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Concept to Delivery


May 2019

Residential Issue



AUTOMOWERÂŽ 550 & 520 The Husqvarna Automower 500 Series is a range of robotic mowers specifically developed for the needs of commercial customers. The mowers allow grassed areas to be maintained efficiently and to a consistently high standard whilst enabling the redeployment of resources onto more labour intensive tasks. The range produces no direct emissions and are near silent making them ideal for night time operation or in noise sensitive areas. They are also extremely cost effective to operate.


Concept to Delivery


May 2019

Residential Issue


Welcome to our May edition of Pro Landscaper Africa. architectural to horticultural applicants and everyone in-between, there will be exciting prizes up for grabs and the opportunity to have your work highlighted in an up-coming edition. We are also gearing up to attend the SALI Awards of Excellence next month, which we are certain is going to be one for the books, so watch this space!


elcome to the May Edition of Pro Landscaper Africa. May is our Residential Issue, with a strong focus on the aesthetic spaces that make up beautiful residences and estates. As usual there is so much to read in this issue, and, with the emphasis on specific themes this year, we are hoping to capture relevant features, portfolios, journals and softscaping segments that can be easily referenced and are designed to appeal to the needs of our growing readership. We are excited to announce that we will be launching our Faces of the Future Campaign in line with Youth Day on the 17th June and will be increasing the age limit to 35 years of age, to allow for a broad range of applicants from all over Southern Africa this year. From

We begin our May issue with a feature by Martin Doller, SAOTA’s preferred Lighting Designer, who discusses Lighting for Residential Spaces. This month we feature WilstonStone in our Company Profile section. Here we find out more about the products they have on offer to the trade, new developments and their plans for the future. We admire two beautiful feature walls by Cape based artist, Michael Chandler and catch up with Veld Architect’s in a segment titled “Universal Laws of Nature” where we explore trends in architecture for residential spaces. It’s all about the Boma with a piece by The Friendly Plant’s, Craig De Necker and then we visit an interesting feature titled “The Changing Face of Beauty” by renowned garden designer, Carrie Latimer.

If, like me, you enjoy perusing the portfolio section, we have five beautiful projects in this issue, with emphasis on residences. Servest’s National Technical Manager gives us his top pieces of equipment for maintaining estates and Southern Turf Management offers advice on Landscaping Maintenance in residential spaces. We have a wonderful piece on fertile soils by Jenny Slabber, and Trees SA’s SuzanneFrancoise advises us on mature trees for residential spaces. We round up our edition with a segment by Fridhem Farm’s Marc Dawson, who provides his picks for planting mixes, trends and ideas on planting palettes for residences. Enjoy the read!


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Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


Johannesburg address: Gardens And Roses Building 1, Kramerville Corner, 16 Desmond Street, Kramerville Sandton. 010 597 3355

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Meet the Contributors


News Industry news from around South Africa


Company Profile WilsonStone is profiled in our May issue


Residential Landscape Lighting Martin Doller, Director of MADEStudio, on key considerations for lighting residential spaces


The Magic in Mosaic Michael Chandler, Artist and Owner of Chandler House, shares some of his well-known projects with us


Universal Laws of Nature We catch up with Veld Architects, to discuss trends, products and architectural considerations for residences


Landscape Architects Journal The Village: Langebaan Country Estate by TERRA+ Landscape Architects in Association with David Gibbs Landscape Architect


All About the Boma Craig De Necker, Director of The Friendly Plant, on Boma design to suit any residential project


The Changing Face of Beauty Carrie Latimer on the shift incontemporary garden design


Nature Pervades by SAOTA Architects and cndv landscape architects






Defying Gravity by Kobus Meiring Landscape Architecture and Heimo Schulzer Gardens


Beyond the Stone Wall by SAOTA Architects, Franchesca Watson and Heimo Schulzer Gardens


Babylonstoren Fynbos Cottages by DDS Projects, Ernst van Jaarsveld and Karen Roos


Keurbooms Cottage by SRLC Architects, Franchesca Watson and Bidvest Top Turf


Let’s Hear it From the Pro Henry Duncan, National Technical Manager at Servest Landscaping & Turf, with his recommendations on equipment for Residential Turf and Grounds Maintenance


Landscape Maintenance on Estates Emile Bolton, Project Manager at Southern Turf Management with tips for landscaping maintenance on estates


Trees for Residential Landscapes by Suzanne-Francoise Rossouw-Moss of Trees South Africa


Fertile Soils for the New Season Expert advice by Jenny Slabber, Talborne Organics Co-owner, on autumn and winter conditioning for Residential and Corporate Estates


Softscaping for Residential Spaces Fridhem Farm’s Marc Dawson shares his knowledge on planting palettes for residences, highlighting some of his best mixes and trends in residential softscaping

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



MEET THE CONTIBUTORS FRANCHESCA WATSON Franchesca is known for her smooth and sophisticated design, her mantra being to create timeless and sustainable gardens that suit the site, architecture and dreams of her client. The gardens have a serenity and grace, and showcase her knowledge of plants. Franchesca has undertaken commissions all over South Africa and has designed projects overseas, lately in the UK, Florence and Australia. Franchesca is based in Cape Town.

ANKIA BORMANS AND DAVID GIBBS Although David Gibbs and TERRA+ Landscape Architects work independently, they have collaborated on various projects increasing over the last 2 years. This has proved to be a highly efficient and productive working model, as the debate inspired around the design process is fueled by each constantly challenging the thought paradigms of the other. This often results in a rich design outcome, in which interesting and often innovative solutions are evolved. Though they maintain their independence, the collaborative working relationship between Terra+ and David Gibbs has proved beneficial not only for the projects on which they have worked together, but also on those undertaken in their separate capacities, in which lessons learned are applied. This cooperative and collegial partnership is both valued and nurtured.

SILVIO RECH + LESLEY CARSTENS Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens have spent the last 25 years running a niche architecture practice, now based in Johannesburg. Previously, they lived and worked on site, crafting each project to fit the context and landscape in which the projects were situated. Silv and Les now work on a range of projects throughout Africa which include safari lodges, high end residential, tropical island getaways, luxury hotels, urban renewal projects and more recently, boutique office spaces. Projects like Keurbooms Cottage and House Pengilly (Cape Town) have allowed SRLC to push local architectural boundaries and venture into more sculptural-like structural typologies


Veld Architects is an award winning, professional architectural practice based in Johannesburg, South Africa. This female based practice consists of two passionate Architects, Gillian Holl and Charne Nieuwoudt who both completed studies at University of Pretoria. They are passionate about empowering students of tomorrow and part time internships are offered to students from surrounding Universities. Thier work shows a dedication to the detailing and execution of exclusive, contemporary & sustainable buildings in a South African context.

HENRY DUNCAN Henry Duncan started at Servest in 2012 as a logistics and workshop manager. This is where he gained a lot of insight and knowledge into the complexities of landscaping and turf ending the perception of it being glorified gardening. Henry was recently appointed as National Technical Manager at Servest.

MICHAEL CHANDLER Michael Chandler was born in 1985 in East London and moved to the Cape in 2000. After finishing high school Michael completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at UCT and graduated with an Honours in Art History. His first position after his studies was as a junior cataloguer at the fine and decorative auction house Stephan Welz & Co. It was working here, and later with Cape Furniture expert Deon Viljoen, that Michael developed his love for the Cape and its history of objects and design. In 2010 Michael opened his creative studio and homeware shop Chandler House. Michael has collaborated with Mr Price, exhibited work at the SA National Gallery, attended artist residencies and curated shows by local artists. Working on the tiled wall at Bosjes has been a dream come true for him. In many ways, he feels that everything he has been doing since matriculating has been in preparation for this project.

CARRIE LATIMER Carrie Latimer has been designing luxury residential and hotel gardens for the past 13 years. Based in Cape Town, her market is largely in the Constantia Valley and Atlantic Seaboard but does work as far afield as the UK and Australia. Practicing independently, Carrie takes a sustainable and regenerative approach in delivering first class aesthetics.

MARTIN DOLLER Martin Doller, the owner and creative director at MADEstudio, began 12 years ago creating Bespoke feature lighting for the high end residential and hotel industry. More recently, the studio also specialises in architectural lighting design. Martin’s love for architecture along with his passion for light, drives him to think differently about light as a medium and it's application in Product Design and Architecture.

SEAN PRIVETT Sean Privett has been working with the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve since 1997 as resident botanist, unlocking the secrets of the fynbos in one of the longest running botanical surveys. Sean currently heads up the Grootbos Foundation’s Conservation and Research team. Through Fynbos Ecoscapes, Sean conducts botanical surveys and specialises in landscape rehabilitation.

MARC DAWSON I started out my Horticultural career by enrolling to Cape Technikon. From there I went to work in a Retail outlet. In 1998 My brother and I started a partnership and built Alan Dawson Gardens into a formidable business. In 2011 I left the business and started Fridhem Farm Nursery at the beginning of 2012. My nursery grows a selection of Indigenous and Exotic garden ready plants for the trade.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



NEWS Lawn Care at its Best We all strive for a perfect lawn - weed, insect and disease free. Lawn Protector is a unique product with multiple active ingredients (bifenthrin, bupirimate and propiconazole) that allows you to treat your lawn for both insects and fungi simultaneously. In lawn maintenance, differentiating between insect and fungi damage is tricky, but with Lawn Protector trial and error is eliminated. Lawn Protector is an all in one solution 40 ml to 10 liters water per 10m2.

Diagnose the pests in the following pictures:

African mole cricket (Gryllotalpa Africana)

Brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani)

Dollar spot (Sclerotina homoecarpa)

Lawn caterpillar (Spodoptera cilium)

For those unwanted pesky broadleaf weeds that can quickly take over a beautiful lawn, use Makhro’s Super Lawnweeder. This is a multiple active, broad spectrum, selective broadleaf weed killer that will take care of this. Super Lawnweeder contains three active ingredients (dicamba, 2,4D and MCPA) that will help you control the majority, if not all the broadleaf weeds on your lawn. Just when you think that you have won the battle, remember to get rid of those weed seeds waiting patiently to germinate. There is a unique product called Lawntyl that will control these seeds and winter grass simultaneously. Lawntyl, with its duel actives will control broadleaf weeds, winter grass and serve as a pre-emergent to your lawn seed bank. It is a pre- and post-emergent herbicide with ingredients (terbuthylazine and simazine). Control those unwanted weeds before they even emerge from the soil and this can only be used on Kikuyu, buffalo and quick grass.

It must be washed into the soil the following day to manage the seed control. If not washed into the soil within 24 hours, you would only get to control the weeds that are already growing. It is also very important to use the right feeding to promote growth. A good feeding to use would be 1 for All 13.3.8 with macro and micro trace elements with negligible chlorine

levels and also water soluble for quick results with very little water. By following these recommendations, you can attain the perfect green lawn for any client! Feel free to contact the Cape Town head office or visit | 021 981 4011

RootMaker Technology: We Start Strong!

In conversation with Bruce Stewart from Prime Trees, he believes RootMaker Technology is the biggest development in propagation over the last 30 years.

The process is simple, but clever. Essentially the tap root is air-pruned at the base of the container, promoting secondary roots. The secondary roots then gets air-pruned when they hit the sides of the container, and in turn propagate tertiary roots. The result is a dense fibrous, non-circling root system to equip plants for better transplanting success, and that's exactly what you can see in the images. At Prime Trees all trees start out in RootMaker pots. We experience almost no transplant shock as we move the young trees into larger containers. The trees are equipped with a

prolific root system and absorb all the available moisture and nutrients. Growers will find that their plants root-out faster, and their time to market reduced by as much as 25%. But to top this, the containers are reusable (five times), and reduce plastic wastage.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



PPC launches brick-making workshops in Gauteng townships PPC is running brick-making workshops in various townships across Gauteng with the aim of improving the skills of local brick-makers, enabling them to not only understand the science of accurate mixing of all the necessary materials to produce quality bricks, but also to run their brick-making business efficiently and profitably. Thando Bricks and Hardware workers mixing SureCem and Crusher Sand at PPC brickmaking workshop. Workshops are being run from Katlehong in Ekurhuleni and Soweto in Johannesburg to Mamelodi in Pretoria, where there is a high concentration of brick-makers.

“To live up to our brand ethos of ‘Strength beyond’, we aim to go beyond business as usual. That means not just selling product but also providing our customers with practical help that will improve their businesses,” says Njombo Lekula, MD of PPC South Africa. “The key purpose of these workshops is to impart knowledge and expertise to these business people and to ensure that they get the best value out of our product and, in turn they can produce the best 100% Msanzi quality bricks and blocks for their customers.

The workshops are led by PPC technical specialists who pass on the technical know-how to brick-makers, followed by the PPC sales team who then take over to offer individual brickmakers support in growing and managing their businesses effectively with ongoing mentoring to complement the technical expertise transferred at the workshop.

“It’s all about strengthening the township economy and ensuring that we can serve the local community better. Better quality bricks, better houses and, ultimately, a more stable community.”

