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Concept to Delivery

September 2019





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Happy Birthday to us! It's hard to believe that another year has passed and that this month, just in time for spring, our Pro Landscaper Africa team is celebrating its fourth year anniversary! We are so proud to be active members of this industry and providers of a much needed platform, showcasing and celebrating quality in design, build and maintenance within the green industry. We have flourished over the past four years from a monthly magazine steadily growing in pages and broadening its reach, to the launching of our annual trade show FutureScape Africa. It's an event that aims to unite, under one roof, the many professionals that make up our industry to network, share information and inspire each other, promoting the profession and championing the industry as a whole. It has been a brilliant journey for our team, and we have seized every opportunity along the way to fill every gap, transfer knowledge and share stories of different landscapes. We have big plans for the next few years and we thank every contributor and reader who has guided us, shared their work, their opinions and their expertise to really grow our reach and explore the industry to the maximum. Our inclusive nature and penchant for leaping into the unknown have been contributing factors to our successes thus far and our dynamic team certainly intends to continue to grow our content offerings, reach new professionals who are relevant to our industry and drive best practice for many years to come. We look forward to continuing this journey with you, and we are ever grateful for your support. The Pro Landscaper Africa team,


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21 9

News Update & Association News Industry news from around South Africa


Agenda Are turnkey providers the future of the landscaping industry?



Lynnwood Bridge Retail Centre by Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects & Greenacres Landscapes



The Old Granary Renewed by Gapp Architects and Urban Planners, Megan Anderson Landscape Architect and Peninsula Landscaping


The Journal Transit vs Pause: Aphelele Cengimbo, National Department of Public Works


The Connexxion: Exxaro Head Office by Interdesign Landscape Architects, Bidvest TopTurf and Bidvest ExecuFlora


Landscape Costing From site feasibility through planning and design to implementation and operation


Apartments on William by Insite Landscape Architects and Four Seasons Property Services


Landscape Practitioners Contributing to Water Sensitive Cities A perspective by Kevin Winter, Future Water Institute, University of Cape Town


Hirt & Carter Group Facility: Cornubia Precinct by Elphick & Proome Architects and Life Landscapes

24 FutureScape Africa Seminar Speakers and Times SOME NOTEWORTHY MILESTONES


Brownfield to Butterfly: Increasing Biodiversity in Brownfields


The Impact of the Polyphagous Shothole Borer on Landscapes in South Africa


Greenacres Landscapes Celebrates 30 Years Peet van der Merwe on 30 successful years within the green industry


Sensible Sourcing What it takes to be a plant broker


Site Visit Nonke Plants


Alan Dawson Gardens Celebrating 25 Years of Success! Pro Landscaper catches up with Alan Dawson to here all about his journey in the industry.


What it takes to establish a mature tree nursery From the ground up

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019




Carmen van den Einde Candidate landscape architect Interdesign Landscape Architects

Carmen is passionate about nature and how it can improve quality of life – turning spaces into places that people can enjoy and thrive in. She's worked on projects from house gardens, commercial developments and environmental projects to large scale planning projects. She believes the context and environment of each project is critical to consider during the design process and that landscapes are successful if they are able to adapt and continue to improve quality of life for its intended concept.

Heloise Pieterse Landscape architect, founder of Kainos Landscape Architects

Heloïse Pieterse completed her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture (Cum Laude) in 2017 and has since been involved with various design projects related to mining environments. She established Kainos Landscape Architects in 2018. She has gained 5 years of working experience in-between her studies. She is also actively volunteering her services to the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). As a steward of the environment, she aims to contribute to sustainable design solutions.

Michellé Robertson–Swift PrLArch MSACLAP MILASA Senior landscape architect and director of URBANscapes Landscape Architects & Environmental Planners Michelle’s experience and expertise is based on 27 years of practise in the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning services, ranging from concept development through to implementation and management and maintenance. Her passion and commitment is aimed at creating and sustaining high quality, resilient and sustainable living, working and recreational environments. She hopes these can develop over time and continue to improve quality of life for their specified purpose.

Daniel Rebel Professional landscape architect and director of Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects (Pty) Ltd

Daniel Rebel graduated with an Honours Degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of Pretoria in 1991. He has extensive experience in the field of commercial landscape architecture and estate planning. He was design director at Uys and White for 14 years and he has been responsible for various large scale landscape design projects, open space planning, master and urban planning, design guidelines, tourism and recreational facilities, as well as detail designs. His portfolio includes groundbreaking designs and he was the recipient of a 2011 ILASA merit award for design excellence for the Eye of Africa project. His specific expertise relating to landscape architecture includes: concept and detail design, soft landscape design, design of hard landscape and structural elements, sketch and master plans, preparation of cost estimates, working drawings and contract documentation as well as project management, site supervision and quality control. His expertise relating to master planning and open space planning, includes research, site analyses, ecological analysis, design concepts, strategic planning as well as preparation of reports and presentations.

Prof. Wilhelm de Beer Leader of the PSHB Research Network FABI, University of Pretoria

"I am a mycologist/fungal biologist and my research focuses on fungal plant and human pathogens belonging to the Ophiostomatales and Microascales (Ascomycetes), and the smutlike Microstromatales (Basidiomycetes). These groups include species from well-known genera such as Ophiostoma, Leptographium, Sporothrix, Ceratocystis and Quambalaria. My research covers aspects of taxonomy, nomenclature, phylogenetics, population genetics, genomics, mating, and diagnostics, as well as fungus-insect symbioses, fungal ecology, pathogenicity to plants and humans, bluestain and decay of timber. I direct and coordinate all the taxonomic publications from FABI on these organisms. In addition to my research, I oversee the FABI culture collection and manage the FABI research nursery and clone banks on the experimental farm of the university. I am a member of the Department of Microbiology and apart from supervising MSc and PhD students, I am involved in the BSc Honours program. I am also responsible for a third of the lectures in the MBY261 Mycology course for second year BSc students, and the mycology lectures in the Microbiology course for first years. The 2017 classes are around 350 and 700 students respectively."

Kevin Winter Senior lecturer of Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT

Kevin Winter is a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT and a lead researcher in UCT’s Future Water Institute. His published work focuses largely on water sensitive cities and emphasises urban river restoration and surface water quality monitoring. He has undergraduate degrees from UCT, a Masters degree from London University, and a PhD from UCT.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


Igneous is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of resin based polyconcrete installations for the commercial, retail. leisure and public space installations that compliment architectural and landscaping projects in South Africa and abroad. Our offering includes an extensive range of design, as well as the opportunity for clients to custom design according to new trends and scope. A 21-standard colour palette and custom pigment. Mixed media options, including stainless steel, various wood finishes and others. Branding possibilities through colour and moulded embossed and debossed logos and wording, turning your installation into a permanent advertising feature. A superior material that provides longevity, durability, UV stable colouring and low maintenance. Installation back-up if required as well as managed maintenance contracts.

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NEWS It’s Arbor Month & Focus is Shifting to Safe & Well Maintained Parks Around Cape Town


ith Arbor Month here, executive mayor Dan Plato and Zahid Badroodien, councillor and mayoral committee member for community services and health, invited primary school learners from Elsies River to plant trees in their local park. Today’s planting forms part of Dan Plato’s 'Back-to-Basics' campaign, which is a renewed focus on local parks, making sure they are properly maintained, the fences are not broken and parks are fully enjoyed as recreational spaces. The learners from the local Elnor Primary School were invited to plant small spekboom saplings as part of their school’s educational programme at Clay’s Lane Park – just a short walk from their school – while Dan Plato and Zahid Badroodien introduced a couple of waterberry trees to their new home. Plato stated: "Plants not only beautify our communities, but are also important in helping to supply us with oxygen. The message of Arbor Month is even more important in the time of climate change. Planting a tree is a small and noble gesture that makes a big difference in the urban environment and I cannot imagine communities without trees. "Today’s planting forms part of my Back-toBasics campaign, which is a renewed focus on local parks, making sure they are properly maintained, the fences are not broken and parks are fully enjoyed as recreational spaces. It makes me very happy to see these young learners so enthusiastic about tree planting and caring for the environment." It’s only through awareness, educational programmes and partnerships with the community that the value of caring for trees will be preserved. The City will be driving tree-planting initiatives at various locations throughout Arbor Month.

"Arbor Month will also feature prominently during the various school holiday programmes at our recreation centres, parks and eco-centres towards the end of September. We are truly excited about this programme. It is vital to sow seeds within the next generation about preserving the environment," continues Plato. The Recreation and Parks department promotes the use of parks as outdoor classrooms, giving learners an opportunity to apply what they learn about nature and planting trees in an interactive and fun way. "I would like to encourage all community members to take ownership of their parks so that all our parks can be enjoyed by young and old," said councillor Badroodien.

"My proudest achievement thus far is the garden in the corner," says April. "Previously, people would do drugs or hide their drugs in this neglected area of the park. I decided to construct a small, pallet picket fence with a gate around the corner, and surrounded the area with many plants. Now it is a safe space and the different plants growing there are something pleasant for the community to enjoy."

Recently, the department launched its Park Buddies programme, designed to keep the public open spaces safe, cleaned and well-maintained for the benefit of the local communities. Clays Lane Park is one of the 58 parks that feature in the first phase of the programme. Park buddy Mervyn April lives on the same street as the park, and has been working to improve the appearance of Clays Lane since before his appointment to the role.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



Making Ecosystem Restoration a Priority in South Africa

John D. Liu, ecosystem ambassador for The Commonland Foundation, visited South Africa recently at the invitation of Misha Teasdale of Greenpop, and gave a series of talks aimed at making ecosystem restoration a priority here. John spoke on a panel at Greenpop's Eden Festival of Action, which was attended by hundreds of adults and children who were planting trees to reforest large areas devastated by last year's wildfires in the Garden Route. In Cape Town, he hosted discussions at the The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Spier Wine Estate and Kirstenbosch Gardens, bringing together over a thousand people from different sectors: public, NGOs, academia, agriculture, ecology, conservation and landscaping. The Kirstenbosch event was attended by influential leaders who recognise the need to create an EcoSystem Restoration Council for South Africa linked to the fast-growing international movement that is

The South African Landscapes Institute at the Cape Green Forum Trade Day

mobilising quickly as a response to biodiversity loss and climate change. John says: "Biodiversity, biomass and accumulated organic matter are the evolutionary factors that have always regulated the Earth's climate, as well as soil fertility, biodiversity and the hydrological cycle. We are now in a place where we have an opportunity to adapt, to connect ourselves to a new flow within the river of human evolution. Once you know, you can't unknow. We now need to continue the profound conversation outside of the old economic thinking. We need to act as a species on a planetary scale. We can change landscapes for the better. We can rehydrate dehydrated biomes. We can increase yields by increasing natural vegetation. We can create an economy based on ecological function. We have an obligation to act. We can change our world view. We can restore the earth."

The South African Landscapes Institute exhibited at the Cape Green Forum Trade Show held on the 28th August at the GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World. This was an opportunity for the green industry to meet face to face with one another in a relaxed environment and network. Sixty-two exhibitors displayed their products and services on the day attracting everyone’s attention. The attention to detail applied was absolutely phenomenal. Visitors could immediately sense the passion for our industry just by standing and looking around. As one stood waiting for the clock to strike 9am, ready for the doors to open and the trade show to commence, you could feel the excitement in the air.


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

The newly established facebook page is: EcorestorationZA

Home owners, landscape architects and property developers are encouraged to participate in the conversation, for more info please contact Barbra at:

We got the pulse of the industry’s trends and chatted to many exhibitors and visitors. SALI got to see some of our members exhibiting their beautiful stands as well, including Master Organics, Shadowlands Nursery, Starke Ayres and Trees SA. Gaynor Demas, SALI Cape regional manager, explains that she found the event to be particularly inspiring: “It was the first trade show that I had attended and what a great experience and privilege to have met individuals with whom I have been telephonically communicating with for more than fourteen years.” We would like to give a huge thank you to the Cape Green Forum for hosting a hugely successful Trade Day.

