the theme for this year’s fourday show, which featured impressive feature gardens,

small gardens designed by talented landscapers, displays of spring flowers, orchids and bonsai, alongside a new children’s section, entertainment and gourmet food. Jams, cheese, tractors and art were also on sale along with, of course, a huge variety of plants. www.royalagriculturalsociety. co.za

Big guns gather to tackle water risks in Western Cape

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) met business leaders in the region to discuss possible solutions to the risks posed by water and food security. Ryan Ravens, new CEO of business leadership organisation Accelerate Cape Town, which hosted the event, said: “Food and water scarcity, and deteriorating water quality are real business risks which can affect production capacity [and] corporate reputations.” Ravens added that while the situation could potentially affect any market sector, the situation was particularly relevant to agriculture – a key contributor to the regional economy. Food and water are becoming critical resources as climate change patterns, population growth, rapid urbanisation and expanding middle classes drive increasing demand. The demand for food is expected to have risen by 35% by 2030, and water by 40%.

The Western Cape is experiencing significant water stress, with water quality and quantity having a particular impact on food production and posing a major threat to the fruit export industry. Ravens said: “Adopting innovative solutions for precision agriculture and water irrigation techniques will be vital to our sustained growth, as are appropriate reforms in water management, and investment in developing our water infrastructure.” The region’s agriculture sector is, however, leading the charge in finding innovative solutions. WWF freshwater specialist Christine Colvin said major British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) had assessed its global supply chain using the WWF’s agricultural water risk assessment tool.

Cape Town residents accredited via garden maintenance courses A total of 40 participants from the City of Cape Town’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) have received certificates of competency for completing accredited training in garden maintenance. The participants

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completed a two-week training session at the Khayelitsha and Strand City Parks depots. The training programme was co-ordinated by the city’s EPWP Department in conjunction with City Parks, the National Department of Public Works, and the

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority. The comprehensive training focused on applying health and safety principles in horticulture, controlling weeds, and applying fertilisers to ornamental plants and landscapes.

A City of Cape Town spokesman said the authority was continually seeking ways to empower its residents through training and development projects. He added that completing the training programme allowed participants to

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NEWS

363rd anniversary for South Africa’s oldest tree She said M&S had identified Western Cape as a waterrisk hot spot, presenting the retailer with a formidable problem as it sources peaches and nectarines from Ceres – a drought-prone area. This led M&S to become involved in water stewardship to reduce water risk in the Western Cape, Colvin said, which has led farmers participating in a new scheme to use 40 litres of water to produce a peach – down from 140 litres. “While these and other results are outstanding, it is important to harvest the best practice from these examples,” Ravens said. “The successful collaboration between retailer, NGO, and producers was the critical success factor in this – and in almost every other – solution presented. “This is the best practice that we now need to take forward as we work to implement and scale our innovations to help grow a more resilient and inclusive economy,” she added. www.bizcommunity.com

enhance their skillset and employability, while some could even consider starting their own garden maintenance company. The City intends to roll out similar programmes during the next year. Councillor Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development,

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South Africa’s oldest cultivated tree, a Saffron Pear which stands in The Company’s Garden in Cape Town, has reached the grand old age of 363. The tree’s genetic value was preserved when Johannesburg-based fruit distributors Tru-Cape took bud graft material from the tree in 2013 and propagated it on rootstock. Equivalent to cloning, the buds retain exactly the same genetic characteristics as the original

tree. A cloned sapling was planted next to the parent tree, preserving the new generation of the Saffron Pear tree for another few centuries. The tree is enclosed by a cast-iron railing and supported by poles and braces because

of its extreme age for its species. The Pyrus communis or Saffron Pear was planted during the time of Cape Town’s founder Jan van Riebeeck. City of Cape Town alderman Walker said: “We need to preserve what we have so future generations will know the history of the fruit tree industry in the Western Cape which was started years ago by gardeners who cultivated the first fruits at the Cape of Good Hope.” www.tru-cape.com

‘Run away’ to the Bedford Garden Festival People are being asked to “run away from their daily routine” to visit the Bedford Garden Festival for three days of fresh air and inspiration. The renowned country gardens in Eastern Cape is offering a “touring adventure” from 23 to 25 October and wants to share some of its favourite things in the region: “Pretty town and township gardens, scrumptious food, fine wines, and fun-loving farmers.” Bedford is noted for, and takes great pride in, its gardens. Roses, many of

which are unique to the area, flourish and during the festival several private gardens in Bedford and the surrounding district open to the public. Visitors are able to meet the gardeners and pick their brains. Festival-goers can also choose from masses of homegrown plants and gardening necessities, meander through craft stalls at the Country Market and stock up on local produce in the Food Market. Features include wide herbaceous borders, many varieties of roses (including

commended the participants for their devotion and perseverance in completing the training. She said: “These residents are now equipped with a skill which will enable them to become more self-sufficient and financially stable. “This is the first of many

such programmes aimed at assisting the most vulnerable members of society.” www.capetown.gov.za

heritage roses), secretive walkways, gazebos, lilies, water features, and herbs. The gardens will be open to the public from 8am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday and from 9am to 3pm on Sunday. www.bedford-gardens.co.za

Submit your news stories to Pro Landscaper Africa 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 / October 2015

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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF Botanical Garden is new home of Art in the Park The KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden in Pietermaritzburg has been chosen to host the 54th Art in the Park exhibition in May 2016, a partnership between the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association. www.sanbi.org

New MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has appointed Oupa Khoabane as its new MEC. This follows the appointment of Msebenzi Zwane to the National Assembly and Jonas Ramokhoase to the Provincial Legislature as Chairperson of Committees. www.news24.com

Cape Green Forum hails great golf challenge

The Cape Green Forum (CGF) held its Great Green Golf Challenge on 14 October, uniting members of the green industry for networking and friendly competition at the Mupine Golf Course in Pinelands. The CGF represents those within the green industry in the Cape. www.capegreenforum.co.za

Activities at Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve The Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve is inviting visitors to enjoy trails suitable for walkers, hikers and mountain bikers. Visitors are encouraged to explore the diversity of the 500 hectare reserve’s unique flora. www.nmbt.co.za

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The Springboks were never too far from home The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has gone to incredible lengths to make sure the Springboks feel at home during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. Saru even went as far as putting grass grown in South Africa in the Springboks’ dressing room before matches. The Springboks used the theme ‘Home Ground Advantage’ around their participation in the rugby extravaganza, in the hope that the entire nation would get behind the side. The move came amid a background of many South Africans questioning whether the team had been transformed enough to reflect the nation’s demographics, leaving many protesters feeling alienated on the sidelines. However, against this backdrop of negative publicity, Saru has been doing its level best to create unity in the Springboks’ push to win the William Webb Ellis Cup for a third time. A special piece of turf was grown in soil drawn from all 14 South African rugby provinces. The seed was then taken to England, where it was planted and placed in special trays in the Springbok’s dressing room, ensuring that the last piece of earth a player would feel beneath his feet before entering the field of play was South African turf. Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said: “We wanted some way to make our Home Ground Advantage campaign tangible for the players. “They know that back home

