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Concept to Delivery

August 2019


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Welcome to our August edition of Pro Landscaper Africa. green industry and the reach that one platform can have.

W

elcome to the August Edition of Pro Landscaper Africa, We have certainly been enjoying meeting members of the trade in various sectors over the past few months and we are looking forward to the SANA trade show and ILASA Awards a little later on this year. It is striking to us, that there are so many budding members of the trade across various sectors that we are still meeting for the first time, which is testament to just how many firms and individuals make up our

With our 2019 elections behind us, the prospect of an improved confidence in our economy means that growth in the architectural and construction sectors is surely inevitable! It is with great vigour that we take on the next few months of 2019 with the confidence of new developments and great potential for the various professions within the built environment. There are some exciting progressions from our side too, with the 2019 FutureScape Africa Trade Show plans well underway and speedy involvement from registered individuals and firms giving us great encouragement that this is going to be the biggest event on our calendars! We are expecting a chock-full day so if you have not yet registered, do so! More on our seminar programme can be found inside this issue. Our 4th year anniversary is fast approching, so

please keep up-to-date with our newsletters for exciting opportunities for involvement in the next issue. Until then, here is our August read. It is full of exciting content, some new names to the contributors columns and interesting ideas and initiatives surrounding sustainability. Empowered Women, Empower Women So from our team to yours‌ Happy Women’s Month.

@ProLandscaperAfrica

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CLAYBRICK.ORG

Photograph courtesy of Corobrik

PERFECT PAVING FOR GOOD Clay pavers offer a stylish, timeless appeal with impressive sustainability credentials. Ceramic clay pavers are also low maintenance and tough enough to cope with high levels of loading for life. They will never fade in corrosive industrial or coastal environments and the textured finish remains safely slip-resistant in wet or frosty conditions. Go to www.claybrick.org to learn more about this sustainable paving material Promoting Inclusive Sustainable Practices in the South African Clay Brick Sector Switch Africa Green is funded by the European Union


CONTENTS

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9

News Update & Association News Industry news from around South Africa

12

Agenda In light of Women’s Month, we celebrate female industry icons.

14

Landscape Architect’s Journal University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein Campus by kwpCREATE

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Meet the Speakers at the 2019 FutureScape Africa Trade Show Register as trade for your free ticket

36

Hybrid hydroponics for Rooftop Gardening: From Green Hype to Real contribution By Louis-Gillis Janse van Rensburg

PORTFOLIOS

FEATURES

39

The Yacht Club by URBANscapes Landscape Architects and Environmental Planners

16

Rehabilitating Houtbay’s Sand Dunes An Initiative headed by the City of Cape Town’s Coastal Management Branch

44

The Wex 1 by Planning Partners and Interplant Horticulture

18

Company Profile An in-depth look at Twinstar Precast.

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Elaleni Coastal Forest Precinct by Uys & White Landscape Architects

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Foodscape Rehabilitation: The Future of Landscape Architecture An opinion presented by Dominique Breetzke

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Simbiti Eco-Estate by Indiflora Landscape Design and Environmental Services and Servest Landscaping & Turf Division.

26

Farm to Folk A look at the cycle of urban famring using the V&A Waterfront’s Moyo Restaurant as a case study

28

Sprouting High In Johannesburg's Inner-City Chambers of mines: urban agriculture initiative

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Transforming Landscapes By Low Cost, Solar Energy Driven Clean-Up Techniques. Naturally A perspective by Yolandi Schoeman

www.prolandscaper.co.za

63

NURTURE 57

Why I Love Horticulture: Alex Wegner of Eco Pools

59

Spotlight On: Ball Straathof

62

Water-Wise Plants: Secrets to Success by SANBI’s Cherise Viljoen

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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CONTRIBUTORS

MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS JOHAN BODENSTEIN

Professional National Scientist and Owner of Indiflora cc Environmental Servicest Johan’s career commenced with the Durban Parks Department, where Johan studied horticulture and later on, nature conservation. After 13 years, Johann left to lecture at Mangosuthu Technikon and study a B.Tech in nature conservation. After 4 years, Indiflora cc was started. Johan design and oversee installation of gardens in estates.

DOMINIQUE BREETZKE

Landscape Architect - Owner of Branch SA

After earning a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 2012 from the University of Pretoria, Dominique is passionate about celebrating, enhancing, restoring and preserving the beauty of nature, and leaving a growing mark for generations to come, no matter how small. Branch is a small-scale environmental and design company, started by Dominique in 2017. Multi-functional landscapes which include food security and edible landscaping is a huge passion of hers, something she tries to incorporate at all levels.

Y TSAI

Architect and Owner of Tsai Design Studio

Architect Y Tsai heads up Tsai Design Studio, a multidisciplinary design studio working in the field of architecture, interior and furniture. The studio, based in Cape Town, South Africa, strives to produce provocative design solutions that are unconventional, yet instilled with a strong sense of cultural and social relevance within the context of the greater global south.

www.prolandscaper.co.za

CHERISE VILJOEN

Horticulturist at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Cherise is a senior Horticulturist at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, where she curates the Streptocarpus collection. Her particular field of expertise is on the growing and use of a wide range of plants, specialising in indigenous flora. She is a renowned and sought after key-note speaker, featuring regularly on CapeTalk radio.

MICHELLÉ ROBERTSON – SWIFT

PrLArch MSACLAP MILASA Senior Landscape Architect and Director of URBANscapes Landscape Architects & Environmental Planners Michelle’s experience and expertise is based, on 27 years of practise in the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning services, ranging from concept development through to implementation and management and maintenance. Her passion and commitment is focused on creating and sustaining high quality, resilient and sustainable living as well as working and recreational environments.

YOLANDI SCHOEMAN

Ecological Engineer Founder of Baoberry

Yolandi Schoeman is an ecological engineer. She is the founder and managing director of Baoberry and the Ecological Engineering Institute, which provides services, develops biomaterials and solutions and conducts research in the biotechnology and ecological engineering space.

LOUIS-GILLIS JANSE VAN RENSBURG Owner of Fresh Life Produce

Born in Phalaborwa in 1989, Louis-Gillis grew up in a small town called Bronkhorstspruit just outside of Pretoria. He went to school at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool and studied Industrial psychology at the NWU campus in Potchefstroom. I moved to Cape Town in 2014 and that where his love for sustainable growing technology’s started. He started Fresh Life Produce in February 2016

LUCAS UYS

Landscape Architect Co-Founder of Uys and White Landscape Architects

Lucas Uys is one of the founding members of Uys & White landscape architects, established in 1980. Uys & White have been fortunate to be exposed to more than 3,000 projects within more than 20 countries. Lucas’ interest lies in landscape urban planning projects. He is mostly involved in luxury residential, boutique and mega residential estates, palaces, temples and head of state buildings. Appointed for 3 years as the president of the UAE’s Internal Landscape Architect. He is also involved in many rural concepts for sustainable living based on intensive agricultural integration. He also boasts a collection of over 500 bonsai trees. With over 40 years’ experience, Lucas is passionate about integrating science and art.

CHARLES LOUW Associate at Vivid Architects

Charles joined the vivid team in 2008 as an architect and became a design associate in 2011. With 20 years design experience, and having worked in London for 5years, he is passionate about design excellence. When not solving problems on the drawing board he can be found running on the road, over mountains, and generally after his kids

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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NEWS

NEWS EnactusCPUT Takes Centre Stage our beneficiary was using and through entering competitions against other universities in South Africa that are also part of the Enactus initiatives, we won $5,000 from the Ford C3 challenge. We also managed to raise an additional sum from our institution (CPUT) that we used to build a bigger system that can take up to 210 plants, doubling the amount we can produce! Lookout Hill: this project is positioned to stabilize an eroding dune in Khayelitsha by using recycled materials to secure the area. It is also set to build a business/ entrepreneurship eco-system in and around the Lookout. Unimoola is an existing e-commerce project that aims at facilitating, promoting and aiding students and entrepreneurs in easily attracting their target audience with minimum expense and maximum reach. Tanaka Mubhika Landscape Architecture Student – CPUT

namely: Grow A Seed (G.A.S), Lookout Hill and Unimoola.

Life is indeed an adventure and I think one needs to enjoy each and every moment along the way.

G.A.S – Grow A Seed Urban Farming – aims to align communities with modern sustainable farming methods. We came up with aeroponics, a new concept which is adapted to the location of the beneficiaries and provides them with a different agricultural method whilst boosting their productivity. The system offers both low maintenance and higher crop yielding methods, in comparison to the other means of agriculture such as terrestrial farming, which also consumes quite a bit of our fresh water supply. In aeroponic system whereby produce is grown in a technique that circulates nutrient rich water around a system without soil exposure. Well adapted to the environment, the system is user friendly and the interaction of the user under normal conditions is minimized to simply adding the required nutrients to the water and monitoring the system. The element of hard manual labour is removed from the picture.

Earlier this year, I took the initiative to join a bigger initiative called Enactus CPUT. Enactus is a community of students, academics and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. Enactus students are over 70,000 strong, spread across 36 countries, working on nearly 5,000 projects annually. In case you were wondering, that’s over 5 million volunteer hours altogether. As I am a Landscape Architecture student, I immediately knew that I made the best decision joining this team because of the projects that were presented in my first meeting. What really made me continue my involvement with the organization was the team spirit. I had never ever come across such supportive and motivating individuals like the ones at EnactusCPUT. Surrounding myself with this great team really helped me grow both in my academics and psychologically. Enactus CPUT has 3 projects on the ground, www.prolandscaper.co.za

The project has numerous benefits which include improved productivity, reduced water consumption and time. The production yield of produce increases as crops grow faster in a short amount of time, allowing harvest to be frequent in contrast to land farming. Furthermore, the system uses approximately 95% less water than land farming. We did have a smaller system that

With all these projects at hand, we’ve got dedicated members to ensure their viability. All of the team work eventually paid off when we were able to compete at the Enactus South Africa national competitions in Sandton, Johannesburg on the 8th and 9th of July 2019. I was one of the 20 students who were selected to represent the institution at this competition. We flew to Johannesburg on the 7th of July with a few days to prepare.This experience was the first time I flew in a plane and words cannot describe how amazing I felt up there. Our institution supported us wholeheartedly and for that I am rather grateful. Being my first time at the national competitions, I was astonished with the mind-blowing ideas that the youth of this country have come up with. We managed to pull through to the semi- finals for the first time in the EnactusCPUT history which was a big accomplishment. We came out victorious with 6 trophies and more than R100,000 in cash prizes. We could not have achieved all of this without the help and invovlement of our institution: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, our beneficiary Mr Bakipi, Melani-Ann Hara (Faculty Advisor), Arden Bissila (Co-faculty Advisor), Thokozani Khumalo (Enactus CPUT President), Tinotenda Mangozho (Enactus CPUT Vice President) and all of the dedicated Enactus CPUT members.

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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AGENDA

IFLA Africa Update

The IFLA Africa Executive committee has worked very hard this couple of months and by March had signed off three important documents that it had been working on for a couple of years. These documents include the African Landscape Convention, the IFLA Africa Education Policy and Standards and Accreditation Procedure as well as the IFLA Africa constitution and bylaws. The latter document will be presented to the IFLA World Council in September for approval which will open the way for the creation of IFLA Africa as an officially recognised entity its own right. The other two documents will be presented for adoption at the 6th IFLA Africa Symposium in September this year.

The 6th IFLA Africa Symposium to be held in Tunis on 21-22 of October 2019 is being organised by the Tunisian national association, TALAE. The theme of the symposium is Landscape, Landscape Architects and Sustainable Cities. More information will be made available soon on the IFLA Africa social media pages. In addition to these documents, IFLA is happy to support the International Geodesign Collaboration (IGC) (www.geodesigncollab.or) whose goal is to share research and promote the agenda of collaborative design around the world. The IGC has over 100 participating Universities and organisations around the world and is the biggest assembly of Geodesign focussed academic designers in the world. In February this year, a university each from Nigeria, Kenya

and Ethiopia participated in the first meeting held at Redlands CA, USA. The IGC looks at the generic but critical challenges facing nations globally, that of how to plan, manage and pay for infrastructure essential in addressing demographic and climate changes. This is a transdisciplinary problem not being adequately addressed by conventional disciplinary-based approaches. The IGC therefore focuses on landscapescale environmental planning, resilient and regenerative designs in multi-systems, multi-client and contentious contexts. The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and the Geodesign Hub led by Professor Carl Steinitz have pledged further support through providing free software and online tutorials for any University in Africa participating in the IGC.

Diarize the Dates: IERM Annual Convention

The Institute of Environment and Recreation Management (IERM) will be hosting its Annual Convention from Tuesday, 3 September 2019 to Friday, 6 September 2019 at Oubaai Hotel in George, Western Cape.