LGH Pro Landscaper Quarter page August_Edited.pdf



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Lifestyle College Training also offer horticulture courses and advice on horticultural work to companies of all other industries across South Africa. Our trainers are qualified facilitators and assessors who are passionate about imparting their knowledge. Regular training programmes keep our facilitators up to date with new training methodologies and ensure that we set a high standard of training.

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Design and build as a business model seems to be on the rise, largely because of its ability to offer clients a 'one-stop shop' experience where convenience is king. It might also be a concept on the rise due to our industry needing to diversify its offerings to win over clients in different sectors of the market.

We ask some industry influencers: are turnkey providers the future of the landscaping industry?

IDA-MARIE STRYDOM Director Life Green Group

Turnkey projects are not new to our business. For many of our smaller, simpler landscapes, we undertake the design and supply in house, especially where we have long standing clients whose needs and requirements we are already familiar with. The challenge arises when projects are of a significant scale and complexity, where it is necessary, in the interest of the overall outcome of the project, to engage the expertise of the landscape design professional. Often, we are approached to undertake this work as it is seen as a cheaper option than appointing a landscape architectural professional directly. Time is often

TONY KRAMMER General manager Afrilandscapes

also of the essence and this approach is perceived as having a much faster turnaround time. As a company, we do not see ourselves effectively and efficiently participating in the design component of these types of projects. A good understanding of one’s risk is vital as is the attention to good relationships with all on the project team as team work and trust are key. The core focus of Life Green Group has always been landscape construction and maintenance. And while we are happy to participate on these turnkey projects, the involvement of a landscape architectural professional remains critical for us.

Being a professional landscape management company, Afrilandscapes bears SACLAP credentials and are is a member of SALI. Not only does this allow Afrilandscapes to offer our full spectrum of landscaping turnkey solutions (design, build and maintain SALI award-winning gardens), but we pride ourselves in our keen interest and abilities that make us always look for the value add.

service our clients. Most of the time, it is the other way around instead. We at times do break the general expectation of a landscape architect supplying the concept and the landscaper putting the plan into reality.

This is applicable specifically to where contractgrowing is concerned. Our site-specific plant requirements are produced to spec and in time. We aim at landscaping gardens that suit the environment, in tune with the natural habitat, as well as consider plants that are endemic to the area. Afrilandscapes have engaged, collaborated and even employed landscape architects to

The goal is to not only address the direct monetary outlay, but also to consider the long-term effects of our landscape interventions. Sustainability of the landscape product is just as important as saving costs during the installation phase. This we do through supplying best quality plants and materials and installing it in time, to spec and within the budget.

At Afrilandscapes, we believe in synergies that benefit all parties. Each project is unique and design requirements should be considered accordingly.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


AGENDA The 21st century has seen the landscape industry experience a multitude of intense changes to the core of its being, from supporting and ‘beautifying’ the built fabric and developments to giving a voice to a generation of culturally frustrated polemicists, concerned ecologists and lobbyists for human rights. Turn-key firms aren’t new on the scene and owe their existence to the portion of the industry affectionally referred to as ‘landscapers’, whom have been managing business models in such a way for decades.

REYNDERS VENTER Landscape architect Golf Data

It involves the complete series of consulting and service delivery from concept through construction and preferably into post construction phase maintenance.

Although the idea may be a tempting one, I do think it is seriously detrimental to the industry. First and foremost it is against the ethical code of conduct for registered landscape architects.


Principle landscape architect Terra+ Landscape Architects

While it is tempting for a client to have only one person responsible from design to installation, it is detrimental to the profession and standards which have been developed through the professional bodies. The client does not necessarily know whether he or she is getting the best possible solution on the market, and at the moment there are limited checks and balances in place when working with a “one stop shop”.


I strongly believe that the use of professional landscape architects to design and tender is the best route for all. The client gets an impartial design which takes into account the brief or site requirements, constraints and budget.

Director Countryline Africa

The landscape architect is best qualified and positioned to liaise with the rest of the professional team from start to finish, which in this day and age can have quite onerous considerations, such as loadings on slab, drainage, 'green building documentation' and so on. During the implementation, it is advised that the landscape architect liaises with the contractor regarding suitability and availability of plant material and other aspects.

Design is a skill developed and honed with exposure to all facets of the industry, rather than taught and developed only in the trenches of design-based consulting companies. There is great merit in developing an overall craft and understanding of both our canvas and client. Turnkey allows for fast tracking project phases, reduction in consulting costs and possibly poses indeterminable feasibility. Having worked in this space for all of five years, I acknowledge that this is the future in terms of diversified application of knowledge and resources and definitely carries the benefit of the client at its core.

Further to this, the design resolution may not always be as refined as when there are inputs from more than one party. It is also questionable whether the expertise of a designer is necessarily transferred to construction and vice-versa. The principles of a free market economy dictates that any solution is possible as long as the client is willing to pay the price. However, it is detrimental to the profession (landscape architecture) if clients feel exploited by a solution where they have no insight into the cost or have comparative cost analysis available. Having a designer separate to implementation gives client exactly that peace of mind and delivers a competitive and superior solution in the end.

We are often asked to design and price a turnkey ‘tender’, but this always results in an adjudication of ‘apples vs pears’ which is almost impossible to be fairly judge. This means that the client potentially receives a tender-winning cheap option with a blank cheque being given to the contractor who drew up the brief, designed to suit his business and implemented without independent professional supervision. Whilst there is a place for lower budget design and build, I am a strong advocate of the professional route which ensures that the client gets the most creative and practical end result. I believe that this also assures the client of the best value for money.

"I strongly believe that the use of professional landscape architects to design and tender is the best route for all"


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

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Transit vs Pause Why have you selected this topic? University of Cape Town has a very distinct character compared to other institutions. The campus is one of very few campuses that have a number of spaces open to the public, capitalizing on the geographic and architectural views available at the site.

above mentioned problems. The study areas are currently primarily used for parking by lecturers, and are vacant, dark and unsafe after working hours. Hence, the project focused on introducing 'pause' spaces that can potentially be used day and night by increasing surveillance to the space.

With that being said, the campus has a number of small scale spatial problems. As a student coming to campus every day using public transport and Jammies (UCT’s school buses), I came to the realization that the campus might have eased access to vehicles, but not so much for pedestrians. Amongst other problems, I also learnt that:

What was the brief/theme from your lecturer? 'Transit Vs Pause' was the project for my Master of Landscape Architecture brief, at Studio 1. The primary focus was University of Cape Town's upper campus spaces. The main studio comprised of 3 sub-studios that were carried out over two semesters.

It is very difficult to navigate around the campus due to its topographic character

Due to its openness to public, underutilized spaces and back areas do not feel safe at certain times of day

Over time, campus outdoor spaces have been developed by different designers or contractors. This has manifested itself through contrasting materials, furnishes and street furniture and other features between spaces developed at different times

There is a big difference between spaces dedicated to parking when compared to open and/or gathering spaces

The scale of my project was considerably small, and it would be ambiguous to solve all the

digital and parametric design during this and other projects at UCT. Transit Vs Pause is definitely not the best project and/or studio I have worked on. However, it is the first studio project I completed using Revit. It was a big challenge to model landscape features (such as topography, organic shapes, planting berms). I think it is safe to say we did somehow “De-Revit” or “hack” Revit and designed a landscape out of it. I continued using these softwares to better my design and complete Studio 2, which focused on memorial landscapes: Kechene Cemetery, in Ethiopia.

Sub-studio 1 – 'UCT spaces as spines and corridors'. This stage regarded connecting UCT campus spaces. We formed groups of 3 to 4 students. Here, we were allocated to a spine or a corridor with 3 underutilized campus spaces. We had to design and come up with a method that communicated the language (architecture, finish material and scale) of the campus. What have you learnt from the studio and project? A few weeks ago, I came across a LinkedIn post from our studio master, where he talked about his interest in researching digital and parametric design. I was then heartbroken when he concluded that his attempts to integrate this with UCT’s Master of Landscape Architecture program curriculum were mostly unsuccessful. This is not to say I disagree with him – I learnt a lot about

Sub-studio 3: This studio focused on the detailed aspect of landscape architecture design and representation in the form of conventional technical drawings. It involved refining design through technical detailing, both graphically and in writing to materialize conceptions.

GIMBO LE CEN hitect E L E H pe Arc AP orks andsca L e ublic W t P a f id o d t n n a e C artm al Dep Nation

ng aces alo p s g in r e gath atial campus d n a gning sp ted green i n s e e e r D g . s g r tin uc ido "Negotia long transit corr aces and constr ctivate p a s a s campus e , an inquiry to moment e h t f o ctur ation configur re as an acupun paces." ss ctu infrastru ed back campu iz il t under -u Sub-studio 2: This stage mainly focused on design and the use of Revit (3D, BIM modeling software) in the landscape architectural field. “De-Reviting Revit� was a term our studio master referred to when he spoke about the use or bending the rules of Revit to suits our needs.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



LANDSCAPE COSTING: from site feasibility through planning and design to implementation and operations

Costing a project can be a mammoth task, with the responsibility for compiling accurate estimates presenting many challenges for landscape architects and contractors alike. We catch up with Michelle Robertson-Swift, landscape architect and director at URBANscapes Landscape Architects to hear her inside tips, ideas and opinions for when it comes costing a project.


andscape cost, in its simplest form, can be understood to be the costs of professional consultants and landscape designer combined with a typical list of project specific items (for both soft and hard landscaping) and irrigation works (supply and install). Part of the landscape architect’s general services on a project includes producing a global cost estimate after a concept has been developed. Sometimes this is done in collaboration with or submitted to the project quantity surveyor. In order to produce this, the landscape architect needs to keep a handle on competitive rates and prices submitted in similar tenders, as well as advice and quotations received from landscape and irrigation contractors, civil contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, nurseries and relevant parties.

A fundamental problem of landscape cost is the misperception of the actual cost of landscape materials by those allocating a landscape budget. This projection of cost is further complicated by needing to decide on plant size. For example, a plant can be bought as part of a tray of plants or a six pack of plants. These are the smallest plants that one can purchase besides, of course, seeds. Larger specimens will include 2kg, 4kg, 6kg, 8kg or 10kg plants. A 20kg or larger specimen can also be bought at a greater cost. Typically when trying to keep costs down but still ensuring a bit of an impression, a 4kg or 6kg plant is specified. The density/planting of these is then specified in number of plants per square metre i.e. 4, 6 or 8 plants per square metre. In terms of actual cost, one is weary to quote prices here but


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


just to understand order of magnitude, one must realise that a 4kg plant, supply and install, can cost in the region of 35 rand each. If one had to therefore consider a square metre rate for soft landscaping this could be in the region of R300.00/m2. This rate would include five 4kg plants, topsoil and fertilizer mix, irrigation and mulch cover. It is therefore interesting to note that the square metre rate for planting is similar to that of paving. This actual rate of landscape per square metre is therefore critical in the determination of landscape budget allocations. Remember though that this considers the most simplistic landscape design, besides just lawn. More complicated landscapes such as roof landscaping, vertical landscaping on walls, trellises, synthetic lawn and the likes, or use of 1000 or 3000L trees, will of course increase the budget allocation required. It is therefore important that should a quantity surveyor (prior to the involvement of a landscape architect) determine a landscape budget, it is to be rationalised and verified once the landscape architect has developed a landscape concept together with the client. Critical to the success of this is that the client’s expectations are carefully managed so that they are clear as to what is envisaged in the decrease of costs by the reduction of plants' size and spacing so that further expectations are not created. Being clear and managing this expectation recently in a project led interestingly enough to a budget being tripled, and plant size and spacing being increased. This was as the client understood the size and density which would be achieved within the initial budget versus that of an increased budget, which he preferred and eventually chose. In some commercial or precinct development projects, another facet of plant material costs which can be explored to provide cost savings is that of purchasing upfront seeds or tray size plants and holding them in a nursery or temporary onsite nursery to grow on to be larger once planting is programmed to commence. This however only is an option should time and better costs be viable. As mentioned, the above starts to cover the simplest understanding of landscape cost which addresses planning, design and implementation stages of a project as well as the very start only of operations and maintenance.