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

and in the stands there will be passionate South Africans cheering them on. But this will be a visible and physical reminder of what they are playing for and where they come from. “The soil has been sent to us from the provinces all over SA; it couldn’t get more South African than this. “The Rugby World Cup only comes round every four years and we know how much sporting success has meant to our country. “Now is the time to show the players that we have their

backs and are with them every step of the way.” Home Ground Advantage got off to the worst possible start, with the Springboks’ shock defeat to Japan at the Brighton Community Stadium in their opening game. However, at the time of going to press the mighty Springboks had won every game since to top their group and were looking forward to a semi-final clash against cup holders New Zealand on 24 October, where it was hoped the turf would work its wonders once more. www.sportindustry.co.za

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NEWS EXTRA

THE COROBRIK ILASA AWARDS

Merit Awards from the Southern Panel Category 1: Research, Technology and Publications Project ● Reading the landscape notebook, Bernard Oberholzer Landscape Architects Category 2A: Planning and Design (projects not yet implemented) ● Sitari Country Estate – Tanya de Villiers of CNdV Category 2B: Completed projects with a value less than R5 million ● Rosary House – Tarna Klitzner of TKLA ● V & A Waterfront Water Feature – Darryl Pryce-Lewis of OvP Associates ● Vergelegen East Garden – Johan van Papendorp & Penny Moir of OvP Associates ● The Edge, Tygerfalls – Darryl Pryce-Lewis & Yvette Anderson, OvP Associates ● Millennia Park – Penny Moir of OvP Associates

Antoinette de Beer and Corobrik’s Peter Kidger, centre, with one of the President’s Awards winners Bernard Oberholzer. The other President’s Award winner was Neal Dunstan, of the University of Pretoria

Pro Landscaper Africa attended the prestigious Corobrik ILASA awards held at The Cape Town Club on 3 October. A stone’s throw from the much-loved Company’s Garden, this venue provided the perfect location to honour the wonderful work being carried out in our landscaping community. The awards were for projects of varied scale, projects not yet realised and projects

completed. International projects also featured. The awards panel was split into the North Panel and South Panel, where projects were visited by judges in each region. These projects had to meet 80% of the specific criteria to qualify for a merit award. Special awards were also presented on the night and ILASA president Antoinette de Beer was joined by leaders in the field to hand them out.

Category 2C: Completed projects with a value greater than R5million ● Oasis Retirement Resort phase 1 & 3, Planning Partners – Jacques Dohse ● MyCiti IRT Blaauwberg Road Corridor – Jaco Jordaan of Planning Partners ● Smart Parks phase 1, Khayelitsha, Blikkiesdorp and Guguletu – Nicole Strong of City Parks, City of Cape Town ● Main Road rehabilitation phase 1 & 2 – Ancunel Steyn of SPUD, City of Cape Town ● Manenberg Human Settlement Contact Centre – Ancunel Steyn of SPUD, City of Cape Town Category 3: Export of Services ● Azuri phase 1, Mauritius – Anthony Wain of Planning Partners ● Agodi Park & Gardens, Ibadan City, Nigeria – Adam van Nieuwenhuizen of Earthworks Landscape Architects

Category 3: Export of Services winner Azuri phase 1. All images and information courtesy of ILASA

Merit Awards from the Northern Panel ● Repi Park – Green Inc ● Tuks Monate Promenade – Outline Landscape Architects ● Mining Industry Study Centre – University of Pretoria

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● Taung World Heritage Picnic Site – Bapela Cave Klapwijk ● 115 West – Alexander Forbes of Insite Landscape Architects ● The Houghton – Green Inc

President’s Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture ● Project 1: Reading the landscape notebook by Bernard Oberholzer Landscape Architects The South Panel judges agreed the publication deserved this award because of the significant and valuable contribution it will make to the advancement and understanding of landscape architectural practices. The notebook is the first of its kind in South Africa and sets a standard for locally based landscape architectural educational books to aspire to. ● Project 2: Mining Industry Study Centre by Neal Dunstan, University of Pretoria

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

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NEWS NEWS EXTRA

OUT AND ABOUT

98TH ANNUAL DARLING WILD FLOWER SHOW

Pro Landscaper Africa’s Chanel Besson meets two of the volunteers involved in running the show

The event was broadcasted on a local radio channel 10

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

The Darling Wild Flower Show has been presented by the Darling Wildflower Society since 1917. The show highlights the diverse beauty of the area as well as the Darling district’s urgent need to tackle conservation of its fynbos plants. Proceeds of the flower show go towards initiatives that sustain and invest in conservation in the area. The Darling region is in the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, sitting in the centre of the lowland sand plain where its Renosterveld fynbos is under threat. Darling is known as the flower of the west coast, and the abundance of flowers is undoubtedly its biggest asset. While highlighting the incredible diversity of species and beauty, the show aims to promote the conservation of flowers among local farmers, who have maintained the botanical diversity of the region over several generations. The first wild flower show in 1917 was held by the influential Mrs Suzanne Malan. It was arranged on a competition basis and prizes were given in the various classes with garden flowers also exhibited. Special efforts were made to organise day trips to the show by train from Cape Town. Suzanne’s influence has lived on throughout the generations and, almost 100 years later, this well-established event welcomes 7,000 visitors during the three days it runs. This year the show was held between 18 and 20 September – and Pro Landscaper was first in line.

Food and market stalls enhanced the ambience. (Above) The Darling region’s Renosterveld fynbos is under threat

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October 2015

LET’S HEAR IT FROM

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Association

ASSOCIATION NEWS

NEWS

GoLD briefing The Guild of Landscape Designers (GoLD) is an association of highly qualified and experienced practitioners in the field of landscape design. All members have undergone a rigorous selection and entry process before being granted admission to this body. The main aims of the association are to raise the standard of landscaping in the Industry, provide a professional service to clients, to ensure members adhere to standard practices and GoLD’s codes of conduct and

ethics, and to be a proactive guild that ensures clients receive an exceptional service. Eligibility for membership is only granted following the submission of a professional portfolio and an interview and selection process carried out by an experienced assessor. An inspection by standing GoLD committee members of landscape work completed by the prospective member is also carried out. Members practise under the auspices of a central committee, which directs GoLD activities in line with a formal constitution. The main focus is on excellence, ethics and best practice across all spheres for

members operating in the broader landscaping industry. GoLD’s strength lies in its robust admission criteria for prospective members and active monitoring of standards of excellence. It also organises networking activities among highly competent and professional landscape designers. The association has access to the best and most reputable service and product providers in the landscaping industry. GoLD members carry out a wide and diverse range of landscaping and landscapingrelated activities such as garden consultation and horticultural services; landscape design, implementation and project management; restoration and redesign of existing garden areas; garden maintenance services; water features, lighting decking and features design; and irrigation. The benefits of using GoLD-accredited landscapers

is that the client knows they are dealing with a landscaper with a recognised qualification – GoLD-accredited designers have spent many years studying to qualify. The Guild holds the landscaper responsible as set out in its Code of Ethics. A high standard of work is expected of its members at all times and members must adhere to GoLD’s comprehensive Code of Standard Practices. On top of this, all landscapers have to have been assessed by submitting a completed garden to a panel of their peers. A reassessment of the member every three years ensures standards are maintained. The client and landscaper also have access to arbitration procedures if required and GoLD’s disciplinary board will solve any issues pertaining to its members. www.landscapeguild.co.za