Van Dyck rolls out new rubber flooring products After more than two years of developing an innovative range of rubber flooring and paving products made from recycled truck tyres, Van Dyck Floors is ramping up production at its Durban plant for both the local and export markets. Dr Mehran Zarrebini, CEO of Van Dyck Floors, explained that rubber flooring – which includes rubber tiles, pavers and interlocking mats – had up until recently only been available overseas. Van Dyck Floors brought in a limited range of moulds and sampling machinery more than two years ago to create prototypes and investigated a number of products for residential, commercial and industrial use. The resulting products, which included standard tiles and pavers as well as innovative products such as a flexi-grids for embankment rehabilitation was well received. At the end of 2018, Van Dyck Floors invested in and commissioned more sophisticated equipment to more than double production capacity and extend its product portfolio in preparation for the roll of out of this new flooring application during the first half of 2019. “Van Dyck Floors is striving to be the leading producer of innovative recycled rubber products in South Africa. We are passionate about protecting our planet and ensuring sustainable living solutions by upcycling waste into innovative products. Our paving and flooring products are designed to be practical, safe, 10

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

stylish and durable whilst providing the quality that is associated with the Van Dyck brand,” he says. Although new to South Africa, Zarrebini points out that this type of flooring has been tried and tested in Europe, Canada and America over the past two decades. “While products manufactured from waste tyres offer many advantages and features, a major benefit is their contribution to waste and landfill reduction. Because waste tyres degrade slowly in landfills, they have a long-term negative impact on the environment,” he notes. Van Dyck’s rubber flooring is manufactured using a vulcanizing process that results in an extremely tough and durable product. During the development phase, he says that the formulation of these products was perfected. They are now manufactured in much the same way as laminate or vinyl flooring using two layers. The under layer comprises larger rubber crumb that provides for comfort underfoot and good drainage while the upper layer is made from much finer rubber crumb to create an attractive strong wear layer that is easy to maintain. “From the outset, we quickly realised that this was a far safer alternative to concrete or brick paving, cement floors and decking for patios, roof gardens, roof terraces, balconies as well as play grounds and the surrounds of pools and Jacuzzi’s. It conforms to international safety standards for both wet and dry pedestrian walkways and pathways. Rubber flooring prevents falls from occurring in the first place and, in the event

of a fall, also cushions and reduces the impact, preventing serious injuries,” he explains. Because rubber flooring products do not crack under force, they can be bent and handled without breaking, making them quicker, easier and cheaper to transport and install. They are also flexible enough for use on uneven surfaces without the risk of breaking. As these products are made from rubber, they do not absorb oil or contaminants. Any spills can be easily wiped up or hosed down, leaving no staining. Rubber paving also reduces dust emissions and noise. These products will be manufactured by Van Dyck Floors and distributed directly by the company as well through associate company, Masterfibre.

Western Cape’s Trusted Turnkey Landscape Contractors Hard landscaping | Soft landscaping | Earth shaping Irrigation | Ponds | Garden Maintenance Chris Hepburn Brown Landscaping T 028 312 1997 | C 082 897 0538 |


Denron is a Family owned business with a hands-on approach to plant hire, ready mix concrete, quarries, and mobile crushing & screening. sales office: 044 533 1030 | reception: 044 533 0884 |



Custom Bench for The Ochre Office at 92 Rivonia Road

WilsonStone is a fourth-generation family owned business which has been a force in the industry for over 94 years. William Edwards, Group CEO, took over the reins from his father, John, fourteen years ago, and has done wonders to move the company forward as a leading player in the cement and hard landscaping industry in South Africa.

What offerings does WilsonStone have for the landscape architect/ architect? WilsonStone’s product range is incredibly vast, and encompasses a huge variety of products. Exquisite paving slabs, contemporary street furniture, as well as a full range of hard landscaping products such as pots, planters, bins and bollards, make up just some of our range. WilsonStone also produces an architectural range of products such as cladding, window surrounds, balustrading, coping, columns and fireplace surrounds, to name but a few. What are your products traditionally made from and can you manufacture with product that is not just stone? Often misinterpreted due to the name, WilsonStone makes not only Reconstituted Sandstone and GRC (Glass Reinforced Cement) products, but steel, cast iron and wood products as well. We also have a vast range of Precast Concrete products. Within our furniture range, we have recently started using Rhino-wood, 12

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

which is incredibly hard-wearing, durable and ontrend. We also have a large range of bins, furniture, and bollards which are exclusively made from steel. Where do you manufacture your product and what is your staff complement? WilsonStone has two factories, the largest based in Boksburg, and the second in the Cape. We employ approximately 120 staff countrywide. What is one project you have worked on that you are most proud of? It is difficult to single out one particular project, as we have been involved in numerous high-profile projects over the course of the company’s history. However, a recent project in which WilsonStone was intricately involved, which sets Johannesburg on the map in terms of being the largest singlephase shopping mall to be built on the continent, is the Mall of Africa. One of our biggest USPs is that we delight in working closely with Landscape Architects and

Architects on custom designs, which is evident throughout this project. WilsonStone was tasked to manufacture custom landscaping features designed by Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects (DRLA), in multiple applications in this project. Coping, paving, bollards, benches and bins, throughout the Mall of Africa and surrounding Waterfall precinct, were manufactured to the highest order according to the specifications of the Landscape Architect. Subsequent to the initial Mall of Africa project, we recently worked with DRLA on landscape elements for the PWC Tower building adjacent to the Mall of Africa. Designed to integrate with the overall landscape of the Waterfall precinct, the custom steel bollards were specifically designed to echo the twisted shape of the building. The round bicycle stands were also made by us, in keeping with the other bike stands at the Mall of Africa.


PWC Tower Building: Photo courtesy of Tiaan Laker, DRLA

Cut Stone in different sizes and colours cleverly combined to create interesting paving patterns Fredman Towers Building – Photo courtesy of Savile Row

Who is the creative mastermind behind your beautiful products? WilsonStone’s range has evolved over time. William Edwards, group CEO, works closely with his team to innovate and compliment the range as market trends and needs dictate. We have recently added a variety of new contemporary designs to our pot range, and created a new bollard range which incorporates steel, wood and concrete designs in keeping with international trends. We are currently working on a variety of new bin designs, and look forward to launching this new range within the next few months. How do you imagine diversifying your offerings in the next few years and where does WIlsonStone see itself within the landscaping industry within the next 5 years? WilsonStone loves nothing more than manufacturing innovative new designs, and because we are easily able to incorporate wood and metal with concrete/ stone in our manufacturing process, we are confident that we can produce quality products at affordable prices to suit our clients’ needs. We recently worked with The Ochre Office to produce beautiful concrete and steel benches, which echo the same steel design of their tree grids, featured in the February edition of Pro Landscaper. We also have a variety of benches

in our range made from concrete elements combined with wood. Best sellers? In narrowing it down, one would have to agree that it would be a tie between our Cut Stone paving and our exquisite pot range. Cut Stone is unique to WilsonStone, and there is nothing similar on the market to match its density and strength. Cut Stone is pressed via a 500-ton press, and is cut and ground to size. There most certainly might be cheaper paving options available, but none comparable to the quality and durability of Cut Stone. It is widely used in extremely high traffic applications, such as Mall of Africa, and the Umhlanga Ridge, but is also incredibly popular in domestic applications for swimming pool surrounds, paving, step treads and coping. Little known is the fact that Cut Stone can also be polished for indoor use, which changes its appearance to a smooth, travertinelike look. Our pot range encompasses over 60 beautiful designs (both classic and contemporary) which are manufactured in both GRC and reconstituted sandstone, to create a smooth, stone-like finish in a variety of colours, which is incredibly strong, durable and hard wearing.

Delaware rest set made from Rhino Wood

As mentioned before, WilsonStone sets itself apart from most other manufacturers, in its willingness to make custom products at affordable prices. We have an on-site pattern shop, which enables us to make new moulds at greatly reduced costs, which makes custom products and one-off pieces vastly more affordable to our clients. In an effort to keep our clients updated with our latest news and product knowledge, we send out a brief, informative monthly News Flash to our customers, which is also available on our regularly updated website. Communication is hugely important to us to keep abreast with trends in our industry, and is why we invite ongoing dialogue with our customers as to how they would like to see us improve our service, and create new and innovative products best suited to their needs. We look forward to supplying quality products at affordable prices, and providing friendly, efficient and reliable service to our clients over the next six years and beyond, as we look ahead to celebrating our centenary year in 2025! JHB: 011 615 6212 CT: 021 701 7655 Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


landscape architecture supports life...

Visit our website at or our Facebook page : InstituteForLandscapeArchitectureSA

Residential Landscape Lighting Martin Doller – Director of MADEstudio Exterior lighting is as important as indoor lighting – it adds both aesthetic and functional benefits to your home, but to me personally, it’s been a life obsession. As the creative director of MADEstudio which is a product and architectural lighting design studio based in Cape Town, I love both Architecture & Design whilst being passionate about light. Being able to combine the two, drives me to think differently about light as a medium, and in turn enables me to push the boundaries of its application in architecture. In 2014, a Journal of Consumer Psychology study found that the more intense the lighting, the more affected and intense the participants’ emotions were — both positive and negative. Our biological circadian rhythms are affected by poor lighting which can lead to psychological and physiological issues.

MADEstudio is made up of Designers from a variety of creative backgrounds, which allows us to drive a unique creative lead process. As lighting designers, we work closely with the Architect and Interior designer to achieve a lighting schematic design that compliments the structural design intent, with a balanced combination of functional, ambient and mood lighting effects. In line with the views of an architectural icon, Le Corbusier once said that, “Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of volumes brought together in LIGHT”, MADElight as the architectural lighting division of MADEstudio, strives to create comfortable glare free environments that evoke mood, drama, visual stimulation and interest whilst improving spacial flow and depth. In addition to setting the mood, lighting can

affect our spacial understanding. Indirect lighting with hidden light sources, tree canopy glows, wall washes and low-level floor grazing techniques that use a variety of focussed light sources with narrow light beam control technology which reduces the spill of light and only focusses the light onto where it is intended, combine to add interesting dimensions your landscape. Much like stage and theatre lighting, we like to use multidirectional lighting positioned at high, medium and low levels in order to achieve different effects and modes. High level lighting creates a more formal mode, whereas low level light more comfortable, informal and discreet setting. When working with clients to enhance landscape design elements, we use three elementary types of lighting laid out by Light Architect, Richard Kelly, to visualise clients' plans and which also entertain the eye:

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



Focal Glow / Task Focal Glow This creates accents and highlights the important elements whilst drawing attention to features, all whilst providing functional task llighting, making it easier to see on staircases, over bridges and steps. Sculptures and artwork lighting fall into this division.

Landscape lighting Landscape lighting is an opportunity to not only transform a space but also create a theatrical backdrop to a living area. Shadows from trees, projection of light through water movement- as well as the crisp highlighting of sculptures, all combine to offer a dramatic outdoor effect.

Graded Washes / Ambient Luminescence Ambient luminescence is the background lighting that glows an entire space. It is ideally in the form of indirect lighting, that is most often even and uniform, casting no shadows and makes people in the space feel safe and reassured. Flood lighting associated with security lighting falls into this next division.

Light as a medium is invisible until it is reflected off a surface, and, we like to use this principle to create magical and somewhat mysterious glows in the landscape, ideally if the source of light is well hidden. Light has the wonderful ability to increase our sense of spacial security, especially in our gardens and open landscapes, giving us sight into the corners of our properties.

Play of Brilliants / Accent This layer of lighting can be dynamic and colourful and it aims to draw attention, awaken curiosity and excite the user with a touch of drama. Shadows from trees and water ripples projected onto walls, all form part of its charm.

An important architectural consideration, when deciding on lighting, is its reflection in glass. This can be reduced and minimised with good exterior and landscape lighting. An over lit interior with an underlit exterior turns glass from a transparent medium into a reflective mirror barrier, spoiling the sense of spatial flow to the exterior of your house. Modern houses are specifically designed to blend the transition between the interior and exterior areas, and, good exterior lighting principles assist with this.

A technique I prefer to use in the approach is Luminous layering, which creates a more flexible lighting scheme and allows us to adapt the lighting to suit the different modes in that space. We build layers of light with a combination of Functional, Ambient and Mood lighting. The layers of light allow us to create a dramatic interplay of light & dark for maximum visual interest in the overall design.


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

Uplighting trees, downlighting paths and focussed directional spotlights on artworks and garden sculptures, creates focal points that pop against the dark backdrop of your landscape. Like many other living species, humans are also drawn to light, so we use this as a subconscious

guide to exit and entry points in a garden. Environmental impact An ever-increasing requirement in open living spaces and which we greatly respect and align to, are the Green Building Regulations and Compliance Requirements. It has become critical to design, construct and operate buildings that are energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible. Light pollution is a real concern and is having a negative impact on Nocturnal wildlife. In order to illuminate responsibly, we need to ensure that the outdoor light sources are hidden and we advise clients not to over-light and only use LED technology for its efficient energy saving benefit, thus always being cognoscente of reducing any impact on the environment. Outdoor garden lighting is more popular than ever due to the wide range of designs, uses and power sources – all made possible by LED technology being more versatile. What separates an indoor vs an outdoor fitting is the IP rating. IP stands for Ingress Protection and is used to identify the sealing efficiency around electrical items. They tell you how much protection is provided against elements such as water and dust. IP ratings on garden lights are important to know, as they will tell you just how weatherproof your lights are. The ‘IP’ is followed by two numbers; the first specifies the level of protection from intrusive objects/ parts and the second from moisture.


The higher the number, the better the protection. Any light for outdoor use should have a rating of at least IP43, which will guard it against light rain and sprayed water. Higher ratings will provide higher protection, which may be needed if the light is exposed to more severe weather, or, isn’t protected from the elements in any way. This protection could be from a wall, roof or trees, which will be common in a typical garden. Climates The material of the fitting's housing is also something that needs to be considered. Coastal climates are far more corrosive which will reduce the lifespan and appearance of the fitting. You typically get outdoor fittings rated for either coastal or inland quality. Colour Temperature Something else to consider when choosing landscape lighting is the Colour temperature (measured in Kelvin) of the light source. Our preferred specification for landscape lighting is warm white light with a light colour rating of 3000K (Kelvin). This light colour is best associated to the colour of light experienced in the late afternoon/ early evening on a clear and sunny day. This brings out the warm richness of the colour variations in the landscape.

Trees with big canopies can use flood lights but risk side spill and glare of light. Sculptures on the other hand look better with more focused and controlled light beams against the dark backdrop to create more drama and visual interest.

With continued research and innovation in lighting, designers have many options when it comes to selecting the right lighting to set the right mood for the desired space.