SANA Spring Trade Fair

Wednesday 14 August, 8am-4pm Plot Summit Road, Knoppieslaagte (R562) Midrand 087 9454 621 | bransby@sana.co.za

Hosted by George Municipality THEME: Public Spaces & Places- Curret Trends, Future Opportunities & Global Views. (011) 061 5000 | iermservices@vdw.co.za | www.ierm.org.za

FutureScape Africa 2019

The future of the design, build and maintenance sectors. Friday 25th October, Cape Town International Convention Centre. CPD accredited seminar programmes are FREE for traders to attend. Exhibition of the latest technologies and products. www.futurescapeafrica.co.za | media@paperplanepublications.co.za in association with Pro Landscaper Africa

Engineering Design Services: Civil and Structural

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AGENDA

AGENDA In light of Women's month, we recognise inspirational female's and industry icons.

MAPULA MAPONYA

Candidate Landscape Architects City of Tshwane – National Department of Public Works

1. In addition to using her knowledge and understanding of textiles, Eastern Cape-born Zizipho Poswa allows her culture and heritage, natural surroundings and experiences to inspire her meticulous hand-crafted ceramics. She relocated to Cape Town to study surface design and majored in textiles at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Finding herself growing more passionate about her craft

GINA SWITALA Landscape Architect Sprout Landscapes

4. 12

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

and drawing from African art and pattern as influences – she co-founded Imiso Ceramics in 2005 with Andile Dyalvane, a renowned South African ceramicist. Initially, she thought that her partner would continue to produce ceramics while she focused on textiles – but the limited space in their studio and at the time – limited budget meant that she was restricted and had to find another medium to express her creativity. She then started working with ceramics and used techniques she had learned from the textile industry, something which she was involved in for some time. These skills included colour mixing, pattern making and hand painting. Zizipho also experiments with scale and texture to tell stories of pain, success and the past. Their studio at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town is often open to members of the public who are interested in understanding the process that Zizipho and her team engage in when creating.

A woman who I believe is influential in the landscape architectural profession is Dr. Ida Breed, a senior lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria. She completed her master’s studies in Mexico (in Spanish!) and in 2015, she was awarded her doctoral degree on research which examines value systems inside the landscape design profession and how to operationalise them. She received a C3 rating from the NRF in 2016, making her one of only two landscape architects to be rated this in the country. She has volunteered her time serving on various committees such as the Institute of Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA), the

Dialogue is encouraged as well as an exchange of thoughts and ideas to inspire other artists who are interested in this delicate process. A personal favourite, the Umthwalo series is the perfect representation of storytelling through art. It is inspired by Zizipho’s journey as a young girl in the village tasked with collecting water from the river. She and other young women with the same responsibility used an inkatha to protect their heads from the heavy load of the buckets they carried. Through this – she learned the metaphorical and physical burdens of being a Xhosa woman. In this series she represents these elements: the bucket and inkatha through form, colour and stacking. Her work is quite literally moulded by her personal story and manifests as contemporary art that can sit in any room, in any part of the world. Imiso Ceramics produces work that is authentically South African, and certainly encourages people to tell their stories – good and bad through the medium available to them.

Council for the Built Environment (CBE), as well as adjudicating the South African Landscape Institute (SALI) Awards. Alongside these, she has organised conferences, arranged guest speakers, planned seminars and site visits, tried to bridge gaps between different professions and also encouraged transformation within the landscape architectural industry. Her high work ethic and attention to detail always ensures that the work she carries out is done to a high standard. Adding to this, her kind and humble personality ensures that those around her feel supported and encouraged. Her involvement in the education and promotion of landscape architecture in South Africa is commendable and she is undoubtedly an asset to the profession and the country. www.prolandscaper.co.za


AGENDA

CAREN SPEIRS

Professional Landscape Architect Owner of Ixia Landscape Architects

3.

A saying attributed, (correctly or incorrectly), to Mother Theresa: “Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love” is very meaningful to me. So, while it is very important to celebrate the women that are great achievers, I believe we should also

take the time to acknowledge every woman’s contribution to the bigger picture. My early career was shaped by women. I worked in my university holidays at EDP (Environmental Design Partnership) in Johannesburg and then after getting my degree, I joined them full time. Sarah Singleton was one of the partners and she taught me about site work, contract documentation and project administration. This formed the foundation of how I manage my projects today. Gina taught me everything about plant design. I started by simply drawing up her designs (drawing was done by hand in those days), then I moved onto calculating the plant quantities and doing the BOQ. I also accompanied her to nurseries to source plants. It was an amazing learning experience. I also believe that you can learn from anyone in any position – they don’t necessarily have to be

the boss or the team leader. If you are receptive and observant you can learn something new virtually every day. When I was at DMP, (Dennis Moss Partnership), I had to make the big step up to working on AutoCAD. Riana Delport and Amanda du Plooy were pivotal in this regard. Riana also encouraged me to do the SACLAP exam – something I wouldn’t have done otherwise. At DMP and later when I went on my own, I worked with both Rene Brett & Millucia Sampson. From them, I learnt about the industry in the Cape, different perspectives on how to approach a project and attention to detail. In addition, the fact that they started their own businesses provided the inspiration and gave me the strength to also go on my own. I definitely wouldn’t be the woman or landscape architect that I am today without the influence of the women mentioned above.


LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS JOURNAL

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS JOURNAL: University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein Campus kwpCREATE

The University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein Campus is constantly expanding to cater for its growing student numbers. The continuous expansion of the campus has resulted in a segmented landscape language. The design aims to create a uniform language that marries the open spaces of the campus – not only with the current design but also with a manual indicating the materials and planting palette to make use of in the future. Seating is limited and haphazard but can be brought together into gathering spaces and conversation niches. The client’s brief was to provide detailed investigations and analysis, design solutions and cost estimates to enhance the student experience at the Doornfontein campus. kwpCREATE was appointed as the Project manager for the six landscape architectural stages for the project. The other consultants for the team were civil engineers and electrical engineers. In the inception and concept stages, it was envisaged to upgrade the area west of the 14

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

student centre, the Seratoga and Beit Street entrances, as well as the lapa entertainment area. A ring road upgrade for pedestrian circulation was also proposed along with storm water investigation and remediation. Due to budget constraints and in order to focus on higher quality upgrades we honed in on fewer areas. In future the other concept design areas can be incorporated. The areas now focused on was to the area west of the student centre, the entertainment area and the library node with walkway. The area west of the student centre has been neglected, broken and mismatched paving consisting of paving, concrete and asphalt. There is a dysfunctional fence, a unsightly container unit that needs to be moved, insufficient and informal seating areas as well as open ground instead of planting. In the team’s detailed design, they intend to bring in a deck surrounding the large and attractive existing tree, planting areas with varied indigenous planting, uniform paving and a formalised seating niche with USB and plug outlets where the students can study, gather for

lunch or plug in and charge devices. The grading and levels had to be designed so as to mitigate the current puddling of water. The team also needed to accommodate parking for an ambulance for the clinic which posed a challenge especially because the ramps needed to accommodate disabled student access. At the entertainment area, the seating also needed to be harmonized, the water fountain and post top lights were not functional – the lapa and braai areas also needed to be revamped to a more modern and practical configuration. Storm water does not drain properly in places and there are no ramps for disabled students. The planting does not flourish due to the deep shade from large existing trees. kwpCREATE envisaged three modern canopies to replace the lapa. These canopies will provide shelter for concrete mosaic tables and modern benches while formalised braai units and sufficient outdoor furniture such as dust bins, www.prolandscaper.co.za


LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS JOURNAL

water fountains and new lights will replace the existing broken post top lights. Since the area is also not far from the student centre, it provides a pleasant space to gather for lunch while being an entertainment area over weekends or for special events. The large historical oak trees are to be kept to provide shade and interest. Other planting is to be replaced with more appropriate shade loving indigenous planting that has more variety and interest than the current monocultural planting palette. The library node is a very busy area in front and to the west of the library entrance with narrow walkways, insufficient seating, movement problems due encroaching parking, a long fence that is unused but inhibits circulation and neglected planting as well as a need for outdoor furniture. The design therefore includes the broadening of circulation areas and walkways, creating seating and planters as well as seating niches with adequate shading trees next to the widened walkway. Planting is to be filled www.prolandscaper.co.za

in to revitalize the space and the fence is to be removed in order to open up the space and enhance circulation. Bollards are to be placed strategically so as to improve movement and constrain parking where students gather and circulate. Furniture is to be upgraded and added such as dust bins, modern post top lighting and drinking fountains. The materials to be used in all the areas are to form a language that can unite the campus’ atmosphere instead of the current more challenging juxtaposition. A planting and material palette that can be used in future to continue this uniform language will also be provided. The focus of the project is to create a uniform design language across the campus, provide adequate amenities such as seating, entertainment, gathering and study areas for the students and to ease circulation and create open and enjoyable spaces where learning can be promoted.

About kwpCREATE kwpCREATE is a full range creative studio working in the fields of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Project Management. The practice was started in 1950 and the fourth generation of directors are still actively involved in the practice. We are a company operating on a business basis to: accept or identify, design and document technically viable urban design, building, landscape and environmental projects. The studio combines young innovation with years of experience.

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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F E AT U R E

REHABILITATING HOUT BAY’S SAND DUNES For decades, Hout Bay has suffered from wind-blown sand and shifting dunes. A plan was compiled in 2016 detailing the use of Specialised nets to manage the movement of sand, and build the accumulation of sand seaward rather than landward. This methodology was authorised by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning at the end of 2016. The profiling of the dune, wind netting, plant propagation and planting of dune specific vegetation commenced in March 2017. Budget constraints and procurement challenges resulted in completion of the implementation in June 2018. Implementation included re-profiling of the dune into three areas – the fore dune, buffer dune and back dune, netting and planting with suitable dune vegetation, and irrigation installation. Upon completion, approximately 50,000m2 of dune has been reshaped, 20km of nets installed and maintained, and about 80,000 to 100,000 plants planted. This has resulted in a reduction of wind-blown sand and a reduction in costs to mitigate unmanageable quantities of sand. In the interim the City has advertised a Hout Bay Dune maintenance tender which will

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seek to appoint a new contractor to maintain the Hout Bay Dune Rehabilitation Project for the next three years, i.e. to the end of June 2021. During this three-year maintenance period, the city’s Coastal Management Branch will assess and plan the maintenance requirements moving forward in perpetuity, and how this is best undertaken. Maintenance should reduce significantly once the dune is fully established, which is expected to be at the end of the 3-year maintenance contract. It should be noted, that some maintenance will be required in perpetuity. If the maintenance is discontinued, the project will fail and the city’s infrastructure will once again be impacted by wind-blown sand from the mobile dune system. The project has made great progress and therefore we need to ensure that the good work continues on site and that local employment opportunities are available. Another exciting aspect of this project is that it has also created employment opportunities for 10 workers, who were selected from the local subcouncil database and have benefitted from the temporary employment opportunities and skills development.

The Hout Bay dune rehabilitation project is a pilot initiative to train and upskill EPWP workers. Through this project, local residents have been upskilled and have learned about plant propagation and maintenance, sand management, wind net installation and maintenance, watering and team work. These skills were developed on the project and through the completion of the National Certificate in Ornamental Horticulture Learnership at NQF Level 1. EPWP contracts have since been secured for these workers for the next 18 months, and will include a Plant Production learnership at NQF level 2, Adult Education and Training (AET) and Matric, as well as various other short courses such as financial planning, life skills, basic computer skills and operating a small business enterprise. A key objective of this programme is to train these individuals to gain skills to become entrepreneurs who will be able to compete for similar work in the market place, apply for dune rehabilitation or horticultural jobs in private sector, or be subcontracted with their expertise to bigger firms.

www.prolandscaper.co.za


CONCEPT TO CONCLUSION Innnovative solutions for unique problems Dune Management | Restoration | Eco Landscapes Contact: +27 82 564 5748 | deon@vula.biz | www.vula.biz


COMPANY PROFILE

COMPANY PROFILE: TWINSTAR PRECAST Pro Landscaper catches up with Twinstar Precast’s Managing Director, Annemerie Hilhorst, to hear all about this major player to the industry’s beginnings, plans for the future and theory that, “If you can dream it, they can make it.”

