Concept to Delivery
DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN
LATEST PRODUCTS IN RAINWATER HARVESTING INDUSTRY PROFILE
CAPE TOWN FLOWER SHOW
LET’S HEAR IT FROM BERNARD OBERHOLZER
LEON KLUGE LEARNING CURVE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL
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WELCOME Concept to Delivery DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN
March 2016 | Volume 2, Issue 2
LATEST PRODUCTS IN RAINWATER HARVESTING INDUSTRY PROFILE
CAPE TOWN FLOWER SHOW
LET’S HEAR IT FROM BERNARD OBERHOLZER
LEON KLUGE LEARNING CURVE
Welcome industry professionals to the March edition of Pro Landscaper Africa. The sun is out and gardens and public spaces are beginning to look their very best. We love this time of year, as March marks the beginning of a busy period – trade shows, association awards and many other exciting events. Pro Landscaper Africa, as always, will have its finger on the pulse and will be documenting the coming year in great detail. We thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting at the Cape Green Forum trade day this February and we look forward to meeting with you around the country during our eventful schedule this year. We have an exciting issue for you, including the latest opinions and business tips from our resident writers Lee Burger and Marcel Oudejans, and a new contributor, the highly acclaimed Valerie Payn. It is always a most welcome read to have our associations express their initiatives and share their news. It is great to be able to accredit ourselves alongside them and this month we welcome SAGIC and GoLD to the association news pages.
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We have a very interesting feature on the Cape Town Flower Show preparations where we get the inside scoop from industry professional and organiser for the event, Paul Oudendaal. Alongside our ‘Let’s Hear It From’ feature Interview with the inspirational Bernard Oberholzer, we have three fantastic projects in our portfolios section. The theme this month is educational and interactive outdoor portfolios, set to contribute to the bettering of community spaces: a ‘beehive’ educational centre by Leon Kluge, Lehae Park by Habitat Landscape Architects and two ‘Smart Parks’ for the City of Cape Town. The art of playing smart is at the foreground of this issue! We thank you for your continued support and look forward to the upcoming year. If you wish to contribute to our magazine or have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me on: email@example.com.
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Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
March 2016 Volume 2 Issue 2 6
Industry news from southern Africa The upcoming SAGIC convention information and the story behind GoLD An industry proﬁle on the manager of the gardens at the Cape Town Flower Show
BUSINESS TIPS 12 Time to Change
Lee Burger argues what he feels needs to change in the landscaping industry in Africa
Gardens Are Not Just For People
Landscaper Valerie Payn on why you should be designing with ‘nature’ in mind
Marcel Oudejans on living up to clients’ expectations, and surpassing them
INTERVIEW 17 Let’s Hear It From
Landscape architect, author and lecturer Bernard Oberholzer discusses his career, environmental planning and the state of the industry
PORTFOLIOS 20 Learning Curve
Leon Kluge helped to create the ‘Living Beehive’ installation at the Durban Botanic Gardens to educate local children
State of Play
The continuation of our series of portfolios looking at the Smart Parks project in Cape Town, helping the city’s communities
Habitat Landscape Architects transformed an empty open area in Lehae into a vibrant recreational space
PRODUCTS 31 Pools 32 Rainwater Harvesting PEOPLE 33 Trading With... Belgro 34 Little Interview
24 Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
NEWS SHED Listening to plants in need of water PhD student Lidewei Vergeynst from UGent has developed a means of analysing the sounds plants make during drought. The measurements are taken by an acoustic detector on the stem that detects noises inside the plant. As conditions get drier and more water is transpired, the pressure in the veins drops. Ultimately, the water column can break, causing air pockets in the vessels. This is called cavitation and it causes a clicking noise which can be heard by the detector. Previously researchers only counted the clicks, but these
continue after death, causing uncertainty about their nature. Vergeyst’s breakthrough was to analyse the clicks in detail, making it possible to distinguish between sounds of cavitation and other processes in the plant. www.horti.co.za
KwaZulu-Natal gives go ahead to Clairwood Logistics Park
KwaZulu-Natal has approved the Clairwood Logistics Park following the amended Environmental Impact Report by Capital Property Fund, which has since merged with Fortress Income Fund. The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Aﬀairs gave the go ahead after his department found that the development conformed to stringent regulations and had dealt with issues raised at an appeal. The Clairwood Logistics Park will be built on the site of Clairwood Racecourse and construction will begin in the ﬁrst quarter of 2016.
There will be approximately 350,000m2 of warehousing with the rest of the site taken up by paved yards servicing the facilities and an 8ha wetland. Nico Prinsloo, Fortress Income Fund’s Development Manager said: “The Clairwood Logistics Park will not only meet growing demand for A grade logistics and distribution facilities in the south of Durban, but also improve the livelihoods of surrounding communities through job creation.” It is predicted that the facility will create 18,900 jobs during construction with 4,600 jobs on completion in December 2020. www.eprop.co.za
Entrepreneurial incubator seeks applicants for on-campus accelerator programme A Johannesburg business ‘incubation hub’ that aims to facilitate the development of new businesses is seeking applications from ‘green ﬁngered entrepreneurs’ for its business incubation and accelerator programme.
The site has garden and oﬃce space for 14 small businesses providing services relating to gardens or landscaping. Applications are also welcome from those involved in small-scale agriculture, garden furniture and horticulturists.
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
Businesses must be 51% black-owned, operate with a potential for growth, have entrepreneurial characteristics, satisfy the hub’s ratio of cost and risk to beneﬁt and be able to create economic opportunities for the area.