Pathway Lights Pathways are best lit with low level lighting. This can be achieved from freestanding bollards, step/foot light or horizontal ground light as found on airport runways. The low-level light source minimises glare, creating indirect lighting that is visually more comfortable. Trending There has also been a huge improvement and trend in outdoor solar lighting technology and battery storage is improving all the time, which means that solar lights are lasting longer and producing more light and in turn becoming a viable long-term lighting solution. Daylight sensors also ensure that the solar lights only come on when they need to, hence improving the efficiency of the light fittings.

Martin Doller

Colour Rendering Index Another specification of light worth considering which determines the quality of LED light emitted by the lamps is the Colour Rendering Index (CRI). This is the measurment of how colours look under a light source when compared with sunlight. The index is measured from 0-100, with a perfect 100 indicating that colours under the light source appear the same as they would under natural sunlight. This rating is also a measurement in the lighting industry to help discern naturalness, hue discrimination, vividness, preference, colour naming accuracy, and colour harmony. Lights with a CRI that is measured greater than 80 are considered to be more than acceptable for most applications. Lights with a CRI that is measured greater than 90 are generally considered “High CRI� lights. The colour red is most impacted by the CRI value. Beam Angles Beam angles of the light source from reflectors or through lenses will determine whether your fitting emits a floodlight type beam or a more focused crisp and intense beam of light. This is dependant on the size of the object you want to illuminate.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


F E AT U R E Photographed by: Henrique Wilding

THE MAGIC IN MOSAIC Bosjes: Tree of Life Wall The client's brief was for a facade of a building to be clad in a tile mural. Several SA artists were invited to pitch ideas and we, Myself and the talented Lucie de Moyencourt, who collaborated on this project with me- were very lucky to have been selected as the winners. The owners of the farm wanted us to reference the history of South Africa, as well as the natural world of the farm’s location in the final piece. Obstacles that we faced during the installation included really cold weather, long drives to and from the farm and trying to get the tilers to look Adam Letch


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

Michael Chandler Artist Owner of Chandler House

after each tile with great care. Packing them all in order with utmost care also took up some time as there were 366 individual 30x30cm tiles. The Concept: Once upon a time there was a beautiful farm at the bottom of a very tall mountain. The farm grew many kinds of delicious fruit and vegetables that everyone loved. But what they didn’t know was that under the soil there were some magical blue and white seeds. Just how these came to be here is still a mystery, but we won’t concern ourselves with that today. One day two magicians came to the farm and found them in the dust. They were very excited to find them as they were very rare and special. One of the magicians had heard about them before and knew how to make them grow. But his magic wasn’t strong enough - he needed his other magician friend to help him. Together they cleaned the seeds carefully and showered them with care and imagination and creativity. It wasn’t long until the small little blue and white seeds started growing. Very soon the sprout produced some leaves and the stem grew thicker and thicker. After about a year, the tree was enormous. Its branches stretched out over the once sandy area that the seeds were found in. And in its leafy branches grew the most beautiful indigenous flowers and magical fruits! It wasn’t long until all the animals and insects from the surrounding area discovered it and made it their new home. The farmer and his workers decided to celebrate the tree with a wonderful lunch under its curving branches. They laid out tables with their finest linen and crockery and cooked the most glorious meal! They ate all day and well into the night. Music was played and everyone danced together laughing and sharing the good feeling. They were so busy enjoying themselves that they didn’t notice another little sprout forming. It crept up the tree, circling its trunk and weaving through its branches. It was the spirit of the farm

and it had been awakened by the happiness of the party happening above. It had been waiting to emerge from the dirt for so long, but it had nothing to grow up. And now with the magical tree, it could grow up towards the sun and embrace the beautiful tree. The wall tells this story to all of those who eat below it at the bistro today. If you look really closely at the Spirit of the Farm, you’ll be able to see all the different stories that were told that night at the party. These stories will live on forever because of the magicians who watered those magical little seeds.

Noordhoek Garden Wall The Great Wall of China The client’s brief was fairly-open for this project. Essentially, they had a long blank wall which formed the back drop to their garden and they wanted me to create a hand-painted ceramic mural for it. I thought that the vegetable garden was a wonderful space where man and plant met, and that a lattice with vines growing up it would be a fitting backdrop to a private vegetable garden. It gives the garden structure, but at the same time is softened by the growing, living elements. The vines are filled with bugs, birds, fruits and flowers - some of which are special to the owners’ family. The obstacles I faced during the installation included the winter rains (we hired a marquee to install the project below) and some of the sloppiest tilers I’ve ever worked with. They had little interest in their work and it was incredibly stressful trying to ensure that each of the tiles was installed correctly. Installing the tiles at 45 degrees was enormously challenging too.


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Universal Laws of Nature We catch up with Gillian Hol & Charne Nieuwoudt of Veld Architects who discuss trends, products and considerations for exterior residential spaces.

We will make reference to a specific project which is situated in Monaghan Farm and forms part of the Rhenoster Spruit Conservancy. Monaghan Farm has prescriptive guidelines in terms of the landscape design methodology that is informed by both the indigenous landscape and the environmental management plan, focussing largely on the reclaiming of Veld Grass. These principles applied seem to seamlessly blur the lines between more formalised garden spaces, the natural landscape - as well as complimenting the architecture designed. The clients brief on this particular project put emphasis on the Feng Shui principles that governed the spatial arrangement of elements in the building and the landscape especially in terms of water features. The orientation in relation to the flow of energy had to be considered in the siting and design. The use of the five Feng Shui elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water were used to create balance and vibrant energy in all areas of the home. Shaping of berms to create easy curves, adds to the feeling of vast open spaces and rolling hills. Movement is created 20

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

with the use of different wild grass species such as Digitaria (Smuts Finger), Melinus nerviglumis, and various Eragrostis species, wheras the pinks and gold’s mimic the sunset colours of the Highveld summers. Lawn pathways flanked with these wild veld grass species creates a natural boundary to the garden design that brings the vast veld into the home and encourages walking barefoot in the garden. The soft natural Bushveld complements the strong formal concrete lines of the modern architecture. Structural feature plants such as Aloe Marlothii and large instant Buddleja saligna trees were placed purposefully to draw ones eye to beautiful views and to enhance architectural features, such as the floating concrete elements. Indigenous planting is a must have in an environment that can be harsh in summer and can reach close to zero in winter months. Water Wise planting, low maintenance, perennial, indigenous and hardy are the way forward in today’s environment and landscape design. Underground water harvesting tanks of 60 000

litres were constructed to allow the clients to enjoy a well-maintained garden without the use of potable water. The inclusion of this during the planning stage can make the architecture and landscape express this water conscious statement through the design of the roofs, water reticulation, spouts and storage vessels (whether concealed or revealed). The architecture and the use of large sliding


doors and windows, encourages the occupant to establish a connection to the landscape. Though the introduction of courtyards, the internal spaces flow into parts of the landscape that are created as spaces of reception and entertainment, whilst others lead to more exclusive outdoor spaces between more private rooms of the home. These courtyards have been designed to provide the inhabitants with places to contemplate within nature. Water features have been strategically positioned within these courtyards as visual axis points and sound elements that create spaces which are both reflective and a source of relaxation. Screens and pergola elements contribute aesthetically to the building language, but more importantly, are greatly beneficial in its sustainable contribution by shading overexposed glass openings of the building, protecting outside spaces from unpleasant winds and allowing through the perforation, a visual and natural ventilated connection between the internal and external context. Replacing traditional paved driveways with grass block paving softens the terrain and has a cooling effect in summer. Furthermore this aids in the runoff of rain fall as a permeable solution for stormwater, replenishing water back into the soil. There is an affinity towards a low maintenance landscape that is designed to be Water Wise and to allow the occupants to have more time on hand to enjoy life. A landscape that is part of the ecosystem and not seperate. A garden that gives back to nature. Plants that attract pollinators, get rid of weeds and produce food so-to-speak, in terms of edible ornamental plants and herbs. This affinity movement extends beyond the architectural walls and into courtyards, providing occupants with a “staycation” space in their backyards. One which is comforting, allows for congregation or meditation.

Figure 1: a versatile modern vegetable courtyard, complete with a water feature and rustic wood storage unit that serves as an insect hotel to aid in veggie growth.

REFERENCES Landscape Architect: D-frost Landscape Design, Nandi Koster - Landscape Contractors and designers: Earth Studio Gardens, Howard and Anissa Johnson Photographs: Elske Kritzinger SUPPLIERS Grass Blocks: Earth Studio Gardens - 0825762747 Bosun Brick - 010 001 8398 Gabions & Water Features: Homeworx Construction, Gary Pretorius 0713644677 Pots & Pavers: Custom made from Stoffel se Troffel 012 811 2042 Trees, Plants & Shrubs: Nico Van Biljon - 0836250603 Instant Lawn: Evergreen Turf - 011-9487913

The success of a project in this day and age is dependent on a connection the occupant has with the landscape and the attraction of nature in close proximity to the built environment. One that is sustainable and carefully executed to restore balance.

Plant List


• • • • •

Digitaria (Smuts Finger) Melinus nerviglumis Various Eragrostis species Aloe Marlothii Buddleja saligna trees

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



The Village,

Langebaan Country E state TERRA+ Landscape Architects in Association with David Gibbs Landscape Architect

TERRA+ Landscape Architects in association with David Gibbs Landscape Architect were mandated by Langebaan Country Estate, as part of the professional team, to design and develop the landscaping for a new retirement development being constructed at Langebaan Country Estate, called The Village. The vision for The Village is to develop a highend retirement community with clubhouse, healthcare facilities and activities to encourage an active and enjoyable retirement for investors. Their brief was to design and develop areas that will provide residents with a product that will enhance their sense of well-being and to create an environment that promotes a strong sense of community, whilst encompassing a unique identity. In addition to the above-mentioned aspects 22

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

the environmental issues were strongly emphasized, with storm-water management being one of the key elements that influenced the overall design. The client also stressed the need for a development that will be resource effective, which will require the use of mostly indigenous plant species and an extensive matrix of planting to increase biodiversity and interest in the development. The unique west-coast environment is a rich source of contextual inspiration with distinct challenges and constraints. All of these aspects were taken into account in the development of the concept for the overall soft and hard landscaping. In addition, there was further development of the overall estate signage to create a more

coherent and defined identity for the Estate. Sourcing of Materials The project is unique as the client is directly involved with all design aspects and has a very clear idea and understanding of the environment and the constraints of working in the West-Coast. There is also a very strong social responsibility fostered by the client - this is particularly evident with the future implementation of the soft-landscaping. The contracting and sourcing of plants will be from the Estate’s seed-bank with planting as a living resource. All labour will be from the local community. There is a wealth of knowledge present in the existing work-force of Langebaan Country Estate which will be harnessed to the maximum.


Project size: approx 25 ha Timeline: design – started 2018 Building construction – Jan 2019 Landscape construction – phased


Construction of The Village at Langebaan Country Estate on the Cape West Coast has commenced. Located within the Langebaan Country Estate which is known for its vibrant lifestyle, this is not your typical retirement village but rather a dynamic community offering all the established comforts, facilities and activities within the Estate to residents, including full frail care and assisted living facilities. Investors will be afforded Life Right units, all with optional care packages. The Village is a secure and special place to enjoy the best years of your life, in a home you will cherish. Visit the showhouse or contact Colleen Lowe for further information 072 732 1900

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


“Ever since I was a little girl I have been interested in trees. My life now is just trees and… um…and champagne” - Judi Dench

Tel: +27 871 1595 | Fax: +27 872 3136 SALES@JUSTTREES.CO.ZA | WWW.JUSTTREES.CO.ZA


All About the Boma

Craig de Necker Managing Director of The Friendly Plant

The flickering, warm light of a fire creates a comfortable, cozy atmosphere in any living space. A fire pit is a place where we gather to celebrate and to be entertained as much as it is a place where we go to contemplate and escape the reality of the fast-paced lives in which so many of us find ourselves. It feels like just the other day when one thought of a fire pit or boma, the first image that would come to mind was that of a few rocks arranged in a more or less circle somewhere in a remote area of the bushveld. While there are still many fire pits that conform to this very basic version, they have evolved to become something far more than a simple camp fire. These days, they are seen as a focal point or feature area in the garden, providing a sense of celebration along with light, heat and the natural movement that only a naked flame can. For us, landscaping is about far more than simply planting up an outdoor area, it is about creating a lifestyle. As a result of this shift in lifestyle, we are requested more and more to include these as a feature in our designer outdoor spaces. A fire pit is a very versatile element that can be used throughout the year, both day and night. With a well-designed fire pit area, the fire pit itself can become a feature with or without fire. For your client, it is like having a sculpture on display. While a fire pit is often used in order to set a mood and create atmosphere, they can also be fitted with a braai grid or a potjie pot stand, adding to their versatility. Which fire pit is right for the type of space you are designing? There are three main types of fire pits, each with their own benefits, namely;

Imagery By The Friendly Plant.

Wood burning. This is the most traditional and cost-effective type of fire pit. It allows us to experience fire in the same way that our ancestors did hundreds

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



of years ago. They provide warmth, the sound of a crackling fire and of course some smoke. Once the fire has burnt for a short while, the smoke becomes considerably less and sometimes disappears so don’t let it be a deterrent. If you want to 'go big' with your fire or if you are a traditionalist, a wood burning fire pit will suit you perfectly! Gas burning This provides a clean burning flame without smoke and with minimal odour (sometimes there may be a little gas smell from unburned gas prior to igniting). These should also be fitted with an automatic shut-off valve which closes the gas supply automatically should the flame become extinguished for some reason. Gas fire pits can be quite costly when compared to a wood-burning fire pit. However, they provide a solution where burning embers could cause a potential danger (such as game lodges and small balconies). Biofuel burning Like gas, biofuel burning fire pits can be quite costly. However, they can provide a nice flame


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

without the dangers of burning embers. Some types of biofuel may give off an odour but this is not typically a very strong smell. Unlike the wood burning and gas fire pits, there is only marginal flame adjustment with the typical biofuel fire pit. There are a few more decisions ahead in order to properly define the fire pit. A number of different basic styles of fire pits, the most common being: Brazier style fire pits These are typically wood or gas burning. They provide allow for air movement through the burning wood and will provide plenty of heat – these are well-suited to more spacious areas. The most common material of manufacture is mild steel. This would generally take the form of a rusted (unpainted) finish that offers a contemporary look which ages over time as it develops a unique patina or painted finish using heat-resistant paint. If you are looking for something a little bit more exclusive, there are stainless steel brazier style fire pits available which offer a more reflective surface for a bit more ‘bling’.