Besides understanding actual landscape materials supply and installation costs, it is also just as important to recognise and understand additional landscape costs which form today part of the landscape of a project. These current added value and landscape components introduce some new items to the typical list, which constitutes the landscape works division of a project’s bill of quantities.

“A fundamental problem of landscape cost is the misperception of the actual cost of landscape materials by those allocating a landscape budget." A sustainable landscape The very nature of any landscape development is made up of living, ecological components together with manmade urban components.

Requirements, in this day and age, necessitate that we not only develop a visually aesthetic and good landscape experience, but one which ensures importantly also a sustainable and resilient landscape establishing both a natural and urban ecological holistic system, i.e. sourcing, recycling or renewing resources required to operate the system. Water in the landscape & biodiversity One such natural resource is water, which now in terms of sustainability and resilience implies water extraction or harvesting, filtration and recycling. The infrastructure required for this such as well points, boreholes, river and aquifer extraction, water storage tanks above and/or below ground are all becoming everyday components of landscaping and civil engineering. It has therefore become typical and general that high end residential include this infrastructure. Teamed up with this resource is the other natural resource of biodiversity in terms of preferring indigenous

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



and endemic plant palettes which are low maintenance and 'water wise'. In these new developmental landscape requirements, this responsibility, their components and costs are being added to the landscape costs budget. It may however be decided that these services and infrastructure remain with the engineer or architect. However, for the purpose of this article (investigating the current status of landscape cost), we will include it within the landscape budget as it directly relates to the value of the landscape, thereby also being included within our typical landscape items to be quantified, rates submitted and costs calculated. The landscape architect together with advice from

the soft landscape contractor and irrigation designer/contractor needs to inform carefully how much water is required daily and seasonally as well as its required qualities. An interesting technical development to aid this is that of evaluating the water co-efficient required for each species of plant. Similar to this is also the determination/calculation of the carbon related footprint alleviation presented by different plant and/or tree species. These calculations and scientific data gathering imply additional landscape costs in specialist consultant fees. However, it is viable for these calculations to be investigated as part of an academic or environmental science NPOs research project. Calculations for an extensive

range of commonly used items in the trade tree, and plant species from this research, can possibly be available to the industry at minimal to no cost. Coming back to the initial question of landscape cost, these new components regard value and no longer only support and establish a visually attractive or good experience landscape component to the holistic development. The past approach which interpreted the landscape value through elements of a project that were considered ‘nice to have’ or ‘luxury’, making services and infrastructure an easy target in the development budget to be reduced to the absolute minimum, which would often then be even further reduced in favour of other budget items as these were perceived as being of more value and necessity. In summary, when considering landscape cost, it is first and foremost necessary to realise the actual cost of landscape material and the current additional cost due to environmental directives. In adequately addressing the topic of landscape cost today, one needs to, within this article, request readers and various parties involved (such as quantity surveyors, landscape and irrigation contractors, civil contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, nurseries and other relevant parties) to consider landscape cost issues or the challenges they are experiencing. In a follow up article to this, we will look to address these issues. e-mail your responses to this article to should you wish to comment


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

LANDSCAPE PRACTITIONERS contributing to water sensitive cities

Written By: Dr. Kevin Winter Future Water Institute, University of Cape Town A water sensitive city is visionary concept that is guiding new thinking and practices in urban water management that seeks to integrate the social, economic, ecological and environmental health of a city. The concept of a water sensitive city is in its infancy in South Africa. Progress is being hampered by a limited vision of what cities need to do to become more water resilient; uncertainty about how to achieve a water sensitive city; and a lack of policy directives in becoming water sensitive. At the same time, urban water services are competing for attention against more pressing social demands for housing, sanitation, education and health services, employment and access to food. Meanwhile, population growth and rapid population are making large parts of cities unpleasant, unsafe and socially fractious. Our cities are underprepared to deal with the shocks and stresses that are caused by water scarcity, droughts and floods. Given these many challenges, the call to shift from the general state to a more water sensitive city condition might be ill founded, but equally the consequences of not doing so could be disastrous. Thus, the concept of a water sensitive city in South Africa will need

to evolve in a different way and pace to cities of the North. The landscape professionals are well aware of the challenges that come from working in degraded urban spaces. They are often at the forefront of implementing green infrastructure and nature-based solutions that inform the design of sustainable drainage and water conservation projects. Practitioners are often called upon to regenerate and restore damaged landscapes systems where there has been considerable loss of biodiversity and degraded public spaces. Water sensitive designs aim to make cities more pleasant places to live and are more resilient to climate change. Urban water management is integrated into the plans and functions of cities. International experience shows that there are multiple benefits that accrue to societies that establish liveable spaces and improve the overall capability for cities to withstand shocks and stresses from disasters (Brown, et al. 2016). In contrast, cities without water are unbearable. Citizens got a taste of this scenario when Cape Town moved closer to ‘Day Zero’ and experienced what could happen when large cities run out of water.

The role of landscape practices Progress in developing water sensitive cities in South Africa will not happen without the support of unambiguous policy, political will and adequate investment. The City of Cape Town has made a start to become a water sensitive city by 2040, and is now developing strategies to progress towards this goal. There are many examples across South African cities where landscape professionals have contributed to diverse platforms of green infrastructure and naturebased solutions that enrich biodiversity and support ecological habitats. These kinds of projects often become important public spaces that connect people to natural systems, to each other and encourage citizens to take collective responsibility for caring for improvements in public places. The return of nature to urban areas can become a catalyst for behaviour change and a shift to a more caring and humane society. For example, there is evidence to show that water sensitive urban cities are helping citizens to value ecological integrity while building resilience to climate change at the same time. Sustainable urban drainage, stormwater treatment and the implementation of water sensitive design

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Restored banks of Liesbeek River

Wetland Pond in 1997

Wetland Pond in 2004

Wetland Pond in 2019


Rain gardens, permable pavements, constructed wetlands, water reuse, managing urban water cycle


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

and practices is best illustrated in the work of landscape interventions along the Liesbeek River in Cape Town. Elements of water sensitivity have been implemented here at various times for over 20 years. In 1996, a developer was persuaded to invest a small percentage of the cost of building an office park on a floodplain alongside the Liesbeek River in Cape Town. Following a public participation process, it was agreed that they would construct a wetland on the bank opposite the office development. Around 0.5 hectares of earth was excavated below the summer groundwater level. Two stormwater pipelines that previously had discharged directly into the river were truncated and routed into the newly excavated pond. In addition, an off-take pipeline was installed to transfer water from river to the pond. Finally, the level of water in the pond was controlled by an outlet pipe that was located at the far end of the wetland as a discharge point. Banks of the pond were planted with indigenous shrubs, grasses and trees. As is often the case, the project team left without a maintenance plan or contractual agreement with the local authority. The public, who had diligently participated in the process, were soon alarmed that a well-manicured wetland became overgrown with Typha capensis and Phragmites australis, and a refuge for the homeless. The possibility of removing dense stand of reeds was beyond the ability of neighbourhood interest groups and local group Friends of the Liesbeek. It is not what people wanted, however, the wetland did improve the water quality before it discharged into the river. But the design was not optimal – too much water flowed through the ponds when it rained, and too little flowed during dry summers. Young researchers, keen to engage in real world project work, discovered that water quality could be improved if the throughflow could be understood and controlled accordingly. Studies showed that stormwater pollutants, such as oils, copper and zinc, could be reduced by up to 73%, and nutrients by as much as 65%. It meant that the treated water could be discharged in compliance with South African water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life as opposed to the condition of this water prior to the project and from controlling throughflow of water from the river.

the Liesbeek River illustrates four points that could improve professional practice: •

Designs that incorporate water features are often difficult to control. Many interacting factors only become apparent once the project is installed. Be prepared to experiment and monitor the outcome.

Landscape professionals seldom have time or resources to get feedback after the project is implemented. Engage with local research institutions and researchers who may be interested to study innovative designs in water sensitive urban design.

Don’t underestimate the value of involving public interest groups in project design. It is a way of building knowledge and interest long after the practitioners have left the site.

Practitioners are often blamed when projects fail when it is actually caused by the failure of the maintenance programme. Detailed maintenance plans are vital if authorities and citizens are going to support the project long after completion but too often the plans are not written or never passed on.

The concept of a water sensitive city is gaining momentum in South Africa, and there is an exciting opportunity for landscape architects. However, the absence of public policy is a major challenge. In the interim, it is up to practitioners to demonstrate how sustainable urban designs are capable of building climate resilient cities and transforming public places that connect people to each other and to nature.

References Brown, R., Rogers, B. and Werbeloff, L. (2016) Moving toward Water Sensitive Cities: a guidance manual for strategists and policy makers, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Fisher-Jeffes, L., Carden, K. and Armitage, N. (2017) A water sensitive urban design framework for South Africa, Vol 17 2017 Journal of Town and Regional Planning

Lessons for shaping a water sensitive city A sustainable urban drainage (SuDS) approach is familiar to most landscape practitioners. The example from the Liesbeek raises two questions: does it work? How will we know? Landscape architects are well positioned to advance the development of water sensitive cities, but they need to provide stronger evidence to demonstration how nature-based designs are capable of improving urban water management and quality. Too often landscape practitioners leave the site and may never know if their design worked or not. The example of

landscape architecture supports life...

Visit our website at or our Facebook page : InstituteForLandscapeArchitectureSA Join us on the 25th of October 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre as we discuss the future of the design, build and maintenance sectors. CPD Allocations of 1 Point (Category 1) for SACAP Members and CPD Allocations of 0.8 Points for SACLAP and SALI Accredited professionals for the day.

ROOM 1 9.30:

Dr Luyanda Mpalwa - President of the SAIA, Architect and Urban Designer Founder of DesignSpaceAfrica Topic: Inclusive cities of the future


Jacques Van Embden - Architect & Managing Director of Blok Property Developers Topic: Taking back public space: how we can make better use of public space in place making


desertINK - International speakers from renowned UAE based firm, desertINK Topic: Context-driven landscape designs Lunch Break


Thomas Chapman - Founder of Local Studios Topic: The reintroduction of “publicness� into the postapartheid city


Louis van der Walt - Golf Course Architect at Matkovich Group Topic: The art of golf course architecture


Jamie April - Programme Coordinator @ Red & Yellow, Creative School of Business Topic: Marketing your brand Cocktails and Canapes

ROOM 2 9.15:

Marijke Honig - Renowned Landscape Designer and Author Topic: Green buildings and landscapes of the 21st century


Leon Kluge - International Landscape Designer and Show Garden Guru


Ancunel and Donovan - Senior Landscape Architect for the City of Cape Town & Professional Landscape Architect and Owner of Urban Choreography

Topic: The value of urban green space Lunch Break 13.15:

Anthony Wain - Director at Planning Partners Topic: Searching for common ground in gardens of the past


Andrew Kerrin - Professional Landscape Architect & Director at GREENinc Landscape Architects Topic: The value that landscapes bring to our cities


Shothole Borer Seminar - All you need to know! Cocktails and Canapes


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

Grow Your Own awn

Indigenous L

- Erradication of Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer


Indigenous Water Wise Heat & drought tolerant Shade tolerant creeper Excellent colour