Green Dimensions

Indigo Landscapes

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Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

de Leeuw-Morrison Design www.prolandscaper.co.za


ASSOCIATION NEWS

IPSA outline The Interior Plantscapers Association (IPSA) was founded in 1982 and encourages interior plantscapers to develop ideas and network in an attempt to establish standards as well as produce a general code of ethics for its members. Since 1982, membership has increased from six to 16 companies and includes many of the main contractors, consultants and suppliers in the industry. Being a small and rather niche association, IPSA has streamlined its operations to keep administration costs as low as possible. To this end, IPSA does not have a dedicated office or office staff but is run directly by members, with meetings held at member offices. Thus, the only finance function is outsourced allowing IPSA to offer competitive membership fees which can be utilised for the benefit of members. In the past two years, IPSA members have voted to have their fees spent on the marketing and promotion of

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interior landscaping, specifically the health benefits of using indoor plants in workplaces. IPSA’s marketing agency embarked on a two-year research project with studies resulting in articles for release in the mainstream press, on the IPSA website and via its newly established Facebook page. In the past financial year, marketing has focused more on green building and IPSA proudly supports The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) in its endeavours to make corporate South Africa more responsible in how office spaces are built and managed. A major coup for IPSA, and the interior plantscape industry as a whole, was the recent introduction of interior plants as a star rating criteria for businesses in GBCSA’s Green Star rating system. IPSA is committed to the improvement of professionalism, standards, quality of design, and the installation and maintenance of interior plantscapes. For more information, visit www.ipsa.za.com

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

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OPINION

SAVE OUR LIFE-GIVING SOIL Lee Burger, principal of the Irene School of Garden Design, argues that we must stop taking site soil for granted and covering our livelihood under a sea of paving and tarmac Soil has become one of those under-rated commodities that has been neglected for so long, the issue might return with a vengeance. Contractors and developers could not care less about soil on site – and it is all too easy to dump it, waste it or let it go to ruin in favour of new soil, probably at the detriment of another site. The scariest thought is that soil is also one of the lowest priorities of our governments and councils. The inconvenient truth is that, according to the world soil organisation, 24 billion tons of soil was lost in 2011 alone. That amounts to 3.4 tons of lost topsoil per person on earth. It takes the earth 2,000 years to produce about 10cm of fertile soil. Plants, forests and habitat protect the soil but we deforest about 13 million hectares per year, which is leaving soils vulnerable.

Soil erosion, soil contamination and lost soil cost the economy 490 billion dollars per year. These were the frightening numbers revealed by various studies that were carried out by world soil organisations. Added to this is the excessive amount of soil entering our rivers, dams and oceans, raising the depth of water which, in turn, raises the water temperature, killing fish species and other beneficial organisms at an alarming rate. Bad farming practices also augment problems associated with soil loss, such as improper use of soil improvements. Sometimes harmful additions even destroy the living organisms in soil that keeps its structure alive. On a smaller scale are the homeowners who over-improve their gardens in an attempt to make them perform better, or others who under-improve or fail to take care of the soil they have.

It takes the earth

Developers are spending less money and allocating less space for gardens as it is financially more beneficial to crowd sites with as much building and parking as possible. This is exacerbated by outdated council plan approval requirements, which favour more parking, hard surfaces and a mass of impermeable paving. It is paramount everyone becomes informed and learns how soils work and why they are so important. We must remember soil is a living organism that sustains life, and has life in it. Covering our livelihood under a sea of paving or tar is no longer an option. It is time for councils to review policies regarding parking and building densities and to protect site soil by limiting the amount of imported soils and protecting and stockpiling soils that are already on site. Everyone and every plot, however big or small, can make a difference. If we do not begin to protect this valuable resource immediately, it might be too late. It is time we became more responsible for the quality and quantity of our soils. ABOUT LEE BURGER

years to produce 10cm of fertile soil 14

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

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

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BUSINESS TIPS

A QUICK RESPONSE CAN

SEAL THE DEAL As business owners, we spend a fair amount of money on getting our name ‘out there’ – whether it’s advertising, business cards or a website – in the hope that prospective clients will call us with new opportunities. And yet, despite the technology we have access to, a common problem that causes lost sales opportunities is slow response times. In my own business, I have implemented a policy that I will try my very best to call a customer within 15 minutes of their enquiry (if they didn’t call me on the telephone directly). It has become normal for me to hear the customer say: “Wow, I just sent you that email!” The fact that the person is surprised tells me it’s not a normal experience for them! CLOSING A SALE Personal experience has shown me that I am considerably more likely to close a sale if I call within 10 minutes of the initial enquiry than if I wait 24 hours to contact the prospect. It is no surprise why. If the prospect is thinking about me now, I have a ‘hot’ lead that is much easier to close. Often the prospective customer is still on my website so I can guide them around and show them different options or examples, turning my website into an invaluable tool to support my sales conversation. Since virtually every business owner has a smartphone and an email account these days, customer communication can happen amazingly quickly. Yet, considering how easy it can be to talk to customers and prospects, it is not unusual for a delay of several hours (or www.prolandscaper.co.za

even days) to get a response. By that time, the prospect may have called your competition or visited their website instead – and there is a very real chance that you will have lost the opportunity of that sale. In our fast-paced business world, any delay in communication can lead to lost sales and revenue. Make it a habit to respond (but preferably call) your customers as quickly as you can and the results will encourage you. You can have the fanciest marketing material in the world but the very best marketing you can do is to call the customer and hear: “Wow! Thank you for calling me back so quickly.”

ABOUT MARCEL OUDEJANS Marcel Oudejans is a professional 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. Marcel uses magic and comedy to deliver his core message so delegates learn how to deliver “WOW!” customer service to increase sales and customer retention. Marcel has been a registered professional speaker with the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa since 2008. www.corporatemagician.co.za/keynote

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BUSINESS TIPS

DITCH THE CRAZY TALK Michael Laws, Group CMO of Intarget, one of Africa’s largest mobile aggregation and solutions companies, says get on the mobile marketing bus now before it’s standing room only Mobile technology continues to find great acceptance in South Africa, with the country an impressive sixth in the world when it comes to adoption of the mobile web. If one considers there are a whopping 195 countries in the world, it's quite an achievement for the world's 25th biggest economy to be up there in the mobile top 10! Once again, sheer numbers tell us mobile marketing is where brands need to be. If your organisation hasn't jumped on the mobile marketing bus, you better get on now – soon it'll be standing room only. For example, it's no accident that one of the most recent retail loyalty programmes to launch – by Spar – uses the customer's mobile phone to register via an unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) command. It's quite a thing for a major mass market retailer to imply that virtually every one of its customers must have a cellphone. And Spar is not alone. When combined with web functionality, we find the mobile phone being used to receive One Time Passwords (OTPs) when paying TV licences, transacting with internet banking, and more. In fact, according to accepted wisdom in the cellular industry, mobile penetration is now 130%. So we're no longer talking about a mobile phone in the hands of every consumer, we're at a place where there are 1.3 phones in the hands of every consumer. In 16