Constructed fire pits These can be custom designed to complement any outdoor space and are typically built out of rock or brick. As each unit is a custom design, styling is very flexible. The brick surround can essentially be the fire pit or the brickwork can be used to create a stand on which to place a brazier style fire pit, elevating it off ground level. In this case, it is advisable to use fire bricks or crushed stone underneath the fire pit as the intense heat generated by the fire can discolour or crack concrete and ceramic tiles. Premanufactured fire pits As with the brazier style, these can be used as a standalone element or they can be placed on top of a constructed platform. The materials most commonly used for these is concrete, mild steel and stainless steel (mainly gas versions) While fire pits are certainly not a new addition to outdoor spaces, they have become a ‘must have’ item in many garden designs. In a country which has such long periods of warm weather that is conducive to spending time outdoors, it is fitting that a design element like this has become so popular.

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Carrie Latimer Landscape Designer Owner of Carrie Latimer Landscape Design One thing I have always loved about my vocation is that Garden Design in not subject to the fast and fickle trends that we see in most other design disciplines. What we plot down on paper today can only be realized at the pace at which trees and shrubs are prepared to grow. We are forced to slow our vision down with the benefit that our vantage avoids the cluttered fog and mania of design fads. This allows more clarity with which to observe fundamental shifts in the industry - and shifting it certainly is. As a Garden Designer specializing in luxury residential landscapes, I serve at the pleasure of some of South Africa’s most affluent homeowners. It is a market that has extreme influence in design; they are after all the patrons and often the vanguard too. So what are they calling for today that is different from yesterday? I would go as far as to say that their very perception of beauty is changing. I am not referring to stylistic ideas of beauty: minimalist, traditional, eclectic, modernist, colonial etc. I am referring to core values used in determining beauty. I break these down three ways but in truth these values are intimately connected and co-dependent. 1. Productivity: Client demands have always been to find a balance between beauty and functionality in their gardens, but today there is seldom a brief that doesn’t call for productivity in addition to function and beauty. The immeasurable success and influence of public food gardens such as Babylonstoren and Boschendal have sparked an awakening to the usefulness of our land and a honed appreciation for the beauty that is to be

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found in growing edibles. I credit Babylonstoren in particular for taking the kitchen garden from a back of house element to a celebrated feature of the landscape. Where I used to hear the words messy and scruffy describing the disorderly nature of vegetable gardens, today I hear the words charming, abundant, rich and vibrant. Outdoor spaces are increasingly being imagined in terms of their potential production: lawns turned to orchards, rooftop vegetable gardens, informal berry-bramble hedges, ponds of waterblommetjie, pergolas covered in trailing squash or fruiting vines. Of all the creative possibilities, I seldom design a garden that does not feature fruit trees, particularly citrus and olives. In this regard, I often struggle to manage client expectations. While fast growing veggies provide almost immediate satisfaction, in the luxury market, I often hear the phrases ‘let’s just buy time’ and ‘I’m too old to watch trees grow’. Sourcing fruit trees for clients who want to pay for instant, mature specimens can be difficult as fruit trees in 400 – 2000 liter bag sizes are scarce and sometimes subject to restrictive legislation as in the case of citrus. Babylonstoren have also popularized and educated the public on espalier fruit trees which can be an absolute highlight in a small garden but a hard sell to clients who aren’t prepared to wait five years for the tree to take form. I can’t help but feel there’s a little room in the market for these niche offerings. 2. A Healthy Glow: There’s an air of radiance and vitality to a garden


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

in a state of balance and well being. It’s in the birds and bees doing their pollination dance around the garden, in the robust foliage of plants that aren’t over-fed and over-watered, in ladybugs and lacewings doing the work of pesticides, in mushrooms bursting through the mulch of a healthy soil. Wormeries, bug-hotels, owl boxes - today more than ever before, clients want to see that their gardens are alive and regenerative. For better or worse, load shedding and water restrictions have encouraged those who can afford it to examine ways in which to take themselves off the grid. This has caused a noteworthy and positive spin-off for the landscaping industry. In the pursuit of water security, many have become aware of the simple notion of closing the loop - of harvesting water on site and not allowing it to leave one’s property in the storm water and sewage systems. This shift to a ‘closed-system’ mindset extends to all aspects of the garden and contributes greatly to a healthier, more vibrant landscape. Closing the loop on kitchen and garden waste by producing high quality onsite compost and on pest control by following companion planting and encouraging predatory insects and birds are further examples. Designing these systems into a garden layout is a complex challenge for garden designers but one that should be wholeheartedly embraced. 3. Nature-Centric: Where I was once routinely asked to design

formal parterre gardens, grand water features, immaculate lawn terraces, and infinity pools; today I am being asked for eco-pools, woodland gardens, wetland gardens and wild, aromatic fynbos beds. It seems everyone wants to own a little slice of nature. And is it any surprise? Garden Design was once the pursuit of only a handful of people serving Noblemen, Maharajas and Emperors. Today every city has its designers and beautifully designed gardens grace the pages of magazines in every supermarket. Simultaneously, the world was once covered in endless, untouched natural landscapes, while today we are hyper aware of how threatened the natural environment is. Natural landscapes are more elusive and precious than designed landscapes so it follows that this is to become an ideal. This is particularly notable when working with architects specializing in ultra contemporary buildings which absolutely sing against hyper naturalistic landscapes. The benefits extend far beyond the visual as naturalistic plantings are generally climate appropriate, and therefore more resilient, water-wise and low maintenance as well as providing a friendly habitat for wildlife. I am so encouraged by these fresh expectations of beauty, expectations that are far less superficial and therefore more challenging to fulfill. As an industry however, they will lead to better practice and greater engagement between designers, growers, suppliers, installers and maintenance staff. It’s a beautiful opportunity for us all.

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021 425 4192



021 276 5800


010 276 0110 |

Name: Benguela Cove Location: Overberg, South Africa Size: +- 800 m2




NATURE PERVADES Set on Benguala Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, nature pervades this house – the seamless flow of internal floors and ceilings out into external living spaces is mirrored by the fynbos planting which stalks the edges of the internal envelope, enfolds the terraces and decks and seeps into the garden courtyard. This is a truly beautiful space created by SAOTA with landscape architecture by cndv landscape architects.

The setting for this house within Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, on the Botrivier Lagoon south-east of Cape Town is spectacular – a slope of indigenous fynbos vegetation runs into the broad waters of a tidal estuary bordered by mountains. The considered architectural design by SAOTA and Interiors by ARRCC of this holiday house negotiate the inherent paradox of such exposure to nature – how to shackle the extreme elements – sun, salt, rain and, in particular, high winds - whilst allowing the exceptional natural beauty of the site to pervade every space. The owner’s vision for a comfortable retreat for his children, coupled with liveable outdoor spaces for entertaining was developed into a “C” shaped plan whose wings serve to maximise outlook, frame views and create a large sheltered courtyard. This distinctive sheltering shape is again expressed in the wrapped floor-wall-roof profile of the three wings which, assembled together, one above the other, track the site as it slopes towards the water. The interior design by ARRCC captures the minimalist sensibility of the architecture. The entrance at the back of the building is deliberately understated; a modest canopy shelters the front door opening onto a landing from which a broad spine gently traces down the natural gradient alongside a generous garden courtyard. “Through the use of rich materials and an edited colour palette, the decor is seamlessly integrated, optimising the sense of space” says Mark Rielly Throughout the house loose furnishings selected by ARRCC, generally sourced from local manufacturer OKHA, provide a warm and luxurious counterpoint to the architecture. OKHA’s signature fine wool and bamboo silk Diamond Rug which takes its inspiration from geometry and rock formations, complement the granite floors of the living room. Seating is provided by an impromptu collection of OKHA’s luxurious L-shaped Jada sofa, solid oak frame Miles armchair and Nicci armchair in olive-green leather finish. To anchor the collection the Capri Coffee table in Volakas White marble was chosen to resonate with the geological surrounds. Occasional leather poufs add a casual flair to the layout.

MEET THE TEAM Architects: SAOTA Landscape Architects: cndv landscape architects Landscape Contractor: CHB Landscaping Photography: Adam Letch Interior Design: ARRCC

The internal living wing is held between garden courtyard and covered decks, leading out to a pool which appears to blend into the lagoon beyond. The slope of the distinctive timber clad soffit was carefully calibrated to provide shelter from the prevailing wind. It extends out from the lounge to create an external living room and outdoor kitchen which are further enclosed by moveable screens. Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


PORTFOLIO SUPPLIERS The two upper wings house bedrooms with elevated views across the lagoon to the mountains. Overlooking the deck. OKHA’s signature swivel STM armchair provides the viewer with a 360-degree view of estuary and interior. The Landscape Architecture cndv landscape architects explain that the overriding brief from the client was to create a landscape using indigenous and endemic plant and trees species with a strong reference to the natural fynbos surrounds. The team were involved with the initial proposals as well as the construction detailing of this project, The large trees were specified to provide shade as well as to assist with screening from the wind. The fynbos plant choices took the local climatic conditions into consideration and elevated the clients brief. The plant palette ties seamlessly into the open space surrounds. The internal courtyard features a private lawn and seating deck with focal wall as built elements, nestled within the fynbos landscape. The polished concrete slab paving with colourful feature planting link the timber decks along the pool and lawn areas to create separate yet integrated landscape spaces.

Main Contractor: Innes Projects: John Hanger 021 761 9333 Landscape Contractor: CHB Landscaping - 082 897 0538 Irrigation Design & Supply: Controlled Irrigation - 021 551 0355 Product: Rain bird Paving: Large Granite Clad Pavers Lafarge Artevia - 011 657 0000 Contractor Exotic Concrete and BluePort Trading (Pty) Ltd Pool Structure: Mosaic Tiling Douglas Jones Mosaic 425 - 086 166 7242 Pool Pumps: CRI pumps - 021 949 9122 Decking: Contractor Prodecking - 082 562 5986 Supplier: Saplings Timber Trading Planting: New Plant Nursery - 044 889 0055 Shadowlands Nursery - 021 903 0050 Habitat Mature Tree Nursery - 021 855 4400 Induli Wholesale Nursery - 021 785 3581 Arboreta Nursery - 021 864 3857 Compost: Reliance Compost - 0861 888 784 AgriOrganics - 021 852 8632


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


ABOUT cndv LANDSCAPE ARCITECTS cndv landscape architects is a vibrant Cape Town based firm committed to innovative design excellence in the fields of landscape architecture, industrial and product design. The original firm was formed in 1988 and has a 29- year track record in the industry. cndv landscape architects remains one of South Africa's foremost design firms and is considered a specialist in the field of landscape architecture, embracing a full range of expertise and boasting a team of highly competent professional-, technicaland administrative staff. In addition to excellence in design the firm is passionately committed to: • • •

taking pride, thinking differently and planning for success nurturing a creative and fun office environment the successful transformation of the South African society

The firm has been involved in many projects in and around South Africa and abroad for both public and private clients. We enjoy working in a team and contributing to creating better environments for people.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019





Located on the slopes of Table Mountain, this property seems to defy gravity, hovering above the 20-metre gradient it is situated on and nestled between the branches of the trees. This natural garden is in complete harmony with the architecture of the house and is due largely to the collaboration by Landscape Architect Kobus Meiring and Landscape Contractor, Heio Schulzer Gardens, who have managed to create a masterpiece.


Kobus Meiring, the project Landscape Architect explains that “this was one of the most beautiful and also most challenging properties that I have designed in my career. The site had large established trees and naturally occurring boulders that most landscape architects dream to work with. “ The property stretches over a 20-metre rise and due to the steep slope, the original design for the garden included numerous terrace walls. About nine months before the construction was to be completed and the retaining walls built, the client contacted Heimo Schulzer Gardens to assist with reconfiguring the garden. Kobus was then commissioned to completely redesign the garden. This was a design and implementation collaboration between the two professionals, that saw the awakening of a truly beautiful masterpiece. The buildings on the property consist of a main house with three storeys, a pool house, a guest suite and a gym and office. The main house was positioned where the original house was located. The other buildings were positioned to preserve the existing trees. When the team arrived on site the front door was floating an entire storey in the air. They had no idea of how the levels in the garden would connect not only the various levels of the house, but also link the main house to the pool house and to the other buildings. This challenge was met by spending many hours on site during the design phase of the project. Kobus does not believe in designing a garden without physically being on site. In order not to lose or damage any of the trees, the existing tree levels dictated the levels of the garden to a large extent. Only once the levels of the garden were laid out, did the garden steps and entrances to the buildings fall into place. Between Kobus, Heimo and the architect, they collaborated on many elements of the project, such as the exterior steps of the house, the garden pathways, stone stairs and the garden lighting. The swimming pool was positioned where the previous house’s garage used to be because it was the only garden level area that received enough sunlight. As the excavation process continued, a substantial amount of soil was removed. Using this soil, the lawn terrace was extended and built up by 3 meters to accommodate the lawn. Huge boulders were found where the entrance garden to the front door was supposed to be.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



The storm water stream had by this stage also been diverted through this space. In order to create enough room to access the front door, the team built a water feature using the storm water and boulder, then constructed a wooden boardwalk to connect the main house to the office and gym. Planting Compiling the plating palette was a dream. The dappled shade meant that Kobus and his team could really pick and choose the plants. The clients wanted a luscious garden filled with colour, so ferns and indigenous bulbs were incorporated to add interest. Each garden area has a unique palette with no plants being repeated in any other area. This adds to the charm and intrigue of each resting space. Kobus explains that "we were a lot of contractors working together on site towards the end of the project in order to meet the deadline. Working with Heimo and his team made the installation effortless because they are so organised and involved on site." Heimo Schulzer explains that the garden was constructed around what can be described as a concrete tree house designed by the architect Antonio Zaninovic. The building consists of generously proportioned rooms with expansive glass windows overlooking the gardens and the city. The vision for the garden was wild underforest planting which blends into the surrounding natural vegetation and mountainous areas. The preservation of old Cork Oak trees during excavation was essential to achieving the illusion that the building is floating above the garden and proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the installation on such a steep property. Kobus corrected the trees on site as not only being Cork Oaks but also Yellowwoods (Podocarpus), English Oaks (Quercus) and Tea Trees (Melaleucea). Huge amounts of soil had to be moved without compromising the survival of the trees. The excavation was largely left to Heimo Schulzer Gardens and this unique challenge was met by constructing ramps to allow smaller earth moving equipment maneuverability between the trees without damaging any roots. Because the excavation process unearthed a mixture of granite and sandstone boulders that are naturally occurring in the area, instead of being removed, these rocks were repositioned in the garden to create a natural mountainous feel between the terraces.