GREENACRES LANDSCAPES CELEBRATES 30 YEARS! Greenacres Landscapes was founded in 1989, by Peet and Bettie van der Merwe. Peet began his journey in the industry by qualifying as a horticulturist back in 1976, completing his practical with Johannesburg Parks and Recreational Department in the early 70’s. He then went into a partnership and owned a retail nursery until 1980. Between 1980 and 1989, Peet followed his passion and eventually went into a landscaping partnership with the late Alan Ralph. Peet received his first Gold Award of Excellence from SALI in 1989, exactly 30 years ago! Following in the family footsteps, Peet and Bettie’s son Jacques joined the business in 2002, bringing his experience from a Diploma in Landscape Technology into the picture. He then moved to the Western Cape after winning a tender for Phase 1 of the esteemed Val de Vie Estate and worked on many other projects in the Western Cape before returning to Gauteng to manage the installations. The team now services both Gauteng and the Western Cape. Greenacres Landscapes is the epitome of a family owned business, they all work together at the offices from Hekpoort, Gauteng where Bettie and their daughter Chérie focus on the financial side and Peet and Jacques the installations. Using experience gained expertise, they have a small nursery as well as container grown trees onsite for project use. They also have incredible staff, many with up to 30 years’ service who have been active ingredients for the business's success! Their success over the last 30 years is also a tribute to the work they have received from landscape architects such as Daniel Rebel, Uys & White, Landmark Studios, Insite, GREENinc, Johan de Villiers and Iskalo LA. In the earlier days, they worked with late Peter Dayson & Douw van der Merwe on many projects. They are renowned for hard landscaping, and they have also completed many water features which are quite memorable with the latest one being at Loftus Park. This project also bagged the team a SALI Trophy for Landscape Construction at this year’s awards. 26

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

The most rewarding part of landscape installation, Peet explains, is to receive a drawing from an architect with his/her detailed design, as it's then all up to you to implement what you see in their picture. "It must be one of the most rewarding jobs on earth, because you walk away at the end of a creation with a very satisfying feeling. And then it grows into a monument! It is incredible to visit the sites we have worked on after 20 or 30 years and see the original version that has matured. We get to make history." The last 30 years have been challenging with an everchanging economy, but Greenacres are certain that their hard work and grit have ensured they always have work, for which they are very grateful. The next ten years and onwards will have their own challenges, but the team is ready to adapt to change to survive and remain industry leaders for the younger generation to take the lead in the business one day. Peet reminisces, recalling his very first job creating a garden as a student: “From that money I bought my first Bakkie. On that specific job, I remember Dave Kirkby delivered the lawn himself with his Hino truck in 1975. We have good memories of the early years in SALI, when there were annual Christmas parties; our famous Father Christmas was Gordon Smith –he was an icon in this industry. We also used to have many braais on various sites with all of the SALI members attending to share the passion for this. Some landmark projects that Greenacres Landscpes has had the privilege of being involved with: The Island Estate – Hartbeespoort Gallagher Estate – Midrand Mall of Africa – Midrand PwC Tower – Midrand Loftus Park – Loftus Pretoria BCX College – Centurion University of Pretoria – various projects Copperleaf Golf Estate – Centurion Pecanwood Golf Estate – Hartbeespoort FNB Stadium – Johannesburg


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


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stablished in 1994, Alan Dawson Gardens was set up by Alan and Paula Dawson. What began as a small company, has grown over the years into a renowned, family run, landscape business operating throughout the Western Cape. It services both domestic and commercial markets, estates, farms and every landscape in-between. They began their journey with garden services and smaller landscapes and, after both qualifying as horticulturists from Cape Technikon, decided to run the business from their student digs in Harfield Village. Paula was the backbone of the business, running the day-to-day operations whilst Alan moved between the business and playing professional cricket for the Western Province, the Cape Cobras and the Proteas. The business started to flourish and expand when Alan’s older brother and fellow horticulturist Marc joined the team in 1998. The team then made the decision to sell the maintenance side of the business and concentrated on their first love, landscaping, doing their own in-house design. Since then, they have been fortunate to have many opportunities to landscape beautiful homes all over Cape Town for over 20 years. Alan explains that their success is also in part due to the support of their clients, suppliers, landscape designers, builders, developers and

subcontractors who have loyally supported the team and remained faithful throughout the years. Marc left the business in 2012 to concentrate on his wholesale nursery, Fridhem Farm Nursery. This is when Barry Dawson, their younger brother, stepped in to oversee the day-to-day running of the business. From this point this have grown considerably for the team. The operations have moved to the team’s small holding, where they have a wholesale nursery and keep all of their landscape stock and materials. They have also recently purchased offices at Carissa House in Diep River. Alan and his team have worked hard on maintaining standards and relationships during the tough economic and drought years and take great pride in their work, constantly looking to improve and offer unique landscape options and designs. Their loyal and experienced staff members zare hard-working and committed, and play an essential part in the Alan Dawson Gardens family! And in the years to come, the company looks to continue creating beautiful, sustainable and viable landscapes – it's in the team’s DNA. Alan is excited for the future and says the team is looking forward to the growing challenges as well as creating solutions. Working hard on maintaining the amazing relationships that they have forged with so many people the last 25 years is also something at the fore.

Alan Dawson Gardens has been a principal member of the South African Landscape Industry (SALI) for 15 years, winning numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze awards along their way. They are very proud of their achievements with the most note-worthy being The Efekto Trophy for the Best Landscape Construction with In-House Design for House Van Meurs in 2009 as well as The Mayford Trophy for the Best Use of Colour in the Landscape for House Erhart in 2017. In 2010, they won the SALI National Judges Discretionary Award for the leading role that Alan Dawson Gardens has played in the landscaping industry in the Cape and in particular for the use, development and experimentation with indigenous Cape flora in their projects.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019





Part of the exciting Lynnwood Bridge precinct is a retail centre that offers visitors an experience like no other in Pretoria. With its unique tenant mix, Lynnwood Bridge ensures visitors and customers return time and again. Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects (DRLA) was appointed by Attacq Developers for the landscape planning during the refurbishment of the Lynnwood Bridge Retail Centre, which has recently been completed. This development is situated in Lynnwood, Pretoria on the corner of the N1 Highway and Lynnwood Road. Greenacres Landscapes, who were sub-contracted to implement the design, won a SALI Gold Award for their landscape construction on this project.


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



he brief from this client was to provide a successful landscape design that would integrate the various elements throughout the existing retail centre in order to enhance the sense of place for visitors and tenants alike. The existing planters and plant palette had to be re-envisaged and new seating were to be provided. The finishes selected throughout the development were purposefully selected to not only compliment the architecture of the surrounding buildings, but to also unify the spaces in-between them. The paving used throughout the development is the Chestnut from Bosun with ground finish framed with SmartStone Cosmopolitan cobble. This seamlessly integrates with the specified tile finish adjacent to the shopfronts by the architects. Seating areas needed to be integrated into the existing built-up planters. These planters were tiled to the specification and detail provided by the architects. Bespoke concrete seating with a terrazzo inlay was designed by DRLA and Gallo Precast was tasked with the manufacturing and installation

thereof. These seating areas are accentuated and demarcated by using a polished Artevia concrete. The existing water feature, with its signature sculpture of a donkey by artist Angus Taylor, was also refurbished. The design entailed replacing the existing Artevia concrete water feature surface with granite tiles placed on Buzon pedestals. Greenacres Landscapes assisted with the mechanical design and installation of the water feature while Marble Classic provided the granite tiles to detail design and specification. The plant palette within the built-up planters was envisioned to be a floral arrangement, adding colour and texture to the development. The palette consisted of a mix of Agapanthus nana, Helichrysum cymosum, Elegia tectorum, Felicia amelloides, Strelitzia reginae, Strelitzia 'Mandela’s Gold', Asparagus sp. and Plectranthus sp. Multi-stem Olea europaea trees were used to complete the picture. When it came to irrigating the site, drip irrigation, rain sensors and soil moisture additives were incorporated in the design and construction of the project in order to reduce the water requirements of the soft landscape installation. Greenacres Landscapes began by installing new Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



pavers in the piazza area. The team then needed to demolish the old planter boxes and then rebuild and install new precast benches with cranes and block and tackles. The polished Artevia was placed in the front of all benches. Once all of the planting had been removed, XXL-size Olea open ground trees were brought in by hand and planted onsite to set the scene. Greenacres installed the new drip irrigation system as well as the water feature. Inside the water feature, new lights were also installed using FX luminaire lights, a new product that can change up to 30,000 colours from an app installed on a smartphone. Some of the challenges of this project included the working hours in which Greenacres could implement the design – the majority of this needing to take place at night between 10pm and 7am. Another noteworthy challenge was that

the mall couldn’t close during this period and it was “business as usual”, so precision, discreetness and a professional manner were imperative. All of the tiles that the team removed needed to be replaced that same night as no hoarding was allowed in certain areas, and the site needed to be ready for customers and visitors as the mall opened the following day. Cleaning of the site was a constant job so that there were no negative influences on the shopping experience or safety hazards. Putting the customers and visitors first was the team’s priority, which was achieved effortlessly. As with many projects that pose challenges, the reward is always great and Greenacres are to be commended on achieving a Gold Award at the SALI Awards of Excellence for the precision and meticulous nature of this multifaceted build. This all shows in the final product and brings the DRLA design to life.

SUPPLIERS Bespoke sculptural concrete seating, manufacturing and installation: Gallo Precast - 012 546 6067 Bespoke steel dustbins: Truestyle Hard Landscape Solutions 011 768 1305 Paving: Lafarge Artevia - 011 657 0000 Artevia concrete paving installation: Willem Scholtz - 081 438 4347 Paving installation: Greenacres Landscapes Water feature: Greenacres Landscapes Pool spa & filtration supplies: Pool Spa and Filtration Supply - 011 793 1381 Water feature installation: Greenacres Landscapes Granite for water features: Marble Classic - 011 974 3588 Furniture: Igneous - 011 827 7425 Big trees: Greenacres Landscapes Planting: Bristle Cone Nursery - 012 207 9904 Random Harvest Nursery - 011 957 5354 Irrigation: Rain Bird - 021 761 9919 Electrical engineers: BC Electrical Engineers FX Luminaire Products: TurfManzi Irrigation - 011 793 1381 Paving: Bosun - 011 310 1176 SmartStone - 011 310 1161


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


"Putting the customers and visitors first was the team's priority, which was achieved effortlessly"

MEET THE TEAM Developer: Attacq Landscape architects: Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects Project landscape architect: Tiaan Laker Main contractor: Beurden Construction Architects: Studio3 Design House Landscape contractor: Greenacres Landscapes

ABOUT DANIEL REBEL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Through a holistic design approach and collaboration with other built environment professionals, DRLA creates memorable spaces and environments, designs that are accountable, site specific, environmentally responsive, and that are constructed on time, within budget but above expectation. DRLA is well positioned to render a personalised and professional service of an exceptional high standard, to all its clients. They specialise in the following fields of landscape architecture: • Public open space development • Urban landscape infrastructure projects • Mix use urban developments • Residential estates • Corporate campuses • Office precincts

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019





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THE OLD GRANARY RENEWED One of Cape Town’s oldest buildings and a national landmark, the Old Granary Building, has undergone a big refurbishment, now housing a permanent installation in honour of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (D&LTLF). The original building was constructed between 1808 and 1813, and is one of the city’s most important architectural buildings. The refurbishments began in 2016 as part of the city’s commitment to restoring significant historical structures. The vision was to restore the Old Granary’s external façade and rehabilitate the internal spaces carefully in order to preserve the building’s discernible heritage. Gapp Architects and Urban Designers were tasked with the refurbishment of this site, with landscape architecture by Megan Anderson Landscape Architecture and landscape contracting by Peninsula Landscapes.


he original building was constructed between 1808 and 1813, and is one of the city’s most important architectural buildings. The refurbishments began in 2016 as part of the city’s commitment to restoring significant historical structures. The vision was to restore the Old Granary’s external façade and rehabilitate the internal spaces carefully in order to preserve the building’s discernible heritage. >

ABOUT THE PROJECT Size: Buildings: Total ground floor area - 1,891m2 Soft: 52m2 Landscaped area total: 687m2 Timeline: Buildings: 2016-2018 Soft landscaping: February 2017-November 2018 Cost: Buildings: R 60million Soft Landscaping and Irrigation: R 250,000.00 Hardscaping: Gapp Architects Location: Cape Town, CBD.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



Gapp Architects and Urban Designers were tasked with the refurbishment of this site, with landscape architecture by Megan Anderson Landscape Architecture and landscape contracting by Peninsula Landscapes. GAPP was commissioned by the city of Cape Town to restore the Old Granary for its current use as museum, archive and offices for the Desmond Tutu and Leah Tutu legacy foundation. Given the significance of the building and its architecture, it was important to the client that its historical narrative be relatively undisturbed, preserved and showcased by means of modern intervention.