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addition, dual SIM handsets are becoming very popular, especially at the lower end of the market. We need to change some marketers' mindsets that the mobile phone can be part of a marketing campaign but can never be the central element because print, radio and television must still lead. To borrow a phrase from the medium they're still erroneously glued to, that's crazy talk! Perhaps a reason why some leading marketers still refuse to accept that as many people have mobile phones as have identity documents is because the people making the campaign decisions now were just starting out in business when the mobile phone was a novelty. They're stuck with a mindset from 20 years ago that says only yuppies (remember them?) have cellphones. Let's rewind a little as the concept of 'mobile marketing' might need to be clarified. Mobile marketing involves communicating with the consumer via a cellular handset. The mobile marketer will typically either send a simple marketing message, introduce mobile users to a new audience participation-based campaign, or allow them to visit a mobile website. While it is important not to equate mobile marketing only with the humble 160-character text message, the SMS is indeed one of the foundation tools of the trade. It was the first bits and bytes-driven method of mobile advertising to be explored by marketers. Experian, a US marketing services provider, estimates the number of worldwide SMS users (about 1.8 billion) is twice that of active email users. That's 1.8 billion good reasons to embark on a mobile marketing campaign. Here’s

another good reason: text messages are generally read within 15 minutes and responded to within an hour. Now compare that with emails, which could go unread for days. In addition, SMS is an effective method of bulk one-to-many communication, with one overseas study finding more than 94% of all text messages are actually read by the recipients. And with almost seven billion text messages being sent around the world daily, mobile marketers are also benefiting from economies of scale that make SMS a very reasonably priced marketing tool. In terms of the response methods cellular users employ, SMS also performs well here. Research indicates that, after viewing a particular ad, 25% of mobile ad respondents sent an SMS message, while 13% sent an MMS (picture SMS), 11% sent an email, 9% visited a web or mobile site, and 7% responded to click-to-call. In conclusion, not only should the text message continue to be explored by marketers, they should go to the next level by rediscovering the text message with a mobile advertising partner that can propose interesting new ways of approaching an old favourite. ABOUT MIKE LAWS Michael is group chief marketing officer for Intarget, one of Africa's largest mobile aggregation and solutions companies. He has more than 23 years’ experience in the ICT industry, has worked in multiple MNOs in Africa such as Econet Wireless and Vodacom South Africa. He is currently commercialising mobile advertising across 33 countries in Africa and the Middle East for Airtel Group and MTN group. He has an MBA from Oxford Brookes University and is an expert on the role of mobile as part of large-scale marketing. http://intarget.mobi

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INTERVIEW

Let’s Hear it From

GREG STRAW

Pro Landscaper Africa talks to the owner of Earth Architectural Landscapes, whose incredible portfolio ranges from refurbishing one of Zambia’s oldest golf courses and designing a penthouse in Sandhurst to creating a haven for AIDS orphans. His most famous project was creating the Museum Garden at Nelson Mandela’s burial site

Have you always known you wanted to be involved in the landscaping Industry? When I was a small boy, I used to work with our gardener at weekends. My late father was also an architect. We had a huge garden and we designed it together. After rugby I would come home and work with him and our garden boy on building projects. Eventually my dad amalgamated his company with other architects and moved his practice into town. He asked who out of my brothers and myself would like to take over the tunnel and vegetable garden? I put my hand up and ran with it. By the time I was 10, I was selling hot house cucumbers, veggies and produce to the neighbours. It was ingrained in me.

which I then converted to a landscape architecture B Tech degree. Because my dad was an architect I would always go on site with him after school and I often sat and did my homework at his office in the afternoons as well, so the notion of design was dominant in my life.

When it became time to study and decide on a career, how did you prepare yourself for the industry? I studied horticulture as I knew it was something I wanted to do. I studied landscape design

Earth Architectural Landscapes is a design, construction, installation and maintenance company with six propagation nurseries. How do you manage your time and energy? Being hyperactive helps. The satisfaction I get

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Did you begin your business straight after studying or did you learn the ropes through other companies? I started working for myself. Some of my first staff were guys I was studying with, I was signing their practical papers as their ‘boss’ but was also in the same lectures! I knew it was the direction I wanted to go in, so I did.

from propagating plant material means none of it is a ‘job’. The thrill of collecting seeds and samples for my horticulturists to multiply is indescribable. The quintessential landscape architect conceptualises a design, draws up a bill of quantities, hands it over to a landscape contractor and then trusts their vision will come to fruition. Due to my propagation for each project and my company’s skills, I get to see my project from beginning to end. I have the responsibility and thrill of being able to be egg, caterpillar and butterfly all in one. By that I mean I am not working to someone else’s stipulations. You are well known as a propagator. Do your propagation methods earn you more international business, credibility and acclaim than someone who sources material? I was asked to have a look at a site at a private resort on an island. This client had asked a few other guys to come and have a look but he Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 17


INTERVIEW seemed more interested in me because I also propagated. I asked him how the other guys were going to supply the plant material and he told me they were importing it, which seemed bizarre to me. I had carried out work in the Middle East and explained that with the conditions on the island, the plants available in some areas of South Africa wouldn’t cope in the climate. I suggested propagating everything on his island. I chose local plants and built a nursery. I hired and trained local staff. It was great when the project took off because we had empowered the local community by making them grow the plant material which they were going to look after because it was their small project. Did your propagation in that project prove to be more cost-effective? What I did after we had finished propogating plants for the garden was turn the nurseries into vegetable gardens. This cut out importing food and created a fresh, sustainable alternative. It taught the locals all those skills, so it worked. We were able to teach subsistence farmers how to propagate plant material. It creates pride and ownership for people. There is also community buy-in and it is cost-effective to the client. So

when we finish a project we are confident the design will be maintained as opposed to if we imported staff, built a project and then got on a plane home. But it is not only about cash and being cost-effective, it plays to practicality and sustainability as well. Local wildlife, local people, local pride. What I did after we had used those gardens for propagation was turn the nurseries into vegetable gardens. This cut out importing food and created a fresh sustainable alternative. It taught the locals all these skills, so it worked. With local projects, do you contract out? No. I train and use my own staff – I currently have 136. That way I know what to expect and I know the standards I will receive from my workers. There are no surprises. I am the main landscape architect/horticulturist, then I have two other landscape architects who work for me, an operations manager and head landscaper. I also have six landscape supervisors and their teams. We also have in-house irrigation, decking and paving divisions. We meet on site once all the planning is finished to discuss implementation. We all work together in helping to realise the design. There are many links.

