Outside & In | Autumn 2021

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EDITOR'S letter

Hello Outside & In fam, have you missed us? We’ve been working tirelessly to bring our SA homeowners, DIYers, renovators, home gardeners and inspiration seekers an autumn issue that is going to wrap you in warm, soft blanket of all things garden and home! We have searched high and low to curate an issue that we are incredibly excited to share with you. Since our launch in spring of last year we have had such fantastic feedback we have needed to double our circulation which means our goal of entering the hearts and homes of every South African, one issue at a time... Is working! I just love autumn, there is something beautiful about the falling leaves- a tapestry of maroon, red, orange, amber and gold, the crisp autumn mornings that call for a good book (or a copy of Outside & In) and a cup of joe, the excitement of Easter, numerous public holidays dotted around the calendar for road trips and family adventures, and of course the idea of something new! Days are cooling down and the weather can be unpredictable, but there is so much to do! In this issue we look at growing produce like ravishing radishes and meaty mushrooms (look out for a drool worthy recipe using these spuds in our recipe section), we also feature some of the most exciting collaborators yet. From learning about plant propagating to autumn care for your plants, looking at how interior design and plants correlate, to tips and trends in the garden design world… We have it all. Take a plant arranging class right here between our pages and see how you can forage for dried plants to use for decorating fabrics and linens. We also take a look at some of the most successful Al fresco dining spaces for your next diner party or lazy Sunday lunch and sit down to interviews with some of SA’s top local businesses and décor stores showcasing the local is lekker concept! We also feature some of the most enviable homes in the country with our interior section focusing on the heart of the home, the kitchen. It’s time to get busy, there is a lot to be done before we meet again.

Chanel Besson, EDITOR


Editor-in-Chief & Director Chanel Besson Commissioning Editor Tamsyn Halm


Key Account Manager Justine Coleman Media Sales Executive Basheerah De Villiers Media Sales Executive - Amy Aries


Zoey & I - Sarah Gregg-Macdonald Outside & In is Powered By – Paper Plane Publications (Pty) Ltd.

@out_side_and_in www.outsideandin.co.za

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CONTENTS 10 – Giveaways & meet our cover artist


Floral History –

featuring Amanda du Plessis,

by Mark Mac Hattie, Contours Design Studio

20 – Autumn Plant Care by Andreas Keller, Plantify

by Brittany Miller, Mamma’s Plants

32 – Ravishing Radish

by Life is a Garden

35 – What’s a Little Fungi between Friends


An Interview with – KNUS


Sleep Innovation, Meet Sloom – with Sloom


Po r tf

Velvet Underground –



by Cara Smith, Contours Design Studio


Upgrade your al fresco dining space with these ideas


28 – Go Local, Go Natural, Go Wild

Al fresco Feast –



The Barnhouse in Franschhoek


24 – Plant Propagation

Going Dutch –


15 – Contemporarily Engaged


Po r tf

Monochrome converted cottage in Parkhurst, Joburg


Designing for the Heart – of the Home Kitchens, by Anette de Jager, 360 Design

by Life is a Garden

42 – An Interview with:

Smart AC – with MyPlace


Ludwig's Roses, Celebrating 50 years.

46 – Caring for your Roses Best Products

48 – A Floral Forage:

The Bart Simpson Flower

by Leon Kluge, Landscape Designer

50 – Meet the Retailer:

Hey Brew! –


Our top local coffee picks

Classic Comforts Recipe – By Chef Mynhardt Joubert


Effective Control – 102 Without Compromise with Bayer


49 – Feeling Floral

by Anli Wahl, Anli Wahl Floral Design OUTSIDE&IN /


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Cover Artist Hello! I'm Elana Esterhuyse, a full-time Art Director and all-the-time doodler, list-maker and coffee drinker from Cape Town. My illustrations celebrate progress, showing up even when feeling unready, and accepting and embracing oneself wholeheartedly, quirks and all. I hope my illustrations bring forward smiles and some sort of inner-nudge, for people to seek out nuggets of relatable oddness in their own lives. There's power in seeing yourself filter-free, and not taking yourself too seriously all the time. We all wake up with morning breath, and that's totally okay! @Elanae45


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By Mark Mac Hattie, landscape designer, Contours Design Studio





t’s not the size that matters, but what you do with it. A line that most of us have heard, but now, has a much better context. Indoor plants come in all shapes and sizes and depending on your orientation in the plant kingdom, you might prefer them small or gigantic. I used to be of the mindset that I needed a pot for every shelf, stair, table - basically any surface that would allow for a plant. And so it happened that at one point, I had almost 100 containers for individual plants. This poses the following problems: 1.

Maintenance - I had to bottom water almost all of these as I started getting gnats from constantly watering them from above, which often took a few hours.


Management - managing 100 containers of different plants, species, requirements and light conditions is exhausting, regardless of your passion. With my experience, I have concluded that bigger is, in fact, better.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to see baby versions of my plants. It’s like a green puppy or kitten, but few nurseries tell you that the kitten you bought is actually a baby tiger and can grow into a giant. So why wait when you can rather have a larger specimen. Get your tiger. Remember that most ‘indoor’ plants are literal baby versions of the real deal. All Ficuses grow to astronomical sizes in the wild. Delicious monsters grow leaves the size of a 12-year old child and climb up to 6 stories high.

Why buy bigger? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are the benefits: 1. 2. 3.

You have fewer plants to manage and maintain. Plants can become focal points, like living sculptures. You declutter your space.

You still get your green element but in a simple and toned-down version. No more 50 little pots on the ground with various requirements. Get 1 large specimen on a pedestal and you will be able to appreciate it more. FOLIAGE Another trend is the use of foliage next to your giants. Currently, large leaves dominate the indoor plant game but you can offset this with fine foliage plants. Not just fern friends, but most shade plants can easily adapt to indoor conditions. Introduce some finer foliage into your space and you will give it the fuller effect you crave. Let me put it into perspective. Large specimens like Alocasia normally have about 6-8 leaves. At any given time a fern has about 30-100 leaves. The Alocasia fills more space due to its larger size and large leaves. The fern also fills a large space. But if both plants suffer damage and you remove 2 leaves from each you end up with different results. Your Alocasia will be down almost 25% of its leaf mass and the fern would have lost 2-4%. So, the best solution is to have a larger leaf specimen, with at least 2 smaller leafed specimens close to it, to offset any drastic loss from your bigger babies.



Mark Mac Hattie

Landscape Designer Contours Design Studio mark@contoursdesignstudio.co.za @contours_designstudio @contoursdesignstudiocds


COLOUR Colour is one of the few things you rarely associate with indoor plants, as most of them only flower when outdoors, under severe stress and sometimes not even then. Most indoor species are popular for their leaf colour, size, shape or overall structure. So, how do you make your plants pop with colour if you know they aren’t going to flower indoors? Why not paint a wall an accent colour? Even better, have fun with your wall! Instead of opting to paint an entire wall, focus on a part of the wall where your plants are placed. Create an arch shape (really one of the best shapes to use in a design set at the moment) and place your feature plant either in the centre of the arch or off-centre. Basic shapes and deep colours are your friends. For a guide on which colour to paint, use the colour wheel: green pops on pinks and dark blues. Grey-greens and orange or violet work exceptionally well; the trick is to always use the opposite colour on the wheel as it pleases our eyes. Scientifically, it causes less stress on your eyes seeing opposite colours than seeing either colour by itself. Your photoreceptors tend to focus on the colour that emits the highest frequency of light and when you see complementary colours, your receptors are less stressed as they balance the focus. So balance your space with some colour. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. POT COVERS On the subject of finding things appealing with your eyes, let's talk about another trend that is a marvel in itself. Dressing plants with pot covers or holders. Typically, these are for smaller desktop and counter dwelling plants, but the effect they have on your space is amazing. Colour is also a huge influencer currently with pot covers and a good glazed pot is ever so pleasing. Gone are the days of cheap plastic pots being on display - go ahead, welcome a little bit of boujee into your space. If you have larger than average green children and wish to display them in a glorious new garment, a good weave basket always does the trick if you can’t find a good enough looking pot. Design Afrika is one of my favourite local basket weave suppliers and they make them in almost every size imaginable. HANGING BASKETS So now you’ve upgraded your plant size, put them in a new pretty-as-heck container and they’re popping in front of that feature wall. You’ve done well. I’m proud, but you feel like your idea of an indoor jungle is lost. Fret not... Poison Ivy herself approves of the following trend: hanging baskets. No, not the ones Gran hung on her porch filled with flowers that weather. These are baskets that are lightweight, stylish and filled with pothos or other trailing varieties. Macrame had its moment in the ’70s and has made a comeback recently. Companies I like: What a Lot I knot by Roubaix Bytjie Barnard, is one of the many local suppliers that are producing hanging pieces of art and the best part is that you can combine a beautiful pot cover with a hanging planter and create a stunning hanging feature. If your ceiling integrity is questionable, which is often the case, follow Lil John’s advice and go from the windows to the walls. Especially the walls. Wall-mounted plant features allow you to display your babies in a space-saving and fun way. You can find various brackets from local nurseries, DIY or even better, mounted wall features from Tsemach, which are bound to make anyone stop in their tracks. So, there you have it... Trends to watch out for in 2021/22 are LARGE plants, against a COLOURFUL backdrop, in a gorgeous POT COVER, accompanied by a FINE FOLIAGED friend, HANGING from the CEILING or WALL. Now, put on your mask, get your walking shoes on and get down to your nearest nursery, because these trends need setting! OUTSIDE&IN /


What you Need to Know

Autumn Plant Care :



F E AT U R E - P L A N T C A R E


utumn is a transitional season for house plants. Days get noticeably shorter, temperatures drop and sunlight reduces. Plants have exited their active growing phase - spring and summer - and are starting to enter their winter dormancy. This is a time to be mindful of changing plant needs and adjustments that are required, in order to support your plants through the autumn season... Let's take a look. WATERING: As plants exit their active growing phase, their need for water reduces. There’s a risk of overwatering, should you continue to water at the same frequencies and quantities that you employed during summer. Now is a good time to check the soil before watering. You’ll find that increasingly so, your plants won’t need any water at all. Rather skip watering if you are uncertain. Most plants bounce back much easier from underwatering, compared to overwatering.

LIGHT: With days getting shorter, less natural light is available. Your plants however will still appreciate as much ambient light as possible. Consider adjusting the location of your plant if this is possible, being mindful of the following: with winter approaching, the sun “sits lower in the sky” and thus shines deeper into our homes. You may find that a plant that previously didn’t have access to natural light, suddenly may enjoy a beam of afternoon sunlight. You also want to be careful of bringing your plant too close to a window, as the odd remaining hot day could burn its foliage. Adjusting light optimally is a balancing act, you’ve got to work with it.

FEEDING: Cut back on feeding your plants. The requirement for nutrition is reduced, as the plant gradually enters dormancy. Excess nutrients that are not absorbed create an unhappy soil environment, which can damage the roots and weaken your plant. Even though feeding feels like a caring activity, this is not the case in autumn and winter. One or two good feeds at the beginning of autumn should see your plant through to spring.

Andreas Keller

Owner of Plantify www.plantify.co.za @plantify_



F E AT U R E - P L A N T C A R E

HUMIDITY: Monitor the humidity of your tropical plants carefully, as we start heating our homes with fireplaces and heaters. Spatial heating dries out the air and reduces the ambient humidity, a challenge for most tropical houseplants that require relatively high humidity. Air that is too dry is reflected primarily in dry leaf ends or tips first. On days when heating is used, consider raising the humidity by misting your plants, placing them on a watered pebble bed, or adding a room humidifier.

TEMPERATURE: Most tropical house plants prefer warmer temperatures. Try to maintain warmth without risking foliage burn which could result from placing it in the line of direct sunlight, in a warmer spot. All plants dislike sudden chills, such as icy drafts through a door or window These can lead to foliage discoloration or leaf drop. Consider doing a quick check around the home as winter approaches and wind patterns change, to be sure that your plant isn’t at risk.