Tell us how the company was conceived – was there a particular need for Twinstar Precast? The emphasis in the concrete pipe and manhole market is typically on high volumes, and the time to design and build moulds for nonstandard products disrupts the production line. Manufacturing once-off products is time consuming and would often require additional skills and supervision and is usually not profitable for these companies. We established Twinstar Precast after identifying this gap in the market for precast custom products and once-off items. What are the types of products you have on offer to landscape architects and exterior contractors? We typically manufacture precast concrete products which are not already available on the market, as well as once-off items, and can produce products ranging in weight from 20kg up to 6 tons. We manufacture most of our own moulds and therefor we can manufacture almost any design. Landscape architects have an eye for something that would look good in a certain area, but this is always a new idea and difficult to find. Twinstar Precast aim to turn these dreams into reality. Are there any new developments/projects you are working on at the moment? We are currently working on the Non-motorized Transport Park in Ekhuruleni as well as three of the new wind farms being built in the Northern and Western Cape. 18

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

What would you describe as your most rewarding project to date, and why? In 2017 we casted slabs to close six abandoned mine shafts in the East Rand. This was a challenging project, as the site conditions were difficult and the open mine shafts were quite big and deep. We also had to ensure that the slabs we made could potentially withstand malicious damage from illegal miners in these areas. We successfully closed 6 shafts and they are still sealed off 2 years later. It is Woman’s Month this August and we are celebrating and applauding strong women in the industry. What does it mean to be a woman business owner in this industry? Being a woman in construction can be tough as it is typically believed that construction is for men, and contractors don’t always take you seriously as they have the perception that woman do not understand construction, especially in the field of civil engineering.

team, including management and admin staff consists of 18 people. We deliver all over South Africa and we offer a service of site visits if a customer needs assistance in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga or Limpopo. Where do you envisage Twinstar in the next 5 years? Twinstar will never become a very large corporate-type business. I believe in giving personal attention in the manufacturing process and would like to keep it small enough that I can still be involved in the everyday production of my customer’s products. Our production plan Is different every day because of the specialized products we do. This needs special attention throughout the day. Our aim is to become the obvious choice when ordering bespoke precast products. Who are some architects and landscape architects you hope to work with and why?

Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said: “The best protection any woman can have is courage. Have courage and a passion for what you do. Nobody will stop you."

For me, working with upcoming contractors and architects is much more satisfactory than working with big companies who have already made a name for themselves. As I had to start on my own, and learn from my mistakes and knowledge shared by people who have been in the industry for years, I get a lot more enjoyment and satisfaction in helping a young contractor to achieve his or her end goal on a project.

Where might we see some of Twinstar Precast's products around South Africa?

What is the most interesting custom piece you have ever manufactured for a client?

We have supplied to contractors across South Africa. From plinths on windfarms in Noupoort, Loeriesfontein, Springbok and Touwsrivier to entrance signs in Wattville and pump houses in Burgersfort.

On the Non-motorized transport project in Wattville, we had to manufacture concrete bicycle stands. This was a huge challenge but at the same time very exciting. From designing the moulds in such a way that it would be possible to fit the reinforcing and cast the concrete, to demoulding without breaking the separation beams, it was very unique. We manufactured and delivered 30 units in total.

Successful people are not gifted. They just work hard, then succeed on purpose. A woman in a man’s world just work twice as hard and succeeds with a smile.

How big is your team, where are you based and what areas do you service within South Africa? We are based in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng and my

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COMPANY PROFILE

Annemerie Hilhorst

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Foodscape Rehabilitation: the future of landscape architecture

By Dominique Breetzke of Branch Environmental Design

Being responsible and responsive Let me be frank about my belief: beautification is simply not enough. In fact, let me be so bold in saying that beautification can, at times, be inappropriate given the context we find ourselves today. As environmental professionals, I strongly believe that we need to delve deeper and beyond the surface aesthetics and exclusivity that I am afraid to say we are preoccupied with and more often than not recognised for. Now, let me set the scene in which we find ourselves today: as 21st century custodians of this planet earth (who happen to call ourselves environmental professionals), we are currently facing the existential dilemma of rapid urban growth, the associated rising costs of food and energy, along with the recognition that fossil fuels cannot last forever. On one hand, we have a rising global health crises with epidemics such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. On the other hand; food security and poverty are becoming the key subjects of interest in South Africa and other developing countries. In terms of

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the landscape; as our sprawling cities encroach further into the countryside, vacant land, on the other hand, created by the abandonment of city core areas, permeate our urban scenery.

contextually appropriate, of course – what if rehabilitation grew deeper routes into including the healing of the community, its ties with the food system and its nutritional health?

Considering the rather bleak picture I needed to paint of our current context, this brings me to ask the question which has been irking me for quite some time: how can we, as landscape architects and environmentalists bring about positive change, solutions and appropriate, responsive design solutions that are actually applicable to the era in which we find ourselves? Now – more than ever – is the time to rethink and update our design focus. If our job descriptions are supposedly to rehabilitate, restore and renew the suffering landscape and communities surrounding us, are we doing it appropriately and in response to the global environmental and health crises we are confronted with today?

We forget that without the landscape, we cannot survive. Without its bounty, there is no food. The clean slate of Genesis (1:29) states: "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." And grabbed this gift with both hands we did. However, over centuries of farming we have selected our limited favorites and created the detrimental monocrop landscape phenomenon, which more often than not, rape the soil under a cloud of toxic agrochemicals. What is more, it seems the proverbial forbidden fruit story has never really left us: Erlich et al states that a non-organic apple has had an average of 16 different pesticides applied to it at least 36 times by the time we get to consume it.

A new type of rehabilitation: What if there was more to rehab than restoring the landscape back to its natural form? If

How is it that an industry that started out with such good intentions of feeding the world, ends www.prolandscaper.co.za


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up with such sad, negative consequences that place wealth and profits over human health? Indeed, the ways in which we produce our food are becoming toxic to the environment, and we need to respond to the overwhelming amount of evidence, quickly. A concerned Dr Felix Schneier, a Johannesburg-based medical specialist states: "Doctors are dealing with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals everyday. Cows are being given hormones to increase their milk supply, pigs and chickens are fed antibiotics to keep them upright long enough to get to the slaughterhouse. Our kids are swallowing all of this, and we don’t know what it is doing to them." In Michael Pollan’s words: "For what is the environmental crisis if not a crisis of the way we live?" Something needs to change. The immediate solution starts at home, of course; and our everyday engagement with nature: in the way we mindfully shop, cultivate our gardens, and return to the kitchen to lovingly create wholesome meals for our families. These habits matter to the fate of the world in a way they never have before (Pollan, 2014). However, if the environmental crisis is ultimately a crisis of character, as Wendell Barry so aptly proclaimed in the Seventies, then as as morally responsible professionals, we need to ensure that the change further extends into our studios, visions and missions. Indeed, we are responsible to acknowledge and respond to the timeless, basic needs of the human spirit and the environment in which we live, through the ways in which we responsively design our cities and urban open spaces. I couldn’t emphasize the urgency better than Zeunert (2013): "If the work of the landscape architect is to shape and make sense of our experience of place and landscape and to seek solutions to a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, then surely the problem of food – the greatest of our existence – will be central to the landscape architect’s design practice." Addressing urban sprawl In every civilisational decline, there is a clear point when their food source occurs too far away from the city (ASHE, 2007). As our cities continue to grow, agriculture on the peri-urban fringe is being consumed by urban sprawl. This commonly results in pushing small farms and market gardens further away from the city and often into less productive land, or the farms ceasing to exist altogether. According to Zeunert (2011), close proximity of our food production to where we live is increasingly important in an energy descent www.prolandscaper.co.za

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future, as evidenced through the awareness of food miles (which measures the embodied transport energy in food), the emergence of the concept of ‘locavore’ (eating locally, from one’s own region), and the local food movement (which has manifest in various forms including farmers markers). This importance is emphasized by the fact that since cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels are considered to be the lifeblood of our industrial food system, meaning that the food system will be placed under increased pressure (Pollan, 2008), and food prices will rise in the distance ‘from paddock to plate’. If this is not bad enough, according to the United Nations, approximately one quarter of all agricultural land is seriously degraded. At the same time, however, lost and unutilized space permeates our sprawling urban environments, offering vast potential for urban renewal. Urban renewal, therefore, needs to be addressed in a new way: Hough (1984) states: "As environment and energy issues assume a higher profile in the future, it will become increasingly necessary to widen the horizons of urban design to meet new goals. Urban land as a whole will be required to assume environmental, productive and social roles, as fundamental components of the urban design process, far out weighting traditional park functions and civic values."

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The edible city In 1920, landscape architect Jens Jensen stated: “I believe the city should own tracts of land for the growing of vegetables and fruits, where the citizens can see and understand that their real existence comes out of Mother Earth, and that the merchant or the peddler is only a means of delivery.” Almost one hundred years late, an emerging concept called aesthetic foodscape design (AFD) is considered the way of the future and some are arguing it should be integrated into landscape architectural design practices. According to Zeunert (2011), AFD has several key aims: 1. 2.

3. 4. 5.

6.

To visibly or directly overcome the urban disconnect to the growing of food. To help increase awareness of food production and in turn, increase interest and advocacy in improving global food systems. To create edible landscapes in highly visible public and civic locations. To encourage participation in growing and sharing of food. To embed edible plant species in the core planting palette of landscape architects and designers. To encourage design and spatial exploration of edible plant species in landscape architectural practice.

7.

To create aesthetic, edible, public spaces that delight users.

AFD draws together the aims and practices of urban agricultural movements such as community gardening; school gardens; kitchen gardens; guerrilla gardening and permaculture, with the structured and aesthetic principles of landscape architecture. However, these traditional urban agricultural movements are normally and unfortunately relegated to abandoned and neglected public sites or private spaces and backyards and often lack social visibility. Furthermore, their typical aesthetic outcomes are often perceived as messy and inappropriate for the highly visual expectations of prominent sites in urban spaces. AFD attempts to bridge this divide through formal design practice to create environmental and social solutions that break new ground. I further believe that this stance also holds the potential to add a unique sense of place to a given area, depending on the community, season and geographical location in which it lies. This will further serve to break the homogeneity of the modern city concrete jungle, in which we so often find ourselves. Rebuilding community Indeed, community involvement is central to this vision. By providing spaces and places www.prolandscaper.co.za


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for an appropriate community that grant the tangible, basic human need for food – there is (more often than not), an automatically a positive response and a desire for ownership. This survival response serves to naturally acquire the land with something most ordinary parks, civic squares and playgrounds in the city can only yearn for: a sense of need, a sense of ‘we’ and an intense feeling of belonging. Moreover, basic maintenance is taken out of the pressured municipality’s hands as pride of ownership and sense of place are more naturally established. It is said that the social relevance of parks and open spaces are directly related to the level of public involvement (Hough, 1984). AFD allows for the building of social capital amongst our country’s diverse range of demographics, age, and cultural backgrounds in a healthy and uplifting urban setting. Of course, AFD should involve a collaborative process with a local community who are supportive of the proposal. Similarly, stakeholder and client engagement is fundamental to the success of the approach as most spaces require more frequent and ongoing maintenance than that of standard designs for the public domain. Challenges Certainly, there are many obstacles, challenges and debates to be had about this approach. www.prolandscaper.co.za

Reams of research awaits this era, while a ton of pilot projects are to be held, and existing case studies are to be dissected. However, the concept of aesthetic foodscape design is one that is becoming all the more urgent and all the more relevant in our field, if it were to remain a meaningful one. Briefly, typical challenges to the approach are outlined below: 1. Aesthetics Edible plants have not previously been deemed a worthy addition to public spaces that are typically dominated by formal order and low maintenance. 2. Risk challenges Programs, policies, funding strategies, and maintenance regimens for AFD – regardless of whether the space is truly public or only semi-public – will be difficult to implement and sustain without the support of local government. These barriers typically include: risk of air/soil pollution to produce; theft or vandalism of produce; and legal liability. 3. Horticultural challenges Landscape architects will need to be well versed in ornamental and edible plants, and how to plant them in combinations that not only create beautiful compositions that realize the principles

of integrated pest management and companion planting, but also provide utility, joy, comfort, and relief to people in public space (Nordahl, 2009). 4. Maintenance It is worth noting that local governments may benefit from AFD, as Herbach states that maintenance costs of community gardens are typically less than those of traditional parks (Herbach, 1998). While AFD is a different typology to community gardens, further research in this area may indicate similar outcomes. It also requires a perception and knowledge shift to successfully manage the maintenance requirements of edible species to mitigate risks through sustained community engagement that is backed by maintenance regimes of local authorities and private bodies. (Adapted from Zeunert, 2011). To conclude There are few landscape architecture firms today that can say urban agriculture design, let alone aesthetic foodscape design is on their shortlist of services offered. Most firms are capable of designing a productive space, of course, whether or not they can say they specialize in this area of design is another matter. Hence, designing for food security is an emerging area not yet established in the design community. Nordahl argues: “Landscape architects, as designers of our public spaces, have proven adept

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at using plants to address concerns of comfort, maintenance, aesthetics, and other socioenvironmental factors. Adding food to that list is well within their regimen” (Nordahl, 2009). Therefore, in order to keep our profession relevant, responsive, as well as responsible; for the integration of food security is of paramount importance, and can not only be seen as a method of community revitalization, but also as a form of productive beautification. Foodscape

rehabilitation is a tool for re-establishing the city-dweller’s lost relationship with nature, it is educational landscaping which re-connects the ties to which our food comes from. AFD, if successfully realised, provides potential environmental, social, economic and health benefits to participants and to the wider sphere. Indeed, urban agriculture and aesthetic foodscape design have the potential to not only bring about a new typology for urban renewal,

but certainly have the abilities to enhance the quality of life into the future. Addressing sustainability at its roots begins with changing our relationship to the food we eat, how we cultivate it, how we prepare it together, and how we design the framework for it to grow. Its integration into landscape architectural design practices is therefore paramount and urgent. Renowned chef and food activist Jamie Oliver puts this all neatly into a nutshell: ‘Food, indeed, is a gateway drug to sustainability.’