How many projects does your company run at the same time? Between 20 and 30, but we do have a big team. You carry out residential work as well as industrial, commercial, rehabilitation and island, as well as golf courses and sports fields. Which is your favourite sector? It is difficult to say. For me it has to be something where people have interacted with a project to the extent where they just seem to get it. They see it is clever and it works. I own the Fourways Farmers Market in Jo’burg, and to see people interact within that space I have created – the different rooms, veggie gardens, herb gardens, picnic park, amphitheatre for live music, children’s play area, outdoor supermarket – is fantastic. It’s great to witness when people understand the water features are strategically placed to muffle crowd noise and the scented plants at the entrance are there to welcome them. It’s all designed, nothing is by chance. Building public spaces that people interact with, and co-exist in, is possibly my favourite type of design – when ergonomics work and you see people get it!

LANDSCAPE SITE PLAN

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INTERVIEW You were the contractor for the Museum Garden at Nelson Mandela’s burial site. As a South African, how did that make you feel and how did you receive this honour? I was asked by Nelson Mandela’s family to come up with a plan for the Museum Garden about seven years ago. I designed a plan, as did a lot of landscapers from South Africa and abroad, and we all presented our plans to the family. I looked at the gardens of Martin Luther King, JFK, Ghandi and other museum gardens for inspiration. I presented the concept, and the family just got it. I had worked hard to present something that would do the father of our country justice so it was very emotional. They then told me I had been chosen to design and build this garden and Mandela would be buried there, which was unexpected. I had to rework the design to fit in the burial site – an amphitheatre dug out of soil. I interacted with him a lot during the build and it was a surreal experience – a huge and humbling honour. What sort of challenges did you run into? For traditional and religious reasons the garden could not be completed before Nelson Mandela’s passing. We could prepare the area and get the basics done but when it came to building the grave we had to wait. On the day of his passing I was working in Zambia and had to fly back to begin building. In nine days I had to prepare the burial site. Traditionally, the area had to fit certain stipulations so it was a challenge, but it was an honour and I wouldn’t change it for the world. What challenges do you face with clients you contract out to? Managing people’s perceptions of what it is they are getting. I present a drawing or idea of the garden to clients, but landscaping is not like tiling or paving where the project is finished and looks its best on completion. The true potential of a garden is only reached six months or so down the line. Gardens tend to only start their development once you have finished planting them. It grows as the plants interact and then establishes itself. So I have to constantly convince clients to trust me that, in time, this garden will look like the initial picture I presented them with. Learning to love watching their gardens grow – this is something that helps to shift the perception. www.prolandscaper.co.za

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2 You mention customer service a lot on your website. What measures do you take? I have an in-house operations manager who I insist comes to all client meetings on site. The operations manager walks with me and says “yes we can do that” or “no we cannot” so there is clear understanding of what we are agreeing to. There is no over-promising and under-delivering. Communication is also key, let the client know they must trust you. And, at the end of the day, if they are not happy you must adapt and change it. What would you like to be remembered for as a landscape architect? As practical, functional, and ergonomically aware. My late father was a well-respected architect who understood space and how to utilise it. Picture gardens don’t work in my humble opinion. A garden needs to be aesthetically pleasing but when your child runs out to the pool, I would prefer it’s not over gravel. I evaluate practicalities so it is a

functioning garden. You don’t want the pool where the shadows will be cast by the sun, you want it to warm throughout the day. The driveway is designed so car headlights don’t shine through the windows. I steer you around the house and create the space to interact in. It is all functional. Making a garden interact with humans and architecture is my goal and ideal. 1A  mixed-use hospitality development on the Zambezi river, just above the Victoria Falls 2 A water feature at Bartalo House

ABOUT EARTH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Earth Landscape Architects Montecasino Boulevard, Sandton, 2191 Tel: +27 11 465 5276 Email: greg@earthland.co.za Web: www.earthland.co.za

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PORTFOLIO

MOUNTAIN MAGIC Room To Grow transformed a house on the outskirts of Cape Town by utilising natural sandstone and planting an indigenous wild and organic garden to help it blend into its beautiful backdrop

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PROJECT DETAILS Mountain House PROJECT VALUE R1.5 million PROJECT SIZE 2,315m2 COMMENCEMENT DATE Early 2008 COMPLETION DATE February 2011

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andscaping full service company Room To Grow was given a brief by the client to transform Mountain House in Cape Town. The client requested an indigenous, wild and organic garden in the upper levels, which needed to blend into the building’s mountain landscape backdrop. The design was also required to transform the feel of the lower levels by introducing exotics and an ‘edible’ garden. Over time, the garden has evolved and moved towards a completely indigenous landscape. Various exotics have been removed to make way for Protea, Leucadendron, Leucospermum and other fynbos species. Where practical and viable, fruit trees were added and the organic food garden has evolved and grown into a very productive and healthy source of food for the resident family. Room To Grow was required to produce ‘before, during and after’ images and provide plan drawings for the client in as high a resolution as possible. When sourcing materials for the project, Room To Grow relied on various wholesale plant nurseries for topsoil and composts. Some of the problems Room To Grow had to overcome during the project were the extremely shallow depth of the lawn roof terraces and having to work around builders on a very busy and congested site. The company had to move materials to the various levels, most of which were shallow in depth. Room To Grow retained all the original natural sandstone walls and pathways but had to repair and build new steps and walls as per design where required. Two water features where constructed. One was built at the entrance to the driveway, a small, closed system that runs parallel with a natural seasonal mountain stream. The second feature was a hand-dressed and stacked granite slab wet wall that stands adjacent to the natural swimming pool. Irrigation for the gardens are supplied via a borehole and tank system. A booster pump circulates water from the tanks to the garden on a seasonally adapted watering schedule. The system uses a combination of pop-ups, standpipes and drip line to irrigate the garden.

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SUPPLIERS Architect: Van der Merwe Miszewsk Tel: 021 423 5829 www.vdmma.com Natural Pool: Eco Pools Tel: 021 761 3759 www.ecopoolsonline.com Fencing: Bothma Fencing Tel: 082 830 6012 Email: bothmafencing@telkomsa.net Stone Work: Elem Stone Masonry Tel: 082 900 3148 www.elemstonemasonry.com Irrigatin: Kit Irrigation Tel: 084 589 9979 ABOUT ROOM TO GROW Room To Grow has been designing and creating outdoor living spaces in and around Cape Town since 2002. The company offers a complete suite of landscape design, construction and associated exterior design elements from its Exterior Design Office. Room To Grow specialises in understanding and translating its clients desires to create unique environments that reflect the individual characters which inhabit them. www.roomtogrow.co.za

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PORTFOLIO

RESTORATION PIECE Urban Landscape Solutions took on the challenge of turning the historic Dutch Gardens within the Company’s Garden in Cape Town into a new facility to educate people on the positive nature of urban food and community gardens

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PROJECT DETAILS The Company’s Garden, Cape Town INVESTMENT LEVEL R1.5 million TIMELINE About six months SIZE 2,100m2