REPOTTING: If your plants grew actively during spring and summer, chances are they may need a bigger pot. Autumn is the last chance to pot up and allow your plants to settle before winter. Be mindful of maintaining good drainage, and not increasing the pot size too much, as this can lead to an increased risk of overwater, during a time when the plant requires less water. Generally, a 3-5cm increase in pot size diameter is recommended. Our autumn care list should be seen as plant care prompters: not a definitive To Do List, but rather aspects to be mindful of. Engage with your plant, look at the way it communicates. Getting to know your plant in its own language is key to caring and keeping it in a happy state throughout all of the seasons of the year.



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F E AT U R E - M A M M A ' S P L A N T S


am really passionate about plant propagation, so much so that I started a business focused on it! I’m no expert yet, but I have learnt a lot over the past few years and I’d love to share some propagation tips and tricks that have helped me.

SO, WHAT IS PROPAGATION AND WHY SHOULD I DO IT? Propagation refers to the process of growing new plants from existing ones. Almost all indoor and outdoor plants can be propagated from either seeds, stems, leaves, tubers, bulbs or root division. Propagation is inexpensive and provides one with the opportunity to learn about and grow more plants. It doesn’t get better than that, right?

HOW DOES PROPAGATION WORK? The five major propagation methods include: cuttings, layering, division, grafting and budding. Plants are unique in their ways, and so different methods need to be used to propagate different species. For example: •

Calatheas, caladiums, snake plants and alocasias are propagated by division. With time, these plants grow additional bulbs/tubers/shoots which develop into new plants that can be carefully separated out (with some roots attached) and potted on their own. Philodendrons, pothos, begonias and succulents are propagated by stem and leaf cuttings that are removed from the main mother plant.

Once removed from the mother plant, fresh cuttings need to be placed in a medium that encourages root development. Water, soil and "peat moss" are the most commonly used medium for propagating plants, but I’ve found water propagation to be the most successful (and satisfying to watch!). Propagating cuttings in water and seeing roots develop is incredibly rewarding.



Brittany Miller

Owner of Mamma’s Plants www.mammasplants.com @mammasplants

F E AT U R E - M A M M A ' S P L A N T S

GREAT, WHERE DO I START? Stem and leaf cuttings are the easiest propagation method to start experimenting with, so here’s my step-by-step guide on how to do it: 1.

Find a healthy-looking stem on the plant you want to propagate.


Using sterile scissors, carefully snip a couple of 10-15cm cuttings from just below a leaf or node (bump along the stem).


Remove any leaves from the bottom third of the cuttings (as these will just rot in water or soil).


Dip the bottom of the cuttings in rooting powder and a) pop them into a jar of water or a propagation vase, or b) plant them in a well-draining potting mix.


Place the cuttings in a spot that receives good, indirect light throughout the day.


(Specific to water propagation): Pot your cuttings in a well-draining potting mix when the roots are 5-8cm long.


The use of rooting powder is optional, but I really recommend it if you’re new to propagating plants.

The best time to experiment with propagation is during the growing season (being spring and summer). You’ll have a higher chance of success with the warmer weather!

If you propagate plants in soil, it’s really important to use an aerated potting mix which contains perlite and coco/peat moss. You’ll also need to keep the soil moist, but not wet, as you don’t want your cuttings to rot!

If you propagate plants in water, it’s important to change the water out at least once a week to prevent algae build-up. Cuttings need the oxygen that fresh water provides in order to develop healthy roots.

The use of ziplock bags when propagating is underrated! Cuttings need good humidity to thrive, and ziplocks work well to create a warm, contained environment for them to root in. I’ve often used ziplocks by a) placing the pot and plant directly into the ziplock, or b) placing the unrooted cuttings directly onto a bed of moist soil/moss/perlite at the base of the ziplock bag. I also make sure to briefly unseal the bag every few days to prevent algae and fungus and I mist the soil when it looks dry.

All in all, propagation requires time and patience, and you won’t always get it right (which is totally normal). But when you do, you’ll have more plants to share with others and slowly but surely turn your space into an urban jungle (which has certainly been my goal).

If you want to learn more about propagation and sign up a free subscription box, visit mammasplants.com OUTSIDE&IN /


Go Local ,

go Natural , go Wild



F E AT U R E - G O LO C A L , G O N AT U R A L , G O W I L D

There are exciting times ahead for landscape designers and gardeners alike. All over the world, there is a movement away from enclosed spaces and neatly manicured gardens towards the soft, nurturing hues, essences and wide-open spaces of nature. Trends are set by people, so let 2021 be the year we design our outdoor spaces with sensitivity, compassion and consideration for our local environment. In landscaping, the new movement calls for a more comfortable, natural look and feel - an extension, in fact - of what we see when we look out of our windows, or as we drive by on our way to and from our busy lives. When we "leap over the fence and see that all of nature is a garden." And while we can acknowledge a "foreign" European-centric garden heritage and its clean lines in garden design, I believe the movement now is to break free of "eco-colonialism" and create naturally landscaped gardens that blend in with the rich vibrancy of South Africa and the cultures of people who thrive under the African sun. We need to create more gardens using indigenous plants, build water storage tanks under new buildings, plan for smaller swimming pools and develop a preference for materials where the palette is simple with subdued colours and plenty of shade to encourage outdoor living. There is also a strong movement towards minimalising and decluttering to get rid of the "noise", particularly, as people move to smaller, more manageable properties. And it is the same for gardens. I think society will embrace a pattern of consumption that is rooted in a clear set of core values. If anything, what we’ve learnt from last year is that we can do a lot more with a lot less. Aligned with this movement in 2021 is the opportunity to celebrate local, to honour Africa; her wide open spaces, her vast savannahs, her lush green African mountain forests, the kaleidoscope colours and textures and the radiant abundance of natural light - which also delivers the natural healing power of Vitamin D into our immune systems.

Cara Smith

Landscape Designer & MD Contours Design Studio cara@contoursdesignstudio.co.za @contours_designstudio @contoursdesignstudiocds

So we turn to the pastels of ericas, the mustard yellows of leucadendron's, the reds of the protea, the muted browns and sandstone and granite greys of our hills and valleys. Instead of roses, we have flowering ericas, cone-bushes and proteas; instead of large waterthirsty lawns we can rather plant low beds of mountain grasses and link them with pathways of local stone or bark. Children absolutely love meandering garden paths filled with pockets of adventure.



F E AT U R E - G O LO C A L , G O N AT U R A L , G O W I L D

And, particularly in these stressful times, we need to consider planting indigenous gardens with plants that have served the medicinal needs of our ancestors for centuries, such as: buchu, aloe, salvias and wormwood. South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world and we shouldn’t lose sight to continue to plant these magical plants, which create a haven of biodiversity for the living environment. With the focus on low maintenance, this can be achieved through the choice of materials. By making use of brick, steel, concrete, stone and wood that does not need constant touch-up painting and maintenance. Along with this, there is a definite rise in the use of recycled materials in products, interiors and buildings. Bricks from demolished buildings can be turned on their edge to create beautiful timeless pathways and Interior Designers are seeing a revival of upgrading furniture and learning new skills to become more self-sufficient. Renovation projects are multiplying as supply chains have slowed down due to the global pandemic. The skills that our grandparents mastered are regaining interest for the greater good of the planet. Local research shows that more and more people are clearing a small section of their gardens for homegrown vegetables, offering garden-fresh food a step from the kitchen door. In one of our recent projects we successfully planted granadilla creepers as boundary walls, trailing pumpkins on balcony balustrades and veggies in car park border areas. Delivering landscaping that provides for the bodies and the minds of the tenants. Now, that's an exciting trend, if ever there was one! For us at Contours Design Studio, it is invigorating that this go local, go natural and go wild momentum has picked up in recent months, so it's no surprise that it is one of the key movements for 2021. Everywhere we look from the tip of the Cape to the far north of the country, there is an abundance of colour, texture and diversity to offer our industry and the clients who come to us to "create beauty" for them. And that's why I am so excited about 2021 and beyond. Now, more than ever, we have no excuse but to get to work and celebrate in our designs the calming, nurturing and sheer joyfully uplifting power of a well-landscaped a la naturelle garden.




Image by landscape designer: Lucy Schnell, CDS





g R n i a d h s i s i h v a R


With Easter just around the corner, get the kids excited and outdoors with this DIY Ravishing Radish growing project. So you’re at home with the kids and searching for fun activities? Here’s a great activity with a harvest time of between 25 to 35 days... Radishes! Gardening has not been cancelled and with Easter around the corner, there is plenty of time to ' Grow Your Own Easter Egg Hunt' with the Radish Easter Egg Blend. The Radish Easter Egg Blend is so named, because the radishes resemble colourful Easter eggs with a mix of red, white, rose pink, purple, and bi-colour radishes. After the growing period between 25-35 days, one can have their very own Easter egg hunt for the most colourful radishes to excite your children. Radishes are also loaded with fabulous vitamins and minerals, (which the kid's don't need to know about).

Planting Radishes 1. Prepare a loose, nutrient-rich soil bed for the radish babies in a sunny spot. We suggest using veggie compost in your beds and purchasing radish seeds from your local Garden Centre. 2. Sow the seeds directly into your beds by popping a seed on your finger, then gently pressing it down into the soil about half a centimetre deep. Cover the small holes by sprinkling soil over the top. 3. Water lightly once sowed and continue to water daily. Make sure your soil doesn’t dry out completely, but doesn’t stay muddy either. 4. After 3 weeks, you can check the progress of your radishes by unearthing some of the top soil to see the gorgeous bulb.


Pull younger radishes for crisp roots and a milder flavour. After 20 days, pull one out and test it for yourself. Radishes left in the ground for too long will be very hot and fibrous in taste.




Candy RadishRecipe Now let's transform these colourful radishes into candy radish apples, the perfectly disguised veggie sweetie!

www.lifeisagarden.co.za @lifeisagarden



12 washed and dried radishes

12 long skewer sticks

1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.

3 cups of sugar

Half a cup of light corn syrup

1 cup of water

Half a teaspoon of red food colouring

A cooking thermometer

A sheet of baking paper

2. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until it reaches 150°C (the hard crack stage). 3. Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food colouring. 4. One by one, dip the radishes into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. 5. Transfer the coated apples to the baking sheet and allow to cool until the candy has fully hardened.

Let's eat! 34


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Explore the exotic world of fungi farming with Life is a Garden

Wh at



’s a

n frie


g i n b u e f t w e l t een t il

F E AT U R E - M U S H R O O M S I N T H E G A R D E N


ushrooms are so much more than toadstools from fairytales. As fungi, mushrooms are biologically distinct from any other food group. They have a unique nutrient profile and add a distinct flavour and texture to a variety of dishes. Life is a Garden and this season, why not add some magic to your backyard by growing your own fun-guys!

History of the Mushroom

The word mushroom is derived from the French word for fungi. Dating back to 1651, fungi became popular in Europe after being discovered in the vicinity of Paris. They were also consumed centuries ago in Middle and South America. Finally, in 1707, the first controlled cultivation of edible fungi in the vegetable garden was completed, and so the delicious mushroom was introduced to our diets. Now every year, millions of mushrooms are cultivated worldwide.

Fungi Fundamentals

Since the first cultivation of mushrooms, many varieties have popped up around the world. Ranging from edible, poisonous and medicinal, it’s important to know your way around the mushroom garden. Here are some of the most important fungi families you need to get to know: Starting with edible varieties, there are so many to choose from to add flavour to your dishes. The White Button mushroom is one of the most commonly grown mushrooms throughout the world. It's eaten by millions of people every day - and with a little culinary spice, it's anything but boring. The cap of this mushroom can span 3 to 16cm, while the stem is 2 to 8cm long. White in colour, this type of mushroom often has brownish bruising. Another popular mushroom is the Oyster mushroom. One of the first things you should look for when trying to identify this mushroom is the presence of decurrent gills. These gills are attached to, and run directly down, the stem. These guys are white to light brown and often grow in a shelf-like formation with overlapping clusters. Porcini mushrooms are a famous, and delicious, addition to Italian dishes owing to their strong nutty flavour. As the Porcini matures, its cap can grow up to 30cm in diameter and then flattens out. The reddish-brown cap darkens with age and fades to white along the cap margin. The stem is club-shaped or bulging in the middle. Another tasty fungi is the Field mushroom, which has a white cap and, on occasion, may have fine scales. The stem grows 3 to 10cm tall and is predominately white, bearing a single thin ring. Be careful when munching on this mildly flavoured mushroom when it begins to show signs of yellow bruising. This bruising can cause the fungi to become somewhat toxic and inedible.