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

PORTFOLIO SUPPLIERS Hardscaping Contractor: Westcape Construction - 021 465 3672 Paving: World of Decorative Concrete - 021 982 0006 Compost: Red Tractor Compost - 021 987 1650 Equpment Hire: Uni-Cat Hire Somerset West - 082 788 9517 Irrigation Installation: Romi Irrigation Durbanville - 021 982 0199 Product: Rain Bird Pop-up sprinkler Pool: Contractor: Mac D Fireplace and Luxury Pools 021 696 7930 Pool Mosaic: Douglas Jones Lighting Designer: GG Design House - 041 373 5350 Installer: Bright Idea Electrical Planting: Arboreta Nurseries - 021 864 3857 Bloemendal Nursery - 021 572 7908 Exotica Nursery - 013 748 2000 Fairholme Plants - 021 848 9738 Good Hope Gardens Nursery - 060 509 4288 Kraaibosch Nursery - 044 889 0092 Little Orchard - 076 556 6779 Malmesbury Nursery - 022 482 2612 Mont Rose Nursery - 011 783 1252 Nonke Plants - 021 887 6972 Stellenberg Gardens - 021 761 2948

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


PORTFOLIO The unpredictably of the discovery of these boulders and rocks during the unearthing process meant that a great deal of the design work had to be adapted during the construction process and the original design had to be altered a number of times. There are few geometric lines surrounding the building. The wild planting begins adjacent to the building, allowing for seamless integration between house and garden. The only exception is a slightly more formal entertainment lawn that serves as a clearing in the forest. The planting

palette was tailored to suit the predominantly shady conditions of the forest, undercover and consist largely of indigenous species. A great deal of effort was invested into harvesting and diverting water in the garden. Drainage systems were essential to deal with the enormous amount of storm water from the mountain and upper road that flows through the property during the winter rainfall months. Catchment areas were built to filter debris from the water, which then had to be piped underground to disperse it into a natural stream.

All materials (with the exception of the plants and a few trees) were naturally occurring and discovered on site. To allow the garden to blend into its surrounds these materials were preserved and repositioned during the construction phase. All garden construction and water features were done with concrete to suit the aesthetic of the building. The end result is an exquisite natural garden, an attribute to the magnificent Table Mountain it sits on.


Having come from a larger practice, landscape architect, Kobus Meiring set off on his own almost 25 years ago and has since focused his career on the design of private, residential gardens. His distinctive passion for design from a young age and love of nature is clearly evident in the outstanding landscapes that he creates. Kobus believes in a strong connection with his clients and their sites which he harnesses to create personalised gardens by designed with feeling. ABOUT HEIMO SCHULZER GARDENS

For more than 15 years, Heimo Schulzer Gardens has had the great pleasure of bringing to life many gardens in and around Cape Town’s inspiring landscape. They are known for the quality and sophistication of their work and take great pride in their attention to detail and transparency in dealings with clients. Their many years of experience have equipped the team with the expertise needed to manage the tricky soils and climate of the Cape as well as a diverse range of client needs. They offer a personalised and complete service through all stages of design and installation including project management and coordination of outside contractors.


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KR A A I BOS CH N U RS ERI ES ( P T Y) LT D Suppliers of high quality exotic and indigenous plants since 1983 CONTRACT GROWING: YOU ASK, WE GROW! Kraaibosch Nurseries are wholesalers and suppliers of indigenous and exotic trees, shrubs, groundcovers, bedding plants, colour pots, roses, fruit trees and herbs to retailers, landscapers, property developers, municipalities, farmers, architects and contractors. Master Decks is the Timber Decking specialist, having serviced architects, developers, builders and home owners in Cape Town and surrounds for 27 years. Master Decks has the infrastructure to deal with any size project both residential or commercial and our expertise lies in our ability to assist with the design and specifications for any project. Master Decks are proudly gracing the lifestyles of Hotels, Restaurants, National Parks, Apartment blocks and countless homes across the region.

T: 044 889 0092 / F: 044 889 0109 /

We are committed to the protection of our environment and endeavor to use suppliers who can ensure that the timber we use is from a renewable source. | 021 704 0124 |

SUPPLIERS OF COMPOST, TOPSOIL & VARIETY OF MULCHES T: 021 987 1650 | Werner: 072 674 2642

Building luxury homes since 2000 Contact: 021 4653672 Bob Pierce - | Boebie Majiet -



BEYOND THE STONE WALL This SAOTA designed family home sits just below Lion’s Head; with views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, the city of Cape Town and the mountains of the Boland and the winelands in the distance. This home has been designed to encapsulate light and the landscaping, subtly echoes the indigenous surrounds and thoughtful architecture throughout. This landscape design is by the renowned Franchesca Watson with installation by Heimo Schulzer Gardens.

PORTFOLIO Size: 75 m2 Cost: R800 000 Timeline: 12 months Location: Cape Town

The architecture is shaped to take in as much of the surrounding as is possible. The strongest gesture is the inverted pyramid roof which creates a clerestory window around the upper level. It allows the building to open up, capturing views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head that would otherwise have been lost. This has also opened up views of the sky, bringing the sun and moon into the home, heightening the connection to nature and its cycles. The house presents a stone wall, built in a traditional Cape way, to the busy city street that it sits on, revealing very little about its interior. At night, the inverted pyramid roof glows, creating a giant lightbox, which adds to the intrigue. One enters the house through the large metal front door, which sits between the house proper and the stone wall, then into a small entrance lobby which is connected to a courtyard garden. From this restrained quiet space, a few steps take you up into the living space with its cinematic bold views over the city. The house is arranged on three levels. The top level has the strongest views and holds most of the living spaces; the open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge. The family’s work and bedroom spaces are on the mid-level with the garage, gym, cinema and guest room on the lower level. Each level has its own set of gardens and courtyards. These gardens extend from the mountain surface down against the house, screening the neighbouring buildings and intensifying the relationship with nature; allowing light and air into spaces that would otherwise be dark and isolated. The dark exterior breaks down the mass of the building, pushing it into the background. Internally, colours are muted and the use of a washed oak gives the spaces warmth. The sophisticated spaces were furnished using OKHA furniture. Heimo Schulzer Gardens advise that due to the steep gradient of the property, the building consists of several levels. From an installation perspective, the garden was treated as a series of rooftop gardens as none of the plating (with the exception of the vegetable garden situated at the bottom of the property) is situated on ground level. Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



The various levels and compact nature of this property’s layout made accessibility very challenging. The large trees and rocks were craned onto the terraces and into the indoor courtyard over several days. The soils, organics and plant materials had to be carried in bags through and around the house, making the project highly labour intensive. It was a challenge for all the contractors to work together in a small space while at the same time protecting each other's workmanship. No effort was spared to achieve a flawless outcome for the garden. Every feature stone was turned until it was absolutely perfectly positioned.

SUPPLIERS Paving: Eurotiles Mosaic Pool Tiles: Douglas Jones - 086 166 7242 Supplier: Italcotto- 021 425 4192 Decking: Master Decks - 021 704 0124 Lighting: Province Lighting - 021 464 4661 Irrigation Product: Rain Bird Hunter

Franchesca Watson describes the planting palette chosen and used throughout the house. Indigenous trees, Nuxia floribundas have been used to give scale and screening and connect with the greater landscape on this project. The semi-shade underplanting consists of grasses, bulbs and strappy plants such as Chlorophytum bowkerii.

Planting: Arnelia Farms - 022 723 1022 Benzaan Nursery - 082 779 4010 Bloemendal Nursery - 021 572 7908 Cape Garden Centre - 021 988 4137 Elands Nursery - 041 955 5671 Exotic Plants - 084 400 8400 Fairholme - 021 848 9738 Ferndale Nursery - 021 794 5175 In the other landscaped space, the terrace of Fridhem Farm Nurseries - 082 804 2241 the living-room: trees are a grove of Dombeya Good Hope Garden Nursery - 060 509 4288 rotundifolia and a feature Schotia brachypetala. Habitat Mature Tree Nursery - 021 855 4400 Both species being chosen to attract birds. Large boulders add texture to a mixed planting Induli Wholesale Nursery - 021 785 3581 of grasses, agathosmas, selagos and selected Little Orchard Nursery - 060 919 3939 succulent ground covers. Milkwoods Wholesale Nursery - 021 572 5851 New Plant - 044 889 0055 Steps float above a semi shade planting of ferns, Nonke Plants - 021 887 6972 ground orchids, Agapanthus and Liriope to add Pink Geranium - 021 884 4313 to the aesthetic. Plant Collectors - 031 464 9909 Samgro Wholesale Nursery - 021 873 4377 The green spaces throughout the house are an San Michelle Farms - 021 572 3930 elegant echo to the beautiful architecture. Seven Rivers Nursery - 083 327 6816 Shadowlands Wholesale Nursery - 021 903 0050 MEET THE TEAM St Omer Farm - 021 868 3641 Shire Wild Bulb Nursery - 043 683 2452 Architects: SAOTA Top Crop Nursery - 033 569 1333 Project Team: Greg Truen, Dov Goldring & West coast Flora - 021 572 2205 Jaco Bruwer, Ian Cox and Puja Patel West Coast Nursery Structural Engineers: Western Cape Seedlings - 021 286 2711 Moroff & Kühne Consulting Engineers Quantity Surveyor: SBDS Quantity Surveyors Main Contractor: Gossow & Harding Construction Pty (Ltd) Interior Décor: OKHA Landscaping: Franchesca Watson Garden Designer Landscaping Installation: Heimo Schulzer Gardens Photography: Adam Letch& Micky Hoyle


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Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019





The design and implementation of the immediate garden surrounding the Fybos cottages has been done by Danie Steenkamp of DDS Projects, with Ernst van Jaarsveld, Babylonstoren's resident botanist and horticulturist designing the pool garden and surrounds. All of the exquisite interiors of this project have been implemented by Karen Roos, the owner of the estate.


Through the vineyards and up a gradual incline, past a dam and on the crest of a ridge, the wheels of the electric carts thrum on the roadway. You breathe the route this way: fynbos, grapevines, untainted air. Guests shed clutter to be here at Babylonstoren: first their fossil-fuelled cars, then the clamour of business and the metronome of a daily routine. Perhaps the word “cottage” is misleading, because what you discover are living spaces drawn in elegantly clean lines. Light streams in through glass walls; white space on which to draw your own experience. Think of these cottages rather as earth-anchored apartments with views over water, mountains and two-thirds sky, an artistic balance that you register subliminally as calming, pleasing on the eye. Broad-beamed Oregon pine floors and thick walls make historical reference to the sturdy Cape dwellings of the 18th century, but all 48

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else is contemporary symmetry: crisp white linen, panama-Straw fabric tones, and the textures of linen and fine cotton. Through a low wooden gate, a path leads to a surprise for guests. Quite suddenly you are in an agave desert, but the mirage is real. A pool and low loungers invite you to bake like lizards in a rocky boma with a roof garden spiked with aloes and heat-loving indigenous plants. A short distance away down through the vineyards, close but almost another country, is the bustling abundance of the farm: the charcuterie and bakery; the roastery where almonds harvested in the orchards are roasted and where you’ll find blocks of artisanal chocolate and nougat; a Healing Garden of fragrant herbs for teas to soothe or invigorate; the new Spice Garden hothouse with arches reminiscent of a classic French gare; and the Factory, where

balsamic vinegar in barrels makes the cool air sweet with its promise of a taste in years to come, and where, in the Scented Room, you may play alchemist and mix your own essential oils and fragrant salts. There are those cottage baths, after all... Forage from the Farm Shop for your evening fare and then quietly retreat to the hill, with Simonsberg, Paarl Mountain, Du Toitskloof Mountains and the distinctive conical Babylonstoren peak etching the skyline. And in that indeterminate time between dusk and night, the owls hunt for booty for their chicks housed in elevated boxes a short flight from the cottage verandas. By now your senses have been realigned. You will be gentled into a new way of marking time and somehow changed for the better. Pro Landscaper caught up with Ernst van Jaarsveld, Horticulturist at Babylonstoren, to find out more about the unique planting on site, at the Fynbos Cottages.