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he Company’s Garden is adjacent to the South African Parliament. It takes its name from the Dutch East India Company, which started the garden in 1652 to grow fruit and vegetables for crews of its ships that plied the spice trade route between Europe and the East Indies via The Cape of Good Hope. Hard work and perseverance paid off and, by November 1653, it was reported that the garden could produce enough food to supply passing ships. The VOC Vegetable Garden project (VOC stands for Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie – the Dutch translation of the company’s name) recreates elements of the original garden, which extended well beyond the limits of the new project. The revamped Dutch Gardens, within the Company’s Garden, has been designed not only to be a visitor attraction but also a resource to exhibit and teach urban-agriculture skills and promote food security. Urban Landscape Solutions, a member of the Little Swift Group, was tasked with the project. The brief from the

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client was to restore the fruit and vegetable garden to as it was in the days of Jan Van Riebeeck, the Dutch colonial administrator who founded Cape Town. The gardens used to be beside a harbour, where ships could dock and replenish supplies. The irrigation system Urban Landscape Solutions installed was based on the original flood system, and materials were sourced from local suppliers. Plants were sourced through the company’s own New Horizen Nursery. Until recently, the original site was a parking lot in

THE WORST PROBLEM TO OVERCOME WAS DRAINAGE BECAUSE OF THE HIGH WATER TABLE front of the administration buildings, the size equating to about 2,100m2. Urban Landscape was given about six months to complete the project. The worst problem the company had to overcome was drainage because of the high

water table and water retention. This was overcome by installing sub terrain drainage. The completed works included: ● Demolishing stores and a car park ● Constructing waterways and a pond with a ‘leiwater’ redistribution system ● Providing cladded walls and seating ● Building pathways ● Constructing a large pergola ● Landscaping the vegetable garden The new design reflects the original Dutch quadrant layout of the Company’s Garden. Stone-lined open irrigation channels, reminiscent of the original Dutch ‘leiwater’ or water channels, were manufactured by Urban Landscape Solutions to provide water to the vegetable garden. The water is piped from the Stadsfontein spring in Oranjezicht. The VOC Vegetable Garden is now a working vegetable and herb garden, which includes historical varieties of indigenous traditional medicinal herbs, European culinary herbs, and vegetables and fruit trees, including various berry varieties. www.prolandscaper.co.za


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The area is surrounded by rustic wooden pergolas, which have grape varieties and granadilla growing on them, as well as espaliered pear and apple tree species interplanted with heritage climbing rose species. Seasonal varieties of vegetables are also grown, and all gardening methods are based on organic and permaculture principles. The VOC Vegetable Garden project, Urban Landscape Solutions said, highlights the need for urban food gardens and promotes the development of community gardens in undeveloped open spaces in Cape Town. It is hoped this will attract the attention of potential investors to support existing food gardens and stimulate the creation of new ones. Major retailer Woolworths has partnered with City Parks and provided financial support for the maintenance of the vegetable garden, as well as backing educational programmes that invite the public to participate in theoretical and practical vegetable gardening one-day courses. Programmes are advertised a few weeks before each one commences. www.prolandscaper.co.za

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The Company’s Garden highlights the need for urban food gardens

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The facility is now a working vegetable and herb garden

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Tourists (and wildlife) now flock to enjoy the historic site

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The new design reflects the original Dutch quadrant layout

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MAIN SUPPLIERS Design:

Phillip Smith of City of Cape Town’s heritage department Tel: 021 850 4047 Email: Philip.Smith@capetown.gov.za

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All hardscaping:

ABOUT URBAN LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS

Urban Landscape Solutions (see box right) Plants and trees:

New Horizen Nursery Tel: 082 221 9824 Email: sales@newhorizennursery.co.za www.newhorizennursery.co.za Timber:

The Pole Yard Tel: 021 510 4477 Email: leeroy@poleyard.co.za www.poleyard.co.za Soil mix supplied by:

Reliance Compost Tel: 086 188 8784 Email: info@reliance.co.za www.reliance.co.za

Multi award-winning Urban Landscape Solutions turns “a client’s dream into a stunning, sustainable reality”. Under the guidance of Eric Cherry, a highly qualified horticulturist with 30 years of experience, the company and its professional landscapers have a proven, all-inclusive landscaping record. Regardless of style or scope, Urban Landscape has successfully taken on a range of prestigious challenges, including complex designs and the fast-tracking of enormous projects such as the Green Point Urban Park and the One&Only hotel and resort on Cape Town’s Waterfront. PO Box 167, Newlands, Cape Town, 7725 Tel: +27 (0)21 551 7010 Email: info@urbanlandscape.co.za www.urbanlandscape.co.za

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PROJECT DETAILS Classic Contemporary PROJECT VALUE R100,000 PROJECT SIZE Main garden about 150m2, back garden 10m2 PROJECT TIME Two weeks

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PERFECT PATHWAY Cape Contours Landscape Solutions had to transform the gardens of a classic contemporary house, tackling awkward brick walls to present visitors with a pleasant route to the front door

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he client tasked Cape Contours Landscape Solutions with transforming the front and rear gardens of their property. The request was for gardens which were easy to maintain, complemented the classic look of the architecture, and offered some seating with a small entertainment area. There was also a major concern about visitors finding the front door, as it is tucked away in the corner of the patio and a main path was required to provide direction.

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The property is long and narrow and the softening of a high boundary wall was a priority. In the back garden, an old brick wall dominated the space and the client wanted the front garden to flow through to the rear. Cape Contours, therefore, had to find a solution for the old brick wall. The large concrete pavers from Cemstone were the biggest expense on the project. However, they were also the most valuable asset as they held the space and became the central feature in the design. They also played

an important role in directing visitors straight to the front door and creating interesting lines to plant around. One of the ugly ducklings in the project was the back boundary wall as it was built from dark, exposed brick. Cape Contours decided that rather than plastering the wall, it was better to bag it with cement. This is a fairly cheap method whereby the grooves are filled with cement and a light wash is painted across the brick to allow the texture of the old wall to come through. Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 27


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On top of this, Cape Contours planted boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and added a focal urn, which belonged to the client, and some outdoor lighting. The courtyard feeds off the main lounge and when the doors are open it becomes a beautiful textured backdrop to the lounge and is visible from the main garden. To frame the lawn, steel edging was used rather than cobbles, as this provides a cleaner and invisible line. Steel cables within and along the high boundary walls were used to support the star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). Other interesting plants were used in the project, including the river indigo tree (Indigofera jucunda), a small and beautiful ornamental tree which is perfect for small gardens, and Chilean jasmine (Mandevilla laxa) to drape across the portico. A mix of grasses give a shaggy texture against the clipped hedges and Japanese anemones will provide a delightful autumn surprise when the rest of the garden is preparing for winter.