The soft, corky and flat Reishi mushrooms are among the oldest medicinal mushrooms known in our world. Appearing to look like it has been red-varnished, the cap features an underside of white pores containing fine brown spores. The enchanting Reishi grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees to form a picturesque storybook scene. With recognised herbal healing powers, it is nice to know that the Reishi mushroom is also an incredibly easy mushroom to grow.



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Reishi Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

The final garden favourite of our edible mushroom range is the Shiitake. What comes to mind when you think of these tasty mushrooms is the health benefits, as well as your favourite Chinese restaurant meals. Shiitake begin their lives with dark brown to black caps, which become lighter brown and more convex with age. The undersides exhibit white gills that do not attach to the stem. The stem is smooth, fibrous, and light brown with no ring. The Shiitake mushroom also has many medicinal properties to assist in getting your body into a great condition. It supports your immune system, destroys cancer cells and helps with heart health. Although there are so many delicious mushrooms in the wild that you can pick and eat, there are many poisonous ones to stay away from. By far the biggest culprit is the Amanita phalloides, or the Death Cap mushroom, which occurs throughout South Africa. Ingesting it is extremely dangerous as this fungi accounts for 90% of all fatal mushroom poisonings. The toxins from this mushroom attack your liver and kidneys. Look out for a pale yellow to a light-olive cap, which grows from 5 to 15cm in diameter. The gills are white and the spore print is also white. It’s definitely not to be snacked on! The Copper Trumpet, also commonly known as the Jack-o'-lantern mushroom, is orange to yellow and, yes, it is poisonous. Although enchanting with its large, funnel shape and gills that are bioluminescent, which glow in the dark, this mushroom is filled with a compound called luciferin. Rather observe its beauty than try and have this fungus for lunch. The False Parasol mushroom is the final fungi we will be discussing. It has a convex cap at full maturity, that grows from 5 to 40cm in diameter. The gills are white when young and turn green with age. The mushroom then turns a dingy red when bruised. The stem grows from 5 to 25cm tall and 1 to 4cm in diameter. It is highly poisonous, producing severe gastrointestinal symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Mushrooms in the Garden

Knowing how to identify mushrooms is interesting knowledge to have. The awareness of fungi fundamentals enables you to begin growing your own abundance of mushrooms in your garden at home - leaving those wonderful wild mushrooms to stay free and uncultivated. Different mushrooms grow in particular settings. As such, be sure to find out what kind of medium you will need for the species of spores you have purchased. OUTSIDE&IN /


F E AT U R E - M U S H R O O M S I N T H E G A R D E N

The most popular choices of mushrooms are Shiitake mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms and White Button mushrooms. To grow them yourself, you first need to buy a selection of spores, or even spawn – these are quite easy to find online or at your local Garden Centre. Spores are like seeds for mushrooms, while spawn are like the seedlings, so either can be used. However, for home growing, spawn is much easier to use.

Growing Mushrooms

As we said before, different mushrooms grow in different mediums. Shiitake mushrooms usually grow on hardwood or hardwood sawdust, while Oyster mushrooms prefer an environment of straw and Button mushrooms grow from the nutrients of composted manure. Be sure to find out what kind of medium you will need for the particular species of spores or spawn which you have purchased. In general, mushrooms like a cool, dark and damp place to grow in. If you have a basement or wine cellar, this is the perfect place for mushroom growing, otherwise, it is also fine to use an old unused cupboard or trunk. As long as you can control the temperature, humidity and keep the area in relative darkness, your mushrooms will thrive. Once you have chosen the mushrooms you want, and have collected their correct growing medium, there are basic steps for growing the mushrooms that remain, in most instances, the same. Place the growing medium in a pan and raise the temperature to about 21 degrees Celsius in the area you have chosen to cultivate your fungi friends. One can easily use a heating pad to achieve this.

www.lifeisagarden.co.za @lifeisagarden

After about an hour, the medium should have warmed up nicely, and you can then place the spawn on it. About three weeks should pass when the spawn will have rooted, which means the filaments would have spread into the growing medium. At this stage, you need to reduce the temperature to around 15 degrees Celsius. Cover the spawn with two to three centimetres of potting soil, and then cover the pan and potting soil with a damp cloth. It’s important to keep spraying the fabric and soil to keep them both moist. It should take about three to four weeks before you see the little mushrooms appearing. Shiitake mushrooms take a little longer and will be ready in about seven to eight weeks. They will be ready to pick once the cap has fully opened and fully separated from the stem. Fungi make an exciting and unusual addition to any garden. Once you have mastered the art of growing mushrooms, you will have plenty to go around, and the next thrilling step will be finding new ways of preparing your homegrown delicacies. Our Life is a Garden and here’s your invitation to fun-up with a couple of fun-guys, yummy! Happy mushroom farming!

Field Mushrooms

*Top Tip:

Visit your Garden Centre to enquire about mushroom grow kits and answers from experts for any questions you may have.

MAKHRO ECOBAIT Eco-friendly snail and slug bait



• • • •

1 kg of ECOBAIT pellets will cover 1000m2

Scatter the pellets on the soil, around or close to the plants you would like to protect against snails. Scatter evenly onto moist soil, with no standing water. Re-application is required every three weeks or as the bait is consumed by snails or slugs. More regular application will be required in areas that get heavily watered or after experiencing long periods of rain.

Snails and slugs are most active during the night or early mornings. Apply EcoBait pellets in the evening or late afternoon for best results.

If you are looking for an eco-friendly insecticide to control snails and slugs - look no further! 021 981 4011 | www.makhro.co.za






Celebrating 50 years of Growing

dwig’s Roses: Outside & In visits the Ludwig’s Roses family to chat about their journey and an impressive 50 years of growing South Africa ‘s most beautiful roses.

Q: When was Ludwig’s Roses established and how has it expanded since then? The business was started in March 1971. It started from humble beginnings and has grown so much so, that we offer rose plants to gardeners from 8 different locations across South Africa. We have also expanded from a family-only business, to now caring for over 130 staff members. Q: As Ludwig’s is a family-only business, to now – how vital is each family member to the growth of Ludwig’s Roses? Ludwig Taschner, started the business, with the assistance of his wife Pamela. Their 3 children became involved in the management soon after finishing their schooling and studies. Their son, Halmar has always been involved in the day-to-day management and drove the expansion of opening retail branches from 1999 onwards. Their eldest daughter, Heike, a renowned sculpturer, took over the restaurant on the farm and developed a whole range of rose edible products. Their youngest daughter, Anja, a learned horticulturalist, has helped with crosspollination, developed body and fragrance ranges and is kept busy with large rose landscape projects in the Western Cape. And with 7 grandchildren, the Ludwig's love for roses will only keep growing and expanding with the family. Q: What are some unique roses we can find at your farms? While we started with only 180 varieties of roses in our catalogue in 1975, we now offer over 800 different roses in our catalogue, so there are many unique ones. Our 2021 catalogue boasts over 880 rose varieties. Some uniquely coloured roses that stand out are: Black Tea (a brown rose); Limbo (a green rose); and Arctic Ice (a lilac rose with a strong fragrance). Q: What are some of the experiences your farms offer to visitors?

Ludwig's Roses

www.ludwigsroses.co.za @ludwigsroses @therosethatgrows

Strolling through the roses is an experience in itself. The sheer variety of all the different roses can be mind-boggling. The fragrances, colours, bloom shapes and the different growth habits. Our shops stock many rose-orientated things and it can be fun discovering the various unique products, namely rose edibles, body care and fragrances, decor and our own specialised vases. We also stock garden-orientated products for the novel rose gardener, and if you’re lucky to visit a farm that has a restaurant, we suggest you pop in for breakfast or lunch. On the main farm, a tractor ride through the rose fields is a must for both the young and old alike. Q: As you turn 50 this year, how will the team be celebrating? The rose will remain in the limelight, as a way of us saying thank you to gardeners who have made it possible for us to share the rose’s beauty with them since 1971.




Q: What have been some of your proudest moments over the past 50 years? Cross pollinating and creating our own rose varieties is something very special, as this is really at the deep core of rose growing. This process can sometimes take up to 8 years. We are also proud of our annual catalogue and our monthly newsletter, both of which are followed by rose lovers across the country. Keeping Ludwig’s a family matter has also helped keep us both proud and grounded. Q: At any time, how many rose varietals can a customer expect to find on a farm? When visiting our farm, one can expect to find over 800 different varieties, and we encourage you to take a walk through and pick out your favourites. Q: When are roses most vibrant on your farms? October is the peak of the first rose flush after winter and is always exceptional. The autumn roses in March are however more intense in colour and larger than in summer, so this is also a great time to visit. However, with roses one can really say that you bump into new beauty every single day!

Madre Tierra

Q: What are some of your top tips for caring for roses? The fundamental secret to rose growing is effective watering. If this principle is right, then the rest is all plain sailing. Fertilising regularly and spraying a cocktail against fungus disease during wet periods and insects makes a world of difference. This is why Ludwig’s has their own range of rose care products, as rose care can be so vital to the growth of a rose. Q: What are some initiatives that Ludwig’s Roses are involved in? Many years ago, we launched a white ribbon initiative, whereby, we donate a portion of the sale of the rose to a charity. We have selected over 20 varieties of roses that relate to the respective charity that was chosen at the naming occasion of the rose. We have several charities including: Tygerberg Children’s Hospital, National Council of SPCA’s, DeafSA, Louis Botha Children's Home, St Lukes Hospice, Parkinson’s Disease Association SA, Missing Children SA and Stop Rhino Poaching to name a few.

Black Tea

Great Gatsby

Ludwig Taschner



Arctic Ice

F E AT U R E - R O S E C A R E


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5 1



Starke Ayres Rose Food promotes healthy root, plant and flower development and helps build up resistance to foliar diseases. It can be used as a foliar spray by dissolving 20g in 5l water, spray over foliar until leaves are wet and repeat every four weeks. Alternatively, it can be used as a soil drench by dissolving 5g in 5l water, applying directly to the soil and repeated every two weeks.

Ludwig's Insect Spray contains Canola Oil which kills targeted small bodied insects on contact by means of suffocation. Garlic also keeps insects away from plants. Natural pyrethrum has a residual action of maximum 24 hours after application and can kill bigger bodied insects on contact. RSP: R140 for 200ml www.ludwigsroses.co.za

RSP: R79.99 www.starkeayres.com

5 . GA R D E N A C L A S S I C S E C AT E U R S

A fungicidal pruning wound paste. For use on roses, grapevines, shrubs and fruit trees after pruning. STERISEAL reduces infection of pruning wounds and cut surfaces.

These 18mm classic secateurs are comfortable and ergonomic. They provide safe and quick cutting and pruning for any rose bush, and are suitable for both the beginner gardener and the professional.



A 3 in 1 rose protector. A contact insecticide and systemic fungicides emulsifiable concentrate for the control of pests (like aphids and red spider mites) and diseases (like blackspot, powdery mildew and rust) on roses. Easy application, mix 4ml to 1l water and spray over roses (or conveniently buy Ready-To-Use). RSP: R90 for 100ml www.makhro.co.za


RSP: R60 www.efekto.co.za


RSP: R280 www.gardena.com

6. MAKHRO BIOSOIL A concentrate solution of humic and fulvic acids, that improves soil quality and is a great source of potassium. Also, a food source for soil microbes with fulvic acid contributing to the water holding capacity of soil. Easy application via fertigation or as an adjuvant in foliar sprays RSP: R110 for 500ml www.makhro.co.za


Visit one of our nursreries to collect your FREE Golden Anniversary Rose Catalogue.