The design approach was to do as little as possible, but as much as is required. Materials were carefully selected due to the sensitive nature of the existing building. The majority of the building materials were sourced locally (across the Western Cape) via GAPP and the main building contractor, Edel. One task requiring delicate care was the existing perimeter walls, which were in disrepair. They were required to be buttressed, which was done via a ‘lightweight’ steel portal frame, held in place by a woven fibre fabric that wraps the building externally – imperceptible to the observer. Other such tasks included the preservation and partial restoration of an exposed clay brick/stone façade, which is blanketed by a transparent glazed enclosure.


Hard Landscaping: Existing flagstones found on-site during the renovation period were later used as part of the hard landscaping. Recovered slate stone from the site were re-laid onto the natural ground level to mimic the perimeter of a previously demolished prison wall. New paving stones were specifically moulded for this project, the Granary paver, which is an ode to the Klopie brick. Larger concrete pavers were also used, sized to synchronise with the Granary Paver. The brief for the Landscape Architect was to provide soft planting that would complement the design of the building and hard landscaping in the two internal courtyards, taking into account the historic relics in the western courtyard. The western courtyard was of historic importance, as it included a low historic wall that was referenced to the entrance to the Women’s Prison, as well as, until recently, Cape Town’s oldest vine. This northern courtyard became a place of meditation. The historic wall 36

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

became a seating wall and the surrounds to a planter, into which a Wild Olive (Olea africana subsp. europaea) tree was planted in the inner courtyard. Cape Town’s oldest vine was to be replaced with cuttings which were propagated from the second-oldest vine in Cape Town, found at the Bothy in the Company Gardens. These were planted along the north facing wall of this meditation courtyard, near the previously mentioned historic wall. The eastern courtyard transformed into a parking courtyard. Interesting paving patterns required innovative planting, while a white painted northfacing wall had greenery to overcome the glare. Furthermore, the planting had to take cognisance of the micro-climates within the two courtyards,

with seasonal variations in sunlight, predominant all year-round shade areas and lack of air movement. A predominantly indigenous, waterwise plant palette was required with installation going in at the height of the drought. With regards to the softscaping, the vine was propagated from the second oldest vine in Cape Town, from the Bothy at the Company Gardens. The olive tree was sourced from Trees SA - a large 500Lt tree that was installed by Trees SA onsite, and is quite a beautiful attention-demanding element. Arid Earth Solutions designed the self-cleaning Grey Water Irrigation System and provided all of the components. Peninsula landscaping provided all other plant material, as well as the cables for the trellis in the eastern courtyard.



The irrigation system, installed by Cape Irrigation Systems, runs entirely off a grey water system which was installed by Arid Earth Solutions. Arid Earth Solutions supplied the self-cleaning Grey Flow PS greywater diversion system. Grey water from the building’s hand basins is directly diverted to the garden. The unique patented design which integrates multiple sensors and a self-cleaning mechanism, enables grey water to be reused in a maintenance-free manner while reducing health risks, as well as mosquito and bacteria breeding. Grey water is evenly distributed in the garden via the 6-station rotor valve and the Grey Flow drip pipe. As the system is dependent on grey water being generated by occupants of the building, the initial stages of planting and establishment were challenging as there were no occupants in the building and water needed to be bought and delivered to site. Four marine grade stainless steel tensile cable trellis systems (reaching three-storeys high) consisting of vertical and horizontal cable lines, were installed by Peninsula Landscapes subcontractor, Cable Master. These were positioned on the northern inner walls for the transplanted vines to climb and cascade. MEET THE TEAM Client: City of Cape Town Architect: Gapp Architects and Urban Planners Landscape Architect: Megan Anderson Landscape Architect Landscape Contractor: Peninsula Landscaping - 021 715 7046 Arid Earth Solutions - 087 809 3116 Cape Irrigation System: 021 975 2262

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


SUPPLIERS Paving: SmartStone - 021 873 5482 Corobrick - 031 560 3111 Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 021 552 7622 Grey-water System Design: Arid Earth Solutions - 087 809 3116 Irrigation Contractor: Cape Irrigation Systems - 021 975 2262 Product - Hunter Cable Trellis Systems CableMaster - 021 551 6702 Planting: Nonke Plants - 021 887 6972 Garden King Shadowlands - 021 903 0050 Just Trees - 021 871 1595 Trees SA - 021 842 0003 Coating and Waterproofing: Sika South Africa -021 555 0755 Keim Silicate Paints South Africa 021 905 8985 Plascon Wood Finish: ProNature Paints - 021 556 1238


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


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Size: 2,168m² Timeline: November 2018 – March 2019 Cost: ± R 3.6 mil Location: Pretoria




Developers, Growthpoint Properties, have completed their R600-million development of Exxaro’s leading edge new head office in Pretoria, consolidating Exxaro’s current offices in Pretoria and Johannesburg into a single thriving workspace. This signature building is situated opposite the Centurion Gautrain station in Pretoria and was designed by AMA Architects, with Landscape Architecture by Interdesign Landscape Architects and green wall, and interior planting implemented by Bidvest Execuflora. This building is an innovative green building comprising five storeys of offices atop four levels of structured basement parking.


MEET THE TEAM Developer: Growthpoint Property Architects: AMA Architects Landscape Architect: Interdesign Landscape Architects Landscape Contractor: Bidvest Top Turf Green wall Designer and Supplier: Bidvest ExecuFlora Main Build Contractor: WBHO


nterdesign was commissioned by Growthpoint Properties to design a waterwise landscape that adheres to the Green Star rating requirements and takes into consideration the geological challenges of the site.

Lightweight potted planters and lightweight soil was selected for the balconies. Smooth paving was chosen to accommodate wheelchair access, and the colour of the paving was selected to complement the building.

Special focus is placed on visual appeal, as well as sustainability and functionality in terms of biodiversity and reduction of potable water usage. Due to the dolomitic geological conditions of the site, impermeable surfaces were required and the landscape, therefore, comprises largely of built planters. All planters within the site boundary are closed systems that recycle water and prevent water from cyphering into the ground.

Permeable grass block pavers were selected for the floodline area to reduce water runoff and increase infiltration.

The landscape is to soften the edges of the building and enhance the building by showcasing different colours and textures throughout the seasons through the use of a diverse planting palette. To assist in achieving Green Star rating, selection criteria, in terms of the planting palette, comprises species that are primarily indigenous and water wise. An automatic drip irrigation system, soil sensors and smart controllers were installed to monitor the moisture of the soil in the planters and reduce or increase water requirements, as required. Mulch was installed to contain moisture and reduce water usage for irrigation, which contributed to the requirements of a five Green Star rating. The material type and quality were selected based on the purpose of its use. The material was ultimately selected to contribute to the architect’s vision of the building.

INDOOR PLANTING The indoor planting was influenced by the Green Star requirements for indoor planting, as well as the aesthetic appeal of plants. Complying with the Green Star requirements allows for increased indoor air quality to employees. The placement of the plants was successfully incorporated into the office furniture by the interior architects, dhk. The balcony on level one serves as an overflow area for the cafeteria. Employees are be able to use this space during lunchtime. It can also double up as an event space as well. Moveable outdoor furniture was selected for the balcony area in order to converting the space into its required purpose. PLANTING PALETTE The following plants were chosen in accordance to, firstly, suitability to the environment (as little natural light is available in some areas) and finally, aesthetic appeal. For the green wall, Asplenium species were used, such as: Peperomia caperata species, Philodendron scandens, Dracaena compacta, Philodendron Congo, Philodendron seleoum, Peperomia obtusifolia, Pilea microphylla, Chlorophytum comosom. A total of 1,152 plants were used to cover an area of 35m2.

Sourcing of interior planting materials was quite painless. For installation, however, as with most projects, planting comes at the very end of the project, and with delays here and there, the planting was installed much later than planned and could only be done once the plants would not be damaged due to other construction happening. Igneous concrete pots were selected for the balcony due to its durability in the outdoor environment and the fact that it is a light-weight product. The movability of the outdoor furniture is important for this space, should a specific event require a different layout of the balcony area. The colour of the Igneous pots was selected to compliment the building and the surrounding materials on the balcony. Low maintenance planting was selected for the Igneous pots, since they require hand-watering. Small trees were selected for the pots to reduce the space to a more intimate and human scale, considering the height of the building. The tree species selected do not have aggressive roots, requires low watering and do not waste many leaves. Bidvest ExecuFlora were commissioned to install the green wall system which is a striking part of this project. The Exarro green wall project was fun as it was something the Bidvest ExecuFlora team had never done before, an installation on a convex wall. They elected to use the locally manufactured and distributed Vicinity modular green wall system. This system they have found, is extremely effective and has local support to makes the whole process run smoothly.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



SUPPLIERS Paving: Bosun - 011 310 1176 Lighting: Sub-Contractor: CA du Toit Electrical Engineers Product: BEKA-Schréder - 011 238 0000 Genesis One Lighting - 011 462 0251 Planting: Greenwall System Vicinity - 011 321 0196 Tshala Plant Brokers - 071 683 1177 Compost: Culterra - 086 128 5837 Pots and Outdoor Seating: Igneous Concrete - 011 827 7425 Irrigation: Mainline Irrigation - 011 444 4454 Product: Netafim Rain Bird


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


A key aspect to this installation was getting the grow lights' specifications correct to ensure sufficient light was provided to the plants at all levels of the green wall. Through a light modelling process, the team specified a total of 21 x 1.5m long LED grow lights to be surface mounted onto the bulkhead above the green wall. These supplied in three rows of seven strips each. Plants were carefully selected in terms of suitability to the environment. Light conditions were considered as well as aesthetics, to ensure a lush, pleasant-to-look-at wall of plants. These were preordered and grown six months prior to installation to ensure they were mature and full. This was a key factor owing to the slight gaps between the green wall pots with the convex shape of the wall. The following plants were used in the custom-built shop fitted planters: Aglaonema “Silver Queen”, Chamaedorea seifrizii, Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens, Dracaena glauca, Ficus Vivian, Monsteria deliciosa, Philodendron scandens, Sanserveria trifasciata “Laurentii”, Sanserveria trifasciata, Spathyphyllum, Zamioculcus Steel cladding and tank covers was used to finish off the green wall installation with a neat and attractive border / frame to set the green wall into. This building is yet another nod to Pretoria becoming Africa’s first green city and a pioneer in green building practice. ABOUT INTERDESIGN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS INTERDESIGN was established in 1998. It is a 100% womenowned company and a B-BBEE Level 1 contributor. It offers services in all aspects of environmental consulting and landscape architecture. It's objective is to make a positive contribution to the natural and socio-economic environment by creating spaces that promote biodiversity and social cohesion. INTERDESIGN is dedicated to deliver quality work by integrating a creative approach and design with nature. INTERDESIGN believes the best outcomes are achieved through conserving the natural environment, anticipating the needs of the enduser and through close collaboration with the project team.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


THE NUMBER ONE QUALITY ARTIFICIAL GRASS SUPPLIER & INSTALLER Artificial Grass Southern Africa – Tshwane was established in 2015 as a result of our passion for landscaping and conservation. We are an official supply and installation company, specialising in the professional fitment of synthetic grass for sports and leisure turf. Our grass is versatile and offers comfort and durability and with the growing green building demand, can be placed indoors or outdoors. Ideal for areas where a green landscape is preferred, yet real turf is impractical due to high traffic, maintenance costs or environmental concerns. Our highly trained staff and high-quality products are sure to provide the end user with a world class system that is designed, built, and fitted to last! Artificial Grass Southern Africa – Tshwane won Franchise of the year award in both 2017 and 2018. Being part of 18 franchises nationwide, we are proud to be crowned with this accolade as it shows our dedication and commitment to quality product and service.