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MAIN SUPPLIERS Landscape design and Installation: Cape Contours Landscape Solutions Unit 2 Lakeside Place, Capricorn Business Park, Muizenberg, Cape Town 7945 Tel: 021 788 1202 Email: quotes@capecontours.co.za www.capecontours.co.za Large pavers: Cemstone Tel: 021 905 9415 / 021 905 9416 Email: admin@cemstone.co.za www.cemstone.co.za Steel cables: Tensile Cables Tel: 021 701 9677 Email: info@tensilecables.co.za www.tensilecables.co.za Steel edging: Permaedge Tel: 031 791 0162 / 0723 576126 Email: info@permaedge.co.za www.permaedge.co.za

ABOUT CAPE CONTOURS Cape Contours provides a comprehensive landscape service to a wide range of clients. Its focus is on consultation, design and implementation of landscapes, construction of precision gabion retaining walls, and installation of living green walls. The company is based at the foot of the Muizenburg mountain range in Cape Town. Cape Contours is also happy to collaborate on projects. www.capecontours.co.za

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GARDEN CITY’S

GREEN HEART Landscaping company The Friendly Plant was at the heart of the development of Rattray Park in the centre of Kumasi City in Ghana

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uldersdrift, Johannesburg-based landscape design company The Friendly Plant took on a mammoth project in Ghana when it was tasked with constructing Rattray Park in a bid to restore Kumasi’s title as the ‘Garden City of West Africa’. The park was named after Captain Robert Sutherland Rattray, a Scotsman who was assistant colonial secretary in the Gold Coast and clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Accra in 1919. Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) decided the revitalisation of the area would increase pride within the community but controversial politics surrounded the move, with many locals seeing the works as a luxury, preferring to see the money used on other projects instead. However, KMA decided to proceed, taking into account the positive effect of such a significant project. Rattray Park lies at the centre of Kumasi, which is the capital city of the Ashanti region, an important historical centre for Ghana. The park is a big

attraction in the region as a whole, enticing people into the city who would not otherwise make the journey. The construction of the park, KMA reasoned, would create jobs, increase tourism, have a positive effect on the local economy, bring new investment and development to the area, and provide something the local people could be proud of. Added to this, the greening and beautification of an area such as Rattray tends to have a positive knock-on effect in terms of the general aesthetics of an area, with nearby properties often upgrading their gardens as a direct result. The Friendly Plant commenced its work on the project by setting out the different constructed features. The remit was to make the most use of the space available to prevent overcrowding in the park, as the more spread out facilities are, the more people will experience a greater sense of space and privacy despite being in the heart of an urban area. The company was asked to design a park that would serve the local community and

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Entrance 1 10 VIP jetty 4 Entrance 4 7 Outdoor gym Entrance 2 5 Entrance 5 8 Children’s play area 11 Pavilions 30 Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 6 Pond 9 Toilets 12 Dining hall and 3 Entrance 3

attract visitors from near and far, providing a beautiful green space in the city. It was to be a place where people could meet, exercise and relax while enjoying time amid the nature. Facilities The Friendly Plant had to provide included a children’s play area, a fitness area, a large water feature with musical sprays, toilets, pathways and a restaurant. Most materials and plants were locally sourced in order to support the local community and save on transportation costs, with the exception of specialist items such as the musical fountain water feature and the children’s splash pad, which had to be imported from China as there were no equivalent items available locally.

THE FRIENDLY PLANT DESIGNED THE PARK USING A PALETTE OF SPECIES EASY TO OBTAIN LOCALLY The company used plants that were locally available on a commercial level (not specifically indigenous or endemic species). Kumasi City is home to more than a million residents and is densely populated, with few green spaces and extremely limited plant availability. The Friendly Plant ultimately designed the park using a palette of species it knew would be easy to grow or obtain locally. The park is intended to be a happy, colourful environment so many of the plant choices included varieties with colourful foliage or leaves. Plants were sourced locally, and the municipality and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – the largest public university in Ghana – helped to propagate plants for use in the park. This contributed to cutting costs significantly,

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function room

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helping the project become a reality. The significance of the park’s development for the community, and Ghana as a whole, was evidenced by the fact it was jointly inaugurated on June 20 by two of the most important and respected political figures in Ghana – its president, John Dramani Mahama, and King Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, ruler of the Kingdom of Ashanti. The park has proved an extremely popular destination and already boasts almost 4,000 likes on Facebook as well as a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from 58 reviews – a big success in anyone’s book. 4

8 1 (Previous page) A restaurant and function room was built in the heart of the park

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Rattray Park is an oasis at the heart of Kumasi

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A plan of the new layout

4-6 The musical water feature lights up at night 7

 any of the plants were chosen for their M colourful foliage

8

The children’s play area

ABOUT THE FRIENDLY PLANT

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www.prolandscaper.co.za

The Friendly Plant is an internationally recognised, award-winning landscape design and installation company, based in Johannesburg. Its work regularly features in glossy lifestyle magazines, hardcover coffee-table books and TV shows. It has designed and installed eight gardens for the Big Brother reality television show and were awarded “Best of 2013, 2014 & 2015” on Houzz.com. www.thefriendlyplant.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 31


PRODUCTS

FOCUS ON WALLS AND FLOORS Norsag’s Capillary Concrete Cape Town-based Norsag’s trademarked Capillary Concrete is an engineered bunker liner drainage system that can drain 100 inches vertically and, by capillary force, moisturise the golf bunker sand to “greatly reduce maintenance costs and increase playing conditions”. Norse said Capillary Concrete provides superior bunker conditions for golf courses by using a patent-pending system of micropores and channels to move moisture upward and creating a force of adhesion in the sand. It added that moisture levels are the most important factor in keeping the sand stable and manageable, and the sand in a moisture-managed bunker is more consistent, easier to play from, and significantly easier to care for.

www.norsag.co.za

CASE STUDY Freedom Park Museum in Pretoria

Walling and flooring are second only to the landscape they accompany in the quality they lend to an outdoor living space. Their textures, uniqueness, colouring, durability and cohesion with the space lend these products to both residential and commercial projects

Revelstone was founded in 1993 and has grown to become a market leader with a reputation for innovative products and personalised service. Its product range includes straight edge pavers, random edge pavers, tiles, bullnose tiles, pool coping, cladding, circles, steps, cobbles, landscape products, and kerbs. Revelstone also expanded its engineered Revelstone’s Off Shutter precast concrete range by launching Off Shutter, 25 mm wall cladding which can be used to enhance plastered brick and other types of wall surfaces or finishes (pictured above). Available in four sizes and any of Revelstone’s 16-colour range, it has been designed to simulate the look of in-situ, off-shutter concrete. Different sizes can be combined to create realistic and attractive wall finishes internally and externally.

www.revelstone.co.za

Durban-headquartered Corobrik used its Country Classic Satin clay face brick for paving, wall construction and cladding of structures at Freedom Park Museum in Pretoria. The Country Classic Satin brick was developed specifically for the project. A Corobrik spokesman said: “The colours and textures were designed to resonate with the earth, the hues and textures of the surrounding landscape, and complement the weathered copper cladding. The face brick effectively clad the complex irregular shapes defining the cracks and fissures of the natural boulders and rocks found on site, helping the buildings and hard landscaping blend into the landscape rather than impose on it.” www.corobrik.co.za

Evergreen Turf’s TifSport

Established in 1987 by Fanus and Hantie Cloete, Evergreen Turf is today “recognised as the largest supplier of instant lawn in the southern hemisphere”. All Evergreen turf is BEE compliant and the company can supply both warm season and cool season grasses. TifSport is an Evergreentrademarked product and is part of the Cynodon variety. It is bred from indigenous parent varieties. Tifsport is dark green with a fine leaf texture. It displays a good tolerance of drought and cold. Evergreen said TifSport suits a wide range of soil, has a moderate establishment rate, good wearability and has “proven itself successful on sports fields and home gardens”. The company added that TifSport has been a top performer in NTEP Trials for 12 years in the US and has been approved by FIFA for soccer pitches.

www.evergreenturf.co.za 32

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

www.prolandscaper.co.za


PRODUCTS Easigrass South Africa is a leading artificial grass brand. Its products can transform gardens, playgrounds, sports facilities, balconies, rooftops, poolsides and interiors into green, low maintenance areas that can be enjoyed all year round. Aside from the traditional grass styles, Easigrass has introduced Easi-Sport which “has become the product of choice in sports installations, providing betterquality surfaces and increased durability”. International sports clubs are already using the EasiSport range as it offers “the best performances” and meets FIH Global standards.