Planning for the Fynbos cottage began in November 2017. During 2018 the plans came to fruition and themes were then developed around the concepts. The rocks were assembled and placed on heaps between autumn and spring of 2018. Ernst made sure the various nurseries had the right plants which were then ordered in time for the planting. He could only start planting when the soil and rockery were established. This happened during the month of October last year. The rockery and planting moved relatively quickly as the team had all the various elements close by; the rocks, a crane and the plants followed and then the team were more or less set. Now that the garden has been implemented, Ernst and his team will continuously bring in new plants, prune others and make sure this garden is kept yearround. The team focused on particular plants to place in the various niches of the garden. For instance, the artificial cliffs created were planted

with cliff dwellers in the thicket garden area. Three indigenous garden themes were identified and selected, with the emphasis on succulents. The three themes are Fynbos (largest portion southern & northern flank), Thicket (eastern flank) and Succulent Karoo (roof garden). It is interesting to note that about 100 tons of rock were used in the creating of this space. Fynbos garden: Makes use of the local silcrete rocks which were placed using a crane. Local fynbos species were planted with the emphasis on rare and endangered. The fan aloe, Babylonstoren’s icon species (Kumara plicatilis) was planted throughout. Some of the endangered fynbos species include plants like such as Freylinia visserii, Delosperma saxicolum. Succulent Karoo Garden (N. Cape) Roofgarden: The rocks represent igneous rocks which the team acquired from Mr Beukes on his farm

Arkoep in Namaqualand. The quiver trees (Aloidendron dichotomum) and many other succulents were bought in from Kokerboom Kwekery at Vanrhynsdorp. The botterboom and Aloe framesii plants were rescued from Clanwilliam Dam site. Various mesemb ground covers were established, mainly Malephora spp. The quiver trees were initially staked as to give them a chance to root properly. It was important in this respect, that a well-drained growing mixture was used. The Thicket Garden: The rocks which were used throughout this section were Bokkeveld Shale which was acquired from a Wine Farmer at Eilandia whom had excess rocks from establishing his vineards. Various typical thicket species were established such as noors (Euphorbia coerulescens), spekboom (Portulacaria afra), Crassula ovata, C. tetragona, C.

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planifolia), ox-tonque (Gasteria species), Othonna triplinervia, O. lobata, O. capensis, tambuki thorn (Erythrina acanthocarpa). Various larger Euphorbias such as E. triangularis, E. grandidens and E. Tetragona were also used. Smaller species can also be seen, such as E. pentagona,E. atrispina and E. pulvinata. Many Delosperma species were used for groundcover, especially over the steep sides, combating erosion. The artificial cliffs were planted with Gasteria excelsa, Aloe reynoldsii, Kei lilly (Cyrtanthus sanquineus), Othonna capensis, Curio muirii, C. ficoides and C. pondoensis. Local specialist nurseries such as Kirstenbosch, Cape of Good Hope and Veld & Vlei provided some of the beforementioned species and many plants were also grown locally and vegetatively from cuttings. Also, the Clanwilliam dam is in the process of being enlarged, so the team got permission to rescue many succulents such as botterboom (Tylecodon paniculatus), Aloe framesii, Haemanthus coccineus and Euphorbia loricata. The Swimming Pool Pond The pond adjacent to the swimming pool was first prepared. Calcrete rocks from Langebaan 50

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were placed below the pathway to bring up the ph of the water as well as used to create hiding places for the fish. This was then planted with eel grass (Vallisneria spiralis). The eel grass keeps the water crystal clear. It absorbs the freefloating minerals which algae thrive on and the water becomes clear. Ernst’s team also used the endangered Otjikoto Tilapia (Tilapia guinasana), which have now established and have bred very well. They chose this breed of fish because by nature they are shoal fish and due to the various colour forms, are clearly visible for the hotel guests to watch from their windows as they swim. The landscaping team of Danie Steekamp were involved in planting Cape water lillies, waterblommetjies and wateruintjies (Nymphoides indica) as well as Schoenoplectus littoralis. In the Fynbos ponds just east of the hotels, local Cape kurper (Sandelia capensis) were introduced. The garden is thoughtful, natural and a pure representation of the Babylonstoren story, mirroring the farms ideals and sustainable message. It is a captivating space to find yourself in and a delight for the senses.

MEET THE TEAM Architect: Malherbe Rust Architects Main Contractor: JDV Construction Ernst van Jaarsveld Babylonstoren’s Resident Horticulturist Landscaping Team: DDS Projects - 021 882 9889

SUPPLIERS Solid Garapa Timber Decking: Cape Trusses & Sawmills - 073 209 6663 Wall Cladding: Stone Age Construction - 021 875 5604 Planting: Kirstenbosch - 021 797 1305 Cape of Good Hope - 060 509 4288



KEURBOOMS COTTAGE Keurbooms Cottage is a modern beach home that creatively crystallizes the fluctuating coastal line as a fluid reference for its organically curved form. The building transcends the schedule of accommodation and enters the realm of liveable sculpture which in turn becomes a platform for viewing the dynamic surrounding environment. Keurbooms Cottage is an architectural intersection between the sea, sky, vegetation and wind. With architecture by Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens Architecture and Interior Architecture, Landscape Design by Franchesca Watson and installation by multiple SALI award winner’s Bidvest Top Turf, this home is a collaboration of great design, thoughtful landscaping and new frontiers.

PORTFOLIO Size of landscaped area: 9000 m2 Property size: 11.2 Hecares Timeline of landscape: 9 months Cost: R620, 000.00 Design inception for property: 2005-2010 Construction of in-house landscpaing: 2011-2013 Construction of walkway: 2014

The client’s brief to Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens Architecture and Interior Architecture (SRLC Architects) was to create an iconic piece of millennium architecture that celebrates futuristic houses and celebrates forms found in Nature. The Architecture The concrete ‘exoskeleton’ floats freely over the extremely diverse indigenous Cape fynbos, of which 9000 species exist in the area, and the surrounding low forest setting up a further dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Glimpses of indigenous antelopes in the surrounding vegetation and breaching whales at sea become part of the experience. The ‘dual’ veranda, one on the seaward side and the other on landward side, of the transparent lounge allow for two outdoor living opportunities that respond to the notorious cape wind deviations. The large tracks of glass moving organically under the exoskeleton, facilitates an ever-changing environmental experience. The roof acts as both a functional and aesthetic device through collecting and channelling rainwater. The collected water is channelled to a man-made reflection pond at the bottom of the dune. The roof is also augmented to accommodate a solar farm further holistically integrating the building into its surrounding environment. The projects singular colour palette generates heavenly spaces that draw reference from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001 a space odyssey’. Housed within the curved concrete exoskeleton is the organic schedule of accommodation: The master bedroom occupies level 2 and orientates itself to the picturesque view of the bay. The public lounge, family room, wrap-around veranda and bedrooms occupy the ground floor and are seamlessly connected to the surrounding environment by a sweeping ramp reminiscent of Oscar Niemeyer’s work. The basement of the building comprises of a series of spaces that house automobiles, laundries, art racks, plant rooms and a production kitchen. The house manifests itself as an original piece of millennial beach architecture, inspired by both nature and past futuristic houses. Positioning On Site This was critical to the SRLC Architects team, as part of the site is a natural coastal forest. They positioned the building on the backside of the second dune from the ocean as the forest runs down the valley between the first and second dunes. This was an important step in the coastal conservation. Connecting the house to the beach is a 150m long organic timber walkway with minimal impact to the forest. The team had to ensure that the walkway touches lightly and allows indigenous animals free movement in the valley below. Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


MEET THE TEAM Architect: Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens Architects & Takura Changwa Landscape Designer: Franchesca Watson Landscape Contractor: Bidvest Top Turf Main Building Contractor: Semper Prima Builders


On the walk to beach platform, the viewer can enjoy the fauna and flora intact without damaging it.

conditions. The entire project was undertaken in strict collaboration with local nature conservation authorities.

The architectural sculptural slopes are influenced by:

The area that the main gardens were established on had been ploughed as a field some time before the client bought the property.

The rolling waves at sea. The architectural roofs have a wave like form that connects one to this undulating energy The rolling landscape. The architecture is placed in an eroded dip and the roofs completed and were influenced by the surrounding mound.

The building basements were painted in a walking stick green so as to blend with nature when creepers grow up them. This has the benefit of connecting/ rooting the architecture as well as disguising some of the schedule and creating a perfect platform for the sculptural wave like architecture of ground and first floors. The choice of natural balau decking which would in time bleach and blend with the landscape, hard grass block surfaces which allow vegetation to grow through, or even the disappearing glass balustrades all speak to the concept of connecting architecture to landscape almost seamlessly. This is indeed a project where the client’s brief was achieved, and then some! Franchesca Watson, the designer of this enchanting garden explains that the plot comprises a broad band of land all the way from Keurbooms beach, across the dune system and low-lying land behind the dunes up to the first hills of Keurbooms. In terms of Franchesca’s brief from the client, the idea was to create a garden that in some way complimented the strong style and aesthetic of the house, but also acknowledged the unique site and ecosystem. The client particularly wanted the garden to have curvaceous water bodies and berms to echo the shapes in the architecture. Much of the plant material was grown by the Green Futures Nursery and College, based on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. This project forms part of the Grootbos Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the upliftment of the communities within. Plant material was selected carefully either of local species, or species adapted to the particular site


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The areas surrounding this field had some patches of original natural plants and a good quantity of invasive plants, which were removed section by section, allowing regeneration slowly of the natural plants. On the field, we planned the lake, the driveway and lawns, tennis court and bermed areas, and a pavilion with the same architectural character as the house. As the property starts to change level at the dune system and all the way to the beach, the rich local vegetation was pristine and mature and great care was taken to preserve this. The property exists in a low rainfall area and the water for the lake is from well-points on the property. The garden is irrigated from the lake, and at certain times, the level of irrigation possible is severely limited. The garden has thus developed slowly but has proved sustainable. A vertical planted wall was also created by Bidvert Top Turf using the Maccaferri system. Bidvest Top Turf’s brief from Franchesca was to create an indigenous, informal and water-wise garden, suitable for the sensitive primary dune location. The brief also required a large built dam for the storage and reticulation of irrigation water during the establishment stage. A tennis court and grass block driveway flanked with mature trees. Pro Landscaper speaks to Sean Privett, Conservation Director of the Grootbos Foundation and owner of Fynbos Ecoscapes, where he describes the planting brief from Franchesca as well as the planting palette included on this site. “My brief from Franchesca was to develop a planting list that would complement the natural environment and ultimately provide a wellbalanced mix of naturally occurring species to the area. The home was built on a stabilised dune with the result that the plants needed to be alkaline tolerant and adapted to coastal conditions.

SUPPLIERS Decking: Supplier: G&K Mouldings - 044 882 1011 Furniture: Manufactured by: Jireh Custom Interiors - 044 533 1560 Greenwall: Maccaferri System Organics: ProGrow Organics - 076 3793706 General Fill: Quarry Co Grass Blocks: Mobicast - 044 878 0322 GCL Lining: Kaytech - 041 453 0755 Grass: Grass Master - 041 585 2629 Plant Hire: DenRon - 044 533 0884 Well Points: Akwasol - 021 552 8783 Tennis Court: Cape Courts & Civils - 041 453 3688 Dam Air Lift System: Aqua Pools Irrigation Materials: Stewart & Lloyds - 021 761 9919 Product: Rain Bird Planting: Reitz Tree Care Charles Reitz - 082 424 0055 Planting Contractor: Fynbos Ecoscapes - Sean Privett 082 4111 008 Plants Grown By: Green Futures College- A Grootbos Foundation Project - 028 384 8043 Trees: Trees SA - 021 842 0003

Prior to developing the plant list, I visited the site to determine what species grew naturally in the area and in collaboration with Franchesca, developed a list of plants that would fulfil the various requirements of the landscape plan.


We challenged ourselves by including a number of species that were not readily available from indigenous growers and would have to be propagated for the project. We had lead time of about 12 months, so were unable to grow large specimens but we were able to propagate and grow 4kg shrubs and six-packs. Some of the coastal thicket species that we propagated for the project included Searsia glauca (Blue Kunie), Euclea racemosa (Sea Guarrie), Cassine paragua (Bastard Saffronwood) and Searsia lucida (Blinktaaibos). We also propagated an assortment of fast-growing ground covers as we realised the importance of stabilising and covering open areas in the garden. These included Tetragonia decumbens, Carpobrotus deliciousus, Myrica cordifolia and Helichrysum teretifolium. We also propagated some creeping species including Rhoicissus digitata and Rhoicissus tormentosum, which naturally occur as creepers along these dune fields. “ “One of the more challenging aspects of the project”, Sean explains, was to source reeds and sedges for the dams that were being constructed as part of the garden. For these they included


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Scirpus nodosus, Juncus effuses, Juncus kraussi and Wachendorfia thyrsiflora. A total plant list of 44 species which provided a diverse and representative and naturally occurring vegetation was used. Wherever possible, material was collected from site or close nearby locations from where to grow the plants. This not only ensured that natural genetic material was preserved on site, but also that the plants are well-adapted to local conditions. The plants were grown at the Green Futures nursery on Grootbos Nature Reserve. During the Construction of this project there were many obstacles that needed to be overcome, Bidvest Top Turf advsie that due to the strict environmental management plan, they had to take great care on the site and limit the areas they disturbed. The Cape weather was disruptive during the winter months. Areas around the house had to be done in a second phase. Water for establishing the plantings was at a premium in this drought area. The remoteness of the site meant that the contract was also logistically challenging.

A B O U T S I LV I O R E C H + L E S L E Y CARSTENS ARCHITECTS Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens have spent the last 25 years running a niche architecture practice, now based in Johannesburg. Previously, they lived and worked on site, crafting each project to fit the context and landscape in which the projects were situated. Silv and Les now work on a range of projects throughout Africa which include safari lodges, high end residential, tropical island getaways, luxury hotels, urban renewal projects and more recently, boutique office spaces. Projects like Keurbooms Cottage and House Pengilly (Cape Town) have allowed SRLC to push local architectural boundaries and venture into more sculptural-like structural typologies. This includes Angama Mara (Kenya), which won the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice 2018, #1 Resort in Africa last year. In addition to architectural services, SRLC also specialise in the design of bespoke high end furniture and products, which outfit the buildings they design, creating a complete and cohesive language throughout each project. See our work on Instagram @ silviorechlesleycarstens


Let's Hear It from the Pro Pro Landscaper catches up with Henry Duncan, National Technical Manager at Servest Landscaping & Turf, to find out more about his recommendations of equipment for Residential Turf and Grounds Maintenance.