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Size of entire project: 35,000 m2 Landscaped areas: 1,339m2 Timeline of Development: 2016-2018 Cost of Landscaping : +-R1 million Location: Brooklyn, Pretoria



APARTMENTS ON WILLIAM: MODERN STUDENT LIVING Apartments on William is an exciting, new student accommodation development situated in Brooklyn, Pretoria and developed for the market by Caliber Properties. This modern building boasts a team of experts which range from architecture by Van Der Westhuisen (VDW) Architects to build by Tri-Star Construction. Insite Landscape Architects were responsible for the landscape design, with Four Seasons Property Services responsible for the landscape installation of this project. Apartments on William also recently won Four Seasons Property Services, the coveted Double Gold award at the SALI Awards of Excellence this year.


The brief for the project architects was to properly study and address the realities and challenges related to the need for, and costs, involved in higher education, especially with regards to student accommodation – a pertinent topic in South Africa. Design solutions were to be provided for a modern, practical, sustainable and unique student accommodation building that can be rented out to students at affordable prices. The building was expected to meet the client’s high expectations. The project is situated on the south-eastern corner of Lynnwood road and William street, Brooklyn, almost directly opposite the main entrance to the University of Pretoria, which makes it ideal for such a project. William street is closed off for traffic at its intersection with Lynnwood road. This feature was used to the advantage of the building and incorporated into the overall design. THE SITE The site is a narrow and rectangular stand with a limited northern boundary and a long western

boundary (towards William Street) and eastern boundary (towards the neighbors). The site needed to account for 300 apartments for the students and needed to take into account the town planning parameters and uneven height restrictions which varied from 7storeys alongside Lynnwood Road and 4storeys alongside Brooks Street. Because of the nature of this site, special attention needed to be given to the design of this space. THE DESIGN The building design needed to take into account the western façade of the building in terms of energy usage as well as the neighbours’ privacy on the eastern side. The buildings masses and height limitations also needed to be adhered to. The design concept of this project makes optimal use of spaces and facilities, especially in the internal design of units and bedrooms, ensuring as well the privacy aspect for students inhabiting the space to both enhance their experience and quality of life, whilst still ensuring peace for study and personal time. The building needed to be presented aesthetically and in a contemporary

manner, so that students are drawn to the space, the building and the surrounding landscape, enhancing their time living there. Vehicle parking and stacking was another considered element, as parking in this area is limited and needed to be accounted for. With the incorporation of William Street into the design, various green areas were provided along the street which are directly linked to the building, especially the main pedestrian entrance-come-cafeteria area. This frames the building and allows the pedestrian access to the apartments. Based on studies during the design period a vast number of built-in racks were provided for the storage of bicycles for the students in common outdoor areas. Since implementation, even more racks have been installed proving that the building is a ‘real modern student facility’. THE LANDSCAPE Insite Landscape Architects, appointed for the project, explain that after providing the initial SPD plan for the developer, Insite Landscape Architects came to the realization during this period, that the project was a little more complex than the typical housing development, so Su-Ann Bürschen, appointed landscape architect, approached the client for an appointment as Landscape Architects on the project. The aim was for the landscape to contribute to a housing scheme that would appeal to students, and at the same time be budget-friendly to maintain. With this in mind, Insite focused on robust plant combinations and colourful accents. Since open space was really limited on this site, the team had to scratch out open areas for recreation in order to adhere to CoT requirements. Still trying to ensure green open meeting spaces were ever present, the Architects did a super job with the provision of roof terrace spaces on various levels of the building. This provided much needed relief from the building and the views from the top will make for memorable student parties and events. The roof terraces have a soft feel to them thanks to expanses of artificial lawn. Planters were built on the edges of the roof terraces. The plant selection consists of indigenous succulents with a variety of leaf colours and textures. Large orange pots with Tree Aloes were also added as focal points.


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



rooftop garden for students to enjoy

On ground level, the team created a small woodland garden on the shady side of the computer room, for students to take breaks from studying. In general, the ground-level parking and entrance areas lacked greenery, and so, the team added the striking orange Igneous planters. Caliber Properties redesigned the streetscape as well, to provide formal on-street parking. Lawn areas are now separated from parking spaces and can be maintained better. Trampling of the lawn is, however, occurring in some places. We have more foot traffic than initially anticipated, and more paved walkway links would have been ideal. William street is lined with large old Jacarandas. Some existing street trees, mostly other exotic species, but also a couple of Jacarandas had to be removed to make the project work. New Jacarandas were planted as part of the project, to reinstate a rhythm of trees along the street. SUPPLIERS Paving: Concrete Slabs Vanstone Precast (Pty) Ltd - 012 541 2056 Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 011 474 0171 Pot: Igneous Concrete - 011 827 7425 Artificial Grass: Artificial Grass SA Tshwane - 072 213 4917 Irrigation: Controlled irrigation Product: Rain Bird Topsoil and potting mix: Furstenburg - 072 316 1807 Plants: Plantzcentral - 083 284 3186 Mature Trees: Instant trees - 083 560 5059 FSG Property Services were involved in the full scope of implementation, which pertained to site clearance, construction, decompaction, irrigation, importing of topsoil, finegrading, composting, planting and the placements of the pots and plants. Most of this was done in phase work. Their efforts have won them rather high acclaim at the SALI Awards this year for this fine example of skill and determination.

FSG Property Services played an integral part in the success of this landscape. The team refers to the Apartments on William as an exciting new development, with a key selling point being the exceptional space created for students to inhabit. It is a unique adaptation of modern design, landscaping and architecture that still holds a close association to the idea of freedom and nature. Striking this balance onsite has been its success. It is clear that Insite Landscape Architects designed the exterior spaces with students in mind, as the roof leisure areas are open and spacious, with some lovely roof top gardens. There are also wonderful moments of pause in gardens scattered about each wing of the building and are easily accessible by all students. OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME During the build, the large pots and plants that accompanied them had to be taken to the top floor by crane during the construction process as they were too heavy to take to the top by sheer man-power alone. On the ground floor, there is a garden lining the front and side of the building that brings out verdant colour, further amplified by the luscious grass that surrounds the building. Tree saplings line the inside parking lot, with other plants taking up the garden beds, creating some wellrounded colour to complement the building. This vibrant colour creates a youthful environment for students to live in. Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019




Developer: Caliber Properties Architects: Van der Westhuizen Architects Landscape Architecture: Insite Landscape Architects Project Landscape Architect: Su-Ann BĂźrschen Landscape Contractors: Four Seasons Group Property Services Main Building Contractors: Tri-Star Construction

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Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

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Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

PORTFOLIO The Hirt & Carter project was seeded by the requirement for a new factory and office facility to accommodate the amalgamation of ten printing related companies under one roof. The Hirt & Carter Group Facility's journey commenced with a comprehensive design strategy to respond to a complex set of industrial demands on a variety of site configurations and site options. Once concretised, the programme facilitated a turnkey execution process in two phases. The delivery of the building was undertaken on a tight programme fast-track basis to yield an efficient and impactful architectural solution. The selected site was a consolidation of a number of sites in the precinct of Cornubia, a peri-urban development model that links lowcost housing into a framework of employment opportunities within the industrial and retail sector. This significantly-scaled development provided a platform to allow the particularlyactive local community engagement with the developer and contractor at the outset of the project. This engagement lead to extensive local labour employment and skills development. The outcome and significant scale of the project lead to an interruption-free construction process and legible community upliftment. Hirt & Carter specialises in the digital marketing and printing business, so this project facilitates the businesses’ progressive growth and provides a new environment for the amalgamation of multiple companies under one roof, while allowing space for future acquisitions. The client had a particularly influential role in the planning of the project, and engaged far-beyond the design stage, leading to a collaborative relationship and a well-engineered response to their process requirements.

MEET THE TEAM Developer: Hirt & Carter Group Architects: Elphick & Proome Architects Landscape Implementation: Life Landscapes

The Design The concept of the design takes the form of two attached building components, comprising printing production factory as a large scale 'white box' and a carefully articulated linear office block foiling its significant bulk on the west side. The design is a formal metaphor in abstract reference to contemporary media print and operating elements, which are integral to the core function of the facility. The massive factory space is the ‘machine' of the business and is contained within a hermetically-sealed envelope formed by a gently barrelled aperture-less roof – promoting control humidity, dust and operating temperature control. The two-level office components elegantly articulate the blank west facade of the factory, being expressed as a linear ‘print image’ interfacing the approach and street. The scale of

the office building is designed to foil the scale of the factory to appear as a singular form, utilising perforated and folded sun control screens angled for optimum west sun protection, whilst internally promoting veiled visual connection to the landscaped exterior. The long facade is fragmented with randomly arranged, protruding, coloured 'meeting boxes’, creating a whimsical rhythm and the identifying architectural feature. At the entrance to the offices, a large white angled portal leans outward to provide protection and thermal shading to the reception atrium area. Whilst this design process was characterised by comprehensive analyses across disparate amalgamating printing companies, the outcome was generated out of an intensive series of integrated workshops. An important architectural differentiator in this building is the use of bold colour, deployed in the highly serviced factory, internally to differentiate functional spaces and externally and on the office facade to impart an immediate legibility conveying the nature of the complex's use. The curvilinear ends of the office form allude to the traditional printing conveyor process, and the funky interior design approach promotes a staff-friendly environment within the setting of a factory context. Within the factory, the sophisticated digital printing equipment (being an impressive installation) called for extensive glazing panels to showcase technical capability to potential clients visiting the facility. All of these elements, facilitated within strict cost control parameters, serve to animate what would ordinarily be a mundane construct in a regular industrial park environment. Landscape Installation Life Landscpes were the main landscaping contractor on this project, indicating that the key challenges in installing this landscape lay in a somewhat tight budget for a very vast site and very poor soil conditions. The site is essentially an engineered and compacted platform with a very high clay content in the soil. An additional challenge was the run-off from adjacent site platforms, which kept finding its way onto the site. Because budgets did not allow for much organic matter, plant species and palette were restricted to very hardy plants, and tree holes had to be properly excavated to allow better drainage. Soil saver was installed on some platform banks, where a shallow substrata of shale did not allow for adequate topsoil layers and berming, and ground modelling helped direct surface water. Deadlines as always were tight , however, Life Landscapes worked in close collaboration with the project Landscape Architects to solve site based issues as they arose.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019




Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 011 474 0171 Screening: HB Hampson Interiors - 031 569 5024 Paving: Corobrick - 031 560 3111   Pebbles and Duzi gravel Pebble Plus - 071 688 9022 Compost Great Forest Trading - 083 441 1568 Planting: Tongaat Wholesale Nursery - 087 822 1478


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


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Increasing biodiversity in brownfields


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


Cooke 4 Shaft – Proposed phytoremediation and historical celebration Heloïse Pieterse Managing director of Kainos Landscape Architects The site The Cooke 4 Shaft is the chosen site as it is the most intact, non-operational shaft with significant heritage structures. It is situated in the iconic area, the West Rand, that produced more than a third of the gold mined globally. Unfortunately, after former-owning Australian company, Mintails, recently filed liquidation and decommissioned the plant, the security services were no longer required, which resulted in the shaft being vandalised, demolished and the metals stolen and resold by zamazamas. SibanyeStillwater, the neighbouring mine, has taken the initiative to fund a rehabilitation project. The FSE (Mariëtte Liefferink) facilitates the process between Sibanye-Stillwater (Grant Stuart) and the NWU (Prof. Elize van Eeden), as well as Kainos Lanscape Architects, to transform the Cooke 4 Shaft into a tourism attraction with a strong focus on heritage, sustainable land-use and upliftment of the affected communities. The project question and solution How do we bridge the gap between crime induced poverty and vandalism of significant heritage structures in the polluted (soil and water) West Rand to Socio-Economic upliftment, whilst restoring the heritage mining infrastructure? By incorporating an agricultural skills development centre and pilot farms, with emphasis on phytomining and a multi-product fibrous economy into a heritage precinct, socioeconomic upliftment of the surrounding areas is possible, after and whilst phyto-remediating the polluted soil and water. Therefore, as stewardship of the Cooke Shaft 4 area in the West Rand is encouraged, the proposed heritage trial/museum will be looked after. Westonaria/Bekkersdal area characteristics Elements - Elevated levels of metals found within the soils and water include gold (Au), Cadmium (Cd), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Arsenic (Ar), Uranium (U), Manganese (Mn) and possibly Lead (Pb), Nickel (Ni) and Mercury (Hg). Soil texture - Loamy to clay Geological soil types - Mostly shale with bands of arenite, shale and dolomite. Soil pH - 5.6 – 6.4 possibly, tests need to be performed to confirm. Rain (mmPa) - 559mm Annual Temp: 13 – 14˚C to 25.5- 27.2˚C Biome: Savanna and Grassland

Bioregion: Central Bushveld Bioregion and Dry Highveld Grassland Vegetation type: Gauteng Shale Mountain Bushveld and Carletonville Dolomite Grassland Landscape remediation strategy 1. Improving soil microbial activity by aeration and adding sewage sludge/compost tea. 2.