The Bart Simpson flower NEMESIA CHEIRANTHUS 48




nnuals have long been an important part of gardening. In the Northern Hemisphere, annuals erupt in gardens with the first sign of spring. Annual flowering plants have the ability to grow extremely fast because of the naturally harsh circumstances they usually grow in. There is also a short window of opportunity for them to harvest sunlight, before the surrounding shrubs start to grow and block out the vital rays of light needed. In some cases, these annuals need to grow lightning-fast to mature, flower and set seed before the short rainy season comes to an end or snow starts to fall, freezing the landscape. It’s for this reason that we love annual plants, they have the ability to quickly coat the garden in a fantastic display of colour, and there are so many to choose from in any colour or shape, with new varieties introduced every season. South Africa has a wide range of indigenous annuals planted all over the world, with the most renowned being the Lobelia’s, Namaqualand daisies and the Diascia families. The South African West Coast in Spring has spectacular floral displays, giving endless vistas of colour, and every spring we find ourselves crawling across the thorn filled landscapes of the Northern Cape, hoping to find interesting bulbs and annuals to photograph. There is always so much to see, and without fail you will find annuals you haven’t seen before, which result in screaming sounds of joy, echoing throughout the valleys.

Leon Kluge

Landscape Designer www.leonkluge.com @leonkluge

This is a particular annual that I cannot get enough of, and they range in colour and shape. I make a point of finding them every year and have the biggest smile on my face when I manage to spot them. Part of the snapdragon family, this favourite of mine is called Nemesia cheiranthus, or the Dragon’s Head Nemesia. The face of this flower has a very distinctive horned dragon’s head complete with mouth and eyes - you almost expect it will be able to breath fire. Some people call it the Bart Simpson flower, as the yellow and white spikes emulate Bart’s hairdo. It’s an easy annual to grow, you sow the seed at the end of winter, in full sun and a loamy soil, while making sure you are keeping the soil moist... And, quickly, the rewards unfold! They flower for about 2 months of the year, attracting bees and giving a sweet coconut aroma to the garden. They are mostly pollinated by bees, and as the bee sits on the lip of this flower, the mouth of the flower opens up as the weight of the bee pulls the lip downward. The bee burrows its head in the wide-open mouth of the flower, gathering sweet nectar as a reward. The pollen rubs on its head, and on the next flower the pollen rubs off on the female parts. Job done for the Nemisia! The seed will set very quickly, and will fill the desert valleys with an even thicker blanket of colour than the previous year. I hope this fabulous annual will soon find its way to our local garden centres, as is the case in most European countries, where the public can enjoy these in their gardens (commonly known in the UK as Shooting Stars).



Meet the Retailer:


Plantland Garden Centre is a household name, with four stores based in and around the Pretoria region. This familyrun business not only has quality plants for SA’s gardeners, but also offers unique insights into planting for both loyal and new customers alike. Their stores offer more than just plants and make them an outing the whole family can enjoy. PLANTLAND IS IN THE HEART OF PRETORIA, WHEN WAS IT FOUNDED AND BY WHO? Plantland began as the Plant Park group around 1975, which was founded by the late Jimie Malan, father of the current owner Jacques Malan. In 1991, Jimie Malan developed the garden centre, or as we now know it, Plantland. Jacques Malan has since taken over and has grown the garden centre to the success it is today. WHAT SETS PLANTLAND APART FROM OTHER GARDEN CENTRES? Plantland consists of 4 branches situated in and around Pretoria and the Plantland team will often say: “Plantland is my family!” The Plantland team consists of employees that have been working for the brand for almost 30 years, as well as fresh faces who keep them young and energised. With this said, they have a great amount of knowledge and passion within their Plantland family. Being family-run it is easy to see the absolute passion for gardening and the industry. HOW MANY GARDEN CENTRES DO YOU HAVE? AND WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU? Our 4 branches are situated in Akasia, Pretoria North; Cornwall Hill, Irene; Olympus, Pretoria East and Faerie Glen, Pretoria East. AT ANY TIME, HOW MANY PLANT VARIETALS CAN A CUSTOMER EXPECT TO FIND ON THE SHOP FLOOR? Plantland’s main supplier is Malanseuns and we can easily say we have more that 700 different plant varieties for our customers to choose from, the world is their oyster! With this great range it makes it easy for our clients to get everything they would need for their garden, patio garden, edible garden and even their indoor plant collection. BESIDES PLANTS, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON BOUGHT PRODUCTS IN YOUR STORE? Besides the quality and variety of plants, customers can also expect to walk in and buy any gardening tools, accessories and fertilisers that you would need to create your dream garden.




www.plantland.co.za @plantlandgardencentre @PlantlandGardenCentre

We have also added a special pot supplier, The Naked Pot, to our shelves. These pots are unique, not one is the same and are hand made in Taiwan, a Plantland exclusive. Other exciting products that are new to Plantland are our boutique household items to add that special touch to your shopping experience. Synthetic flowers and plants, glass vases and ceramic figures are a few of these bespoke items. WHAT UNIQUE EXPERIENCE CAN CUSTOMERS EXPECT WHEN THEY WALK THROUGH YOUR DOORS? WHY ARE YOU ONE OF PRETORIA'S FAVOURITE DESTINATION STORES? When you enter one of Plantland’s four branches in Pretoria for the first time, you’d easily mistake our family-owned unique garden centre for the Garden of Eden. Whether you simply want to stop and smell the roses, buy a gift that blooms like your affection for someone special, or find out how to develop a green thumb, Plantland is the place to be. Regular customers to Plantland are like family, they know that our world class quality plants, equipment, products and expert gardening advice will give their gardens that extra edge. You might say that plants are in our DNA. At Plantland, your satisfaction is guaranteed. HOW DOES PLANTLAND KEEP YOUNG GARDENERS BUSY? Young gardeners are so important to us at Plantland, as they are our future gardeners of South Africa. We love educating and teaching them about the fun of gardening and the reward one feels once your vegetables are big enough to be eaten or your first bloom starts to open. We have a Plantland Little Seedling Club, where parents can sign up their kids for a small fee per month, to receive a monthly box filled with gardening goodies, plants and information for them to start and grow their very own garden. WHAT PLANTS DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE AUTUMN BEST-SELLERS IN YOUR STORES? We are excited for Autumn gardening because of the colour! Our favourites are the Nandina varieties, giving our garden that bright touch of red. Then we can also look forward to the amazing Aloes with the bright orange colours of their flowers. If you are looking at a softer flowering autumn garden, we can say that our breathtaking Lavender range and the oh so popular Pansy, Primula Petunia combo will make sure you have a flowering autumn garden. We can also suggest adding some Carex grasses or the beautiful Alternanthera Little Ruby to your beds as edging, or to soften your garden by adding these plants in the open spaces. Autumn gardening can be just as colourful as summer with these stunning selections. OUTSIDE&IN /


Feeling Floral







here is nothing quite like fresh flowers in your home. But, with a relatively short shelf life, they aren’t always so budget-friendly. Luckily, the new dried and preserved floral trend currently taking over our social media feeds has been a game changer! Dried flowers are back from the dead – so to speak! It's time to dust off their old-fashioned reputation and fall in love with their beautiful, muted and warm tones, as well as their endless variety of shapes and textures. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRIED AND PRESERVED FLOWERS? Dried flowers are essentially dehydrated, ridding them of their natural moisture. Traditionally, and most commonly, drying can be achieved by air drying – hanging flowers upside-down in a cool dry and dark place (like your garage) for 2-4 weeks. Stems are spread out to ensure they dry out evenly. The foliage and petals tend to become more brittle and the colour will continue to fade as they age. Preserving flowers or foliage on the other hand, is a scientific process. The plants undergo a rehydration process by being placed in a mixture made from glycerine and other plant elements. This liquid gradually rises through the stem until it completely substitutes the plant’s sap. After a few days, the process is complete and the final result is flexible flowers or foliage with a completely natural appearance. Preserved flowers are however, much more expensive than dried flowers.


They are very light and airy.

It takes the stress out of flower arranging, simply because they don’t die!

They’re pollen-free - a great option for those prone to allergies.

You don’t have to worry about room temperature or constantly changing the water.

They introduce a completely new universe of textures, dimensions, shapes and colour palettes than that of fresh flowers.

They are very eco-friendly.

You can keep all of your dried pieces and use them over and over again for arrangements.


Grasses, such as: pampas grass, wheat, mountain fern and bunny tails. (Tip: Spray pampas grass with a high-hold hairspray to prevent them from shedding their fluff)

Leaves, such as: eucalyptus or banana leaves

Fronds, such as: palm leaves and mountain ferns

Branches of cotton

Seed pods, such as: poppy pods, love in a puff, scabiosa pods and gooseberry pods

Flowers, such as: hydrangea, limonium, amaranthus, gomphrena, baby’s breath, sedum, rice flower, protea, artichoke flowers and helichrysum.



Anli Wahl

Floral designer and owner of Anli Wahl Floral Design www.anliwahl.co.za @anliwahlfloral


STEP-BY-STEM DEMO ON HOW TO ARRANGE WITH DRIED ELEMENTS: It is a good idea to arrange in a monochromatic or analogous colour scheme, to keep the arrangement visually pleasing to the eye. ‘Monochromatic’ means a colour scheme using values of only one colour (e.g. shades of brown), and ‘analogous’ means a colour scheme using two to four adjacent colours on the colour wheel e.g. yellow, yellow-orange, and orange. I prefer arranging asymmetrically, as it would appear in nature. Asymmetrical balance means that the plant material is not similarly arranged on both sides of an imaginary vertical axis.




Prepare your vase with a flower pin-frog / kenzan at the bottom. For added support, roll a ball of chickenwire and place it on top of the kenzan, and strap it into place with waterproof floral tape. Make sure the sides of the vase are clean and dry before you attempt to apply the tape. You can also use Oasis dry foam bricks, taped into the vase, but this is a less ecofriendly option.


I started my design off by placing the beautifully curved and curly banana leaves first, to help me create the shape of my arrangement.


I then added in some other long, but more delicate, dried lace flowers, to soften the lines of the banana leaf and create some whimsy.


The next step was to add in some more visually dense foliage to create some structure and to bring in some weight at the bottom of my arrangement.


I then added in some dried, white bougainvillea to create a different layer of softness and to add a bit of contrast with all the muted browns. I added a taller branch of bougainvillea, following the shape I first created with the banana leaf, and added some below to break the hard line of the vase’s lip.


Next, I added in some allium flowers as a focal point, in a cluster of three. Make sure they are not in the same plane, but on different levels, almost in each other's shadow.


A layer of delicate, white metalasia flowers followed on the left side of the arrangement, dancing above the other flowers like little butterflies, picking up the white of the bougainvillea.


As an element of fun and a touch of unexpected colour, I added some over ripe pomegranates, some bursting open already, exposing their magnificent red arils!


I felt the design was lacking some density and contrast, so I added some dried panicled hydrangeas.

10. To finish off the still life, I clustered some magnificent hand poured candles, in different shapes and sizes from Okra all around the arrangement. (Please take care with open flames next to a dry arrangement!)

6. WHERE TO FIND DRIED/PRESERVED FLOWERS: Your florist should be able source dried or preserved flowers for you, but in Cape Town you can find them at: Yes Exclusive Flowers in Maitland, or Alsmeer in Airport Industrial. In Johannesburg, you can find them at: Alsmeer Flowers or AMP Flowers at the Multiflora Market. The best spots to look for naturally dried elements are next to the road, open fields, areas where there recently has been a veld fire and (wait for it) compost heaps! Make sure you have permission to pick, if you do so next to the road or in a veld. Photographer: Debbie Lourens | www.debbielourens.com Candles: Okra Candles | www.okracandle.co.za




Floral H

ory ist



ohannesburg fabric designer Amanda Du Plessis explores South Africa’s unique botanical history through her hand-dyed fabrics and delicate sunprints.