References: Erlich, M & Gunslinger, K, 2012. Super Nutrition for Babies. Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts. Craig, C & Jesson, R. 2016. Wholesome Nutrition for You. Penguin Random House South Africa. Herbach, G, 1998, Harvesting the City: Community Gardening in Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Viewed 5 June 2011 <http://www. cityfarmer.org/m adi son.htm l > Hough, M. 1984. City Form and Natural Process: Towards a New Urban Vernacular. Great Britain: Van Nostrand Reinhold Reinhold Company, Inc. Nordahl , D, 2009, Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture, Island Press, USA. Pollan, M, 2008, Farmer in Chief. New York Times, October 12, New York edition, MM 62. Pollan, M. 2014. Cooked: A natural history of transformation. Penguin Group, New York. Zeunert, J. 2011. Eating the Landscape: Aesthetic Foodscape Design and its role in Australian Landscape Architecture. AILA National Conference 2011, At Brisbane, Australia [Online] Available: <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297730109_Eating_ the_Landscape_Aesthetic_Foodscape_Design_and_its_role_in_ Australian_Landscape_Architecture>

ABOUT BRANCH Branch is a smallscale environmental and design company, started by Dominique in 2017. With a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pretoria (2012), Dominique is passionate about celebrating, enhancing, restoring and preserving the beauty of nature, and leaving a growing mark for generations to come, no matter how small. Multi-functional landscapes which include food security and edible landscaping is a huge passion of hers which she tries to incorporate at all levels. For more details, please visit her website www.brancha.com. Contact: 082 444 8363 dominique@branchsa.com Based in pretoria, South Africa.

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CASE STUDY

From Farm to Fork

When Moyo decided to create a unique restaurant and African food market, they found the perfect location – V&A Waterfront, Cape Town's historic working harbor and major tourist destination, with over 23 million visitors per year. The restaurant overlooks the harbor waters of the V&A Waterfront and sets the stage for the open air “African Souk” essence of the architectural design, headed by Tsai Design Studio. The program includes a 2-storey restaurant and an open-air market, with the goal to populate the currently under-used Clock Tower Plaza with more people and a sense of urban electricity. The opportunity of designing a restaurant and a market simultaneously gave Tsai Design Studio a unique chance to tell the story of food in a complete cycle. Starting from the growth of food, to it being traded as commodities, followed by the culinary experience of cooking and preparation of food, to its consumption, and finally as organic waste that can be used as fertilizer to complete the cycle. The concept, in order to fully convey this fascinating story, is to create a theater of food where responsible handling of food is demonstrated in the greater context of Africa. A semi-covered white steel pergola peers over the terrace outside the front of the main 26

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restaurant building. Underneath, small decorated market food stalls are distributed, creating a rich African flavour (literally). Extending the African market to an African farm, you will also catch sight of the chef gathering fresh rocket and herbs from the 'green walls' that are watered and fed with an aquaponic system. On the Clock Tower Plaza, the market is composed of three elements, namely the Market Arcade, Market Stalls and the Urban Farm: •

The Market Arcade is covered by an array of solar panels that powers the stalls during the day, which also doubles as shading device for the space below.

The Market Stalls are a cluster of pre-fab modular units, designed to adapt to various stall tenant's need. The stalls are arranged around the arcade with the aim to create small intimate streets like that of an African Souk.

The Urban Farm, using an aquaponic system developed for the project, it will offer fresh off-the-wall greens as well as tilapia fish for the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant, the aquaponic green wall also doubles as a visual feature, complete with plant-enhancing-LEDs. Designed as an extension of the market, the ground floor is divided into 3 zones: food preparation (butchery and fish monger), cooking (a grill counter and a bakery) and dining area. A performance stage for live jazz and African music will be the focal point for the formal dining space on the first floor. While Tsai Design Studios strive to integrate green principles as part of the design strategy, the client also reviewed their business model with the desire to source food from sustainable farmers for all the Moyo restaurants. The goal for this project was to be able to have direct sensory impact to what once were behind-thescene sustainable technologies as part of the unique experience for the visitors to V&A's new Clock Tower Plaza.

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F E AT U R E

SPROUTING HIGH IN JOHANNESBURG'S INNER-CITY CHAMBERS OF MINES: URBAN AGRICULTURE INITIATIVE

The Urban Agriculture Initiative is a multistakeholder initiative founded by Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t It Be Cool (WIBC) and the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership (JICP). The UAI was conceptualised as an intervention to provide entrepreneurial and job opportunities for young people in the inner-city in Johannesburg. The project has been supported by a number of different entities, including SEDA, AB InBev, Chamber of Mines, FNB and Future Farms. The programme is aimed at providing opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who live in and around the inner city of Johannesburg. Preference is placed on supporting youth (18 to 35yrs), women and persons with disabilities. To date, more than 75% of these beneficiaries are women and youth. The technology used by the majority of the farmers is NFT hydroponics. The current beneficiaries are people who meet the profile as described above. The other beneficiaries of this programme are the restaurants and residents within proximity of the farms. The farmers have developed a diverse array of customers who they are providing unbelievably fresh produce for use in their kitchens, usually harvested hours from the time of use. Some of the farmers are even having a positive social impact by means of food security, providing food to low income and food insecure communities. These farmers allow communities access to their excess produce at reduced prices, so that these communities can benefit from food resources. 28

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The initiative sees this model of social impact growing, especially where property owners will accept this contribution in lieu of rentals by the farmers for using their rooftops.

The caretaker of the farm is in charge of all farm and nutrient maintenance to ensure the farm and the plants remain healthy and produce good yields when harvest time comes.

The programme currently has almost 20 operational farms in the inner city with 2 farms in Soweto and the Vaal. The inner-city farms are distributed from Melville to Maboneng and the aim is to continue this expansion. Future Farms Creating urban farms on rooftops is not without its challenges. The biggest of these is accessing the rooftops. The equipment used to build the farm is made out of metal and is therefore too heavy and bulky considering they will need to be carried 8 floors to the top of the building. In most cases our pipes and drainage exceed the length of available lifts. Instead, they use some ingenious pulley systems and hoists to make the work a little easier. The farm is a hydroponic farm, using as little as 800L per month for the entire farm (75% less than soil farming). The hydroponic farms are designed in a way that increases the number of crop spaces per square metre therefore offering nearly 4,000 plant spaces for a 200m2 farm. The farm construction takes the UAI's well waxed team roughly 7 working days from start to finish. The rooftop farms target mainly leafy greens and herbs, while we have just finished designing a system that can accommodate other vegetables as well. www.prolandscaper.co.za


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F E AT U R E

TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPES with low cost, solar energy driven clean-up techniques Plants have been used for millennia to alter and improve the environment. Not only did the Romans line roads with poplar trees to provide shade, but also to make the roads last longer by consuming any water along the edges. People have been using plants to enhance their work long before the formalisation of ecological engineering as a discipline.

During the 1930s, plants were used to predict the presence of minerals in the subsurface. In Siberia, prospectors discovered that when searching for certain minerals, certain plants were reliable indicators of such minerals. Bioprospecting subsequently gained momentum during the 1970s when various research groups scientifically started classifying and studying the relationships between plants and metals, and found that some plants which grow in soils that are metal-rich have extraordinary properties. Even though money doesn't grow on trees, gold and other precious metals can actually accumulate in plants. By means of phytomining, researchers recently discovered relatively high levels of gold in the leaves of a eucalyptus tree in Western Australia, before uncovering a deposit of the metal more than 100ft beneath it. This is only one of several case studies confirming the extraordinary properties of plants. The current state of our environment, coupled with the cost of remediating ecosystems, has driven strong interest in the direction of ecological engineering applications. Ecological Engineering Ecological engineering involves creating and restoring sustainable ecosystems that have value to both humans and nature. Through ecological engineering, basic and applied science are used for purposes of rehabilitating, designing and constructing aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The goals of ecological engineering are twofold: â&#x20AC;˘

The restoration/rehabilitation of ecosystems that have been substantially disturbed by human activities, such as environmental pollution or land disturbance;

â&#x20AC;˘

The development of new sustainable ecosystems that have both human (social and economic) and ecological value.

Ecological Engineering can be simply defined as the process of designing systems that preserve, restore and create ecosystem services. Ecological Engineering comprises of various sub-disciplines (shown in the following table).

YOLANDI SCHOEMAN ECOLOGICAL ENGINEER 30

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Constructed wetlands and aquacultures

Ecological sanitation, buffer zones, natural wetlands

Integrated water resources management, watershed management and water cycle management

Renewable energy, process and product engineering (cleaner production)

Solids recycling systems, waste management and mariculture waste management, industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis

Greenhouses, micro- and mesocosms, eco-technology and bio-technology

Stream management and restoration, river engineering, lake restoration, impoundments, riparian zone management and restoration

Green architecture and integrated building techniques, urban and regional planning, landscape architecture and regenerative design, landscape planning, and green infrastructure

Restoration ecology and habitat reconstruction, and mine area remediation

Estuarine eco-hydrology, coastal zone management and restoration

Agro-engineering, eco-agriculture, forest management, agro-forestry and permaculture, organic farming, and agro-mining

Phytoremediation, invasive plants and species, phytotechnology, and phytomining

Soil bioengineering

Classical and augmentative biological control

Figure 2. Floating treatment wetland islands as applied phytotechnology to contaminated and degraded ecosystems Why use phytotechnology? By using plants to remove or degrade a particular contaminant, brownfield problems can be addressed in an effective manner whilst applying cost effective solutions. The current limitations and cost exhaustiveness of conventional remediation practices have also consequently shifted the focus on applying more phytotechnology to sustainability challenges. The build-up of everyday pollutants in the urban environment has also created a need to prevent daily releases of small amounts of pollutants from widespread land uses.

Figure 1. The roots of Typha latifolia that can address elevated concentrations of calcium, magnesium, zinc, aluminium and various other contaminants In Ecological Engineering projects, the appropriate selection and use of plants form a fundamental part of proactive and reactive programmes. Phytoengineering and phytotechnology Phytoengineering and technology comprise the use of vegetation to remediate, contain or prevent contaminants in soils, sediments and groundwater, as well as add nutrients, porosity and organic matter. It also includes a set of planning, engineering and design tools, and cultural practices that can assist landscape architects, site designers, engineers and

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environmental planners in working on current and future individual sites, the urban fabric and regional landscapes.

Figure 3. Constructed wetlands with phytoremediation cells treating wastewater sustainably

Phytoremediation describes the removal and/ or degradation of a particular contaminant on a polluted site by a specific plant or groups of plants. Phytotechnology, on the other hand, includes techniques such as the stabilisation of pollutants within the surrounding soil or root structure of a plant, and the pre-emptive installation of plant-based approaches so as to treat a pollutant or mitigate an ecological problem before it actually occurs.

Phytotechnology mechanisms How can plants assist in remediating contaminants? Well, they assist in remediating both organic and inorganic contaminants through their daily function of energy transfer, nutrient transfer and water transfer. The following plant mechanisms are utilised in phytotechnology systems to address organic and inorganic contaminants:

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Organic contaminant plant mechanisms • Phytodegradation: Plant destroys it. •

Rhizodegradation: Soil biology destroys it.

Metals: arsenic, nickel, selenium, cadmium and zinc from mining, industry, emissions, agriculture and automobiles.

Phytometabolism: Plant uses it in growth, incorporates it into a biomass.

Phytoextraction: Plant takes it up, stores it and is harvested.

Phytohydraulics: Plant draws it close and contains it with water.

Phytostabilization/phytosequestration: Plant caps and holds it in place.

Rhizofiltration: Contaminant is filtered from water by roots and soil.

Before selecting plants to be utilised in site remediation (proactive and reactive) landscape projects, cognisance needs to be taken of their pollution tolerance and competitiveness, together with their root structure and depth. The appropriate selection of plants and planting structure aligned to the nature of contaminants on the site, greatly influence the success of landscape remediation projects.

• •

Figure 4. Phytotechnology research trials conducted by Baoberry on various pollution sources by using specific phytoremediating plants Addressing contamination in open spaces Various phytotypologies or planting types can be applied to various landscapes such as industrial sites, roadways and parking lots, parks, golf courses, river corridors and greenways, urban residences, agricultural fields, suburban residences, mining sites and landfill sites (to name but a few), to proactively and reactively address site contamination, enhance services and build sustainable ecosystems.