Mowing: Rotary •

Push & Self-Propelled Mowers - The type of mower you need depends on the function you need it to perform. In general, a push mower is best for smaller yards, especially those that are relatively flat. A self-propelled mower requires almost no muscle and can make short work of the average lawn. However, there are times when even a larger or hillier lawn may require a push mower. Here are a few of these circumstances:

Intricate gardens or features. Riding mowers may have good turning radiuses, but nothing compared to a push mower. Plus, a push mower can get in and out of tight corners and other areas that a riding mower simply couldn’t access.

Steep drops. Riding mowers are best for hills, but they can be downright frightening on truly steep lawns. Like any heavy object on its side, a riding mower may tip over, creating a dangerous situation. A selfpropelled push mower will climb these slopes with no problem.

A reasonable and reliable lifespan for these units can range from anything from 2 to 5 years depending on the hours it ultimately works, regular maintenance and the skill of the operator. Service intervals. A general rule of thumb is about every 100hrs, although considering that these units don’t have hour meters you can set up a time based maintence schedule with intervals at every 3-4 months. Service costs per interval can vary between R200-R400 depending on the manufacturer. These services would include filters, oil and spark plug changes. Blades are considered a consumable item and should be

Recommended brands Hi-Vac, Tandem or anything with a Honda or Yamaha engine.


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changed and provided for additionally based on the wear and condition.

Ride-on Mowers

A riding mower is meant for large, flat yards or those with gently sloping hills. Here are a few other situations where a riding mower is the likely choice for you. •

Fields or lawns more than 500m2 is size. Your operator may tire, but a riding mower will keep chugging in a relatively straight line.

Extremely thick or damp grass. A push mower’s tiny bag can only hold so many clippings, which means that the operator will need to empty often, wasting time. If the bag fills up too much, it can choke the engine, which in the end leads to more expense. A riding mower has a larger bag and can plough through heavy grass without a problem.

Areas with weeds or brush. No lawn mower is meant for these types of obstacles, but most will encounter them occasionally. A riding lawn mower has more weight and hence more momentum to

push through difficult areas. Plus, the rider is positioned in a way that protects them from a spray of debris.

Recommended brands There is healthy competition in this market with so many options although in my experience I recommend Hustler, John Deere, Toro & Walker These are the best value for money units. with options that will suit any budget ranging from R50 000 up to R300 000+ Service intervals range between 100 to 200hour intervals and most of the recognized brand offer 2 years or more warranty on all major components. Service cost can range to between R500 to R1200 depending on the manufacturer. A well-trained operator is also non-negotiable as these are expensive and potentially dangerous equipment if not operated with experience and respect. Daily discipline such as cleaning and greasing goes a long way and should give you at least 4 to 5 years of reliable lifespan if these basic principles are followed daily.


Mowing: Reel (walk-behind & ride-on)

Reel mowers use a helical blade that meets a bed knife—almost like scissors. Reel mowers blades spin with a horizontal shaft. The blades spin on a central axle that causes the reel to spin. The blades also create an updraft that makes the grass stand up so it can be cut. Reel mowers also have a hard time chopping up twigs and going over rocks. As you might expect, reel mowers are typically used for the lower mowing heights required for sports or golf surfaces, which are generally mowed several times a week and commonly known for the striping effect it gives across sports and golf pitches. Preferred cutting height is below 6cm for optimum precision. For homeowners, reel mowers work best on warm season grasses such as Kikuyu, LM, Buffalo & Cynodon. This is why reel mowers are good for smaller plots or manicured lawn and rotary mowers are useful for larger less refined plots of land. Service principals are similar to those of the rotary mowers with the main difference in the reels being significantly more expensive to maintain and replace compared to rotary blades. Due to this they can be grinded by a special grinding machine maximize the lifespan of the reel before it needs to be replaced.

A Pole Pruner / Pole Saw is a tool for pruning with the cutting parts on the end of a rod or pole 6 to 12 feet long. It is specifically designed to trim untidy, unwanted or dead branches from trees. It is designed to make the job easy and is usually extended or telescopic so you can work from the ground and don't have to climb a ladder or up the tree.

Hedge trimmers are elecrtic tools with a blade like a chainsaw, used for cutting back bushes, shrubs, and hedges into desired shapes and designs.

Chain Saw. This is a tool we are all familiar with and has notoriously had its claim to fame for all the wrong reasons in horror movies instead of its primary purpose. Needless to say this remains a very dangerous piece of equipment and I would strongly recommend that you leave any tree felling or similar chainsaw activities to accredited professional service providers. If the first mentioned is not an option then ensure your operator is well trained with SETA accredited training providers (refresher training every 12-24 months mandatory) and that the operator is kitted out with a full PPE kit that includes a harness helmet, goggles, ear protection jacket, trousers, boots and gloves. Training and kit per operator will set you back more

Recommended brands Protea & Tandem for walk behind. John Deere, Toro & Baroness for ride-on options.

Cutting, Trimming & Pruning: •

Brush Cutter’s main purpose to cut or trim areas that is not accessible to push or rideon mowers due to either rocky, uneven or more robust vegetation such as thick veld grass and small shrubs. Depending on your application you could either have a star blade for cutting or fixed line head for trimming purposed fitted. Be mindful of the noise factor as these units normally operate at between 90 to 120dB and is not suitable for noise free buildings and similar areas. Edge Trimmer or Edger’s as more commonly referred to, are to be used to trim the grass in tight spots that a lawn mower can't reach, like along a fence, under decks or near delicate plants and shrubs. Its main purpose is to clean up borders along sidewalks and driveways etc.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


F E AT U R E than R5000 making this an expensive and risky activity to take care of internally. Service intervals. The before mentioned equipment, follows the same maintenance principals as push mowers with 3-4 service intervals annually as a safe guideline. Service costs per interval can vary between R200-R400 depending on the manufacturer. Wear and consumable items vary between chains, blades to be provided for additionally. 2-stroke vs 4-stroke: On all of the above smaller equipment mentioned, it's important to be aware that 4-stroke engines are gradually replacing 2-stroke engines. Take note of the following comparisons before buying your next unit. As far as efficiency goes, the 4-stroke certainly wins. This is due to the fact that fuel is consumed once every 4 strokes. Four-stroke engines are heavier; they weigh upwards of 50% more than a comparable 2stroke engine. Typically, a 2-stroke engine creates more torque at a higher RPM, while a 4-stroke engine creates a higher torque at a lower RPM. The 4-stroke engine is also much quieter, a 2-stroke engine is significantly louder and has a distinctive, high-pitched “buzzing” sound. Because 2-stroke engines are designed to run at a higher RPM, they also tend to wear out faster; a 4-stroke engine is generally more durable. That being said, 2-stroke engines are more powerful. Two-stroke engines are a much simpler design, making them easier to fix. They do not have valves, but rather ports. Four-stroke engines have more parts, therefore they are more expensive and repairs cost more.

Blowers & Sweepers •

Hand-held / Back-pack leaf blowers commonly known as blower, is a gardening tool that propels air out of a nozzle to move debris such as leaves and grass cuttings. Leaf blowers are typically selfcontained handheld units, or backpack mounted units with a handheld wand.

Recommended brands Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husqvarna and Echo. Mechanical Push Sweeper for easy disposal, no contact with the dirt. Perfect for cleaning garages, driveways, sidewalks and storage areas. Clear your garden paths, patios and driveways up to five times faster compared to a conventional broom. Dual spinning brushes sweep right up to the edge of area being cleaned.

Recommended brands Stihl and Karcher

facilities and certain residential properties. I feel however that there is still room for improvement to be able to deal with African conditions and needs. Pros • No exhaust. • Quiet. • Comparatively less blade energy, making it less likely to launch debris. • No hot surfaces. • No fuel storage. • No tune-up or oil change / minimal to zero maintenance costs. Cons • Initial capital investment is more than conventional fuel powered equipment and batteries are expensive to replace. • Power output is not consistent; depends on battery charge. • Operator senses mowing resistance, which increases as charge decreases. • Enough power only for narrow spectrum of mowing/trimming conditions. • Unsuited to rough mowing conditions; optimal performance realized on reasonably smooth ground (best suited to small manicured lawns). • Cut quality, bagging, and mulching decline as battery loses charge.

Battery powered equipment

With this already a reality and viable option in RSA, it’s been tried and tested for certain specific needs abroad for years already. The below would indicate at this stage that these units would be suitable for more domestic use and noise free areas such as hospitality, learning

Recommended brands Stihl and Husqvarna

Two-stroke engines require pre-mixing of oil and fuel, while the 4-strokes do not. Four-strokes are more environmentally friendly; in a 2-stroke engine, burnt oil is also released into the air with the exhaust.

Recommended brands Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husqvarna and Echo.


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


LANDSCAPING MAINTENANCE ON ESTATES Emile Bolton, Project Manager at Southern Turf Management (STM) Gauteng with tips on landscaping maintenance for estates and residential spaces.

Kiddies Play parks on the Estate have beautiful low-cut turf to play on and have been seeded with a Teff mixture next to them, to promote sensory development through texture.


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019


There is no doubt that Global warming has influenced our climate over the past five years in South Africa. The extreme droughts in Cape Town forced STM to change our approach towards Landscape design with a more Water Wise specie plan, suitable to the ever-changing environment. We did also experience a very dry summer in Gauteng, so had to strategize around this to ensure a consistent product be applied to our maintenance projects and the Estates we look after. The use of wetting agents and soil surfactants made a dramatic difference to ensure that moisture was retained in our soil. To ensure consistent turfgrass quality year-round on Estates, you have to ensure that you consistently follow these core principles: •

A Sound Agronomy Plan. Plan your program ahead for a year, fertilizer, fungicide, insecticide, wetting agent and growth regulators. Also, it is important to be adaptable to changing climates. Equipment. Without the correct tools, you can’t do the job in any industry, this applies more so in the turf industry, as your work is out on display for the world to see. Ensure your equipment service schedules are up to date, have a grinding schedule (sharpening of blades) and replace equipment on required times. Cultural Practices. Verticut, scarify, topdress and aerate at the appropriate times in the year. Try not to limit yourself on this to spring and autumn, pending your growth period in the Country. These practices are the backbone to wellmanicured turf throughout the year.

When new designs are implemented on site, it is vital to ensure that your soil preparations are accurate and uniform. It is similar to a building's foundation. Ensure this aspect is correct for long term performance out of your plants. We are fortunate in that we have a strong construction division that works side by side with the maintenance team to ensure all information is shared. To ensure that your seedbed is correct, the following steps needs be applied: •

Take a soil sample of existing area and send to the lab for testing

If the results indicate that ph is good and

no amendments required, you may start to proceed on site. •

Rotovate the existing soil to ensure a noncompacted area with micro and macro pores is open in the soil for water and air movement.

Add compost over the rotovated area and rotovate the area again, this will ensure a consistent growing medium. Repeat the compost and rotovation.

Take a probe and measure that your area is evenly distributed to at least 200mm.

Your area is now ready to plant.

At Waterfall Estate in Midrand, we maintain over 180ha and there are several different Estates which all require different strategies and scopes. This also includes 85ha maintenance of the Jukskei river, large Greenbelt’s and Wetlands. The river has several challenges, including litter, flash floods that cause erosion and seeds from weeds that are often dispersed on our banks and eventually spread to the Estate.

The Valley Mature Estate consists of 242 homes that we maintain weekly. We also maintain several Century Property developments gardens.

For very small residential spaces that require some care, here are some basics: •

Irrigation. The major factor in consistency. Consistent watering provides consistent growth. At least three cycles per week at night during the growing season.

Mow and cultivate at least once a week in summer. Check that your mower blades are sharp and that you are cutting and not tearing turf.

Scarify lawns in spring and if you are going into a dormancy i.e. Gauteng, you can scarify in March at the latest. Follow with a lawndressing and a balanced 3:1:5 granular fertilizer. Do not apply a high N level granular, as your lawn will be thatched in two months all over again.

Apply preventative insectices in spring, autumn and January on all your foilage.

Remove dead foilage once a week

Our Team removed over 1232 cubic meters of debris from the river in the last calendar year and we have a strategic annual plan regarding weeds in the floodline that entails: • • • •

Controlled burns in winter Slashing Selective Herbicide applications Interseeding, variety suited for sun and shade areas

The main goal at the Greenbelts is to have it looking undisturbed and as natural as possible. We have a team on weeding duty that removes weeds strategically. We even do counts i.e. pom pom removal, to gauge our progress over years. Our portfolio at Waterfall also includes a Reddam school and Reddam Helderfotein that includes Wetlands where children are encouraged to remove invasives and interseed as real practical learning. We also prepare the sports fields for tomorrow’s sports stars.

This past season, we removed over 800 000 seeding heads.

This picture was taken at Waterfall Village Clubhouse, it illustrates the effectiveness of a wetting agent program on turf in a dry season.

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019




Selecting a tree for any garden is a life time decision and will greatly improve the appearance and the value of any property. As this falls into the long-term planning of a landscape, it is not to be rushed, if it is to be done correctly. One of the most important factors to take in account is the size of the landscape the trees are to be planted in. On a farm or property with a large garden, tree selection is something that will not have a massive effect if the tree is not exactly the correct choice for the site. With small gardens, however, selection of correct tree species is quite critical due to the space limitations that most modern gardens have.