The successful applicants will receive regular support for three years as well as quality oﬃce facilities for aﬀordable rent and access to an external growing and demonstration area. www.riversandsihub.co.za
Greater Kokstad Municipality named cleanest and greenest in Harry Gwala district 2015/16 Greater Kokstad Municipality has been named the greenest and cleanest municipality for 2015/16 in the recently renamed Harry Gwala district of KwaZulu-Natal. In recognition of this, the municipality was presented with a cheque for R50,000 and a trophy at the Greenest Municipality Competition awards, which took place at the Peace Initiative Hall in Ixopo in January. Mluleki Ndobe, mayor of Harry Gwala District, said: “Right now we are experiencing a terrible drought due to climate change and global warming. “A few decades ago, when authorities spoke about preserving the environment, and saying that South Africa
NEWS IN BRIEF Cape Orchid Society autumn show
The Cape Orchid Society holds its autumn show, The Secret Garden – Orchids of Autumn from 22 to 24 April at Ferndale Nursery, Constantia, Cape Town. www.capeorchidsociety.co.za
was a dry country with even less water resources, it was like a mystery and we didn’t understand it. “Today we have learnt the hard way. It is as a result of our actions that we are experiencing all these changes.” Runners up were Umzimkhulu Municipality
The 2016 ILASA Conference will be held on 29 and 30 September 2016 at the CSIR, Pretoria. The conference considers the reinterpretation of landscape signiﬁcance in the spheres of ecosystem beneﬁts, social meaning and global changes. www.ilasa.co.za
in second place and Ubuhlebezwe Municipality in third, winning R30,000 and R20,000 respectively. The awards are part of an initiative to encourage towns and municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal to build parks and plant more trees.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show tour with Kirstenbosch
A garden that stretches across Africa
An ambitious regeneration project launched by the African Union (AU) in 2007 is set to be the biggest man-
made structure in the world once completed. The Great Green Wall of Africa aims to create a green
belt across the continent by planting trees and indigenous plants through the droughtstricken regions of the Sahel and Sahara. The ‘wall’ will stretch across 4,800km of the desert to Djibouti. Winding through 12 African nations, it will measure approximately 14km wide. Locals and villagers throughout the region will plant trees supplied by a variety of donors. www.designindaba.com
National Botanical Garden Bluesky Aviation and Tours is running its 23rd annual tour supporting the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden team at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The visitors to the 2016 show will have exclusive access to the Kirstenbosch team. www.rhs.org.uk
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 email@example.com or tweet to @prolandscaperCB
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
This year's annual SAGIC (South African Green Industry Council) convention will oﬀer green industry professionals timely and practical information on new trends,
The Guild of Landscape Designers grew out of a group of newly qualiﬁed landscape designers in 1994. These ambitious designers were passionate about their newly found career in the green industry. Soon the need grew stronger for a more formal way of networking, not just between themselves but with
Students’ show gardens 8
techniques, challenges and opportunities. SAGIC is joining hands with SANA (South African Nursery Association) to ensure extended reach to industry representatives and encourage collaboration between all green industry representative bodies. The convention will be hosted from the 7 to 9 of June 2016 at the Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch. The programme will incorporate inspiring presentations by industry leaders, thoughtprovoking panel discussions, the council's AGM as well as various fun-ﬁlled networking activities. The focus will be on innovative approaches to address growing sustainability challenges, commercial viability of applying climate resilient practices and exploring speciﬁc challenges and opportunities for diﬀerent sectors and regions.
Coinciding with the SAGIC convention is the annual awards honouring both individuals and companies that have made valuable contributions towards the green industry. The SALI Awards of Excellence oﬀers its members the opportunity to enter completed projects thus showcasing their skills, workmanship and professionalism to their peers, clients and the general public. The SANA Awards honour individuals in a number of categories. The Gold Medal Award is SANA's highest
honour and is awarded to a dedicated SANA member who has been a loyal supporter of SANA and who has made a valuable contribution to the green industry. SANA also recognises young members by awarding the Young Retailer, Young Grower and Young Sales Representative of the Year awards. At this event the GCA Competition Awards and Supplier Competition Awards are also awarded to deserving members. www.sagic.co.za
suppliers within the industry and the next generation of students. Under the guidance of Jenny Laas and Richard Gibb, the Guild of Landscape Designers (GoLD) was born. The association aims to open up a network of knowledge to qualiﬁed landscape designers from all institutions. GoLD sets high standards of professionalism and each member is assessed by the guild according to their membership tier. The silver tier is for students studying towards their landscape design qualiﬁcation, assisted by GoLD via mentorships, workshops and networking meetings. Gold tier is for graduates and part time designers. Belonging
to the guild gives these members the advantage to diﬀerentiate themselves from informal, unqualiﬁed operators that claim to be landscapers. The platinum tier is the highest tier and typically for professional landscape designers running a business. To become a platinum member one has to submit a landscape design garden project which has been designed and implemented by the candidate. The guild then assesses the project according to standards set by the guild. All members beneﬁt from having access to a network of professional landscape designers, screened reliable suppliers, networking evenings, workshops and
socials which typically include green industry-related topics. The need for setting industry standards is the association’s mission statement and is seen to be immensely important to protect both the home owner and landscape designer. www.landscapeguild.co.za
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
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INDUSTRY PROFILE Paul Odendaal Pro Landscaper Africa meets the project manager of the show gardens at this year’s Cape Town Flower Show
he person in charge of the show gardens for the new Cape Town Flower Show this year at the castle is Paul Odendaal. The show’s director, Karey Evett, says Paul is absolutely the best man for the task: “Paul brings vibrancy, enthusiasm and considerable experience and knowledge to the show.” The Cape Town Flower Show plans to feature over 20 show gardens in the castle’s forecourt area, where visitors will be able to enjoy not only beautiful gardens but also the latest designs and features currently trending in garden landscaping. Paul told Pro Landscaper Africa how excited he is about the project: “The castle is an absolutely wonderful venue for the ﬂower show, and it will provide such a beautiful backdrop to the show gardens and the whole event. “What’s challenging is to design the whole feature so that visitors can view the gardens from every aspect. And then of course, I have to ensure that the landscapers are sensitive to the castle’s environment because we are not allowed to excavate an historic site like this.” From the moment he started studying for his degree in landscape technology, Paul Odendaal knew he had the passion and desire to start a landscaping nursery. Today, he owns Compass Gardens, which oﬀers full services including consulting, installing, training and even ﬂoral art. “Once you start working in the green industry, very little else can satisfy you,” says Paul, who has already enjoyed 15 successful years working in horticulture. Paul has also been fortunate to work with many great garden personalities. These include Keith Kirsten, Raymond Hudson, Lynton Johnson, Marion Siebrits and Jan van Bergen 10
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
and David Davidson. He has also helped to build the South African stand at the Chelsea Flower Show in the UK. One of Paul’s career highlights was working with Keith Kirsten Horticulture International. He worked on the planning, design and layout of many national and international exhibition show gardens, including a garden which was awarded the best Relais & Chateaux Garden in the world. He enjoyed a unique opportunity to view and tour some of the globe’s ﬁnest gardens. The Cape Town Flower Show was oﬃcially launched in November, meaning partners, exhibitors and landscapers were given the chance to see what’s planned for the show this year. The event takes place 27 to 30 October 2016. Karey Evett said: “The preview was a great success, and certainly worthwhile to see the green industry show so much interest.”
ABOUT PAUL ODENDAAL Paul has enjoyed 15 successful years working in horticulture. He studied for a degree in landscape technology and today owns Compass Gardens, which oﬀers a full package of services including consulting, installing, training and even ﬂoral art. Paul has worked with many great garden personalities, Keith Kirsten, Raymond Hudson, Marion Siebrits and Jan van Bergen, and helped to build the South African stand at The Chelsea Flower Show.