Soil amelioration, lifting soil pH by adding some limestone (optional).


Treating on-site AMD with xylite activated carbon, or a similar product, to remove radioactive isotopes. It can then be discharged into a lined dam with indigenous wetland species. To be used as irrigation of crops in addition to rainfall. The dam also fosters a habitat for aquatic species and birds.


Planting of indigenous hyperaccumulator plants to extract the excessive heavy metals and increase the soil pH, thereby preparing the soil for crop cultivation. Legume plants and trees can be interplanted and fixates between 75 – 350kg of nitrogen per hectre. The fixation of nitrogen in the soil assists with healthy soil microbiology and creates a favourable habitat for other organisms and fauna. Examples of trees are, Vachellia karoo (Sweet thorn), Polygala species and Ceratonia siliqua (Carob).


Planting of crops for phyto-mining and multi-product fibrous economy.

Hyperaccumulator species The hyperaccumulator species are mostly indigenous and should be planted with an endemic hydroseeding veld mix. The pH preference of these species, ranges between 2 to 8.5, and harvest time between 4 and 5.5. months. The harvested plants should then be taken to a hazardous waste facility to be incinerated and phytomined. Berkheya coddi – Ni, Cu, Fe Senecio coronatus – Ni, Ca, K, Mg Cynodon dactylon – Mn, Zn, Cu Leersia hexandra – Pb, Ni Cyperus exaltatus – Ni Hygrophylla auriculata – Ni A surprising crop (but not fibrous) for phytoremediation purposes is blueberries. It thrives in acidic soil. It bio-accumulates Cd, Pb, Zn, Fe in the leaves (Lingonberry the most), with Bilberry having a very large capacity to

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


F E AT U R E bio-accumulate Mn in otherwise less polluted soil. It is advised that tests verify the safety of the berries before consumption. Cover crops Certain crops, even though not indigenous, are beneficial to take up heavy metals from the soil and assist with phytoremediation. When considering the site characteristics, it was evident that the main proposed crops that may work are Linum usitatissimum (Flax), Hibiscus cannabinus (Kenaf), Agave sisalana (Sisal) and Cotton. Flax outperforms Kenaf with metal uptake and has a diverse range of applications. Flax extracts Pb, Cd, Zn from soil and bio-accumulates in the roots and capsules. The seeds should, therefore, not be consumed until the heavy metal levels in the soil are safe. The flax fibre will be utilised. The Cotton plant has a very deep, fibrous root system, improving the microbial activity, and nitrogen content of the soil. It is the ideal crop for phytoremediation. The metals bio-accumulates only in the roots and the bur does not contain any metals. As with any project, it will be essential to plant experimental areas to determine the suitability to specific conditions. Fences should be erected around plantations to prevent the illegal cow farmers from using the crops as fodder for the livestock. Applications of natural fibres Some applications include bio-based materials (non-woven materials and interior applications of aeroplanes and motor vehicles), paper, livestock feed, construction and housing industry, ropes for marine and agricultural use, carpets, textiles and seed oil. It is evident from the latter that an entire industry can be built around the multiproduct fibres. Conclusion The gap between crime-induced poverty and vandalism of significant heritage structures in the polluted (soil and water) West Rand, can be bridged by providing an agricultural skills development centre and pilot farms. By providing people with jobs, the surrounding area automatically receives a capital injection and uplift the surrounding area. It may also result in an influx of people with new development to accommodate the growing phytomining and multi-product fibrous economy to the region, stitching the Gauteng Mining Belt to the north. The proposed heritage trial/museum will be looked after as stewardship is fostered through this initiative.


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


THE IMPACT OF THE POLYPHAGOUS SHOT HOLE BORER ON LANDSCAPES IN SOUTH AFRICA Prof. Wilhelm de Beer Leader of the PSHB Research Network FABI, University of Pretoria

A water sensitive city is visionary concept that is guiding new thinking and practices in urban water management that seeks to integrate the social, economic, ecological and environmental health of a city. The concept of a water sensitive city is in its infancy in South Africa. Progress is being hampered by a limited vision of what cities need to do to become more water resilient along with; uncertainty about how to achieve a water sensitive city; and a lack of policy directives in becoming water sensitive. At the same time, urban water services are competing for attention against more pressing social demands for housing, sanitation, education and health services, employment and access to food.

What is the PHSB? The PSHB, or Euwallacea fornicatus, belongs to large group of about 3,400 beetle species referred to as ambrosia beetles. These beetles bore into dead or dying trees in which, they construct a network of tunnels, known as galleries. The beetles cannot digest wood and therefore cultivate their own, specific fungi that grow as mould in these galleries. The fungi extract and concentrate nutrients from the wood and serve as food to the beetles. The PSHB has been reported to carry three species of fungi, of which Fusarium euwallaceae is the most important.

Population growth and rapid population are making large parts of cities unpleasant, unsafe and socially fractious. Our cities are underprepared to deal with the shocks and stresses that are caused by water scarcity, droughts and floods. Given these many challenges, the call to shift from the general state to a more water sensitive city condition might be ill founded, but equally the consequences of not doing so could be disastrous. Thus, the concept of a water sensitive city in South Africa will need to evolve in a different way and pace to cities of the North. The landscape professionals are well aware of the challenges that come from.

In susceptible tree species the Fusarium fungus causes dieback that can lead to tree death. This occurs due to the fungus blocking the flow of nutrients through the vascular system of the trees. External symptoms differ between different tree species, ranging from just toothpick-sized holes, sometimes some frass (wood powder), or watery stains, resin drops, and white sugary fountains. When the bark is removed, staining caused by the fungus can usually be seen around the tunnel in the cambium. When one removes the cambium and outer layer (about 5 to 10mm) of sapwood, vertical fungal streaks are present.

In February 2017, the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) was discovered for the first time in South Africa in the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens, Pietermaritzburg, infesting large London Plane trees. Since then, the PSHB has been confirmed to attack and kill trees in Durban, Johannesburg, George, Knysna, Bloemfontein, Somerset West, Nelspruit and several smaller towns across the country. In Sandton, George and Knysna streets of trees have already been killed by the beetle and its fungus, and landscapes irrevocably changed. The PSHB is native to south-east Asia. It began to gain the attention of farmers and researchers after it started killing trees in Israel and in California about 15 years ago.


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

Fusarium dieback

Photographed here: Wilhelm de Beer.

It is important to note that firstly, not all infested trees will die, and secondly, that the beetle can insert the fungus in many trees, but only reproduces in a much smaller number of tree species. A reproductive host is a tree species where the beetle and fungus establishes successfully and where the beetle breeds and multiply. Non-reproductive host trees are those where the fungus is inserted, but where the beetle either leaves the tree again, or dies in the tree without reproducing. Reproductive host trees are the priority for control measure as they are a reservoir for the beetles, from where they disperse, infesting surrounding trees, resulting in the further spread of the disease.

Photographed here: Branch dieback of London plane trees infested with PSHB in Sandton.

In South Africa, almost 100 species of trees (of which more than 45 are native trees) have thus far been reported as susceptible to PSHB attack and infection by the Fusarium fungus. About 25 of these species are reproductive hosts, including English oaks, various types of maples, willows, planes, and

F E AT U R E the castor bean weed. A continuously updated list of confirmed host trees in South Africa can be viewed at:


The impact on trees in South Africa PSHB's impact is visible in three different sectors in South Africa. The first is urban forests that include street, garden and park trees. In several towns the impact is visually dramatic where streets lined with oaks or maples have been cleared of trees. Second is the agricultural sector. To date PSHB has only been detected in commercial orchards of pecan trees in the Jan Kempdorp area in the Northern Cape. Although it has been found on backyard avocados, peach, plum, citrus, macadamia, guava and grapevines, it has not been found in any commercial orchards of these crops. The third sector in which PSHB is having an impact is our native tree species in natural forests and urban areas. The impact on these are unpredictable, but the risk is that keystone species in natural ecosystems might be removed by the beetle, causing permanent changes in some ecosystems. Several projects by the PSHB Research Network are monitoring for the presence and impact of PSHB in these sectors.


Spread of PSHB The beetle most likely entered South Africa on infested wood of pallets through a harbour such as Durban. Beetles, their eggs, larvae, pupae can survive for weeks in cut pieces of wood. Within the country, the beetle can spread short distances by flying or wind, but longer distances by the movement of infested cut trees, firewood, timber, large wood chips, and possibly infested nursery stock. A project is currently being done in FABI to investigate the level of risk posed by infested nursery stock.


Control and management

There is no way in which the spread of the PSHB can be stopped in South Africa. However, the impact of the beetle can be reduced dramatically through good management strategies. The most important of these is to remove heavily infested reproductive host trees from any given environment. Preferably this wood should be removed to dumping sites dedicated for this purpose by municipalities. Such wood should then be incinerated, solarized (covered with plastic sheets and left in the sun for several months), or chipped to pieces smaller 2cm in size and composted. In California, proper scientific trails have been conducted with several chemicals, showing that stem injections with systemic fungicides and insecticides can reduce the impact of the beetle


03 and fungus on individual, high value or champion trees. However, these treatments are expensive, need to be repeated and will not be feasible in orchards or forests. Although several products and control measures are being marketed as breakthroughs in South Africa at present, the impact of none of these is at present supported by sufficient scientific data to support the claims by the marketers. In the longer term, resistant tree species should be planted, but at present coherent data is lacking to really say which tree species are resistant and which not. These will become available over time

as the results of several long-term monitoring projects by the PSHB Research Network become available.

01 External symptoms on London plane trees infested with PSHB. 02 Dieback and symptoms on English oak (Hartswater). 03 Circular breeding galleries of PSHB in thinner branches of Chinese maple. 04 Reproductive galleries of PSHB stained by the Fusarium fungus in the wood of Chinese maple trees. 05 English oaks dying in Meade Street, George, as a result of PSHB infestation.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



Being a plant broker is an important position in this industry. It allows clients' visions to be met with precision. A plant broker is interested in providing the exact plants clients are looking for, and not just the plants that a grower has on their inventory list. So, how does this all work? And who is at the head of the sourcing game in our green industry? Pro Landscaper catches up with Tshala Plant Brokers' director, Gail Dreyer, to find out more about their active involvement in the design and build sectors.


shala is a brand synonymous with landscaping, with a head office near Pelindaba, which is very central for deliveries in the Gauteng region. Just over a year ago and with the idea to further its involvement in the industry, Tshala opened a branch in the Cape, based out of Somerset West and run by John Simone. John’s official title is regional manager, and together with owner, Gail Dreyer and her team in the Gauteng office, they are able to deliver pretty much anywhere in South Africa and our immediate neighbouring countries. Generally, the Cape office focuses on the Western and Eastern Cape, and the Gauteng office sources and supplies the rest of Tshala’s clients. How does a broker generally go about sourcing the right plant material? As plant brokers, we have built a large network of suppliers, and strive to build strong relationships with growers all over the country. Our policy is to use, not necessarily large growing organisations, but professional, horticulturally-sound growers that are active industry participants. Once we are requested to quote or tender on a project, we use our knowledge of who grows what to find the plant material required by the designer or landscape architect. Should the required plant not be available, together with our experience and knowledge of plant material, it offers available alternatives which could assist the client to complete the design. It is every plant broker's dream to be awarded a project with enough lead time to identify a supplier that can contract grow plants for a particular project which can be done successfully, but unfortunately most projects do not afford us that luxury. Would you say that due to your presence in the industry, landscape architects and garden designers are able to be more creative with their design and think outside the box a little more? Tshala has always offered a service to designers and landscape architects where we source key


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

plants for their designs at the conception of the design process. This enables them to design with the knowledge of if the plants (which are key to their vision) are available, or not. We do not charge for this service, but see it as an extension of our service to the industry. We sincerely hope that our ability to get most plants to any part of the country does make plants more accessible to the trade. What sparked the entrance into this profession for you? Becoming a plant broker was a natural progression for me as I started my horticultural career as a grower for a large indoor plant company, moving through the ranks to eventually becoming a buyer for a large landscape company. Once this company was bought by a large corporate, it was a signal for me to try it on my own – I think most horticulturists battle with a corporate environment. Building up the network of growers and suppliers over those years made the transition to a plant broker quite easy as I was, and still am, supported by them so loyally.