“You’ve got about ten seconds to put the plants down before the sun starts printing,” explains fabric designer Amanda du Plessis, founder of Evolution Product. When she makes her exquisite “Botanical Blueprint” and “Silverprint Silhouette” hand-printed fabrics, she starts with locally woven linen that’s been dipped in light-sensitive chemicals and spread out in the sun. She’ll have carefully composed arrangements of indigenous plants and grasses that she’s collected from the nearby Melville Koppies with the print they’ll leave behind in mind. She speedily transfers them onto the fabric the minute it’s ready – it’s an intensely concentrated few moments and Amanda works quickly and decisively. “Once they’re on the cloth, they can’t be moved around because the printing process starts immediately,” she says. As the chemicals react to the light, the sun prints the images of the plants onto the fabric. The patterns are revealed properly as the chemical salts are rinsed from the fabric, and the ghostly silhouettes of the plants are fixed. “The process essentially reinvents old photography techniques, but on cloth,” Amanda explains. These are more like contact prints than the later printing methods that allowed duplication; each contact print is a one-off. “Every single piece is different and unique,” she says. Amanda started developing the idea for this technique when she first encountered the botanical prints of Thomas Blagrave in the archives at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). “Thomas Blagrave was a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the British army, and he made incredible photograms of ferns in the 1800s,” she explains. She’d collaborated with SANBI before, finding ways to reproduce the fascinating botanical visual history she’d found in their archives, especially examples that departed from the photographic perfection of mainstream botanical art. When one of the archivists unearthed a white leather-bound volume of Blagrave’s work that hadn’t been taken down for decades, she called Amanda immediately. Blagrave had improvised a form of early contact photography. “He dipped paper in egg white and lemon juice and we don’t know what else, which left a kind of a glaze on the paper,” says Amanda. “He then put ferns directly onto it and exposed them to the sun, and somehow there was a reaction and they photographed.” She began digitally manipulating the colours and printing some of his images onto fabric, resulting in beautiful luminous plant patterns, and called the range Blagrave’s Ferns. But his unusual technique intrigued her, and for the first time she started considering how she might engage with that in her designs, and not just the images. “Belgrave really inspired us to start looking at how he made his prints, and not just what they looked like,” she says. After researching the idea – often months or even years of research precede one of Amanda’s fabric ranges – she began working with a photographic studio that specialised in arcane photographic printing techniques.

Left: The process of making fabrics for Evolution’s Botanical Sunprints range, using a method that employs silver and iron salts, produces earthy colours. The iron is rinsed away and the silver salts fixed to preserve the image. Right: The Evolution Products studio, an extension of Amanda’s Johannesburg home, showing fabrics from various ranges stored in shelves and cupboards, as well as mood board for recent collections and designs.






Amanda’s Johannesburg home features a number of cushions and panels from various ranges she’s explored, tracing the evolution of her pursuit of South Africa’s cultural and botanical visual history.


They played around with a technique called blueprinting – the same method used in early photography and which architects used up until the middle of last century to duplicate the drawings – also known as cyanotyping. In one of the fortuitous discoveries that reward her careful research, it turned out there was a connection between this technique and local visual history, too. “It was developed by a man called John Herschel in 1839,” Amanda explains. Herschel was a British astronomer, scientist and botanist who came to South Africa in 1833 to study the night skies, and also produced more than a hundred botanical drawings during his stay.

“Botanical Blueprints” was born.

“Can you do it in other colours?” she asked her collaborators. “No,” was the response. “That’s why it’s called blue printing,” Not one to take no for an answer, Amanda persisted, and they experimented with other old photographic processes. One, using silver and iron salts, produced beautiful earthy brown and chocolatey tones.

“Silverprint Silhouettes” was born.

Amanda first ventured into textile design when she met a specialist weaver while consulting to a fashion designer. She originally studied fashion design and had a successful career as a purchaser for various fashion retailers in South Africa, developing and launching a number of local fashion brands along the way, before taking a step back when she started her family. She resumed her career consulting to local designers. The concept she was working on in this particular instance was eventually abandoned, but the weaver encouraged her to pursue her ideas in her own right. She did, and they eventually evolved into her first fabric range. “My father had just passed away and he had left me amazing files from our family archive,” she recalls. She drew on graphic details from the crests, stamps and handwriting she found to develop the range. “That ignited my interest in historical visuals,” she says. “I started spending time in various local archives and I just couldn’t believe what I saw.” One of her earliest ranges drew on the archives and notebooks of pioneering 19th century scholars Lucy Lloyd and Wilhelm Bleek, who spent years documenting and preserving the vanishing language and culture of the San people in the Cape. “That evolved into our looking at different South African stories,” she says. During her forays into various archives, Amanda found rich visual histories of some of the first European explorers who came to South Africa, and as one discovery led to another another, range after range started taking on a distinctly botanical flavour. “Although it wasn’t initially my plan, this has become a botanical story,” Amanda says – a beautiful constellation of various cultural histories in plant forms, with Amanda’s taste for unusual botanical representations running through her collections like a golden thread. Along the way, she also expanded her range of techniques to include not just digital prints, but also embroidery, various dying methods and eventually the sun prints, too. Chance discoveries and lucky finds continue to reward her habit of painstaking research, and ongoing appetite for delving into archives. Recently, after a fruitless search at SANBI, her eye happened to fall on a box of lithograph blocks from an agricultural magazine dating back to the 1930s, opening up another decorative exploration of the country’s relationship with its landscape. “These doors just keep opening,” she says, and she carries on pursuing what they reveal so that “the stories can be told”. In the process, the country’s decorative tradition is suffused with a highly original and inventive engagement with its botanical history. The hidden life of plans is having its moment in the sun. www.evolutionproduct.co.za



The vineyard in the main courtyard, hugged by the two wings of the house, is planted with vines. “Half of the grapes are Chenin and the other half are Shiraz, my favourite varietals,” says the owner. “Eventually we’ll make wine, but the grapes are too immature, so we made grape juice with the first crops.”





utside & In simply loves this house in the Cape winelands of South Africa. It takes references from traditional Cape Dutch architecture and creates a contemporary new order… We must admit, the vineyard and a gin garden made it an easy selection for the pages of our autumn issue. Come and take a look around…

The Barnhouse in Franschhoek, South Africa


The winelands and valleys around Franschhoek are some of the most beautiful anywhere in the world. Perhaps because of the area’s French heritage via the Huguenot settlers who began establishing vineyards here more than 300 years ago, new houses here often mimic Provencal or sometimes Italian styles. The owner of this winelands home wanted a chic, contemporary take on traditional Franschhoek architecture, and had a clear vision and comprehensive brief for the architect, Martin Kruger. It’s very much a working house – made for entertaining, relaxing and appreciating nature. “The vision was driven very much by the way I like to live,” says the owner. “I love having friends to stay, cooking together and listening to great music, but I also appreciate the tranquility of the village and the calm of this beautiful art-filled space.” The owner had, as she puts it, “kissed a lot of frogs” in her long search to find this idyllic spot, not far from the village. It was a pear orchard – hence the name “Le Poirier”, the place of pears, with a stream running through it, mature oak trees and incredible mountain views. “It just had a presence,” she says. “If you stand on the roof, you can see very little that’s manmade, but you can see everything that nature gave. You get a 360-degree view of the valley. The river makes it even more special.” She was very clear that she wanted a design in which “architecture, interiors and landscape design were completely integrated”. She had a vision of a house surrounded by gardens, vines, veggies, fruit and olive trees and fragrant fynbos, all to be reflected in the choice of art and interior palettes, too. She was after a sense of “connectedness” with the environment. Together, over a number of years (and many a bottle of wine), she and Martin, with input from the interior designer, many friends and later the landscaper Danie Steenkamp, developed a complex and intricate plan for what became at once an architectural statement, and the opposite of a statement piece. The exact spot for the house was carefully chosen: between the two large oak trees with views onto the surrounding mountains there was a point in the pear orchard overlooking the river, which provided symmetry and ensured the views would be maximized. It is obvious that architect and the client were on the same page with the project from the start. The design went through a thorough design process and the result is a building where the house fits seamlessly into the cultural landscape and architectural traditions of Franschhoek. The house has two personalities – the south-facing entrance references a Cape Dutch manor house, wrapped around a farmyard or “werf” with a vineyard. From here the house has “a Cape vernacular quality”, albeit a sleek-lined contemporary take. “Then, to the other side, facing the river, it opens up so that you can see the view of the mountain, which is quite spectacular,” says Martin. The river side of the house has a more modernist, industrial design language, reflecting some of the cues from the owner’s time living in New York, although continuing its dialogue with Cape Dutch architecture in other ways. The timber-slatted steel pergola is lifted high to leave the views of the mountain unobstructed, maintaining the sense that the house is part of the landscape. This side, too, has somewhat abstracted “elements of the vernacular” such as the fireplace and pergola. You enter the property from the parking area through the first of a series of arches, designed in homage to the arches and vaulted ceilings of historical Cape estates such as Groot Constantia and Boschendal. The arches are repeated inside the house and throughout the gardens and courtyards, acting as interleading elements, creating gateways and stitching together the interior and exterior “rooms”. It’s hard to draw a line where architecture ends and landscape begins. The arched front door of the manor house faces onto the vineyard, and opens directly into the centre of the house, a high-volumed space holds the main living areas – the more formal sitting and dining rooms, and an informal living area and kitchen. This cool volume, with a simple but ingenious natural ventilation system, apart from being the cosy heart of the home in winter, also becomes a retreat when it’s too hot to sit outside in summer. Extra-height French doors open up onto a courtyard with a mature olive tree on either side of the formal space, so the garden can be brought inside.







The house is further purposefully divided for the seasons: there’s a dedicated summer bedroom on the western side, and a winter bedroom towards the east. The owner and her partner migrate between them seasonally without having to move their wardrobes! The high, top-hung slatted timber screens can close off parts of the house or open them up as they’re needed, so you can simply close off the wing you’re not using according to the season. “The idea is that if we’re there on our own and not using the whole house, we can close parts off and make it shrink, so the house has a kind of flexibility to it.” In its architectural forms, traditional Cape Dutch gables have been modernised and simplified. Martin points out that he also worked with “other Cape elements” such as the little openings in the gables to let in the light. These reference the dovecotes that featured in the designs of some of the famous old wine estates. “At night it’s quite beautiful because they glow,” he says. Inside, the natural stone wall at the entrance was built with rocks harvested from the site. Fluted concrete ceilings bear the imprints of sandblasted timber planks, another way of drawing nature into the architecture. In fact, the front door, details around some of the windows and a feature wall behind the bar are all made from wood from the pear trees that were removed to make way for the house (other parts of the orchard remain and were integrated with the new landscaping around the house). The walls are thick and sturdy like the wide stone walls of early Cape Dutch houses. In a time when environmental sustainability is a key concern, vernacular design has some useful lessons – in a climate with extremes of hot and cold, thick stone walls keep the heat out during the day, but release the embodied warmth they’ve gathered at night, so the temperature is always comfortable. Other details such as the slim double roof beams pay a kind of homage to the big, heavy beams Cape heritage homes would have had. To try and bring those in now, Martin says, would be “fake”. Instead, they’re reinterpreted in an ongoing, playful dialogue with the traditional features of vineyards and wine cellars. Landscaper Danie Steenkamp worked closely with the architect and owner, dovetailing the courtyards and gardens with the broader landscape and architecture. While the main court is devoted to the vineyard, the others have a vegetable garden, olive grove, and the “gin garden” with lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges and the rosemary to mix sundowners. Other architectural features such as the water furrow (typical of Cape village design) in the citrus grove, and the pond in the vegetable garden carry on the architectural “essay” on Cape vernacular that the house plays out. Rainwater is harvested and stored, and sustainability worked into many aspects of the design. “We feel much more in touch with nature, with farming, and an appreciation of what the farmers in our country are going through right now, albeit on a very small scale,” says the owner.