IONS AVA ERS V IL E
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TIME TO CHANGE There are increasing opportunities for landscape design in Africa but the industry is still a far cry from where it should be in terms of awareness and government recognition. Lee Burger says there are five areas that need to change first
Do not rush
The process cannot be rushed. This goes for all aspects of the business, including design, client interaction and installation. While deadlines are good, they must be realistic. In our office’s most recent design drawing, there were more than 11,000 lines, each of which were instigated after a calculated decision. Too little time spent on a job results in cookie cutter or copy-paste designs.
Quality and pride
Everyone is usually so consumed by a project that all they want to do is get to the end and finish it, which sometimes leads to things not being done properly. I am often invited to visit or critique some installations and designs, and one thing I notice is that the quality of installation is almost always of a lesser quality in comparison to other countries. If you cannot stop looking at it after it is done – if you are not, in other words, completely satisfied – then it has not been done right.
Training, knowledge and skills
I know this point relates a lot to the first one, but if you are serious about your business, it is important to get the proper training, knowledge and skills required. Gardening and landscape design – even though it is associated with leisure – is a profession. It needs to be taken far more seriously than some “professionals” are taking it at the moment. I decorated my living room once, but that does not make me an interior decorator.
Value of the art
It is crucially important that landscape design is seen as an art of both spatial and financial value. Both the public and developers – who are usually hunting for a bargain – all too often think of it as a hobby. Clearly, there is much more behind it, and it is certainly something that not everyone is capable of doing. (It is most definitely not playing around with a few plants to ‘beautify’ empty corners). It is, rather, something between architecture, environmentalism, art and décor, involving the use of living materials within a budget. In short, clients are paying to get an individual design that does far more than just look OK.
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
It is not 1997 anymore! Materials and services are not even near what they should cost, and clients are currently getting much more than they pay for at the moment. It is important for businesses to relate to industry trends, and most companies are actually not charging enough these days. In the long run, it is doing more harm to the industry than good.
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
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GARDENS ARE NOT JUST FOR PEOPLE
ndustry ment first
Landscaper Valerie Payn discusses both the moral and business case for designing with ‘nature’ in mind “What is the real source of our life? Of our food, our air, our water? Is it the economic system? Of course not: it is our landbase.” (Jensen D Endgame. The Problem of Civilization. Vol 1. Seven Stories. New York. 2006.). The great American landscaper Thomas D Church wrote a book called ‘Gardens are for People’. His emphasis on the importance of designing practical landscapes for the pleasure, use and benefit of people was highly influential in modern landscape design. Indeed, gardens are not wilderness. They are an important part of human culture. As human creations, garden landscapes reflect cultural aesthetics, needs, technologies, and beliefs about our human place in the world. Through the ages, gardens have brought many delightful pleasures to people. They beautify our surroundings, and give us spaces to relax, socialise, enjoy the outdoors, commune with nature and grow all sorts of useful, interesting and attractive plants. Part of nature In our desire to create for people, though, it is easy to forget that garden landscapes are not isolated islands. They are also part of nature, formed out of natural processes and natural elements. Modern technologies often allow us to overlook this element of landscape design. Want green lawn and lush
tropical plants in the semi-desert? No problem, put in plenty of irrigation. Want to grow all sorts of exotic plants? No problem, add chemicals to change natural soil conditions. Modern technology makes it is easy to create an impression of verdant, green landscapes anytime, anywhere. (Although, ecologically speaking, such landscapes may be very artificial, kept alive by means of the artificial life support system of technology). The consequences for nature of such artificially-kept landscapes can be devastating. To create sustainable landscapes, we must bridge the divide between the natural and human-made worlds. This requires us to not only design landscapes for people, but also for nature. Crisis proportions The effect human activities are having on Earth is becoming more and more difficult to ignore. Increasing population numbers, ecologically polluting technologies, and our failure to recognise that we too are a part of nature has created a world where ecological degradation has reached crisis proportions. Bearing that in mind, we need to realise that landscape design is not an environmentally neutral activity. Rather, because landscapes are part of a broader natural environment, the way we design and manage these has huge repercussions for that environment. As landscapers we can be part of the problem of perpetuating ecologically degrading landscapes, or we can become part of the solution. Being part of the solution means we can
no longer only design for people – which I believe requires us to take up a complex, ecological view of the world. This often calls for critical thinking about the role that culture, our beliefs about landscape and gardens, and landscape aesthetics play in the sort of landscapes we design. Ecologically inspired design also means we must learn something about the way that nature works, so that we create landscapes that imitate and support local ecological processes. Sources of inspiration I am very excited about the future of landscape design in South Africa. A growing awareness of the importance of ecologically sustainable landscape design is a chance for new beginnings. It is a chance to herald in a whole new aesthetic of what landscapes can be. The journey we must take to achieve that goal will require us to learn new ways of seeing, understanding and doing, wherein ecological design and natural resource conservation become integral parts of landscaping. South Africa is an amazing place for such a journey. Let us make full use of it to develop a uniquely home grown, ecologically sustainable landscape culture. ABOUT VALERIE PAYN Valerie Payn is author of An Ecological Gardener's Handbook: How to Create a Garden With a Healthy Eco-System and Garden Sustainably. She completed a garden design course with David Stevens' International Garden Design School, and read for an MPhil degree in sustainable development planning and management. Valerie blogs regularly about sustainable and ecological landscape design on her LinkedIn page: /today/author/valerie-payn-903a9515
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
You can send out information via email or post to remind customers of your expertise
GREAT EXPECTATIONS Marcel Oudejans offers invaluable advice on how to live up to, and surpass, your clients’ expectations to deliver a memorable business experience Have you ever dined at a restaurant that someone has raved about, only to be disappointed by the experience? Or waited with excitement to see the movie of a book that you love, only to find that it wasn’t as good as you’d hoped? I could list endless examples of ways we can feel disappointed when we don’t get what we expect. In business, it may take as little as one disappointing experience for a client to walk away and take their business elsewhere. Here are some quick tips to help you learn what your prospects’ and clients’ expectations are – and, crucially, how to meet them. Get feedback Early in the transaction, ask your prospect what they expect and listen attentively. The key to creating realistic expectations is to understand why your prospect wants to do business with you. You can easily avoid disappointing a client if you have a good understanding of what the client thinks they know about your product or service. Ask whether or not they have any experience of landscaping, whether they’ve used any of your competitors before, and what the experience was like. If they were referred to you, make a point of finding out why. If you learn these answers at the start of your sales process, you’ll have a considerable advantage.