How many growers do you typically source stock from? We source from as many suppliers we need to be able to fulfil an order. Some projects mean this is a handful of suppliers, and others will be suppliers from all across the country. Do you and your team ever advise clients on the best material to use for certain projects? We are happy to advise our clients on alternative materials, should we know from experience, the plant material is problematic (whether it is to do with availability, suitability in the design or area the design is for, or sustainability in a practical landscape) should they request our opinion. Ultimately though, the client makes the final call. In terms of fulfilling orders, how long will it typically take for the client to receive their order in full? Tshala strives to meet the clients' requirements with regards to delivery time. It is ideal to have as


Offices: 1 in Pelindaba (Head Office) and 1 in Somerset West Staff: 8 Servicing: Landscape Contractors and Architects across South Africa and Neighbouring Countries


much time as possible before the client requires the delivery on site, but we will do our utmost to help a client in a crisis, and many days, we will make a delivery happen in 24 hours or less. The more time we have, the better the outcome for everyone, regarding quality, budget as well as site management. How big is your team? And do you manage the whole costing and delivery process for the client? We have a small team of dedicated staff in Gauteng and the Cape. Gauteng office consists of seven people in the office (procurers, accounts department, logistics and a nursery manager, as well as a general manager and maintenance person). We have two drivers and three driver assistants, as well as four people full-time in our holding nursery. Our Cape Town office is running very lean, with John doing a lot of the work with the assistance of Linda in the office, one driver and two part-time drivers assistants. Where does the Tshala brand see itself in five years’ time? Tshala Plant Brokers will hopefully still be striving to improve its service to the industry, expanding borders, with regards to the areas we deliver to – nationally and internationally, improving the spectrum of plant material supplied, as well as servicing a more diverse horticultural industry. Most interesting plant material ever sourced? Tshala has had the opportunity to work on so many interesting, prestigious projects. It is really hard to single out one particular site or plant type. Some of the most interesting and diverse plant palettes we had to supply was for a game farm in Limpopo, and the latest phase of The Houghton Hotel and Apartments, where we had to source plants for the size of three large multi-stemmed Phoenix reclinata (from Kwazulu Natal) weighing in excess of 30 tons each, to Taxiphyllum barbieri (Java Moss), had to be couriered up a day before the opening to ensure it was not neglected on site as it needs very specific care.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019


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NONKE PLANTS: SITE VISIT Just in time for spring, Pro Landscaper goes onsite to visit the team at Nonke Plants, the biggest non-specialising wholesaler in the Western Cape, to find out all about their beginnings, where they see themselves growing within the industry and everything in between.

office, which includes all drivers. We supply retail nurseries as well as landscapers, developers, wine farms, the hospitality industry and schools. Our delivery areas include the Western Cape, Southern Cape, on occasion Gauteng, as well as the Northern Cape. Nonke Plants was started by the Carinus family back in 1982 as at that time there were very few wholesale nurseries in the Western Cape, and quite a few new developments and projects that needed this service. The Carinus family knew that this was a market they could fill based on their expertise. Nonke Plants is located in Devon Valley, just outside of Stellenbosch, and is the biggest non-specialising wholesale plant nursery in the Western Cape, servicing retail centres, developers landscape contractors and traders. How big is your nursery, how many staff do you employ, and which areas do you service? Our nursery is situated on Weltevrede farm on the Devon Valley road, in Stellenbosch. We employ approximately 80 people within the nursery itself, and then a further 12 within the

What does it mean to be a non-specialising nursery? Nonke Plants grows over 800 different species of plants, not concentrating on a specific variety or type. This allows us to service a larger spectrum of client, and means we can take on a variety of different projects at once. It is usually more challenging than specialising as it means our numerous species are all on different watering, feeding and monitoring regimes. We rely heavily on the expert staff we have working on the farm in this respect, which in large is why we are successful. As a wholesaler, what would you describe as your unique selling point to the industry? What separates Nonke Plants from its competitors? Our unique selling point lies in the fact that we

have the size and the staff expertise to grow and distribute species and plant types you really won’t find anywhere else. The quantities we are able to produce set us apart as well. We also have staff members who have been working with us for over 20 years and we establish relationships with clients that go far beyond “just supplying product". We take pride in our nursery. All of these factors are unique to our business. Where can we see some of your recent work? Nonke Plants has recently supplied all of the plants for the Amazon Film Studios in Blue Downs, Val de Vie Estate in Paarl for the expansion, and will also be supplying all of the plants for the Checkers development in Sitari Estate, Somerset West (due for completion towards the end of the year). Our team constantly has projects on the go, some smaller and some with much larger specifications. We enjoy supplying to all types of client. What are you best known for? We are known for our shrubs, groundcovers and climbers.

Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



What’s your vision as a nursery? And where do you see yourselves in the next five years? We strive to continue to improve on our quality and service. We look forward to growth in all aspects of our business, and in the next five years, we would like to position ourselves as the “go to” wholesale nursery in the Western Cape and further afield. What are some of your proudest moments on the farm? We are always thrilled to win prizes for the best exhibit at trade shows, and those are only thanks to our wonderful, hardworking team. On a more serious note, the knowledge that comes with working each day is steadily improving, and that our scope and reach is growing due to the number and quality of our plants. We are able to proudly say that our plants can be found at numerous new developments within the region. Spring is here... What is looking good onsite? Our Lomandra Tanikas are looking lovely, and we are the sole grower of this grass in the Western Cape. We also have beautiful Leptospermums in full flower, as well as our Coleonema and Azaleas are looking fantastic and full of colour.

Location: Weltevrede farm, Devon Valley Road, Stellenbosch. Staff: +-100 Different Plant Species: 800 Size: 10 Hectares


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



Have you ever thought about what it takes to start a nursery, perhaps to supply your own projects? Or, have you ever been intrigued to find out just what goes into establishing the sites we visit to source for up-coming projects? Production Manager, Raymond Loftie-Eaton of Trees SA gives us an insight into how one would go about establishing a mature tree nursery, from the ground up. Before starting to develop a nursery, whether small or large, some careful thinking and planning needs to be done. There are so many factors influencing the outcome, and should you make mistakes, it can potentially be quite difficult to correct afterwards. When starting the process, it is important to have a clear vision of what you would like the result to be. The objectives that you set must be formulated in such a way that all factors that have an influence on the outcome are covered, or else one may experience some unexpected setbacks. Some of the factors to take into consideration, for example, are local and national legislation, funding, water availability, weather conditions, position and topography of the land, to name a few. Acquiring land Once one has decided on the type of nursery that you want to develop, i.e. seedlings, large plants or trees, the size of the land required

can be determined. One should also take into consideration to have enough land available for future expansion. Purchasing vs lease of land is also of importance. The risks of leasing land vs being the owner of that land are quite high. Investing money and then running into problems with a landlord, can be quite problematic. Position and topography of the land The position of a business is a very important factor. It is preferred that one be as close as possible to a potential market. At the end of the day, the bottom line will determine whether the business survives or not. A nursery must be positioned in a place where proper drainage of excess water is possible. Most nurseries are wet under normal conditions, which becomes worse during the rainy season. A slight slope is preferred to allow water to run off. The wet and clay conditions can result in large additional costs to install drainage afterwards. Availability of water In a drought-prone country like ours, water is the most important commodity for the nurseryman. It is, therefore, important to ensure that there is more than one source of good quality water available. Should one source of water become unavailable, it is of vital importance to have a backup source such as a borehole, dam, fountain or external water supply. The volume of water

available will, in the end, determine the size of nursery. This is a limiting factor which needs some serious consideration in the planning phase. Infrastructure Before any plants can be grown, the infrastructure needs to be constructed. It includes: building roads and buildings, installing an irrigation and fertigation system, electricity supply, drainage, sewerage system, drinking water, etc. Blocks The product that will be grown will determine the layout and size of the blocks. The smaller the plants, the smaller the blocks can be. Due to the size of plant bags, many more plants can be grown per square metre, than is the case for large trees. Small plants can be packed closely together, while large trees need to be spaced out quite widely to allow for crown width. Roads The road dimensions and the level of compaction will be determined by the traffic and type of vehicles which will use it. In small plant nurseries, very few large and heavy vehicles will use the roads, while in a large tree nursery for example, trucks with heavy loads are used daily. Turning space will also influence the width of the roads. Properly constructed and compacted roads is of utmost importance where trucks are often used. Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019



Where, for example, large interlinks will be used, wide turning circles need to be incorporated in the construction phase. Maintaining these roads later, will be so much easier if the surfaces were well-constructed and shaped in the first place. Irrigation Many kinds of irrigation are used in nurseries. This may range from micro-, sprinkler- to dripirrigation. The type of irrigation will influence the flow rate in the nursery, which may in turn, influence block-, pipe- and pump sizes. An automated irrigation system is of great importance in any nursery today. The level of sophistication will be determined by the amount of money the developer deems necessary for the type of nursery. This varies from radio- and computercontrolled systems with variable speed drives that regulates pump speed according to flow rates to basic battery-operated controllers. Special fertigation systems versus hand fertilizing is also a consideration.

a name and putting up a sign board as a final touch to your well-earned feat.

came into effect two years later, and personnel moved in after the infrastructure was complete.

Conclusion Trees SA has gone through the process of establishing a brand-new large tree nursery. After acquiring 25 hectares of previously farmed land with no infrastructure on it, planning and development started with great urgency. From the first pegs that were knocked into the ground, until the first trees arrived on the site, it all took place in an astonishing short period of only five months. By this stage, most of the roads were already constructed and a large portion of the irrigation installed. Planning and construction of the office and store buildings

Because Trees SA was previously located on another site, some 20 kilometers away, all the trees had to be moved across to the new nursery by truck. Due to the great number of trees which varied in size, between 250 and 4,500 litres, this process took nearly five years to complete. Now, just after two years on the new farm, clients can view thousands of mature trees on the same site in a matter of a few hours. A real moveable forest of trees is available at your leisure, thanks to the design and implementation of a wellplanned nursery.

The water source will influence the supply method. In some cases, water may be pressurized in which case no pumps will be required. On the other hand, specialised pumps will be necessary if boreholes or pumping out of a dam or stream is used. The quality of the water will also influence the level of filtration required. Drainage Due to wet conditions in nurseries, which often becomes much worse during excessive rain, it is very important to install proper drainage during the construction phase. It is very difficult to achieve this once a nursery is in production. It includes, trenches, concealed drainage and concrete pipes. In order to maintain the roads, it is important to drain any excess water, as quickly as possible, off the roads and drain it away. Buildings Buildings may range from fixed to moveable structures such as containers. Fixed structures may be buildings such as offices, houses, stores and pumphouses. All of these may be subjected to municipal permission. Electricity and water supply to these structures is also of importance. Security issues need to be well considered because theft of equipment has escalated over the years, and can cause havoc for the nurseryman when it happens unexpectedly. Other infrastructure Due to the location of the new nursery, aspects like the installation of a sewerage system and drinking water supply had to be undertaken as well. Then lastly, consider giving your nursery


Pro Landscaper Africa | September 2019

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