Phytotechnology fundamentals Extensive research in phytotechnology has been conducted globally over the past two decades. Common organic pollutants that can successfully be degraded or volatised with phytotechnology include the following: •

Petroleum hydrocarbons (oil, gasoline, benzene, toluene, PAHs, gas additive: MTBE: methyl tertiary butyl ether) from sources such as fuel spills, leaky underground or above-ground storage units.

Figure 5. Phytotypology opportunities for open spaces, golf courses, river corridors, greenways and urban residences

Chlorinated solvents: TCE: trichloroethylene, perc from sources such as industry and transportation, and dry cleaners.

Pesticides including, atrazine, diazinon, metolachlor and Temik, and herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides from sources in agriculture and landscape applications.

An example of phytotypologies for open spaces, with the aim to proactively address site contamination and enhance ecosystem services, include the following:

Explosives: RDX from both military and mining sources.

Common inorganic pollutants that can successfully be degraded or volatised with phytotechnology, include: •

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Plant macronutrients: nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, landfills, agriculture, and landscape practices.

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• •

Organic and inorganic plant mechanisms • Phytovolatilization: Plant turns it into a gas. •

• •

• •

Organically maintained gardens (addressing nutrients, pesticides, POPs and metals). Raised beds (addressing inorganic and organic contaminants). Thick gravel mulch or grass pathways (addressing both inorganic and organic contaminants). Stabilization mat (addressing POPs, PCBs, and metals). Degradation bosque (addressing petroleum, nutrients and pesticides).

Living fence (addressing nutrients, pesticides and POPs). Degradation cover (addressing nutrients, pesticides and POPs). Extraction plots (addressing highly bioavailable metals: arsenic, nickel, selenium, cadmium and zinc). Air flow buffer (addressing air pollution). Stormwater filter (addressing nutrients, metals and petroleum).

Landscape architects bring a whole new area of expertise to the table. By working with remediation experts and ecological engineers, they can design sites that will not only meet the goals of regulatory clean-up requirements or stabilisation, but also bring the potential for the location to become a park, a walking trial or a nature reserve. They can work with engineers and scientists to design systems that enhance remediation efficiencies, promote plant productivity and biodiversity, and open lands back up for public use and appreciation. If applied properly, phytotechnology is based on ecological engineering considerations and attempt to optimise ecosystems and humanmade systems for the benefit of both. Short term, phytotechnology could bring immediate attention to the importance of designing, building and rehabilitating ecosystems as a logical extension of the field of ecology, as it applies directly to solving environmental problems. In long terms, phytotechnology will provide the basic and applied scientific results needed by environmental regulators and managers to control some types of pollution, while reconstructing the landscape in an ecologically sound way. We need to find new ways to approach sustainability problems. We have attempted to solve problems through the use of available technology that have partially failed whilst excluding nature. Perhaps we need to focus more on nature-based and ecological infrastructure solutions that are socially acceptable and environmentally sound. Our solutions also need to make business sense. What are the alternatives?

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Sizes Available: 2kg, 5kg, 10kg and 25kg Tel: (013) 933 3172 / (061) 454 9632 â&#x20AC;¢ Cell: 079 896 5814 Email: info@talborne.co.za

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Join us on 25 October 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the biggest event on the green calendar this year. REGISTRATIONS OPEN

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F E AT U R E

MEET THE SPEAKERS

DR LUYANDA MPAHLWA President of the SAIA, Architect and Urban Designer Founder of DesignSpaceAfrica

Topic: Inclusive cities of the future

THOMAS CHAPMAN

Architect & Urban Designer, Founder of Local Studios

Topic: The reintroduction of “publicness” into the postapartheid city

ANDREW KERRIN

Professional Landscape Architect & Director at GREENinc Landscape Architects

Topic: The value that landscapes bring to our cities

LEON KLUGE

MARIJKE HONIG

Topic: Best in Show

Topic: Green buildings and landscapes of the 21st century

DUNCAN DENLEY AND ROMIT CHAKRAVARTY

JACQUES VAN EMBDEN

Topic: Context-driven landscape designs

Topic: Taking back public space: how we can make better use of public space in place making

LOUIS VAN DER WALT

ANCUNEL STEYN

Topic: The art of golf course architecture

DONOVAN GILLMAN

International Landscape Designer and Show Garden Guru

International speakers from renowned UAE based firm, desertINK

Golf Course Architect at Matkovich Group

Renowned Landscape Designer and Author

Architect & Managing Director of Blok Property Developers

Senior Landscape Architect for the City of Cape Town Professional Landscape Architect and Owner of Urban Choreography

Topic: The value of urban green space: a perspective

JAMIE APRIL

ANTHONY WAIN

Topic: Marketing your brand

Topic: Searching for common ground in gardens of the past

Programme Coordinator @ Red & Yellow, Creative School of Business

www.prolandscaper.co.za

Director at Planning Partners

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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F E AT U R E

lectures, helping build new grow-bed areas, and gaining extensive knowledge on innovative approaches to growing vegetables.

HYBRID HYDROPONICS FOR ROOFTOP GARDENING: FROM GREEN HYPE TO REAL CONTRIBUTION

we are currently facing is, how fast fresh vegetables lose nutrients after harvesting. The University of California studies show that almost all vegetables lose from 15 to 55% of its vitamin C within a week of harvest. Spinach is specially known to have high nutritive value, but it is the worst hit by travelling. Spinach can lose up to 90% of its vitamin C within 24 hours.

Louis-Gillis Janse van Rensburg Director of Fresh Life Produce The current system of agricultural production has reduced consumers to powerless buyers of food. In 1800, we had one billion eaters on planet earth, which doubled by 1930 (130 years later) to two billion, and then jumped in 70 years to six billion people. Nineteen years later, we have seven billion food consumers, and estimations are that we will jump to nine billion by 2050. The biggest problem with this, is that 97% of the global population growth will happen in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. If we look at a practical example of projections by 2050, it is estimated that Canada will grow from 31 million to 42 million, but Uganda will grow from 34 million to 96 million people. Faster growth in the poorest parts of the world will compound the challenge to feed the Earth’s growing number of mouths. Another problem

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At Fresh Life Produce, we are committed committed to showing the world that there is an alternative to having a few large-scale producers to feed households and entire cities. We passionately believe that we all have to become our own “mini” producers that collectively work together to fight the growing food production challenge. Our interest in sustainable growing technologies began in 2015, when I was introduced to a basic aquaponics farm in Pretoria. I was hooked by the simplicity and practicality of the system, and devoted my time in researching different systems and travelling to every sustainable farming enthusiast I could reach. During February 2016, we registered Fresh Life Produce and had the opportunity to build our first rooftop garden for Century City Intaka Island using the fundamentals of aquaponics learned through my ventures. Since then, healthy and vibrant vegetables have been growing in the aquaponic rooftop system, helping to educate school groups daily about this wonderful technology. I then attended a perma-culture course in Port Elizabeth which consisted of living on the farm, attending

This led to perma-culture facilitator and design certification from Hope Permaculture Farm. I was very privileged to be selected by Investec to travel to Israel with 19 other young agricultural entrepreneurs in 2017 as part of their “Ennovate” project, and at the end of 2017, whilst in a joint venture with Urban Organics, we won Cape Talk’s Small Business Award. The same year also produced a highlight when we had the opportunity to share our experiences with Charlize Theron and Trevor Noah. Developing an Africanised sustainable growing system has become a passion since 2015, as I continued working with multiple alternative growing systems after starting with aquaponics, then moving on to the classic PVC pipe hydroponics systems, and eventually realising that these technologies are not 100% suited for South African realities – especially in places where some infrastructure services are hard to come by. Most conventional systems are too technical, capital, time intensive and bulky, and the yield to cost-rate generally makes them too expensive for the average South African. After being exposed to vertical hydroponics, we gathered knowledge from the past few years to develop our brand-new “African Grower” system – an Africanised hybrid hydroponics growing system. We used three rules of thumb: • • •

Must be easy to transport Not require any technical knowledge or special tools Be affordable and have a high yield

The African Grower is a vertical growing system that consists of individual growing ‘pods’ that each have the potential to grow up to 10

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F E AT U R E

plants. Each pod drains separately which stops infections spreading in comparison with most systems that use one water source which circulates through the system. It also does not require electricity as it can be hand-watered, and uses coconut coir as a re-usable growing medium, making it 90% more water efficient than growing similar products in soil. With this new technology, we strive to lead the way in showing it is possible for every single person (or company with a rooftop) to have the capability to grow their own food and become part of this new method of farming, referred to by us as 'decentralised home farming'. We have been creating African Green Thumbs through the use of this decentralized home farming approach, as we have been piloting this in a project with Western Province Department of Agriculture funding in Philippi, Khayelitsha and Nyanga. We kicked off with 40 households in 2018 that grew their own produce at home. After six months, we had 36 households still using their systems, which indicates a 90% susses rate with this approach. We have now been awarded a follow-up project with the next 40 household in the Browns Farms area in Philippi. After realising that just helping people to grow their own food was not enough, we are now working with community hubs, like the Sakhulwazi Women’s Cooperative, to provide central support facilities in the community that will be able to both support the growing of the “home growers” as well as buy the fresh produce from the community members and convert it into higher value products. We have also equipped a facility at the co-op, and are training them on making spinach pasta. We are establishing a virtual community of home growers by tracking each vegetable garden using a mobile app and consultants from the community. This gathering of extensive data enables us to know exactly what is growing where, as well as what problems are being experienced there.

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Rooftop gardens that use new growing systems have not yet been more extensively taken up in the corporate world, and our investigation into the reasons for this indicated that the installation of the current (mostly pure hydroponics or aquaponics systems) growing systems is very complex when it gets to “building and maintaining a garden on top of a 10 to 40 storey building”. We have, therefore, developed a structure we call a “pop-up greenhouse” to specifically be a game changer in the sustainable rooftop garden arena. The greenhouse is a modular system that can contain up to 14 African Grower “towers” in a 4m² area, with the potential of growing up to 400 plants – a yield of up to 100 plants per square meter. A number of these “cells” can be linked into a larger structure, and this approach makes it ideal for converting any rooftop into an extensive food production facility. The “greenhouse” can be used as a source of income for a body corporate, or it may be a way for corporates to encourage “green entrepreneurs” to produce high nutritional produce sustainably on their unused rooftops to cater for the growing number of consumers.

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Winner Of The SALI Trophy for Best Landscape & Turf Maintenance. In 2019 Life Landscapes received: 3 Gold SALI Awards, 6 Silver SALI Awards, 2 Bronze SALI Awards.

Full of life. Life Landscapes is an award winning landscaping company specialising in landscape construction and corporate garden maintenance. We focus on xeriscaping and sustainable garden practices. www.lifegreengroup.co.za

GREEN GROUP

Johannesburg 011 959 1000 johannesburg@lifegreengroup.co.za

Cape Town 021 850 0764 capetown@lifegreengroup.co.za

Pretoria 012 644 2152 pretoria@lifegreengroup.co.za

021 903 0050 | sales@shadowlands.co.za www.shadowlands.co.za

Hard Scapes T/A River Project We do any landscaping, civil work, gabions and relocating of trees as well as plant supply from our amazing nursery.

FOR ALL OF YOUR PROJECT PLANT HIRE & CIVIL MACHINERY NEEDS! www.westwood.co.za | 032 815 1155

Contact details

Hennie: 079 368 0141 | Hentie: 073 539 4433 hennieriverpro@gmail.com


P R O J E C T

O N E

THE YACHT CLUB LUXURY LIVING The Yacht Club comprises one of nine development packages of what is known as the Roggebaai Canal Tourism Precinct. This is the fifth and largest package to be developed, along with the existing Harbour Bridge and Canal Quays developments. The Yacht Club, completed in December 2018, signifies a key mixed-use development within the Precinct, including a Marriot hotel, appartments, offices and retail space. Amdec Property Delelopments sought to develop a space that epitomizes luxury contempory living. This vision was designed by Kevin Gadd Architects, with landscape architecture by URBANscapes Landscape Architects and Environmental Planners.


PORTFOLIO

In achieving this vision, design principles sought to ensure a well defined, experientially rich, vibrant public realm, facilitating both active and passive public life. These design principles were then interpreted into planning parameters, such as bulk, use and parking requirements; urban design codes and guidelines including building envelope, height and articulation; landscape architectural codes specifically pertaining to public walkways, and public squares, a critical part of which is the character and experience of the physical interface between canal and public walkway, as well as the public walkway and adjacent development. This interface keenly characterized by level changes, i.e. water level, canal coping and top of parking basement, which sets floor level of adjacent development. Cross section design, finish and greening opportunity codes, as well as guidelines for individual development landscaping/greening of buildings, therefore together with the Overall Precinct Landscape Framework Plan, constitutes the precinct landscape controls.