Don’t be tempted to ‘rush’ and ignore this important conversation. It’s much easier – and cheaper – to prevent disappointment than trying to satisfy an unhappy client. Be realistic Don’t be tempted to agree to a deal if you believe the prospect has unrealistic expectations of what you can do. The risk of disappointment will be too high, and you’re likely to find yourself spending too much time working with a client who is offering low returns (or may possibly insist on a refund). Where possible, make a point of referring them to someone who is able to meet their expectations. Always do what you promise Offer guarantees to mitigate as much of your clients’ perceived risk as possible in order to gain their trust. Then stand by your word. 'Good enough’ is not good enough As the saying goes, you need to “under promise and over deliver”. Where possible, surprise your client by delivering faster than you promised, or providing more than they expect. Some ideas could be to provide an informational guide booklet, a complementary bag of fertiliser, a free follow-up consultation, or even a potted plant as a ‘Thank you for doing business with us’ gift.
Gain their trust When people experience the unfamiliar for the first time, they want to be assured by someone who demonstrates expertise and has the ability to guide them through the process. Make a point of taking the time to explain the process and timeline of the proposed project, and you’ll gain the trust of your client. www.prolandscaper.co.za
Don’t hide anything When things go wrong – and they will – ensure you let your client know as quickly as possible, and immediately explain what you will do to fix the problem. Communicate quickly if things aren’t going to plan, and be honest when the unexpected happens.
Few things upset clients more than to find out that you’ve avoided a difficult, but necessary, conversation, or have simply not told them the truth. In short, find out what your prospect expects, then tell them what to actually expect, and then deliver more than they expect. When you do this, you’re very likely to gain a ‘customer for life’ and look forward to a long, happy and profitable relationship. You’ll also continue to receive endless referrals from new clients who, having heard about your company, would love to have the same experience. 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 / March 2016 15
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this approach to land planning – it was incredibly bold and holistic.
Let’s Hear it From
BERNARD OBERHOLZER The landscape architect, author and lecturer discusses his career, environmental planning and the state of the industry What did you study to prepare yourself for this career? I qualified as an architect at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and worked for two years for Tony and Adele Santos, architects and urban designers. This was followed by a master’s degree in landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania under Professor Ian McHarg, who is very well known. At the time, McHarg was very keen to have architects in his programme to show that his ‘ecological method’ could be used in both planning and design. www.prolandscaper.co.za
Had you always known you wanted to be a landscape architect? I always knew that architecture was not enough, and at first I considered urban design. However, landscape architecture was a more logical choice to complement my love for nature and the outdoors. Tony Santos jokingly maintained that my mother must have had a green vision while I was in the womb. While doing my architectural thesis, I came across Ian McHarg’s now-famous book Design with Nature. I was immediately captivated by
What were some of your first jobs straight after studying? After my landscape degree I worked for Kling Planning in Philadelphia where, because of my training, I was given the environmental role for several projects – including responsibility for the environmental analysis of a proposed new town in Costa Rica. The latter was a huge cattle farm near San Jose, which we first flew over in a light plane, then traversed with a jeep, and finally explored on horseback. It was quite something! I then returned to South Africa in the mid-Seventies. The country was at war in Angola and riots in the streets of Cape Town were a regular feature right through to the Eighties. Needless to say there was little work to be had, and few knew what landscape architects did. I did some contract work for the late Julian Elliott, director of the UCT Campus Planning Unit at the time. Later, I joined the Urban Design Section of the Town Planning Branch at the City of Cape Town. By then I had to support a growing family. I was incredibly fortunate to be given the task of leading the ‘Greening the City’ project, which was an open space and recreation plan for the entire municipal area. David Jack was the chief city planner at the time and was a great support. You founded OvP Associates alongside Johan van Papendorp, an incredibly successful firm. What made you move on to create Bernard Oberholzer Landscape Architect? In the winter of 1983 Johan and I decided to start a landscape practice – a brave decision in retrospect, given the political state of the country. We rented a small loft space from the firm now called GAPP Architects and Planners. Johan made the coffee and I swept the floor as we waited for the work to come in. It started as a trickle and turned into an avalanche, so that in a few short years we were 20 people, working on a wide range of prestigious projects. Those were heady days and we had to learn on the run. In 1990 I decided I wanted to run a small hands-on practice, with less responsibility, from a studio that I had built next to my house in Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016 17
4 Hout Bay. It meant I had more time for my family and the things that were important to me, such as sea kayaking in the bay and horse-riding. You were a senior lecturer and convenor of the Landscape Architecture Programme at UCT. Could you tell us about that? The idea of a landscape architecture course at UCT had been discussed for some 20 years, and when the university finally advertised the post I thought I should apply. After travelling in India and trekking in the Himalayas for a month, I returned to start the new master’s programme in 2000 with six brave students as guinea pigs.
OUR TASK IS TO NOT MERELY EXPLOIT, BUT TO HEAL THE LANDSCAPE
In the beginning I taught most of the courses myself – including the design studio – in order to develop the curriculum. Over time, a number of other experienced landscape architects were roped in to assist part-time with the teaching and studio. After stepping down as convenor, I continued to teach my two main courses, Terrain Analysis 18
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and Landscape Design, for a few years. However, the move to Stanford – and the rekindling of my practice – brought my teaching era to an end. The teaching stint was, I feel, a very healthy and essential phase in my career as it forces one to reflect and theorise about one’s work. I firmly believe all practitioners should do some teaching and all academics should practice. Our field is very much an applied one – after all, theory informs practice and practice informs theory. You co-wrote Urban Streetscapes and have now authored Reading the Landscape: Notebook. What purpose do you intend these works to serve? Urban Streetscapes, compiled with Johanna Gibbons, was intended as a source book of streetscaping ideas. These were based on places we had documented and experienced through our Durban project, as well as St George’s Mall and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, amongst others. Reading the Landscape was essentially a compilation of my notes from the terrain analysis course, which is why it is called a ‘notebook’. I felt it would be irresponsible to end my teaching without leaving something behind, as it also encapsulated some 30 years of experience in practice. I am pleased to see that it is used as a basic reference, both at UCT and the University
of Pretoria, as well as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. I also compiled a booklet focusing on Guidelines for Site Selection for the layperson. What would you say is the greatest challenge facing landscape architects today? I would say that the greatest challenge is for landscape architects to represent the interests of not only their client, but also those of the local community and society as a whole. They also need to speak on behalf of the earth, which cannot speak for itself. So much of the planet has become degraded that our task is to not merely exploit but to heal the landscape. What have been some of your landmark projects? It’s hard to pick out single projects, but there are a few that definitely come to mind: the Greening the City project, Durban City Centre and Beachfront, Port Elizabeth King’s Beach, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Chapman Peak’s Drive and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. I tend not to think of my projects as one-offs, but as stepping stones on which one builds – and through which one acquires knowledge, skills and experience. How is sustainability a part of your practice? Well, I do not see sustainability as a separate activity for which one earns brownie points, but www.prolandscaper.co.za
rather as a way of life in the running of one’s household, one’s office and as an integral part of one’s design ethic. Carrying out a rigorous environmental or site analysis – or building in the right place – is the biggest contribution we can make to sustainability.