Written by Suzanne-Francoise Rossouw-Moss: Trees South Africa

You can use trees in the garden for ornamental value, fruit, shade or even a specific function. Before making any selection, it is important to figure out why the tree is needed in a specific area in the garden. In general, trees are planted to create shelter, shade, screening or as a focal point. In large gardens you also have the option to plant groups of trees as well as a single specimen. There is however a vast difference between planting trees in a grouping to planting a single tree. A group of trees will most probably only create a background to a landscape, where a single tree can be used as a focal point. In a small garden you have less opportunity to plant trees and your selection criteria will need to include consideration for seasonal interest (Flowers, fruit, autumn colour), tree shape of a tree (Rounded, pyramid, columnar & more) and even leaf texture.

Ficus microcarpa- Topiary garden


Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

Once the purpose has been identified, finding a suitable tree for a location will in short depend on the available space, climatic conditions on the site. How do climatic conditions influence a tree choice? Firstly, if you are in an exposed landscape you will need to select species that can deal with full sun and strong winds at certain times of the year. Thus, selecting a more resilient tree species for example the White Milkwood, would be a better choice than Forest Elder. If you are in a housing complex with tall apartment buildings surrounding the garden, your site might be in full shade for most of the day and it would be best to consider trees that can tolerate more shade. Soil composition also influence tree choice as many species prefer well drained soil and will struggle to adapt to areas with heavy clay. Trees that generally grow quite fast and lush in a sub-tropical climate due to the high humidity and rainfall, will grow much slower and smaller in areas that have a Mediterranean climate. One good example of this would be the Leopard tree that grows extremely fast in the more tropical regions of south Africa compared to how they struggle to grow in gardens situated in the Western Cape.

F E AT U R E Liquidamber styraciflua - Gardens with autumn foliage

Vachellia sieberiana Bird Garden

Ilex mitis - Topiary Garden In small townhouse gardens tree height, spread and growth rate need to be researched quite extensively to ensure the correct specie is selected for the required purpose and decorative value. The incorrect tree choice might influence overhead powerlines, structures and even the amount of sunlight the garden receives during the year. Most home gardeners make tree choices on look alone, not really considering how large a tree eventually will get when they are mature. I would not recommend planting a Rusty fig in a small garden where you only have a 4m x 6m space available as it will grow much too big and just look completely out of proportion. A beautiful Plane Tree can make a fantastic addition to any garden, but if planted in an average small garden it will need to be contained by pollarding the tree on a regular basis. This practice is often used worldwide to create a specific look in the garden. We all want instant effect, and one of the selection criteria from private gardeners we are most often confronted with is that the trees needs to be fast growing. They usually want to screen out neighbours and feel they need to plant as many trees as possible in the space available. Unfortunately, a fast-growing tree can easily outgrow the space provided in a short period of time, thus it is best to avoid overcrowding. Slow growing tree species are known to live longer and can easily be manicured to suit spaces in small and large gardens. To keep interest in the garden throughout the year it would be best to look at a variety of tree species that have flowers, fruit & or seasonal leaf colour at different times during

the year. This can include a collection made up out of indigenous as well as exotic species to create a diverse selection. With some diversity you do have opportunity to still create a stunning setting in the landscape. As landscaped areas are man-made creations, a mix of species will also reduce the occurrence of pest and disease problems. As no one gardener or garden is the same and each client comes with their own Pinterest board of what they like, it is very often necessary to find a tree species that would fall into a specific category. Shade garden: Often the most difficult area to grow trees. Species most suited to this type of garden would be forest varieties as they have genetically been programmed to survive in the shade of other large trees. - Yellowwood species, Cape Holly, Assegai tree, Bladdernut. Woodland garden: Generally, a recreation of nature in the home garden and cannot be planned by plotting trees according to their mature size. Spacing is random and most often a collection of the same tree species in one location. – Silver Birch, Chinese popular, Fever Tree, Chinese Elm

Gardens with autumn colour: Deciduous trees used in the landscapes for seasonal interest is always a winner in large as well as small gardens. Various deciduous trees keep their colourful autumn colours for a few months during the winter making the dull winter landscape just more appealing. Liquidambar, Pin Oak, Forest Bushwillow. Bird Garden: The retired gardeners are most often the people who would want to know which trees will attract birds to the garden. A large selection of indigenous trees are suitable for this purpose. Paperbark, Coral Tree, Crab Apple, Cape Holly, Wild Peach. Oriental gardens: Luckily this is not just a bonsai collection as many fruit trees are suitable for use in this form of garden. Evergreen conifer species usually make up the background and the fruit trees create focal points in the foreground. Peach, Plum, Cherry, Japanese maple, Cape Holly, Conifers.

Scented Garden: The more difficult of gardens to find a suitable tree for is a scented garden, as the selection is very limited. Magnolia, Gardenia, Keurboom, Natal Mahogany.

Topiary gardens. Formal clipped gardens have become very popular again in the last few years. Trees with smaller foliage that can easily be manipulated with regular pruning is what is most often used. Espaliered fruit trees are included in many small home gardens due to space limitations. Cape Holly, White Pear, Yellowwood, Conifers, Apple, Pear, Fig, Peach.

Foliage Garden: A foliage garden that includes trees, is one of the most interesting to play with in the landscape. Leaf shape, colour and texture can differ vastly from one specie to the next. I was always taught to avoid too much variegated or yellow foliage as it can become a bit overwhelming. Flowering Plum, Conifers, Golden Elm tree.

When faced with a difficult landscape project, it is always best to consult your local tree supplier for the best advice on suitable species. We all need a bit of green in our lives to help calm our environment. Planting a tree goes a long way in shaping our landscapes and benefiting many of the other living creatures we share our cities with. Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



Saxonwold Road, Klein Dassenberg 082 804 2241 |

Growing Health Growing Health

Fertilizer for Certified Organic Growing

Sizes Available: 2kg, 5kg, 10kg and 25kg Tel: (013) 933 3172 / (061) 454 9632 • Cell: 079 896 5814 Email:

healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy people



Pro Landscaper gains expert advice from Jenny Slabber, Co-Owner of Talborne Organics

FERTILIZER FACTS FOR COOL SEASON APPLICATION Q: Can I fertilize in winter? A: VITA organic fertilizers can be applied at any time of the year as they don’t contain As the seasons cool down and plant growth slows, routine grooming work reduces and allows for focus on soil conditioning in preparation for the new season. This should be seen as a year - round activity as a rich and fertile soil is the canvas on which a beautiful, Eco-SMART landscape is built and maintained. To start, adopt the basic methods of organic growing to: • • • • •

Enhance natural self-sustaining ecosystems, Nurture soil health and fertility to grow healthy and vigorous plants Preserve water quality Attract biodiversity Ensure the health and welfare of workers, residents and the natural life in the landscape.

1. INCREASE HUMUS by applying quality compost at a rate of 1 to 3kg per m2. All suitable organic site material should be recycled to make compost or mulch to enrich soil fertility and save costs of transporting off site to landfill. 2. MULCH to protect the soil ecosystem, save water, suppress weed growth and stop soil erosion by using material from site or from a reputable local supplier (leaf litter, wood chips, pips, nut shells, straw, animal bedding). On extensive areas use ground covers, indigenous lawns and/or grasses or meadow mix to add plant diversity and host beneficial insects and pollinators.

3. FERTILISE new and existing plantings with natural, organic fertilizers with all the nutrients required for growing strong and resilient plants. South African soils are naturally low in nutrients resulting in poor growth, stressed plants and a lack of vigor if not supplemented. Talborne Organics VITA & ECO ranges are formulated, high nutrient fertilizers for landscaping, maintenance, sports turf and approved for certified organic growing by Control Union. The NATURAL TURF fertilizer for golf greens and professional turf care is a high nutrient, sustained release, organic enriched base and is softer on the environment and not easily leached. Do a soil test to correct pH, structure or chemistry of soil on new projects before planting. Contact Talborne Organics Technical Services to remediate problem soils.

salts and nutrients are released by microbes Q: How can I protect plants in frosty conditions? A: Although Kikuyu lawn is dormant from heavy frost, many plants flourish in cool seasons so they continue feeding. Fertilize with VITA FRUIT & FLOWER 3:1:5 between March and May to promote flowering in Proteas, Fynbos, Aloes, Wild dagga, as Potassium ensures vigorous flowering and strong and hardy cells. Q: Will leafy veggies not burn when applying nitrogen in winter? A: Nitrogen in VITA Organic Fertilizer is release on a sustained basis over 4 months

4. ORGANIC PEST & DISEASE CONTROL Healthy plants with strong cells resist attack by pests and disease without the need for chemical intervention. When stressed plants are attacked, organic solutions like Biogrow pest and disease control products can be used as they do not poison beneficial ecosystems but rather help to preserve food sources of birds and garden creatures like lizards and frogs. The dangers to human and environmental health from the widespread use of toxic chemicals has restricted the use of these products on public sites.

so should never burn if applied as per

Landscaping and industry professionals now have organic and natural alternatives to maintain projects to the highest standards and specifications, while creating a healthy environment for all to share.

months to maintain blooms.

Directions. Feed leafy greens and herbs with Vita Veg 6:3:4 with planting or with Vita Green 5:1:5 as a top dressing. Q: How can I get the best blooms when planting color seedlings? A: ECO-GREEN Seedling Food is an All-inOne compost and fertilizer for planting winter colour beds, containers or hanging baskets. 1kg covers an area of 5m2. Top dress after 3

For further information, visit and Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019



Trees: Apodytes dimidiate Clerodendrum glabrum Diospyros whyteana Dombeya rotundifolia Heteropyxis natalensis Lorostylis azata Nuxia floribunda Olea africana Pittosprum viridiflorum

Pro Landscaper chats to Marc Dawson, Director at Fridhem Farm Nursery to hear all about his top plants for residential and estate living.

I think that design going forward in residential gardens is going to be more cottage style. Where you will find a mix and match of flowering ornamentals, strap and spikey foliage, tall flowering bulbs, masses of flowering perennial groundcovers and amongst all this busyness some edibles.

With the onset of our recent drought we saw how soft residential landscaping switched to stone chip, pavers, succulents and cacti. A lot of residential gardening was put on hold.

I noticed this while watching customer’s trollies at Retail Nurseries. This is another plus from the drought. From learning to harvest water people want to use this water and get maximum benefit from it. So many people love flowers, the colour, scent and foliage. This draws them in, but now with sustainability in back of their minds edibles are being added to their planting and cottage style gardens are returning.

Softscaping for Residential Spaces

Now that the drought has broken and all that doom and gloom is behind us, I am finding that the penny has finally dropped and people have discovered the priceless value of water. Planting mixes are starting to change. Plants with similar water needs are grouped together. This is resulting in the need for better planning and plant knowledge. I have moved to a more naturalistic approach by making a conscious effort to seek out plant mixes that nature offers us in the veld. This is how nature helps me improve my plant knowledge which I then share when consulting and by putting these plants into production or similar species. These mixes are not only limited to indigenous species but include drought tolerant exotics such as Santolinia chamaecyparissus, Linonium perezii, Guara lindheimeri, Salvia leucantha and Hebe wirii joy which are well adapted to our conditions. Some of my favourite plant mixes are: Orthosiphon labiatus and Phylica auxilliaris, Rhagoda histata and Salvia leucantha, Geranium incanum and Cotula hispida, Plumbago auriculata and Tecomaria capensis, Athanasia dentata and Otholobium fruticans, Solanum africanum and Rhoicissus digitata. 70

Pro Landscaper Africa | May 2019

The way to get started is to get the backbone in by planting trees and larger growing shrubs. These in time act as protectors, by creating a micro climate for the herbaceous perennial shrubs, groundcover and evergreen shrubs. Follow this with planting your seasonal edibles to complete the planting. Once you have made your plant choice, plant in small quantities. Plant in small groups and repeat. Your groundcovers can be planted in larger groups. Culinary herbs can be planted individually, and seasonal edibles can be planted in small groups of 3 and repeated. Beans and tomatoes can be supported with trellising or finials. This style of landscaping requires quite good plant knowledge as spacing and companion planting in relation to its growth form is key. With this style of planting you can always have something of interest in your garden throughout the year. I feel that the rewards from this style of gardening far outstrips the effort. Some plant choices to achieve these results:

Fruit trees: Stone fruit (wonderful for making espaliers) Evergreen Citrus (great in pots) Large shrubs: Buddleja auriculata Buddleja salvifolia Coleonema alba Phylica auxiliaris Orthosiphon labiatus Polygala myretifolia Form Plants: Melianthus major Strelizia reginae Aloe ferox Aloe thraskii Aloe plicatilis Crassula ovata Smaller shrubs: Hemizygia canescense Felecia ericoides Euryops silver sunshine Salvia africana Felecia filifolium Athanasia dentata Otholobium fruticans Pelargonium fragrans (nutmeg) Pelargonium betulinum Ground cover: Falkia repens and Perennials Cotula hispida Hermannia pinnata Scabiosa incisa Selago canescense Phygelius capensis Brilliantasia subulugurica Bulbs: Agapanthus Amaryllis belladonna Aristea capitate Chasmanthe floribunda Kniphofia praecox Watsonia barbonica Zantedesdchia aethiopica Grasses: Aristidia junciformis Melinus nerviglumis Setaria megaphylla Chondropetalum tectroum Chlorophytum saudersiae Elegia capensis Thamnochortus insignus Edibles: Seasonal vegetables Thyme Oreganum Rosemary Lavender Wilde Els Lemon verbena Fennel Buchu




Greg Truen & Stefan Antoni of SAOTA


by Andile Dyalvane

by Laurie Wiid van Heerden


by Laurie Wiid van Heerden

Indigenus design and manufacture beautiful, durable architectural planters developed to uplift and enhance residential, hospitality and corporate environments.

Profile for paperplanepublications

Pro Landscaper May 2019  

Pro Landscaper May 2019