The Site Where today the site known as ‘Roggebaai Canal Tourism Precinct’ (RCTP) is located on the Cape Town reclaimed foreshore land, once stretched the Table Bay shoreline. Roggebaai Beach was then characterized by sandy shallow waters, frequented by rays. Hence it then being named, in the 17th centuary, as ‘Roggebaai’, stemming from the Dutch word ‘Rog’ meaning superorder Batoidea family (to which skates and rays belong). As later land infill took place to accommodate an ever-growing harbour, this beach was filled and became part of a working harbour complete with rail links, hence land ownership being that of Transnet, with National Ports as a neighbour on the harbour side, and later the National (N1) Freeway on the mountain side, severing it further from the CBD. The inception of the Roggebaai Canal Tourism Precinct is a link between Foreshore, the city centre and the mountain side. In 2000, a proposal to construct a canal linking from the CBD through Portland into the V&A Waterfront was suggested as a solution to the long-held desire to link the city to the sea. Transnet Property, PROPNET, subsequently became the developer of this precinct, and in 2003 appointed MMA Architects (Designspace Africa) and Tim Turner & Associates, planning and developing consultants, in a joint appointment 40

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

as the precinct planners. Urbanscapes Landscape Architects was appointed from the project’s inception to ensure that landscape architecture formed an integral part of the design development, giving due consideration to the spatial planning, and later detail design of a cohesive, rich and vibrant precinct character in its open space and landscape experience. Key to this landscape experience is the design of a super basement throughout the precinct, so as to eliminate the need for surface parking by maximizing a pedestrian-orientated landscape. The precinct landscape was to also include an uniterupted 3.5m wide public promenade along both sides of the canal, with five public squares as interface between adjacent development packages, and the promenade along the canal providing water taxi stops and yacht moorings. In ensuring a wholistic precinct landscape and built experience, all the development packages are guided by a clear precinct vision. It was the colourful past of this particular site, mingled with the dynamics of a fast evolving present, which has infused the overall vision. This is: "to create a unique environment which is nevertheless harmonious and complementary to the broader context of the northern Foreshore, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and the V&A Waterfront, with which it is linked by the canal and pedestrian walkways."

The Brief The brief from the client, Amdec Property Developments (Pty) Ltd, required that the surrounds to the Yacht Club building be planned, detail designed and documentation prepared for the implementation of all landscape works both hard and soft. Included, is all landscaping proposed on the various levels of the building, e.g. the pool deck on the third floor. The landscape planning and design is to comply with the overall Roggebaai Canal precinct vision and Landscape Framework Plan and Guidelines, ensuring continuity as seamless as possible with the previous development packages. The proposed landscape is to recognize and interface with the continuous 3.5m wide public promenade along the canal, the required public square in front of the building, as well as the railway platform on the harbour side of the building’s access road. A key component of this landscape is to resolve level changes due to building being sited on the precinct superstructure parking basement, canal edge and adjacent railway platform. Sourcing of Materials A challenge in terms of sourcing of materials, was to have the landscape elements, such as surfacing and edging, tie into the existing landscape to successfully present as continuous as possible, a landscape experience. This challenge included supplier changes and marrying of colour changes/weathering over time. All hard landscape elements were therefore custom designed and manufactured to fit the needs of the project. www.prolandscaper.co.za


PORTFOLIO

Location: Roggebaai canal tourism precinct (rctp) cape town foreshore Size: 6,500m2 (hardscaping), 2,000m2 (Softscaping) Cost: R6 million Timeline of Development: January 2018December 2018 Maintenance: Development Owners Association

SUPPLIERS Sub-contractor hard landscaping: Westcon Construction (PTY) Ltd 021 875 5154 Sub-contractor paving: Highland Paving - 021 421 1480 Soft landscaping: Life landscapes - 021 006 5032 Paving, edges, kerbs, manhole covers, bollards & bins: Modern Concrete Works - 082 907 2171 Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 011 474 0171 Rail platform planters: ClassicStone - 021 701 7611 Plants: Nonke Plants - 021 887 6972 Hortiflora Trees: Just Trees - 021 871 1595 Irrigation contractor: Life Landscapes Product: Rain Bird Compost/Organic: Reliance - 086 188 8784 Peddimanure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A grade Topsoil Talbourne Organics - 013 933 3172 www.prolandscaper.co.za

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PORTFOLIO MEET THE TEAM The Amdec Group took on the challenge of developing the site, based on its vision and belief that this would soon be an area of major growth.

Developer: Amdec Property Developments (Pty) Ltd Architects: Kevin Gadd Architects Cc Landscape architects and project information: URBANscapes Landscape Architects & Environmental Planners Main contractor: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd 021 532 5100 ABOUT URBANSCAPES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS AND E N V I RO N M E N TA L P L A N N E R S

Interpretation of landscape detailing to incorporate the rays, heritage connection as a theme, was done by laying ray shape in paving with cobbles, as well as in manhole cover design, including an etched ray with signage of particular service to be accessed.

Another challenge with regards to the soft landscaping, was the provision of water for irrigation. Due to the potable water restrictions and drought status, an alternative source was considered and it was decided to provide a desalination plant in the parking basement.

This continuity in terms of level changes presented a further challenge as the majority of the building footprint would have the continuous precinct superstructure parking basement below it. Universal access was also a key consideration in the resolution of these level changes. This situation restricted the placement of trees in natural ground, and required trees in large enough planters on the building platform. Due to cost constraints, it was decided to utilize innovative concrete pipes with a 1,200mm diameter, screeded and painted. Another challenge to these planters included the detailing to ensure successful draignage.

In terms of the hard landscaping, and specifically the bollards, bins and balustrades, it was necessary to continue the design and detailing of these elements installed in the previous phase of package implementation, which include the consideration of the site’s location in close proximity to the ocean, and hence required use of anti-corrosive materials and finishes.

Unfortunately, the landscape budget was extremely tight, impacting on the density (six plants per square metre) as well as the size of plant material (combination six packs and 4kg plants) specified.

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Idyllically this project exemplifies the inclusion of landscape architects from the very inception of a project, from site assessment to setting of precinct vision, codes and guidelines, and finally the detail design and implementation of individual development packages. For this, URBANscapes acknowledges the client, Transnet PROPNET, and the core project team leader Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, director of Designspace Africa, who recognised and valued the input of the profession of landscape architecture.

2019 sees URBANscapes celebrating its 16th year in business. Interestingly, The Yacht Club, Roggebaai Canal Tourism Precinct project, also sees URBANscapes’ 16th year of intermittent involvement in its conception, development and construction. URBANscapes, in keeping with the evolution of the landscape architectural profession and its need for resilience and sustainability, (both globally and within the South African context) of all our natural, social and built resources, has researched and developed the S.O.S (Sustainable Open Space Development), a management and maintenance model and system which is currently being captured as a software system. This system is based on 27 years' experience in planning, designing, constructing and operating - private, parastatal and public open space, and landscape facilities and assets. The system endeavours to realise and turn open space facilities and landscapes into valued and positive assets, and not just a ‘nice to have’. An example of this is the scientific calculation of potential use of alternative water sources (SuDS) yields, weighed up against the actual water requirements of different plant species. URBANscapes’ passion and commitment, in light of what is now required, therefore enables it to offer its clients and broader public as streamlined a process as possible, yet one that presents a thoroughly and comprehensively investigated solution, and hence, optimal product. The end goal being the improvement of South Africa’s quality of living, working and recreational environments, with access to replenishable resources. www.prolandscaper.co.za


www.decks4life.co.za

WE ADD VALUE Decks4Life CC is a family owned & managed business in Cape Town servicing the commercial, architectural & residential market. We offer decking, wall cladding, screens & pergolas 076 908 2175 | hylton@decks4life.co.za | www.decks4life.co.za


P R O J E C T

T W O

THE WEX 1 The Wex 1 comprises 183 private apartments, a boutique hotel of 34 rooms, branded the Stock Exchange, and 3,000sqm of retail space. It was commissioned by Signatura Properties, with a full construction cost of R240million, and an intense build period of 18 months from start on site to occupation. Vivid Architects and Planning Partners brought Signaturaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision to life, kick-starting the urban renewal in Woodstockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial corridor of Albert Road.


PORTFOLIO

The Brief This project was a ground breaker in the Woodstock area, which combines residential, hotel and retail spaces in a vibrant and diverse urban environment. Located strategically close to the Woodstock train station and on the busy Albert road meant that pedestrian circulation around the building was a priority, and the hard landscaping needed to be sufficiently robust and complementary to the architectural style. There are three major landscape components to this scheme, being the street, the courtyards, and an amenity pool deck overlooking the train station with majestic harbour views. The finishes match the design concept, with primarily robust grey and black finishes to the street landscaping, softened with the green planting and the burst of colour provided by Vivid Architect’s bespoke yellow WOODSTOCK bike rack, which is a piece of urban art. Vivid Architects also designed the polished concrete and timber seating cubes installed on the pavement, which can be arranged in several ways.

MEET THE TEAM Project Landscape Architects Planning Partners - Alistair Turrell & Jaco Jordaan Project Architects Vivid Architects - Paolo Viotti, Charles Louw, Ian Bennie, Kean Pearce Landscape Contractor: Interplant Horticulture - 021 447 1369

The courtyards are framed vertically, with the flowing white lines of the balcony walkways, comprising beautiful natural timber decking to floor, seats, and tree planter designs. The planting was carefully chosen with Planning Partners to provide deciduous trees that would keep the space dynamic by changing with the seasons, and express the verticality by engaging the user on the high levels. The exterior pool deck has also been designed with soft architectural curves and finishes, with water, timber, and the green of clever planting to create an intimate space, fully wind-protected, whilst taking maximum advantage of the excellent city views. The forth floor atria spaces and pool deck would be occupied by a wide range of visitors and residents, and so needed to be comfortable ‘people spaces’ constructed over concrete decks. The planting of trees to create a human scale to the sidewalk environment along Albert road was problematic due to a multitude of existing municipal civil services which criss-crossed the sidewalk space. The solution was to plant water pear (Syzygium guineense) trees into extra-large concrete pots, placed within open ground planting zones which were planted with tough plant species for the urban environment. The large pots can be relocated to make way for future repairs, or the installation of new infrastructure should this be required. A fully automated irrigation system was installed to ensure the success of the new landscaping, whilst being mindful of water conservation, and so non-potable water is used for all irrigation purposes. www.prolandscaper.co.za

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PORTFOLIO

SUPPLIERS Electrical Contractors: Solution Station Consulting Engineers – 021 532 5069 Building Façade: Etherington Aluminium – 021 981 9667 Product Bellco LED Lighting (Pool Terrace Area) – 021 440 7100 Province Lighting (Common Walkway Area) – 021 464 4661 Timber decking: Decks4Life CC – 021 762 4752 Large pots: StoneCast – 021 510 3909 Paving: Revelstone (Jura cobbles) – 021 761 9739 Corobrik (Onyx piazza pavers) – 021 888 2300 Planting: Nonke Plants – 021 887 6972 Shadowlands Wholesale Nursery – 021 903 0050 Mature Trees: Prime Trees – 071 581 5751 Irrigation: Cape Irrigation Systems – 021 975 2262 Product: Hunter

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Planting within the forth floor, atria spaces were concentrated in large structured concrete tree planters, which were timber clad to match the timber deck flooring. Celtis sinensis trees were selected for the atria, which receives plenty of natural light. Underplanting of shade-tolerant groundcovers completes the planters. Free-standing timber clad troughs were lined with plastic crates, and planted with a combination of groundcovers and climbers to grow over the integrated trellis frame above. These troughs added further layers of vertical greening, and formed intimate seating nodes within the atria. The pool deck is a key entertainment space which leads off a central lounge and dining space, and is also overlooked by the private gymnasium. Bold planting of Philodendron 'Xanadu' and the tropical-looking Monstera deliciosa are set off against the signature black

brickwork and yellow aluminium vertical fins of the building. The selection of paving materials for the pavement along Albert road was guided by the architecture, where, for example, use of the Jura cobble from Revelstone both externally and within the internal colonnade creates a seamless transition between the two spaces. Detail banding, using Corobrik’s ‘Onyx’ pavers, echoes the rhythm of the architectural columns on the street edge. Vivid Architect’s explains that:

“As with many of our projects, we worked seamlessly with Planning Partners to create livable landscapes which ensure the architecture sits correctly in the urban fabric, and is experienced as intended.”

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PORTFOLIO

ABOUT PLANNING PARTNERS

With an extensive portfolio of completed projects locally and internationally, we aim to provide added value to every project as part of a collaboration. Our track record over 40 years has delivered restored cultural and historical gardens, commercial and institutional Landscape Master Planning, detailed design, and implementation as well as landscape management and inputs into Environmental Planning and management. Our team of 12 comprises five Professional Landscape Architects, Landscape and Architectural Technicians and Horticulturalists.

www.prolandscaper.co.za

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P R O J E C T

T H R E E

ELALENI COASTAL FOREST ESTATE KwaZulu-Natal’s latest estate development on the North Coast – Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate – is premised on an ethos of sustainability and natual living. This is a North Global Group Properties (Pty) Ltd Development, with design by Landscape Architects Uys & White and construction by North Global Group. This estate’s unique focus is on encouraging giving back whatever is taken from nature, with an overriding environmental conscience that seeks the use of sustainable building products.