What are your current projects? Since moving to the country, the nature of my practice has changed and is now probably more research orientated. This has included visual assessments, mainly for wind and solar energy projects, as well as landscape analysis and scenic resource mapping, often working with heritage specialists. Instead of permanent staff, I work in association with highly skilled professionals, of whom Quinton Lawson, an architect, has been a mainstay. These research projects also provide useful material for more ‘notebooks’ in the future. How has the industry changed from 25 years ago to now? Technologically the industry has changed a great deal. Twenty-five years ago my father, a businessman, did not want to use a fax machine because it was too complicated. These days you cannot get a job unless you are completely computer literate, including CAD (computer aided design) and GIS (geographic information systems). My two sons are both designers and are completely at home with the new technologies of today. Staring into a flickering screen all day, along with social media, has changed the way we relate to our work and our colleagues, and we tend to spend less time on the site getting to understand the landscape firsthand. Finally, the amount of unnecessary bureaucracy, or red tape, has become a burden to even the smallest practice. When you’re not working, how do you spend your time? As with my friend and colleague, Johan van Papendorp, landscape architecture consumes most of my waking hours, with little distinction between work and hobby. However, I enjoy mountain biking with my Stanford cronies, canoeing on the river, and when the opportunity arises, riding horseback through the fynbos or a gallop through the surf. I also scrabble around in my untidy garden. www.prolandscaper.co.za
(Previous page) Bernard in the country
ookouts at Cape Point designed to fit in L with the rugged wilderness landscape
ictoria & Alfred Waterfront street furniture V based on lessons from the Durban project
ernard’s home office: an eclectic building B bolted onto an old cottage
he OvP team in the late Eighties, Bernard T front left and Johan front right
he first group of UCT landscape T architecture students on an ecology camp in 2000, Bernard front right
Excerpt from Reading the Landscape
ABOUT BERNARD OBERHOLZER LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Bernard has 35 years’ experience as a professional landscape architect, specialising in environmental planning, coastal planning, urban landscape design and visual assessments. Tel: 028 3410264 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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the mag n
ificent Livin g Beehive art install e ns to help ation at the Durban Botanic Gard educate local childr en on the import ance of water conservation
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he brainchild of the National Biodiversity Institute of South Africa and designed by Leon Kluge, the Living Beehive art installation was created to showcase South Africa's rich blend of natural, cultural and mineral wealth at the COP 17 congress that took place in Durban in 2011. The client's brief was to create an installation that was both garden and sculpture, and that portrayed the importance of water conservation. It also needed to act as a 'classroom' for children, and provide a unique experience for visitors walking through the green space.
PROJECT DETAILS Living Beehive, Durban Botanic Gardens PROJECT VALUE R1.5m SIZE 15m high, 30m long TIMELINE Six months; installation took two months
The design The dome-shaped design was based on traditional Zulu huts, but with a high technology steel frame rather than wood. The living roof was planted with local grassland fauna that occurs only on the highlands of the Kwazulu Natal Drakensberg, which is the water catchment area for the city of Durban. Visitors step inside the beehive onto a steel see-through grid, where water trickles underfoot and plants rise up from the ground. Overhead plants hang from circular planter tubes and creepers cascade down to create a chandelier of foliage. These vertical gardens are planted with rare local cliff-hanging plants, seldom seen by the public, showcasing the living cliffs of Kwazulu Natal. The rivers here are the source of freshwater for Durban. As water is a constant obstacle and of short supply for the city, the purpose of the living beehive design was to teach school children the importance of conserving water, and educate them about the journey that water takes to finally flow from their home taps. Following on from the vertical gardens there is a lawned area in the middle of the beehive, a large open space with two openings either side to provide sunlight and a breeze. This area doubles up as a classroom where children can sit, surrounded by the elements that they are taught about. Materials As this was a one-off project, finding materials was a challenge. The walkway was built from steel mesh, while the vertical walls included a steel frame with two layers of a woven polyester
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016 21
material fastened to it. Pockets were cut into the material, the plant was placed inside and then the material was sewn shut again. The outer layer of the beehive also used a woven polyester material, but of a much thicker grade, where seeds were sown into it and water-retaining gel poured between. The gel was watered to give the seeds a reserve of water for when the sprayers didnâ€™t turn on. A rotating ladder attached to the top and on a track at the bottom was added so that maintenance could be carried out more efficiently. The inside seating area was built from a mix of lawn and paving. As some areas inside were too dark, grow lights needed to be introduced to provide a better quality of light to the plants. Challenges The short timescale was a challenge in itself, but added to that there were massive storms during installation, and the rip winds played havoc with 22
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planting schedules and the roof. All of the water used in the irrigation of the roof and vertical walls had to be collected below ground and recycled to be used in the garden again, to make it as water conserving as possible.
CONCEPTUAL DRAWING www.prolandscaper.co.za
Entrance to Living Beehive
Steel bars protruding through the plants
Meandering walkways towards Living Beehive
Leon Kluge with David Davidson
Floating walkway between vertical plantings
View from gardens
Indigenous plants surrounding the walkways
ABOUT LEON KLUGE
Leon Kluge has become synonymous with modern contemporary landscaping and garden design. His love of using unusual plants in his designs led to his inclusion in the South African team at the 2010, 2012 and 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. His speciality is vertical gardens, on any scale. The first commercial vertical garden design he spearheaded was for a multi-storey office building in Maputo, Mozambique. His designs have since been published in more than 100 local publications. www.leonklugegardendesign.co.za
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STREET SMART Last issue we featured the Symphony Way Park in Blikkesdorp, one of three parks from Cape Town’s Smart Parks project. Here we showcase the other two, Mandela Park in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu Park, both of which are helping to improve the lives of children in one of the city’s most deprived communities
he city of Cape Town’s Parks Department ‘Smart Parks’ concept is a World Design Capital 2014 project that uses design-led thinking to transform the way public spaces are developed. So far three projects have been piloted in Blikkiesdorp, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, all of which aim to provide local communities with innovative recreational spaces that cater for all ages and that 2 residents can call their
own. Three more smart parks are in the pipeline for development later this year in Atlantis, Nomzamo and Seawinds. The brief The principles driving the Smart Park programme include: 1. Focus on developing and upgrading parks in the most undeserved communities to facilitate equitable access to parks on a city-wide scale. 2. Develop selected high quality, unique and user-friendly parks that respond to and provide for the recreational needs of the communities they serve. 3. Contribute to integrated public investment in parks and other infrastructure and promote partnerships which seek to maximise the use of limited resources.