Easi-Sport by Easigrass

www.easigrass.com

WilsonStone’s Cut Stone WilsonStone’s Cut Stone range is an indigenous terrazzo that can be cut and machined to almost any given shape to form a tile, paver, pool coping or wall coping. The tiles can be used indoors and outdoors, can be polished to resemble marble and are a completely indigenous product that is extremely hard-wearing yet elegant and modern, the company said. Cut Stone is ideally suited to patio and pool surrounds but has been used for garden walkways and drives. Cut Stone can be manufactured to thicknesses ranging from 20mm to 70mm and WilsonStone can produce almost any size within the mould capacity.

www.wilsonstone.co.za

SmartStone’s Streetscaping www.smartstone.co.za www.prolandscaper.co.za

SmartStone pioneered the idea of exterior design systems achieved by creating some products with natural textures and others which remain true to concrete. Although SmartStone’s products are handmade, each piece is precision engineered to work as part of a greater unit. The SmartStone Streetscaping range consists of products that can be incorporated seamlessly into the design of commercial and city landscapes. Tactile paving (pictured) is a system of paving with an indicative surface which assists blind or visually impaired pedestrians.

Ecowood’s Decking Pioneer Since 2002, Waterberg-based Agriligna has been offering a wide range of wood composite products across southern Africa under the registered trademark Ecowood. Thanks to in-house research, development and technology, Ecowood is not dependant on any imported technology or materials and develops its own applications from formulations through to die designs and the manufacture of final products. Ecowood said it has the widest range of wood plastic composite products of any company in Africa, including the Ecowood Decking Pioneer (pictured above). The 110mm x 22mm original decking profile gives the economy of a hollow design combined with the strength of a ribbed profile that will give adequate strength for any home deck, the company said, adding that it is “the perfect option around any swimming pool”.

www.ecowood.co.za/web

CASE STUDY River Lodge in Craighall Park For this project, Gabion Baskets used its own River Mattresses, Geotextiles and Gabion Rock product ranges. The river flowing behind the River Lodge complex caused major concerns with regard to erosion. To avoid further erosion beyond the complex boundary, it was decided to install a gabion river wall and river mattress. The first two weeks of the project were dedicated to diverting and draining the river to create space on the bank. The consulting engineer on the projects was Fanie Joubert, of Procom Consultants, which also carried out the installation. www.gabionbaskets.co.za

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 33


PEOPLE

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

BEN ROBERTS

KHARBAL JAMES KALTHO

Manager, Leitch Landscapes

Landscape architect, Design Infinity Studios

www.leitchlandscapes.co.za

Your most referred to gardening book of all time Trees Of Natal, by Elsa Pooley, and 112 Plants For You And Your Bushbuck, by Geoff Nichols.

creation of a good succession plan are vital.

Most inspirational garden No man-made garden compares to God’s natural gardens in the Eastern Cape gorges (Transkei).

Describe yourself in three words Optimistic, funny, ocean-lover.

Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without My trusty old pole pruner for those hard to reach places. Favourite plant Nothing compares to an Aloe thraskii in full autumn bloom. How is sustainability embedded into your business? Education and the

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Biggest life influence My wife and two daughters and teaching them about nature and its glory.

The three people you would invite to a dinner party Jimi Hendrix, Kelly Slater and Donald Trump. A lifelong (sporting) fan of… Everton Football Club in the English Premier League and the Springboks. Favourite tipple Ice-cold Lemon Flying Fish on a hot summer evening.

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015

Your most referred to gardening book of all time Design With Nature, by Ian Mcharg. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) The Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without Laptop computer. Favourite plant Royal Palm. How is sustainability embedded into your business? By communicating sustainability goals in work, construction projects, management and maintenance of landscape sites; by reusing waste construction materials creatively; by applying

ecological design principles and critical analysis of how actions affect environment while actively working to reduce their impact; and by water harvesting and conservation. Biggest life influence Jesus Christ. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, entrepreneurial and innovative. The three people you would invite to a dinner party Milk Bickle, Kongjian Yu and James Corner. A lifelong (sporting) fan of… Ronaldo. Favourite tipple Apple juice.

www.prolandscaper.co.za


PEOPLE

ANTHONY TEUCHERT Owner, Atlanticscapes www.atlanticscapes.co.za Your most referred to gardening book of all time Southern African What Flower Is That? by Kristo Pienaar and Gideon Smith. Most inspirational garden Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London. The combination of nature and history was the experience of a lifetime.

Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without Secateurs. Favourite plant Duranta Sheena’s Gold. How is sustainability embedded into your business? It’s at the forefront of all we do. From the compost, the plants we select, waste

management, and recycling organic material. We must consider the impact our work will have on the environment. Biggest life influence My wife; she is my best friend, my partner in everything and a great source of motivation and inspiration to me. Describe yourself in three words

Hard working, motivated and caring. The three people you would invite to a dinner party Richard Branson, Pope Francis and Jacob Zuma,. A lifelong (sporting) fan of… Springboks. Favourite tipple Beer.

STEPHAN BARNARD

ILSE HERBST

Partner, Seas of Green Global

Landscape designer and developer, Green Zone

www.sogdesign.net Your most referred to gardening book of all time Definitely the www. plantzafrica.com website! Most inspirational garden I absolutely love Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and visit as often as possible.

Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without My laptop. Favourite plant Combretum kraussii. How is sustainability embedded into your business? Our business focuses on

www.prolandscaper.co.za

saving our clients time, money and resources. Biggest life influence Music. Describe yourself in three words Resourceful, ambitious, dependable. The three people you would invite to a dinner party Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, Elon Musk. A lifelong (sporting) fan of… Springboks. Favourite tipple Gin and tonic.

Your most referred to gardening book of all time Field Guide To Fynbos, by John Manning. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Newlands forest. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without My camera phone. Favourite plant Afrocarpus falcatus (Outeniqua yellowwood). How is sustainability embedded into your business? Planting thousands of trees,

creating and restoring natural habitats, connecting people with nature. Biggest life influence The natural world. Describe yourself in three words Wild, creative, vegan. The three people you would invite to a dinner party Sam Simon, my grandmother Eva, Linda Woodrow. A lifelong fan of… Tree huggers. Favourite tipple Whisky on ice.

Pro Landscaper Africa / October 2015 35


Pro Landscaper Africa October 2015  
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