PORTFOLIO Size: 50ha Coastal Forest Estate. The Estate includes an 18ha seasonal swamp forest that hosts Wild Frangipani (Voacanga thouarsii) as well as the protected Swamp Fig (Ficus trichopoda). Timeline of Development: 4 years Cost: R100 million. Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal

The estate is home to a number of bird species that are unique to the area, including the Broadbill, Pygmy Kingfisher, and Buff Spotted Flufftail, as well as the Swamp Fig, Natal Strangling Fig and Raffia Palm. So maintaining this habitat was seen as paramount and protection of this exquisite heritage needed to take precedence. Every aspect of the estate incorporates the natural elements where possible, encouraging engagement with the untouched environment and giving back whatever is taken from nature. With a strong environmental conscience, the developers aim to become guardians of our globe. The brief clearly outlined that the design and implementation had to minimise the impact on natural surrounds and to achieve a design that integrates with the coastal forest. With this in mind, specific elements needed to be used and taken into account. The client wanted a high profile, emotional entrance to the estate. So, to achieve this, the design needed to direct the vehicles over a contemporary look of old-time causeway with water on both sides and connect strips of water in-between. MEET THE TEAM Property Developers: North Global Group Properties (Pty) Ltd Architects (gatehouse): Bloc Architects - 031 566 3320 Landscape Architects: Uys and White Landscape Architects 032 947 2401 Landscape Contractor: River Projects - 079 368 0141 Building works: North Global Construction - 032 525 4477 Civil works: Westwood Plant Hire - 032 815 1155 Civil Engineers: Monoblock - 032 947 0716

To reduce the vehicular speed, islands of palm clusters have been planted to divide the road into visual spaces. Once speed is reduced, one experiences a gallery of 2m tall bonsai trees exhibited on podiums in reflective water. Planters on the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first level, planted with waving grasses and beach creepers trail down to create a curtain of green for office privacy and sun protection. The next point of the brief was to create roads and driveways that do not conform to the ordinary standard of roads. The road servitudes were already zoned and registered when the team began. The newly designed roads however, do not follow the normal character of a road but rather appear as a mix of clay bricks, concrete and granite to change the traditional aesthetic into a reference of different expression, creating the perception of special spaces and natural pathways. Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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PORTFOLIO

SUPPLIERS Clay paving: Corobrick - 031 560 3111 Concrete Cobbles: Monoblock - 032 947 0716 Granite Cobbles: Union Tiles - 032 946 0384 Soft Landscape: River Projects - 079 368 1041 Planting: Hardscapes Nursery - 079 368 1041 Irrigation: Product: Netafim Timber works: River Projects Supplier: Vimar Timber 031 464 0929 Gabion works: River Projects Signage: Rainbow Signs - 082 451 1860 Circle Feature: Alifab Metal Fabricators - 033 386 9291 Suds: Bera- Grass Fix Eco+ - 083 449 3954 Photography: Chris Allen Photography

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PORTFOLIO Special connections within the estate consist of safari roads, meandering golf cart paths and manicured lawn open spaces. Stormwater control The stormwater along the main road is controlled within swales positioned between the ingress and egress roads. A meandering pedestrian boardwalk was then built over the swales to hide the swales underneath them. The forest The previous boardwalk was reinstated with a 700m raised boardwalk which meanders over the swamp forest floor. In addition, the old dilapidated jetties were also transformed into sturdy circular jetties with seating incorporated at the edge of one of the dams. The circle The beautiful structural element, designed to capture the visitors intrigue, is inspired by the succession of the different tree species in one of a few swamp forests still existing along the North Coast. Similar to human lifecycles, the diverse tree species in the forest also have different lifespans. The treesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lifecycles interact with the neighbouring trees and thus affect each other. In nature and in a new forest, trees in succession from pioneer trees to climax trees take more than 70 years. Therefore, the structure has 3 rings, each interacting differently from horizontal to angled lines supporting the delicate and rather poetic balance found in nature. The trees in the forest resemble living generators, exchanging carbon to oxygen, the most important element for all living creatures. To promote succession, the team has made provision to house a series of solar PV panels to generate the power for the landscape lighting in the area. The rings are made out of aluminium magnesium alloy. The external diameter is 12m, and the internal ring is set at a 10m diameter. These rings are at 15 and 40-degree angles respectively, with the inner circle facing North to achieve maximum solar exposure into the internal PV panels. The rings will be planted with trailing species, a combination of pioneer and climax creepers which will green the circles and celebrate the forest. The bottom hedge will be planted with majority being Spekboom. Spekboom is significant as it delivers per volume the highest carbon oxygen exchange in nature. www.prolandscaper.co.za

ABOUT UYS & WHITE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

Uys & White has been fortunate to be exposed to prestigious national and international projects. Our interest lies in landscape urban planning projects. Lucas Uys was previously appointed (for 3 years) as the president of the UAE's internal landscape architect and exposed to more than 3000 projects varying from desert projects to luxury palace developments and Head-of-State government buildings. We were involved in Egypt, in a resort hotel development on the Red Sea which consists of a lagoon, a marina, Arabian villages, entertainment nodes, conference centre, and a Mediterranean city of courtyards. We were also involved in the Intercontinental Hotel and village of 100 units on the cliffs in Dakar, Senegal. Further projects in Africa include hotels in Addis Ababa, University Campuses in Ghana and Kenya as well as boutique hotels in Mauritius. With over 40 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience, Uys & White Landscape Architects is mostly involved in luxury residential, boutique and mega residential estates.

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P R O J E C T

F O U R

SIMBITHI ECO-ESTATE Simbithi Eco-Estate is a 430-hectare residential gated community situated on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. In its 15 years of existence, Simbithi has become a unique, eco-friendly residential community that co-exists harmoniously with wildlife and nature. A world-class golf course, thriving community centres and a family-oriented restaurant make Simbithi the estate of choice for families in KwaZulu-Natal. This was initially an eLAN Property Group estate, which was then taken over by WBHO. The environmental services and Landscape design were conducted by Indiflora cc with implementation by Servest Landscaping & Turf. Because of their role on this site, at the SALI Awards of Excellence 2019, Servest Landscaping and Turf walked away with the Trophy Award for Best Environmental Landscape Work.


PORTFOLIO Location: Simbithi Eco-Estate, Ballitoville, KZN Timeline of development: 5 years Maintenance: ongoing Size: 430 ha Softscaping: R10 million

The KwaDukuza Municipality, under which Simbithi Eco-Estate falls, is one of the fastest growing municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2005, the estate was established on Beverley Farm, owned at the time by Manny and Rosemary Ladlau. This estate was formerly a sugar cane and timber farm. Simbithi Eco-Estate is in close proximity to the King Shaka International Airport, the Ballito Junction Regional Mall and several prestigious schools. It is a diverse community ranging in age, profession and interests including wine, golf and healthy living. Being an Eco-estate, the community is conscious of reducing their carbon footprint: this is evidenced in the vehicles they drive and the appliances they use. It also needed to be equally echoed in the built environment. The CEO of eLAN Property Developers, Mark Taylor, wanted to create an upmarket residential estate with open space where residents connect with nature. The development team devised the eco-estate concept where private gardens form part of the open space system. Planning and design of this concept commenced between 2000 and 2004. The environment authorisation and DFA approval was obtained in August of 2005 before construction commenced. The Golf course, and various community centres were constructed afterwards. The brief The clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brief was, quite simply, to eradicate all of the existing sugarcane and exotic vegetation and restore it to natural forests and grasslands. The forest areas consisted of natural swamp forest areas and coastal forest areas, this areas was expanded as part of the brief. The eradication of alien vegetation was a big challenge since the beginning of the contract. Because of this, a plant nursery was developed by Servest Landscaping & Turf within the estate in an attempt to grow endemic plants. These could be used on special projects that included the alternative planting and filling of spaces in the landscape, after alien invaders have been removed. Johan Bodenstein, who represents Indiflora cc Environment Services was appointed at the beginning of the development as the environmental consultant and landscape designer. Johan explains that the 53Ha grassland was established by sowing seed of 6 grass species. The species composition and diversity in the grasslands is, as expected, still low at 30%, in comparison with natural KZN North Coast Grassland. Establishing grassland from scratch is a lifetime task that requires continuous introduction of grass and broad-leaf herbaceous plant species. This process is expected to continue until 2050. Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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The client was clear in that they wanted to plant a selection of species that would support an above carrying capacity number of wildlife in comparison to natural veld, for residents to encounter wildlife more closely, frequently. Palatable grass species was selected to ensure high production of life stock without planting pastures. One of the grasses Panicum deustum, aptly colloquially known as Broad-leaf Panicum, a 2m tall, broadleaf grass, became invasive. It is a natural invader in sugar cane fields. This plant is tenacious and difficult to eradicate. It produces seed, disseminated by birds across the emerging grassland, exacerbating the infestation of this menace. In the absence of bulk grazers, to keep the grasses under control whilst the grasslands were maturing, other methods had to be implemented to replicate consumption of the herbage. The grasslands were cut by brush cutter and tractor drawn slashers. The mowed grass was carted off-site for disposal. Rehabilitation of the sugar cane fields to grassland commenced concurrently with civil infrastructure installation. Gum plantations were felled, and coastal forest or swamp forest trees were planted there to expand the areas of natural forest. The forest expansion projects now resemble natural, coastal and swamp forests. The selection of appropriate species was based on studies of local areas with naturally protected habitat within a 50km radius. A plant matrix was drawn up by combining the field observations with literature study on what the natural vegetative cover for the area was. Local nurseries were provided the list and stock was

ordered from them that had stock in hand. Wildlife was introduced, once the veld was adequately established. The main obstacle was the sandy nature and the poor quality of the soil, which is especially erodible after nearly 100 years of sugar cane production. Implementing temporary erosion control measures such as sandbag berms, soil curtains and cut-off trenches prevented erosion. Composting the soil with organic compost before seeding and planting improved soil quality. Refinement of the original vegetative cover plan was needed as certain areas progressed to pioneer forest faster than anticipated. Grassland enhancing is ongoing with mowing and inter-planting with more grass species and herbaceous plants. Forest understory planting is also ongoing. Impacts by neighbouring developments with a lesser environmental vision for the use of their land, poses a threat to the natural habitats in Simbithi Eco-Estate. Countermeasures therefore are implemented to safeguard the swamp forest which is most vulnerable. Johan Bodenstein of Indiflora cc Environment Services was responsible for the initial designs of traffic circles, gatehouses, community centre gardens and the rehabilitation planning. His skill set as a horticulturist, nature conservationist and environment management professional was ideal for the combination of environment and landscape challenges. Expert knowledge of the local flora and ecosystems was a bonus in establishing the natural environment that is Simbithi Eco-Estate.

Johan generated a plant list that was selectively chosen to be incorporated in the landscape designs and vision of the Estate which Servest Landscaping & Turf saw through to implementation. Servest Landscaping & Turf were involved in the installation of the project 19 years ago and are currently maintaining the site, enforcing the same methodologies and environmental practices to maintain the estate to a high level. The team experienced challenges in sourcing of the indigenous plant material since the plants were not all available from the local nursery suppliers. The team used an indigenous Simbithi grass mix to revive the grasslands after the Sugarcane was eradicated. The indigenous Pannicum deustum varieties overgrown the various Seteria and associated grass seed species. There was a program that was set in place to eradicate the Pannicum deustum to allow an even growth distribution of different grass varieties on the estate. The dedicated maintenance of this site over the years, as well as the close relationship with the client, have ensured a thriving estate. The efforts in maintaining and rehabilitating the site, previously a sugar cane field, are exemplary. This project took a co-ordinated approach from the team and an in-depth understanding of the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natual cycles. Indiflora cc, together with Servest, have achieved something truly spectacular.