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Gugulethu Park was selected for upgrade because it was located in one of the most undeserved areas of Cape Town and was highly accessible to a range of potential visitors. Situated within a dense residential area and within walking distance of Heideveld Station, it serviced children from the neighbouring schools, adolescents who came to kick a ball around and many local residents who walked through the park throughout the day. Three areas were highlighted for redevelopment: Play area equipment A new children’s play park offers opportunities for children to play and develop physically and cognitively in a safe environment. A custom designed play feature was constructed using standard components, gum poles, tyres, slides and ropes, put together in an imaginative way to take into account community needs and client feedback to suit a broad range of ages. Provision was made for an undulating surface to increase opportunities for play. An outdoor gym area provides opportunities for adolescents, young adults, adults and the elderly to be active and enhance their physical well-being.
Kickabout (multi-use court) The upgraded park includes redeveloped multi-purpose courts with high quality surfacing that are durable and can accommodate informal active play, including a variety of ball sports. The formal section of the park had sufficient space to house three kickabouts. Rubber matting was used to replace the existing asphalt and different colours were used to define the use of each kickabout. The edges to these areas needed further consideration as the low walls worked well for spectators to sit and view the games, but the remaining trees provided very little shade. New walls within the play and relaxation areas were constructed through a combination of calcrete and cast concrete tops, painted to match the existing walls. Lighting was also introduced so that the facility could be used at different times of the day. Relaxation areas & tree planting Formal tree planting was used to line pedestrian routes and soften hard edges. Large focal trees were used to provide areas under which to relax. The community was consulted to help decide on the number and location of the trees so as not to interrupt surveillance from neighbouring houses. Most of the existing trees had been removed or were in poor condition. More appropriate tree species, such as Ficus rubiginosa and Syzigium cordatum, were used to replace the trees. Appropriate tree stakes and cages help to protect the new trees. New walkways were constructed from exposed aggregate pavers to match existing paving, with laterite used on the secondary, meandering pathways.
BEFORE AERIAL PHOTO
Gugulethu Park PROJECT VALUE R5.4m TIMELINE Planning, design and documentation: April 2013 â€“ December 2013 Construction: June 2014 â€“ January 2015
1 Gugulethu Park serves children from several neighbouring schools
2 The new play park offers opportunities for children to play and develop physically in a safe environment
3&4 Custom-designed play features were constructed 5 Rubber matting was used to replace existing asphalt 6 Aerial photograph taken before works began 7 The design for the play park 8 Play features were constructed from ropes, tyres and slides
Park launch: February 2015
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Mandela Park was an undeveloped area of public open space. It consisted of two sites with a total area of 9.3ha. The park was well located within walking distance of Khayelitsha and two stations (Khayelitsha and Harare). There were 14 schools within 1.5km of the site and many public buildings and squares as well as two major sporting facilities. Although there were many pockets of open space in the area, few of them had been developed, providing residents with very little in terms of quality landspace. The site lay between two formal sporting complexes making it an ideal location for a recreational area. For the purposes of the project, the park was split into three zones:
PROJECT DETAILS Mandela Park PROJECT VALUE R10m TIMELINE Planning, design and documentation: August 2013 – December 2013 Construction: May 2014 – February 2015 Park launch: March 2015
1&2 Adjacent schools made the introduction
of a play area at Mandela Park paramount
Active recreation zone The site had always supported different forms of active recreation, from athletics to soccer. There were soccer posts in the centre of this zone, providing for informal games throughout the week. The need for multi-purpose courts was clear due to the location of two schools on the north eastern and western edge of this area. Active recreational areas and multi-purpose courts with high quality surfacing were created. Synthetic turf and laterite were used to define the use of each court. The edges to these courts were defined with low walls, where spectators can sit and view the games, with strategic tree planting for shade. Lighting was introduced so that the facility can be used at different times of the day.
3 The introduction of trees and seating vastly improved the quality of the park
4 Local crèches now use the park for outdoor learning sessions
5 An outdoor gym area encourages active lives 6 The design for Mandela Park
Recreation zone & community gardens The introduction of trees and seating vastly improved the quality of these areas, providing places for people to meet and relax under the shade of a tree. A maintenance strategy was crucial to ensure that the trees survive to maturity. A structured space with places to warm up and stretch now encourages and supports activities such as aerobics. Community gardens were incorporated into this zone, extending the area for children from both schools to learn about the benefits of medicinal plants. The area also includes an amphitheatre for community gathering and events.
Play park The dense residential area and adjacent schools made the introduction of a play area for children of all ages paramount. Local crèches and other schools in the area now use the park for outdoor learning sessions as well as providing much needed opportunities for play. The custom designed play feature was constructed using standard components, gum poles, tires, slides and ropes, put together in an imaginative way to take into account community needs and client feedback to suit a broad range of ages. Provision was made for an undulating surface to increase opportunities for play.
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3 4 5 REFERENCES Timber play equipment Johan Theron: Jo Design Email: email@example.com Mosaic work Lovell Friedman Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REFERENCES Landscape architects City of Cape Town, City Parks, Planning & Development Nicole Strong & Absalom Molobe Tel: 021 400 1049 Email: Nicole.Strong@capetown.gov.za Urban planner City of Cape Town, City Parks, Planning & Development Bradley Burger Tel: 021 400 2414 Email: Bradley.Burger@capetown.gov.za Civil engineers BERGSTAN SOUTH AFRICA Consulting and Development Engineers (Pty) Ltd Tel: 021 424 7657 www.engineer.co.za Contractors WEZAN Building and construction cc Email: email@example.com
Gauﬂora Group Tel: 021 931 0772 Email: management.gauﬂora@gmail.com
Trees Just Trees Tel: 021 871 1595 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.justtrees.co.za Fencing Cochrane Fencing www.cochrane.co Beta Fence Tel: 0861 BFENCE (0861 233 623) Email: email@example.com www.betafence.co.za Synthetic courts The Synthetic Turf Company Tel: 021 795 0385 www.synturf.co.za Rubber matting Master Fibre Tel: 021 511 7411 www.masterﬁbre.co.za Hard courts Protea Sports Tel: + 27 86 1115324 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.proteasportscourts.co.za
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016 27
STATE OF PLAY Habitat Landscape Architects transformed a neglected open area in Lehae, just south of Johannesburg, into a vibrant recreational space with play equipment for youngsters
PROJECT DETAILS Porcupine Park, Johannesburg PROJECT VALUE R2m SIZE 14,000mÂ˛ TIMELINE Completion date: September 2013
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1 Overall view of play area 2 Climbing element incorporated in concrete wall 3 Play structures integrated with feature walls
n an effort to bring more green space and play design to Johannesburgâ€™s residents, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo appointed Habitat Landscape Architects to create Porcupine Park, which opened on 22 November 2013 in Lehae, a bustling but deprived residential area in the south of the city. The design Porcupine Park is a Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo greening initiative to expand Joburg's
urban forest into areas which have been previously disregarded and undeveloped. Lehae Park is situated to the south of Johannesburg in the context of a new government housing scheme. At the time of the commissioning of the design, less than half of the residential units were constructed but the first members of the community had already been moved into the area. The design approach focused on the development of a vibrant community park that promoted the
integration of the local community through an emphasis on play elements for children. The design aimed to satisfy the needs of a broad social grouping from children to adults with different cultural, religious and social backgrounds, united around a common need for a recreational space. The sustainability of the park hinged on the incorporation of robust play elements, as well as drought resistant and frost hardy plants. Materials were sourced from around Johannesburg. Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016 29
The development The development of the park is articulated around a central playground. The playground was developed with a narrative that involves the dynamics present in and around termite mounds, which were a dominant feature in the Highveld grassland present on site before development started. The narrative explored the relationship of nature and people and how we are connected and dependent on each other. This was translated into the design elements of the playground. The play equipment is associated with a sequence of freestanding perforated walls, which form an interconnected playing space. Central to the construction and development process was also the issue of job creation, capacity building and skills transfer. Unemployed people from the adjacent community were employed and trained in the use of alternative building technologies, horticulture, landscape installation and maintenance.