As much as it is fun to stroll through the garden and select herbs for a gin, there’s a farmto-fork philosophy at play – ongoing opportunities to make grape juice, and when the vines mature, wine, and to make jam and preserves with the fruit. “Similarly, with the veggie garden, I think one of the most pleasurable things is walking out there and saying, what are we eating tonight? What’s ready to eat?” says the owner.




At the same time, this house seems in harmony with its surroundings, as if it belongs to the land. “I call it my sanctuary,” says the owner. “It’s where I find peace, and it is just such a privilege to be able to live here.” The way it is both modern and of its place – says the owner, “contributes what becomes quite an amazing property versus something that might have been just a nice house”. “I think the success of our project was due to the collective efforts of a remarkable team. The core – the architect, quantity surveyor, site foreman and myself – was supported by the skills and good-will of the Dempers building team. In this project the relationship between the architect and myself was critical. Martin brought great depth and breadth of experience but was always open to my input at every step of the process. His passion for good design, dedication to getting the detail right, and willingness to work with me throughout the process has created a marvelous home and a life-experience to treasure.” www.martin-kruger.com

Above: The view towards the well-established pin oaks and the stream, and then the mountains beyond, makes for an idyllic setting with a distinctive Franschhoek character. While the architectural language here is modern and industrial, predominantly steel and glass, other traditional Cape Dutch materials have also been included, such the narrow klompie bricks used for the paving. Landscaper Danie Steenkamp’s naturalistic planting here brings the landscape right up to the house and softens the architecture. The swimming pool also forms part of the outdoor entertainment area, framed by an arch and drawing the eye out towards the view of the pin oaks. It is positioned to allow cooling breezes to flow over the water and into the house on hot summer days.

On the side of the house facing the stream and swimming pool, the house presents a modern façade, predominantly steel and glass to let in views of the surrounding mountains. There are, nevertheless, traditional Cape Dutch features recast in a modern idiom such as the modernist-looking fireplace and chimney and the pergola. The pergola itself is high, creating a rather majestic space beneath it. Its height keeps the views from inside the house unobstructed and maintains the immediate sense of connection with the environment.



Al fresco

From the romantic to the playful, the elegant and the easefully everyday, these enviable outdoor dining spaces add an extra dimension of wellbeing and charm to the lifestyles of the homeowners who / O U T S I Dtime E & I N in them. 70 spending relish


Summer lunches with the family are regularly taken in this al fresco dining area, which is set in the courtyard between the living and kitchen wings of a storied homestead on a Cape wine farm. Shaded by a vine-covered pergola that ensures the space is sheltered from the intense summer heat – and fills it with dappled, green-tinted light – this dreamy space is redolent with heritage elegance. TIP: When it comes to decorating outdoor areas adjacent to a house with a rich history, it’s essential to source furnishings that feel as authentic as possible: the well-worn vintage wood and cast-iron table and chairs seen here are the perfect case in point.


Tucked discreetly away behind a stone wall in a lush, landscaped garden, this island holiday home is a perfectly private retreat for its celebrity owners, who love to linger over meals in this outdoor dining area. The tranquil scene is completed by a pair of pendant lights sourced by the homeowner and hung from the branches of the tree that shades the space during the day. TIP: The statement dining table was created by More Design (moredesign.es), who also renovated the property. Cofounder Oro Del Negro says, “We found this magnificent rock while excavating the house’s foundations, and kept it to “float” a teak wooden top onto it.”

LEFT: In a climate where year-round outdoor living is very much an option, this large covered patio is in constant use by the homeowners. It’s a much-used entertainment area too, with spaces set aside for both dining and lounging. A clean-lined dining table is paired with a mix of simple wooden chairs and a slatted bench, making dining arrangements easy to reconfigure depending on how many guests need to be accommodated. TIP: Making this outdoor space feel even more intimate and roomlike is the custom-made shelf-cum-screen – created by Anatomy Design (anatomydesign.co.za) – which holds a fresh mix of pot plants and collectable ceramics, at its far end.



BELOW: The stylish owner of this historic villa says its outdoor living area – which features a swimming pool as well as this delightful vine-covered gazebo – is like “having an extra room”. And located close by is a wood-burning oven that’s as perfect for pizza-making as it is for a long, slow roast. Situated at the heart of a large, lush garden that includes mature trees, water features and vegetable boxes, this space is all about rustic charm.

TIP: This simple table and benches were made by the homeowner’s husband using upcycled wood from a renovation project, and can easily be reproduced by a good carpenter. Glass preserve jars filled with candles provide illumination at night.



ABOVE: At this Mediterranean holiday home, the outdoor living area is a study in texture: natural stone, poured microcement, timber, river pebbles and a variety of vegetation come together to create an integrated and welcoming space. For al fresco eats, a large cast concrete builtin table is provided, which its designer says will “weather and age so beautifully – in ten years’ time it will look even better than it does now”.

TIP: Additional visual interest comes from a blend of seating options – there’s both built-in stone with upholstered seat pads, and a roughhewn wooden bench – plus a handcrafted wooden pergola above the table that supports more burgeoning plant life, and handmade ceramic tubular lights for after-dark illumination.

BELOW: This formerly forgotten urban backyard was transformed into a sun-splashed, terraced garden – and outdoor cooking and dining area – that has since been the setting for many a party on weekend afternoons. Its renovation, which was accomplished on a strict budget, included adding a built-in braai and creating a shaded dining zone. Painting the floor a crisp white has also added to the box-fresh feel of the space.


The built-in concrete table will age well – and pair with seating of a variety of styles as the owners choose to ring the changes in future – while the simple current dining chairs and a smart monochrome pendant light fitting finish off the casual feel perfectly.

ABOVE: The dark exterior walls of this suburban house work wonderfully to emphasise the lush greenery of the garden, while the formality created by the box hedges and olive trees gives it a timeless quality. The symmetry of the planting means that in spite of being located outdoors, this space really does feel rather like an “exterior room”. And when the air is scented with lavender and a family of quails quietly pecking at garden pests close by, the hours simply melt away...

Tip: Sleek Harry Bertoia dining chairs (knoll.com) – a set of vintage originals that one of the homeowners inherited from her grandfather – are every bit as smart as their setting, while the marble table top is mounted on a pair of classic Parisian café table bases.



Introducing the 2021 Garden Design Show The Tree of Life - with its vitalizing and nurturing symbolism underpins the ethos for this year’s Garden Design Show. The essential elements for healthy living in matters both physical and emotional are fostered and cultivated but with a creative Avant Garde design flavour.

Our roots reach into myriad living spaces be they food gardens, play areas for children and pets, online work pods, reflections of different living spaces or ecological havens – all showcased within small gardens, patios, conservatories or balconies.

When: 13 February to end May 2021 Where: Lifestyle Home Garden Proudly brought to you by


C O L L E G E www.lifestylecollege.co.za

Cnr. Beyers Naudé Drive & Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge, Randburg • Tel: 011 792 5616

Lifestyle The Gardener 2021 ad chosen.indd 1

2021/01/06 10:57

I N T E RV I E W - K N U S



I N T E RV I E W - K N U S


KNUS Definition: A feeling of comfort, pleasure and cosiness.


hat’s the best way to source local, unique, on trend pieces to curate your home... Online of course! And where better than KNUS, the one stop designer home store where you’ll find everything from furniture to tableware, lighting to decor, art to ottomans and everything in between. Outside & In magazine was delighted to sit down with KNUS to get some behind the scenes action and be the first to know KNUS’ exciting new products for the coming season. Q: Who is KNUS, when was this brand established and what are you all about? KNUS is a proudly local online home decor and furniture store, established in May 2017 as a platform offering South Africans a place where they can purchase and support products handmade by local craftsman and artisans. Q: What does KNUS mean? Knus is an Afrikaans word that is better described as a feeling rather than a meaning. KNUS is a feeling of comfort, pleasure and cosiness. It’s the feeling that we hope our products add to our customers lifestyle when they interact with our local products. Q: Do you still remember the beginnings and setting up your platform? Yes! We remember it very clearly. Our team started very small with only the two directors wearing all the hats at KNUS. We launched the store on 15 May 2017, really nervous and unsure about how the market would receive our concept, and we waited patiently the whole day for that first sale to come in. Finally, at literally 5pm our very first sale was actualised. It was a leather handbag. Of course, we were ecstatic! To this day we remember the customer’s name and where she was located. As it stands we have had over 10 000 orders since inception, which is so rewarding when you think back on the journey to this point. Q: What makes KNUS unique in relation to other online stores? KNUS is the biggest proudly local online home decor and furniture store in South Africa. We only sell products made in South Africa by local artisans and craftsman, no exceptions! We also offer the ability to customise any product on our online store, as almost everything is made to order, so we can make any product to be exactly what you want or need. It’s what makes receiving the product so exciting as well. It’s a one off, and it has been curated just for you!



I N T E RV I E W - K N U S

Q: How do local artists find your platform? We currently have more than 100 local companies that sell on KNUS, providing opportunities for more than 300 South Africans. We curate products from both makers that we source, who are the best at what they do, and sometimes we work with makers who approach us to present their craft. It means we have the very best and most unique products available to customers, and we offer artisans an opportunity to use our platform for growth of their name and brand as an artist. Q: Who are some exciting new artists and makers you will be showcasing this coming season? This season we will be releasing fresh new ceramic collections and a plethora of new WFH (work from home) accessories and furniture. We have been working closely with a few makers to bring out more exclusive products that will only be available on KNUS. These include beautiful scatter cushions, crockery, rattan and wood combination furniture, art rugs and much more. Q: How do you keep up to date with the new industry decor trends and what do you foresee becoming popular for the coming seasons? We stay up to date by working closely with industry experts, listening to what our customers want and with weekly strategy meetings to discuss ideas with our in-house team. This season we are seeing lots of earthy and neutral colours and tones and more sustainable and natural design. We also think wallpaper will be on the rise.




I N T E RV I E W - K N U S

Q: How many departments does KNUS cover? And can we expect to see more in garden and outdoor spaces in the coming year? Currently we offer living room, bedroom, kitchen, office, nursery and bathroom products and are actually launching an outdoor furniture range this year! We have a small selection of beautiful bird feeders and outdoor planters and are adding outdoor furniture to our offering very soon. Q: As Covid-19 has changed the world we live in, how has KNUS changed living spaces across SA? Limiting the movement of goods across borders has certainly changed the minds of customers in South Africa, with more and more people choosing to support local and purchasing from makers in their area. KNUS is super proud to have helped many local makers to continue trading during this difficult time. There has also been an increase in demand for customers seeking urgent updates to both their home office and their home space in general. So, if we changed anything, it was definitely adding a local flair to many South African homes! Q: What plans do you have for KNUS in the coming years and what are your expansion plans?

www.knus.co @knushomedecor @KNUShandcrafted

This year we are rolling out a smart mood board to accompany any product you view on KNUS to show customers an immediate possible complete room look based on the colour palette they prefer and the current product they are interested in. This free tool is a first in the industry to assist even the less creative among us to become their own interior designer! The long-term plan for KNUS is to become a household name and to create a much bigger awareness about the benefits of supporting local, whilst expanding our product offering even further. VISIT www.knus.co ... You’ll thank us for sharing.




Outside & In is thrilled to Introduce South Africa’s first & only comfort adjustable mattress & its founder: Rudo Kemp.

The average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life, which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Surprisingly, we also spend seven years trying to get to sleep. That’s 33 years or 12,045 days spent in bed! Sleep is the foundation for optimal health, and a lack thereof can affect everything, from your weight to physical endurance, cognitive function, emotional wellbeing, and even longevity.

We caught up with Rudo Kemp, founder of Sloom to learn how the Sloom mattress revolutionises the way people sleep. Sloom is a proudly South African sleep company, exclusively available to purchase online at sloom.co.za. Founded in 2016 by Rudo Kemp, the Sloom range includes the Sloom mattress, base, headboard and pillows.