SUPPLIERS Paving: Corobrick - 031 560 3111 Suds : Bera- Grass Fix Eco paver system 083 449 3954 MEET THE TEAM Landscape Designer: Indiflora cc Environmental Services Landscape Contractor: Servest Landscaping & Turf Developer: eLAN Property Group

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Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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This pool has been nominated as the Public Natural Pool of the Year by the International Organization of Bathing Waters (IOB)

WHY I Where did your love for horticulture start? I think I can pin-point this to a walk in Newlands forest. I must have been about seven years old. I asked my mom what trees ate. She responded with a laugh and said, “they eat sunlight and dirt and drink water.” Amusing nowadays but inconceivable at the time! Soon after, I started collecting cacti and succulents and marveled at their ability to root so easily. I would collect cuttings from neighbours and tried my hardest to root them regardless of its feasibility. I moved on to glass jar terrariums, and would visit to Starke Ayres to look for plant scraps to try out. From there I moved on to veggies and chillies and ended up in aquatic and wetland horticulture. Who has influenced your career? My influences are endless. I suppose the biggest players would be my grandfather, who has a magical old English garden in Newlands, Marion who used to run Starke Ayres, the local pet shop in Kenilworth where my friends and I would Aquascape aquariums for free over the weekends and Dr. Daniels, our propagation lecturer at CPUT Bellville. Thank you to all of you. What direction do you see horticulture moving in the next three years? I think it is clear that gardening as we know it in South Africa is shifting very quickly: The well-manicured lawns of yesteryear are quickly becoming raised veggie gardens and waterwise rockeries. I think that the indoor www.prolandscaper.co.za

LOVEHORTICULTURE

plant propagation nurseries are going to become most lucrative as people start inviting nature back into their homes. Small space, intensive indoor gardens are going to become the “in” thing and the industry better gear up to meet demands! Oh, and Cannabis.. What projects have you been involved in and who you most like to collaborate with? My most notable project would be the Hydro Spa at Stellenbosch. This was a multifaceted project involving a great deal of wetland planting as well as a planted seep wall and black water treatment system. Additionally, we were involved in the terrestrial planting along the pool so that we could create a seamless aquatic ecosystem that moves from aquatic to wetland to riparian and zones beyond. The seep walls are quickly becoming mossy and are starting to look as if they were carved out of the Earth itself. Currently we are working on securing a project in Mauritius that will prove to be a spectacular one. We plant to recreate a natural Mauritian stream that will flow through the estate and into a giant EcoPool. This is our greatest interest: Recreating nature as far as possible.

ALEX WEGNER

drought has affected our supply as wholesalers are extremely reluctant to grow our species as they are thirsty, delicate or not sell-able at normal nurseries – we deal in niche species and this has proved a real headache at times. We have thus resorted to starting our own nursery growing the species that are not readily available. This nursery is still quite young, but a great milestone in aquatic horticulture for EcoPools. Your favourite South African landscaped area? In Cape Town, my hometown, I love spending time in Arderne Gardens. The grounds are usually well kept and the specimens in the gardens are unbelievably beautiful. Next time I am in Durban I want to visit the Japanese Gardens. I often look for inspiration online and images of the gardens keep popping up. The Japanese have an amazing instinct for blending water, rock and plant and I strive to achieve this sense of purpose in my own indigenous designs.

Somebody I have always admired is Ernst van Jaarsveld. His specialty might be the polar opposite of what I do today, but if I had the opportunity, I would jump on it! Obstacles and achievements faced throughout your career? The biggest obstacle to building EcoPools is the supply of wetland and aquatic plants. The Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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landscape architecture supports life...

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SPOTLIGHT ON: BALL STRAATHOF

This month we highlight- in every colour-the Ball Straathof brand and their offerings to our community. From new breeds to their exciting brands, we take a look at the company synonymous with landscaping!

Ball Straathof Trial House November 2018

Straathof’s Seeds was founded in 1952 by Cornelius Augustinus Straathof, better known as Kees. It is a family business in its second and third generation, headed by Kees’ daughter, Marlaen Straathof, and her son Sean Goldfain. In 2001 Ball Horticultural Company of the U.S.A and Straathof’s joined forces, to ensure even better genetics, quality, and service to the South African industry. This gives Ball Straathof the opportunity to draw knowledge and experience from a large pool of expertise from some of the best in the industry. Ball Straathof is one of the largest specialty seed and young plant companies in South Africa, serving the ornamental garden and cutflower market. With offices in Johannesburg, Ball Straathof distributes nationally and internationally and has vast experience in the Southern African market. Their retail brand, Kirchhoffs, has been the gardener’s partner in South Africa for more than 100 years. Established in 1896, the eye catching seed packets are still a favourite, available in garden centres and stores nationwide. There is a large range of flower, vegetable, herb and lawn seeds available to the home gardener. Are there any new and exciting breeds we need to know about? The most exciting introduction to the industry this year is Impatiens Beacon. Impatiens walleriana were badly effected by downy mildew over 10 years ago. Known as the best bedding plants to provide colour in the shade, their lifespan was drastically reduced with plants getting sick and dying. We are now tremendously excited to introduce a new variety with high resistance to impatiens downy mildew. www.prolandscaper.co.za

Ball Straathof trials, what can we expect this year for traders? Tell us about this event? The Ball Straathof trials offer an excellent opportunity to see the new products being introduced to the industry. Not only can people get excited about new colours, habits, and unique varieties – but they can also view how they perform in South African conditions. This year includes a lot of colour as usual, but we also hope to show case some of our new indoor varieties, good landscape items, and the ever popular succulents. The trials are also important in explaining the significance of a product. For example there are some exciting new interspecific pelargoniums we’ll be showcasing. Interspecifics have excellent weather tolerance, and some of these have been bred for hotter conditions. They show off massive blooms, and shatter less in the rain. At our trials you can look at the difference between a zonal, a pelatatum and an interspecific

for yourself. This is just one example. We’ll have loads on show! What products do you have on offer to the landscaping industry and what are some of your best sellers? Ball Straathof is probably best known for our “colour” offering as that’s how we started. But as landscapes and trends change, so does our product line-up. We offer a wide range of seed, unrooted cuttings, young plants and liners to the trade. This includes annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, pot plants and indoor products. We pride ourselves on working with the best suppliers and sourcing the best genetics to ensure quality plants are available in the South African market. Best sellers would always include things like petunias, osteospermum, pelargoniums, ornamental grasses, gaura etc. Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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Tell us a little about your vegetable and herb range? With a growing market for sustainability we have noticed our designers and indeed clients making way for herb gardens and urban farming nodes, to address this exciting movement. Have you noticed this range taking off? Yes, most definitely. Ball Straathof has two retail brands, namely Kirchhoffs and RAW. RAW is the newest launch and includes your weird and wonderful veggies and herbs. People just get so excited and we’ve definitely noticed an increase in our “food garden” sales. The traditional varieties still very much have their place, but the increasing assortment with various flavours, colours and textures is proving very popular. It’s also exciting to see all the new breeding that we refer to as the “kitchen mini’s” or “patio veg”. These varieties have smaller, more controlled habits, which means even people without gardens can now grow some veggies (on their balconies or in their kitchens). Often the plants also produce quite a bit of small fruit – meaning less wastage and constant harvests. It’s amazing how plant breeders have kept up with people’s growing needs but shrinking spaces.

Are there any plans for the up-coming 2020 and where do you see the brand moving in the next couple of years?

their cities and landscapes with colour, you can see the impact it makes and how it contributes to the overall “vibe” and way of life.

We always have plans! Ball Straathof is focusing on maintaining our core and ensuring operational excellence, while still looking at new product classes and how best to meet our growers ever increasing needs.

As we are celebrating woman’s month, are there any strong figures within the Ball Straathof community you wish to highlight in this respect?

When we think of Ball Straathof, we think of colour and a lively landscape, what do you think has earned you this reputation? In essence this is how we started. Kirchhoffs has always been strong in flowers, and Ball Straathof professional division started off with colourful bedding. We were the first company to bring vegetative annuals into the country which expanded the colour palette and types of products we could offer. We love the structural plants, the grasses and the overall green trend and are certainly ensuring we offer a full range, but we will always believe colour is important. As I always say – “because life should be colourful!” If you look at how Europe and the USA beautify

Well first and foremost there is our fearless leader, Marlaen Straathof herself. She was very suddenly brought into the industry when her father passed away and she took over the business. Marlaen took some revolutionary steps that not only grew the business but the industry as a whole. Marlaen helped introduce “plugs” or young plants into the South African market. She was also one of the first to expand into licensed vegetative annuals, introducing even more variety into South African gardens. I’d like to think that her daughter has inherited some of that strength and will make her mother proud! She is working hard to ensure the company grows and succeeds, and passionately trying to encourage gardening in South Africa.

Pelargonium Marcada Red

The Ball Strathof team

New Impatiens Beacon 60

Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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WATER-WISE PLANTS SECRETS TO SUCCESS

Cherise Viljoen

Senior Horticulturist at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Knowing plant's dry climate survival tactics can really assist you in selecting a resilient plant palette to use in your designs and gardens. Being able to recognise the waterwise characteristics of plants is also really useful if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an extensive or in-depth knowledge of individual species. The most important fact about all plants that are referred to as waterwise is this: Every single waterwise plant is only waterwise once it is established! In my opinion, a plant is fully established and completely resilient only after one year's growth, once it has survived a cycle of all the seasons. However it is possible that a plant will survive, if not thrive after a single season depending on how quickly it is able to settle into its new environment and extend its root system. Pioneer species have such an ability, look within Asteraceae (daisy), Fabaceae (pea-family), Poaceae (grasses) and other plant families known to have plants that can establish themselves quickly in disturbed areas and after fire, or local annuals which are able to complete their entire lifecycle within a single season (germination-growth-flowering-seed set), surviving unfavourable climatic periods as seeds. Waterwise plantings that are required to establish themselves in less than a year's time are best planted in early autumn in the winter rainfall areas and early spring in the summer rainfall areas, particularly if no irrigation is being provided.

Succulent leaf, with red tipped edge for sun protection: Aloe plicatilis: Photographer: Adam Harrower

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When planting out of sync with the natural rainfall then irrigation will be necessary. It can be temporary, put in place for only that essential first year of establishment, and is highly recommended if the local rainfall is erratic and unreliable. Soil preparation tactics that are geared to support quicker establishment are also a vital factor to success.

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Small, reduced leaves with rolled leaf margins: Erica baueri: Photographer: Photographer: Adam Harrower

Waterwise Plants: Plants that are doing all they can to stay as cool as possible and to save water within themselves will have one or more of the following characteristics:

• •

Grey foliage reflects the sun’s rays, keeping the plant cooler which in turn reduces water loss. Examples are Artemisia, Lavender

Leaves with lighter undersides, when ‘stressed’, plants turn the lighter side upwards to reflect the sun away. Examples are Buddleja, Tarchonanthus, Wild olive.

Red leaf tips, or normally green leaves appearing redder, some plants are able to use their naturally red pigments to protect their leaves and stems from 'sunburn' when exposed to high light intensities. Examples are some Cotyledon, Kalanchoe sexangularis Hairy leaves and stems, hairs slow down air movement past the stomata (breathing holes of the plant, usually found on the undersides of leaves) which reduces water lost via transpiration. Examples are Barleria, Helichrysum, Lamb’s ears. Waxy leaves prevent moisture loss by reflecting the sunlight and by a thicker cuticle which reduces evaporation loss through the stomata. Examples are Indian hawthorn, Morella, Portulacaria. Thick fleshy leaves common to most succulents and some shrubs, which store water and often have sunken stomata. Examples are Aloes, Echeveria, Thorncroftia.

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Hairy, grey Leaf: Helichrysum petiolare: Photographer: Alice Notten

Upright leaves that present the smallest possible surface area to the heat of the sun's rays. Examples are Chasmanthe, Grasses, Sansevieria. Needle-like leaves, Examples: Eriocephalus, Westringia, and leaves with the edges rolled in, such as Erica or Rosemary. Few leaves, Examples: Euphorbia, Nylandtia, Polygala virgata or small reduced leaves, Examples: Coleonema, Thyme, minimise the surface area, fewer stomata, for a plant's water to be lost through evaporation.

Some plants reduce water loss by shedding their leaves (semi-deciduous) during unfavourable drought conditions. Examples are Acacia, Bauhinia.

Leaves of some plants close when they are water stressed. This reduces the amount of leaf exposed to sunlight and reduces water loss. Examples are Acacias, Cistus.

Plants with a strong internal skeleton support their leaves and prevent wilting during dry spells. Examples are Aristea, Knowltonia, Phoenix reclinata.

Tough, hard, leathery or scratchy leaves have a strong internal structure, often in combination with rough hairs, Examples: Anisodontea, Cistus or a waxy cuticle, Examples: Carissa, Diospyros.

Volatile oils in the stomata form an extra protection against water loss. Examples are Buchu, Herbs, Pelargonium, Salvia.

Succulent roots which assist in storing water. Examples are Asparagus, Clivia, Strelitzia.

Bulbs, winter growing that go dormant during the unfavourable hot summer months. Examples are March Lily, Watsonia.

Plants with a growth habit and/or leaf arrangement that direct any rainfall, dew, irrigation to the soil at their roots.Examples are Dierama, Chlorophytum, Restios.

The most successful waterwise plants, those that are truly the most resilient, employ more than one of these water saving and cooling tactics. Combinations of grey, hairy, succulent, waxy, firm-structured, aromatic, upright, narrow, small leaves or no leaves at all, semi-deciduous, and underground storage. Mediterranean and local Western Cape plants have been surviving droughts since the beginning of time, and they've experienced dry heat every summer. It is not a new concept to them so they are already adapted and have all you need to landscape and garden successfully and resiliently.

Grey leaf, firm structure, hairy, volatile oils: Salvia africana-lutea: Photographer: Alice Notten Pro Landscaper Africa | August 2019

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Pro Landscaper Africa August 2019  

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