BEFORE & DURING
4 (Previous page) Undulating climber 5 (Previous page) Interpretive signage 6 (Previous page) Children at play 7 Site before commencement of installation 8 Skills development of local labour 9 3D modelling of conceptual design 10 Construction in progress
REFERENCES Bollards Gallo Precast Tel: 0027 (0) 825547780 www.galloprecast.com Landscape architect Habitat Landscape Architects Tel: 0027 (0) 123468113 www.habitatdesign.co.za Landscape contractor Plantwise/Tswellapele Landscaping Tel: 0027 (0) 116652819 www.plantwise.co.za
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Plants and trees Tswellapele Nursery Tel: 0027 (0) 761712315 www.plantwise.co.za/tswellapele.htm Play equipment and fencing Microzone trading980cc Tel: 0027 (0) 761712315 www.micrzonetrading980.co.za Safety rubber matting Seenarmoovar Enterprises Tel: 0027 (0) 837535411 Email: email@example.com
ABOUT HABITAT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Habitat Landscape Architects is made up of a small core of individuals working as a team with a common passion, commitment and drive. Its principal business activities are landscape architecture, heritage consulting and environmental planning. The team has extensive knowledge and experience of planning, design, environmental management, project management and implementation within the local, national and international context. Habitat emphasises delivering on time and in budget. www.habitatdesign.co.za
FOCUS ON POOLS EcoPools Blue Lagoon Pools is a multi-awardwinning company that has been in the pool industry for ﬁfty years. Blue Lagoon has a CIDB governmentapproved grade ﬁve CE grading, and is a member of the Master Builders Association (MBA) and the National Spa and Pool Institute of Blue Lagoon Pools South Africa (NSPI). The company oﬀers a range of products from commercial and public pools to private builds and renovations. Blue Lagoon utilises the ‘gunite’ technique of spraying concrete or mortar during the dry-mix process. According to Blue Lagoon Pools, gunite is the internationally preferred option due to its versatility, compressive strength and lower shrinkage.
EcoPools recreates swimming ponds and mountain pools found in nature. The water is kept clean by circulating through a living ecosystem of water plants. Without any salt, chemicals or sterilisation equipment, the result is an indigenous aquatic garden cradling a clear, natural pool. EcoPools has developed unique methods to ensure its pools thrive in the South African climate, and claims that it is unique in its strengths of biological innovation, authentic bio-mimicry and ecological solutions. EcoPools oﬀers aqua-solutions that extend beyond the swimming pool to grey water recycling, energy optimisation and total water management. The bioengineers at EcoPools create ecosystems around their clients’ budget, climate, lifestyle and aesthetic taste.
Hotel Verde’s eco-pool
Curtis Pools works on the basis of no pre-designed shapes or sizes – all its pools are designed in consultation with the client. Pools are built from scratch, renovated or rebuilt to suit any desired living or entertainment space. Curtis Pools is a specialist in gunite, with a ﬁnish achieved in marblite in colours chosen by the client. The paving and mosaics are mostly a moulded concrete paver, but can be brick or natural sandstone depending on the requirements. Curtis Pools was the recipient of numerous awards at the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa (NSPI) annual pool awards in 2012.
One of the key features of Hotel Verde at Cape Town International Airport is its popular eco-pool. Unlike a conventional pool, it functions as a living ecosystem. The pool relies on living plants and beds of rock or gravel to ﬁlter the water, keeping it naturally clean and free of algae, instead of using chemicals that are damaging to the environment and harsh on sensitive eyes. Eco-pools add natural beauty to any landscape and promote biodiversity by encouraging new plant life and attracting creatures such as birds and dragonﬂies. www.hotelverde.co.za
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Urban Rain Systems RainCell planter tank The latest development from Urban Rain Systems is the ‘ﬁrst of its kind’: the RainCell planter tank which incorporates a large planter onto the roof of a rainwater tank. Maintaining the customary slim design of the RainCell tank range, the planter tank is ideal for standing under a window, where the ﬂowers can be seen without blocking out any light. The large planter basin is ideal for small ﬂowers, a herb garden or even a bonsai forest. The patented drainage system allows excess water to be drained from the planter basin, preventing any rotting of roots. The tank is also available in a 1,100L ﬂat-top version. The tank includes a stainless steel ﬁlter screen for the ﬁltration of rainwater from roofs, conforming to international standards.
CASE STUDY Urban Rain Systems RainCell tanks
The RainCell tank from Urban Rain Systems is an ideal money-saving addition to urban environments. Urban Rain Systems oﬀers a complete range of rainwater harvesting tanks and accessories, which can also be used for municipal water storage. The tank is designed to look slim and aesthetically appealing, and built to ﬁt neatly against any wall in areas where space is an issue. Unlike traditional round tanks, the 2,000L RainCell tank will not block walking space, requiring 0.8m x 1.9m of space. The tanks provide the ideal solution for easily harvesting rainwater from any roof structure and are available in a 2,000L or 3,000L version. www.urbanrainsystems.co.za 32
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FOCUS ON RAINWATER HARVESTING RotoTank water storage tanks RotoTank storage tanks are professionally designed to ensure strength, durability and safety. The water tanks are provided with standard ﬁttings and are easy to install, as well as being designed with the utmost child safety in mind with child-safe lids provided. RotoTank vertical storage tanks can be utilised for diverse storage purposes whether by farmers, domestic households or industrial users. RotoTank reports that the most common use of its vertical tanks is for rainwater harvesting. The tanks can only be stored above ground and sizes range from 500L to 40,000L. The water storage tanks are manufactured with a black liner to inhibit algae growth and boast eight years of UV protection.