WHO DOES THE SLOOM RANGE APPEAL TO? Sloom appeals to anyone that wishes to invest in a quality mattress. “It’s really interesting how people are prepared to spend thousands on luxury items, like a flatscreen TV, a good-looking couch and even cars, but when it comes to buying a mattress people can be reluctant to drop that kind of money. It doesn’t make sense when you look at sleep statistics and how much time of your life you spend in bed,” adds Kemp.

TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION The compression of the Sloom mattress reduces the volume of the mattress by up to 70% of the original amount. This allows them to ship the bed in a box across South Africa costeffectively. The integrity of the mattress and its cover is perfectly preserved and will fully recover when taken out of its compressed state. Sloom mattresses also offer a fully removable and machine washable zip-cover.

CARING CULTURE Sloom is truly customer-centric and this is echoed in the 25-year service warranty. Unlike traditional bed shops where you have a limited amount of time to decide which mattress is the best for you, Sloom offers a 100-night trial (sans the awkward salesperson hovering over you). If between sixty and one hundred nights, you are not completely satisfied with your Sloom mattress, you'll be refunded in full. “It’s essential to offer something to the market that you are confident in and this is our way of ensuring that people who spend their money on a Sloom mattress are satisfied."

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “SOUTH AFRICA’S FIRST & ONLY COMFORT ADJUSTABLE MATTRESS”? The Sloom mattress comprises four distinct comfort layers, soft, medium, firm, and extra firm.Changing the comfort level to your preference is effortless and can be done by yourself in the comfort of your own home. The King & Queen size Sloom mattress provides a splitcomfort option. "This means you and your partner can each elect a different comfort level. Your partner might prefer the extra firm setting and you the medium. This makes choosing a mattress an inclusive process that satisfies both partners' comfort needs," says Kemp.







ELVET Underground T


he muted glamour, endless volumes and monochrome palette of this converted cottage colour everyday life with a touch of magic.

The design of Christian van der Walt and Anli Jones’s Johannesburg home began with a door. They came across a tall, narrow, wrought iron chateau door in an antique shop near to the cottage they’d moved into in the Johannesburg suburb of Parktown North. The door was rusted and had no glass in it, and no handles, but it awakened a vision. “We thought: this is great,” recalls Anli. “Now, how do we make it work?” The house as it is now is largely a response to that question. It was essentially a granny cottage, once an outbuilding on a plot with a larger house, which has since been converted into a street-facing interior design studio. The stand was subdivided, so as a result, the cottage was hidden at the end of a panhandle along a bumpy, narrow driveway. When the couple first moved in, it had yellow painted bricks, knotty pine ceilings and avocado bathrooms. Christian, who works in the field of special effects and animation in film and advertising, and Anli, who has a background in fashion design, designed the house themselves. With the door in mind, they sketched ideas on napkins over many dinners, and eventually a plan started to emerge. “At my last office, my neighbour was an architectural firm,” says Christian. He ended up helping them to create cinematic “visualisations” for some of their projects, so had a little experience creating three-dimensional renditions of rooms from architectural sketches, and worked up the plans. Over three years, he and Anli went about transforming the cottage into a kind of modern tower in an enchanted garden. “We did it in stages, so we used the layout of the old building and just enlarged and extended,” says Christian. As they built in one area, they lived in another, until they’d come full circle. “Exactly as you shouldn’t,” he adds. Originally, the ceilings were meant to be the height of the tall antique door, which they had beautifully restored, but one evening during construction, Christian and Anli arrived home from work to discover the builder had mistakenly added an extra metre to the wall. “He said to us, can we leave it?” recalls Anli. They conceded that it would be more work to undo what had been done, and so they went with it. The exaggerated volume, particularly in the central living room and the adjacent study-cum-guest room – for which the ironmonger who restored the original antique door created a matching replica – is at the heart of the character of the house. The height, combined with the black walls and the monochrome furnishings of the interiors, creates an almost undefined sense of space: “limitless” as Anli describes it. Especially at night, you’re almost unaware of the ceiling and the walls seem to recede, simply enveloping the interiors in a dark, velvety atmosphere of mysterious luxury. Contrary to the standard idea of a white cube, the dark walls are a trick Christian says he has noticed in a number of art galleries. “I look a photo in the Louvre, and it was the same setup,” he says. The National Gallery in London has never had white walls, and he noticed it again at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. “The walls disappear, but they also make whatever you put in front of them pop,” he says. “You’re seeing the things in the space, not the space.”




He calls the house a “showcase space”, because his an Anli’s eclectic collection of art and artefacts, books an furnishings come to life in the chiaroscuro of each room, as if in a cabinet of curiosities. There are contemporary local designs and vintage pieces – local, up-to-the-minute artworks and restored portraits in oils picked up on auction. The atmosphere of takes on an almost fantastical dimension, a kind of glamorous glimmer that also seems to resolve the combination of antique and contemporary design. The two sofas in the centre of the living room sum up the basis of the interiors: an old beaten-up black leather Chesterfield, and opposite, a modern cream Italian one. Almost everything, if it doesn’t have a metallic glint, it either black or white… and mostly black. The atmospheric lighting imparts sparkle and romance. “It’s like a little romantic hole in the wall,” says Christian. “When you have the candles on the fire going, it really is magical.” The dark exterior walls also work to emphasise the greenery of the garden rather than drawing attention to themselves. Christian and Anli have planted a beautifully lush formal vegetable garden – “It never seems to know when it’s autumn or winter,” says Anli. “I think it is incredibly sheltered, so it stays green all year.” – and there are box hedges and olive trees that create exterior rooms for al fresco dining and entertaining. The air is scented with lavender. There are even quails, which have had chicks. “They look like popcorn!” exclaims Anli. This almost pastoral dimension of life down the panhandle is an exploration of urban green space that Anli and Christian find affirming. “The ability to live like you’re in the country, but in the city, is something we aspire to,” says Christian. Despite their home’s heady combination of whimsy and glamour, the satisfaction Christian and Anli find in something like cooking with herbs from their own garden, while living in what is essentially a rapidly urbanising area, is a surprisingly contemporary ideal. But then again, Christian and Anli are firm believers in functional aesthetics. The copper pots and pans in the kitchen – the crystal chandelier – are undeniably beautiful, but, says Christian, it’s all part of taking pleasure in ordinary things. “It’s about the joy of everyday objects,” he says. “If you’re going to cook three meals a day, then it might as well become something that you love doing.” If you’re going to live in a place, it should be uplifting. The romance of this suburban castle is not so much an escape from everyday life as a haven of beauty and glamour – and more than a little fantasy – that paradoxically grounds Christian and Anli; it makes being at home a “worthwhile experience”.



Above: In the kitchen, Christian and Anli introduced high pressed-metal ceilings in keeping with the original architectural style typical of the area. The cottage pane windows and profusion of orchids make it feel a little like a greenhouse or conservatory. The counter-tops are a cement-based composite finish. Christian's copper pots hang on a custom-made pot hanger manufactured by Mango Sootoo Trading, who also restored the antique French doors in the living room. The bar stools are from La Grange Interiors. The chandelier was an antique shop find and the antique etching is a view of Paris from The Louvre. Square: The contrast between the dark Chesterfield and cream fabric sofa (from La Grange Interiors) beautifully captures the contrast between modern and contemporary design that characterises the house. The coffee table is by Dahla Hulme. The armchairs are also from La Grange Interiors.

The en suite bathroom opens onto a courtyard, and includes basins and tub by DADO and taps by Meir from Flush Bathrooms and cabinets by Make Furniture.

Above: A formal vegetable garden has been designed around a fish pond on the site of a swimming pool. Its formal structure and gravel paths play around with classical design, something that also finds expression in aspects of the décor and architecture.

Above: Anli inherited the Bertoia Side Chairs from her grandfather (her grandmother still had the receipts; they cost R19 for six). The marble- topped table is mounted on classic Parisian café table bases. The formality of the box hedges and the olive trees give the garden a timeless quality. Below: A hallway leads from the kitchen into the main living area. On the wall that leads into the kitchen, an antique cabinet is topped with sculptures of the ravens from Norse mythology, Huginn and Muninn, in a glass cabinet. They are made from charcoal and were acquired in Södermalm, Stockholm. The gramophone from Restoration Hardware in the US is an analogue iPhone docking station. The server on the right is from Tonic Design. The standing glamp is from Mezzanine Interiors.


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F E AT U R E - K I T C H E N S


itchen design has evolved from being more than just a place to cook. In the past, kitchens were just utilitarian, and dining and living rooms were viewed to rather be the heart of the home. Nowadays, kitchens form an integral part of our homes in their form, function and lifestyle. Kitchens have become discreet and economical in their design because today they mostly form part of our open-plan living areas. They need to be carefully considered and have to be timeless and practical. Successful kitchen design depends on four main principles: • • • •

The The The The

architecture of the home or apartment lifestyle of the owners or occupants space available budget

The design of a kitchen is is a very personal process and only becomes apparent during the consultative phases and design meetings with the client. No kitchen design is the same, as each of those four principles differs for each client. I usually start with a minimalist vantage point. This blank canvas can then be developed to achieve the desired space, which will be suitable for a particular project. Once the particular style has been ascertained; for example Modern, Contemporary, Vintage, mid-century, etc., we can move onto the next step. By balancing these considerations we can then move to the fundamentals: This phase is where the whole kitchen starts to take shape and gain character. Our approach is collaborative, which allows us to tap into the intrinsic desires of our clients, as well as dive deep into their aesthetic identities. We can paint the whole picture and create alchemy in the form of beautiful and relevant rooms that tell a story. The client’s preferences in finishes, materials, tactile textures, floor finishes, colour palette, lighting, etc. are all determined to add to the character of the kitchen.

LEFT: Bantry Bay Project shot by Greg Cox for Oggie Floors. RIGHT: This apartment required a versatile approach that foregrounded an easy contemporary style combined with a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. Image by Greg Cox.

Anette de Jager

Interior Designer at 360 Design www.360design.co.za @anette360design OUTSIDE&IN /


F E AT U R E - K I T C H E N S

It's also important to note that successful kitchen designs are not solely based on the aesthetics, but the functionality of the layout of the space and the optimisation implementation as well. We're inspired by a spectrum of design influences, but foreground a confident classic-contemporary style, inspired by timeless principles and an appreciation of the importance of fundamentals. We relish the opportunity to manifest each client's uniqueness via a personal exploration that evolves along the way. Stringing visual and sensory moments together that all take shape together as a whole, is a deeply satisfying practice.


Some materials that are popular at the moment, include marble, which comes across as the most used material in kitchen counters, splash-backs, kitchen islands, and floor inlays. Another material that seems to be widely enjoyed, is white MDF cabinets with integrated appliances, to create a seamless look. When it comes to taps and kitchen sinks, the most desired colours can range from chrome, black, gold and white. For floor finishes, tiles, wood, and cement screed, all seem to be popular at the moment.

My favourite brands to work with at the moment: • • • • •

Parquet de Versailles in Oak from Oggie Floors Bulthaup kitchens from Germany Lights by Louis Poulsen Modern art Canvases from Lemon Ceramics by Jade Paton

BELOW: This interior scheme celebrates the owner’s affinity for mid-century design with a carefully curated European-inspired design scheme. Mid-century kitchen Sea Point furniture from Carl Hansen & Son, ceramics from Voster & Bryne and Jade Paton. Image by Greg Cox. RIGHT: For this renovation project we drew on the building’s late-1970s architecture and retained existing features in combination with a vision for an elegant contemporary French aesthetic. Bantry Bay kitchen styled by Sanri Pienaar. Image by Inge Prins

ABOVE: Sea Point kitchen light by Louis Poulsen light. Image by Greg Cox






F E AT U R E - M Y A I R


o you are in the market for a “smart’ air conditioner and you want to improve the quality of air in your home? You most likely have plenty of questions about how to make this happen. Luckily, we have the team at AdvantageAir on hand to tackle all of these. You’ll be amazed what smart air conditioning can do for your household.

WHAT CAN A SMART AIR CONDITIONER DO? Smart air conditioning systems can connect to other smart devices in your home to better control temperature levels. Smart devices are electronic devices that can wirelessly connect to other smart devices.


Remotely control your air conditioner from anywhere that you have internet access, so you can arrive home to a cool house.

The system will automatically control the temperature in each room, no more fiddling with the temperature when it gets too hot or cold.

If one wanted to take things to the next level, the air conditioner could be set to automatically switch on and off, depending on the internal or external temperature and automatically put itself onto heating or cooling mode, depending on the temperature. There would be no need to ever touch the air conditioner remote again, it would just work itself!

All of these features will not only make your home more comfortable, they will also reduce your energy bills because you’ll be air conditioning your home more efficiently, depending on usage, this can improve energy consumption for the air conditioners between 20 and 40%.

HOW TO MAKE AN AIR CONDITIONER SMART On a ducted (or centralised system), a controller is connected to a tablet that connects to the homes WiFi. The app on the tablet that controls the system is where you can program exactly how you want to make the system function in numerous smart ways.

HOW DOES A SMART ZONING SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONER WORK? A normal centralised system can only supply all the connected rooms with the same air temperature, regardless of the actual temperature in the room. This leaves some rooms being hotter or colder than others. A smart zoning system air conditioner can detect different temperatures in different zones or rooms of your home. Each zone or room has its own thermostat and air is allowed into that specific room based on the current temperature and temperature settings. This means that once the tempreture in the room reaches the specified climate, it will reduce the amount of air needed to keep the room temperate and thereby use less electricity. Furthermore, rooms that aren’t being used can be switched off, also saving electricity.

HOW TO CONNECT AN AIR CONDITIONER TO WIFI If you have a smart air conditioner, you can connect it to WiFi by using an appropriate app. You can then remotely control your unit by using your phone over WiFi or mobile data. You’re no longer limited to just using the unit’s designated remote control.

THE ADVANTAGEAIR ADVANTAGE! At Advantage Air, we design and install smart air conditioning management systems. Our MyAir premium reverse cycle home air conditioning management system enables you to control temperature and air flow in up to 10 zones. You can do this via a stylish and intuitive touchscreen that doubles as a tablet, or you can use our app on your phone. Our MyAir smart air conditioning management system is compatible with all the major brands. It was designed in-house by our team of research and development engineers for the very best results.



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Live the magnificent lifestyle you have always dreamed of. MyAir is our signature app control system that works with most ducted air-conditioning systems. It allows you to control the temperature in up to 10 zones individually, from a central hub or the mobile App.

Want the

Ultimate Smart Home? Integrating MyPlace is Simple and Cost Effective! Giving you control of your home at the tip of your fingers.

VISIT US www.myplaceafrica.co.za by





8 Director Road, Spartan, Kempton Park, 1401 Phone: +27 (11) 201 0600

Unit 18 & 19 Drill Park, Drill Avenue, Montague Gardens, 7441 Phone: +27 (21) 5518 411

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F E AT U R E - H E Y B R E W !

So, what kind of coffee drinker are you? Do you plunge it? Bean-to-cup it? Do you hand grind? Pop a capsule into a machine for a convenience espresso? Whatever your preference, one thing we can all agree on is that coffee is a beverage we all love, need -and for most of us- can't live without, which led the team at O&I to curate some of the top local coffees to help you get out of bed on a chilly autumn morning.

Legado Coffee – El Rincon This single-origin coffee is from El Rincon in Guatemala. El Rincon is a 25-hectare farm situated in the corner of a valley of limestone hills, protected from warm, dry winds and climate fluctuations. The climate is very stable with high relative humidity, which, along with the chalky soils of Huehuetenango define the cup character of this farm. This coffee has flavour notes of apricot, vanilla and chocolate. This coffee has been one of our best allrounder single origins. It tastes great using any brewing method.

Cost per kg: R350 www.legadocoffee.com

Origin Roasting – Gemeda Elias Dube Our limited Gemeda Elias Dube Cup of Excellence is ranked the 19th best coffee in Ethiopia. The cup starts with a flavourful burst of litchi and plums, which slowly transforms into a chocolate and hazelnut taste. Finally, as it cools, notes of Fanta grape emerge. This fantastic coffee has a velvety mouthfeel and complex flavour profile.

Cost per kg: R1200 www.originroasting.co.za

Bluebird Coffee – Kilimbi Honey Our third season of buying coffee from Muraho Trading Company has resulted in the best Rwandan lot we have purchased to date. Kilimbi Honey is tasting like a sweet fruit salad. Orange and peach notes with a juicy mouthfeel and a long finish. Delicious filters and punchy espresso’s make this a great choice regardless of your brewing method.

Cost per kg: R490 www.bluebirdcoffeeroastery.co.za



F E AT U R E - H E Y B R E W !

Bean There Tanzania Kilimanjaro This single origin coffee with a sweet aroma is brought to life through a soft lime acidity and smooth hazelnut flavour. We source coffee from the farmers of the Tarakea Cooperative and pay them directly, ensuring a fair trade that keeps their business sustainable and ours meaningful.

Cost per kg: R340 www.beanthere.co.za

Seam coffee Burundi Businde Washed Lot 41 Businde is located in the northern province of Kayanza, close to the Rwandan border. This red Bourbon varietal grows at an altitude of 1650 – 1800 masl. Expect flavours of burnt caramel, nectarine and nutmeg. This product is ethically and sustainably sourced. Our Businde farmers received a payment premium 20% above the local market rate this season.

Cost per kg: R405 www.seam.coffee

Vintage Coffee – Pedlars Blend Our Pedlars Blend is our signature blend. It's a blend of a Tanzania Inzuvo and Brazil Minas Gerais. For all the coffee nerds the variety is AA & Cerrado and it scores 82 points. It's a full bodied, smooth and chocolatey coffee and the Tanzania brings out a nutty undertone. It is best served as a cappuccino.

Cost per kg: R295 www.vintagecoffee.store/

Terbodore Coffee Roasters The Great Dane Hailing from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, this is a special signature blend of dark cocoa, floral aromas, with full rounded flavours. Sourcing 100% Arabica beans from Ethiopia, Indonesia and Brazil, we are able to create floral aromas which leave you with a lingering dark chocolate flavour.

Cost per kg: R295 www.terbodorecoffee.co.za



Growing Health

Re-VITA-lise your Garden! Whether you’re a Conscious Kid, Urban Greenie, Healthy Homesteader, Gardening Grandpa or Green Gogo, you’re going to love Talborne Organics Vita Fertilisers, available in a range of sizes to meet your growing needs. This trendy team of certified organic growing inputs is ready to help you nurture, grow and cultivate a Soil – SMART and Sustain-ABLE garden.

We make life colourful www.plantland.co.za

Available in 500g, 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, 10kg & 25kg bags

372 Milner Street | Waterkloof | Pretoria


Boutique Garden Nursery

rhoda@gardenbleu.co.za | 082 416 1451


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Superfood for Plants  Sustained Release of Nutrients  Climate, Carbon and Water SMART  Won’t Burn Plants  Feed Every 4 Months  Value for Money Our new eco-friendly and innovative ‘Green Bag’ means you become part of our commitment to cultivating environmental care.

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CL AS Serves: 4 People Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Oven Temperature: 180oC Level: Easy to make

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R E C I P E - C L A S S I C C O M FO R T ' S

Nothing says autumn like a comforting homecooked meal. We think you should try this Classic tagilatelle Carbonara with Oven Roasted Vallei Kreef, Brown mushrooms and creamed sauce, by Chef Mynhardt Joubert ... The only tip we have for you, is to make enough for seconds.

INGREDIENTS: 2 packets of Deli-Co Vallei Kreef, (Substitute Vallei Kreef with chicken breast stuffed with your choice of filling) Some butter and Willow Creek Truffle flavoured olive oil 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and minced 400g Brown Mushrooms, sliced 200g Fresh Green asparagus, blanched and warmed with butter 500g Tagliatelle 500ml Cream 3 Egg yolks, beaten with a pinch of black pepper Salt and pepper, to taste

Oven Roasted Vallei Kreef, Brown mushrooms and creamed sauce


Place a large pot on the stove with some salt and olive oil and bring to the boil.


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the Vallei Kreef until well browned on both sides.


Place on an oven tray and into the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked.


Add some more butter and olive oil in the pan and fry the garlic and mushrooms until browned.


Add the cream and reduce to half. Keep aside.


Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest for 15 minutes. Slice the chicken and keep warm while you boil the tagliatelle.


Cook the tagliatelle for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Strain and add to the pan with the mushroom cream sauce.


Mix though with a pair of tongs and add the sliced chicken.


Once everything is warmed though, turn off the heat and add the egg yolks.

10. Stir through and serve immediately with the warmed asparagus.






Rat and mice infestations are becoming more common these days. As urbanization increases and people start to live in closer proximity, pests start to encroach in our living areas. Much like humans, these animals enjoy their creature comforts and it does not take long for them to move into our homes and public buildings. Rodents are nocturnal and are seldom seen. The followings signs of rodent infestations: • Droppings. • Urine stains, body smears and odour. • Gnawing damage. • Scuttling sounds in the ceiling at night HOW CAN RODENTS BE CONTROLLED? Before you run to the shop for a box of ‘‘rat poison,‘‘ it is important to understand that pesticides are only one method of dealing with a rodent infestation and that failure to properly understand the source, location and culprit of the infestation will result in ineffective control. There are five golden rules: 1.

INSPECTION: Determine where the infestation is originating from so that the problem can be tackled at the source. Typical signs include: Rub marks (smudges) left by a rodent's oily hair, rodent droppings and damage to goods or structures caused by feeding or urination.


IDENTIFICATION: Mice and rats have significantly different behaviour patterns and need to be controlled differently. The size of visible rodents, footprints and the size of droppings can be used to distinguish between rats and mice.


SANITATION: Denying rodents access to food and water sources is a key factor in successful rodent control. Garbage or food should be stored in sealed containers. Outside debris and vegetation, particularly where it is in contact with buildings, should be removed. In addition, try to reduce the number of extraneous water sources where rodents are able to drink such as ditches, stagnant pools, fountains etc.


RODENT PROOFING: Keeping rodents out of buildings by closing off the typical access routes, is a key factor in successful rodent control. For example, close all holes in exterior walls, screen downpipes in gutter top and bottom.


APPLY AN EFFECTIVE RODENTICIDE: The correct use of rodenticide baits is a proven and cost effective component of a rodent control strategy. Bayer's new rodenticide Racumin® 3D Paste is especially effective due to its "stop feeding" effect on rodents which quickly stops rodent damage and reduces the risk of secondary poisoning of predatory birds and mammals.

SAFETY FOR OWLS AND NON-TARGETED SPECIES The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a rodenticide that is safe! By the very nature of pesticides, things that are designed to kill can never be considered safe. That said, there are some products that have a lower environmental impact and are less hazardous than others. Racumin® 3D is the rodenticide that is most compatible with owls and is the best multiple feed rodenticide to reduce secondary poisoning. Secondary poisoning occurs when a predator like an owl or even a cat or dog eats a poisoned rodent. Racumin® 3D is available in 200g packs for home use, which can be purchased from DIY stores. Racumin® 3D is endorsed by Dr Gerhard Verdoorn from the Griffon Poison Information Centre. The Griffon Poison Information Centre endorses Racumin® 3D Paste as a highly effective rodenticide that significantly reduces the risk of secondary poisoning to owls and other raptors due to its low avian toxicity, and as an important tool to manage rodent resistance to anticoagulants. It is however still important to store all rodenticides out of the reach of children, uninformed persons and pets and always use a bait station when placing rodenticide.

Racumin 3D Paste, L10218, contains 0.375 g/kg coumatetralyl and 0.10 g/kg cholecalciferol, caution. All products are registered under Act No. 36 of 1947 in favour Bayer (Pty) Ltd, Reg. No. 1968/011192/07. P.O. Box 143, ISANDO 1600, South Africa. Tel. nr. +27-11-921-5911.

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