JoJo Tanks vertical tanks JoJo Tanks manufactures its tanks out of seven factories around South Africa, and also has a wide range of national distributors and retail outlets. JoJo Tanks oﬀers sizes up to 20,000L and its tanks come with an eight-year guarantee. The vertical tanks on oﬀer from JoJo can be used to store water, fertilisers, chemicals and most other liquids and are available in various colours to suit home colour schemes. JoJo Tanks advises that its 750L Slimline tank is ideal for urban environments in which space is a concern.
TRADING WITH BELGRO Paul De Luca, CEO of Belgro, discusses the history and the future of the horticultural company What is the spectrum of products/services your company provides? Belgro is a full service ecological and horticultural management, trading, contracting and production company. We have a wholesale and retail nursery as well as a garden centre, with a wide range of indigenous trees, shrubs, groundcover, grasses and water plants. We also have a selection of exotic plants. Belgro provides landscaping and maintenance services, ponds, natural pools, constructed wetlands and other water containment projects. Over the years we’ve built up a portfolio of long-standing customers.
How many years has your company been in operation and how big is your team? Belgro has been in operation for 35 years. All divisions of our company beneﬁt from the collective knowledge and experience which we have gained over our many years of operation in this ﬁeld. Our team currently consists of 22 people, and that includes management, production, sales, technical and administration. What do your products bring to the landscaping industry that is unique? Our unique selling point is encapsulated in Belgro’s slogan: ‘We grow roots’. This includes both our people and our plants. No project undertaken by Belgro is run-of-themill. Each and every project we undertake is considered from the ground up, to ensure delivery to our clients’ exacting standards and unique requirements. Do you deliver nationwide? Yes. How do your products align with water management? We have a large range of water wise plants which are always recommended to our clients and are available for sale in our nursery. Which other companies do you align yourself with? We align ourselves strongly with Kubota and Firestone Building Products. How is sustainability embedded into your business? We do not simply landscape with indigenous plants but always integrate the needs of our clients into the living ecosystem, and harness those processes to maintain the health of the whole. We do this to help wildlife which is
seeing its habitat destroyed on a daily basis, with the space being ﬁlled by hard concrete, high walls and toxic materials. What does the future hold for Belgro? Belgro is committed to working closely with clients to minimise the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels, chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. We use natural methods to systematically alter conditions to fulﬁl our aim. This is something that Belgro will be carrying into the future in everything we do. Locally our principle is to continue to provide sustainable habitats for all species of bird, mammal, reptile and invertebrate, which occur naturally in the regions in which we work. Belgro’s approach is to combine plants within a group, based as far as possible on their natural occurrence within a particular habitat type.
CONTACT Name: Paul De Luca Company name: Belgro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 957 2051 / 079 862 9895 Web: www.belgro.co.za
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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@ paperplanepublications.co.za or call 021 410 8957
Landscape designer, Ross McGill Landscapes
Garden designer & principal, School of Garden Design
Your most referred to gardening book of all time Landscape Architecture: A Manual of Environmental Planning and Design, by B Starke and J O Simonds. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Lotusland (USA), Parc de Bagatelle (Paris), Yanweizhou Park (China) and Topat (Cape Town).
We strive to ensure timeless products, and persevere to reduce water consumption while still providing exquisite gardens which compliment the urban environment, and become self sustaining. Biggest life influence My family. Describe yourself in three words Passionate, adventurous, dreamer.
Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Felco secateurs.
Three people you would invite to a dinner party Vasco da Gama, Steve Boyes and Jesus.
Favourite plant Euphorbia wulfenii (shrub) and Caesalphinia ferrea (tree).
Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Natal Sharks.
How is sustainability embedded into your business?
Favourite tipple Freshly-squeezed apple ice tea.
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016
Your most referred to gardening book of all time Garden Design by John Brookes and Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants by Pitta Joffe. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Wollerton Old Hall Garden in Shrewsbury. Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? My good old-fashioned tape measure. For turning soil, a rotivator. Favourite plant Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’. How is sustainability embedded into your business? It is an essential part of my business. There are so many
ways to make an outdoor space sustainable. Recycling is my absolute passion! Biggest life influence My gardening tutor John Brookes and for life lessons, Nelson Mandela. Describe yourself in three words Talkative, creative, nurturing. Three people you would invite to a dinner party Nelson Mandela, Stefan Terblanche and the Minister of Transport (I have advice for him). Lifelong (sporting) fan of… I live in Durban – it has to be the Sharks. Favourite tipple Any excellent blend of coffee.
NEAL DUNSTAN EXCO & Finance Committee Chair, South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession www.saclap.org.za Your most referred to gardening book of all time Making the Most of Indigenous Trees by Fanie Venter and A Landscape Manifesto by Diana Balmori. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona.
Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? My bicycles. Favourite plant I suffer ADHD on this – always finding something new!
How is sustainability embedded into your business? Walk the talk.
Three people you would invite to a dinner party Spike Milligan, Antoni Gaudi, C Louis Leipoldt.
Biggest life influence Being alive.
Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Ferrari.
Describe yourself in three words Loyal, hyperactive, passionate.
Favourite tipple Rock beer, Drambuie, ginger beer, grapefruit juice.
VAN DER SPUY BURGER
Senior landscape architect, Habitat Landscape Architects
Owner, The Green Zone
Your most referred to gardening book of all time Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants by Pitta Joffe.
of materials, installation methods and maintenance.
Most inspirational garden (worldwide) High Line Park, New York.
Describe yourself in three words Passionate, motivated, responsible.
Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Pencil. Favourite plant Buddleja saligna. How is sustainability embedded into your business? Sustainability is one of our core objectives when it comes to design, choice
Biggest life influence My parents.
Three people you would invite to a dinner party Kathryn Gustafson, James Corner, Kongjian Yu.
Your most referred to gardening book of all time Outer Spaces by Diarmuid Gavin. Most inspirational garden (worldwide) Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands.
Biggest life influence My children. Describe yourself in three words Organised, honest, hardworking.
Piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Leatherman.
Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Springboks. Favourite tipple Gin & tonic.
How is sustainability embedded into your business? Personalised, quality service and client satisfaction.
Three people you would invite to a dinner party My father, my step-father and Nelson Mandela. Lifelong (sporting) fan of… Springboks.
Favourite plant Protea.
Favourite tipple KWV brandy.
Pro Landscaper Africa / March 2016 35
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