DP Ferreira – Floral Artist extraordinaire.

DP Ferreira – Floral Artist extraordinaire.

Reflections of  our meeting of the 2nd June, at Jenny Pott’s garden. By  Marilyn Woolfrey. On a truly beautiful, sunny winter’s morning we set off for what promised, for me, to be one of the treats of the year.  It turned out to hit the jackpot!  Not only did we have one of Knysna’s most talented artists to demonstrate to us but we visited a farm with views to die for and a charming walled garden – out of place in some ways but gracing the southern entrance of the farmhouse.   A quiet and introspective space for a home that shows off such magnificent views in all directions. The drive off the Rheenedal  road wound through the woods with a glimpse of a miniature landscape view of the Heads in the far distance.  Always an anchor for positioning yourself in Knysna’s 360 degree vista.   Sea, mountains, rivers – we have it all and as a relative newcomer of 2 years I am still frequently enchanted . We were greeted at the farmstead gate by a number of very handsome horses behind the requisite post and rail fence.  Before us, looking like it had been there forever, was the most delightful home of Jenny Pott – this had to be the most inspired choice of venue for a floral artist. DP Ferreira, set up on the veranda, framed beautifully by the wisteria, surprisingly still in full leaf. DP’s first huge creation came almost entirely from his winter garden.  He used grasses and long forgotten flower seed heads and foliage with just a few small proteas strategically placed.  It made me realise I was probably far too tidy in my garden and next year I shall wait until the promise of spring before I hack back the beauty that waits patiently to be noticed! Next was the exact opposite of the winter wonder – this bowl was filled with blousy, exquisite blooms and a fanciful mix of colours, textures and eco systems!  At times my mind cried enough! but the end result was just stunning – traditional but not, clashing but not, somehow peaceful together.  Perhaps a relevant lesson for us all from nature in these turbulent times. Finally, proteas at their best, simply – they need no accompaniment apart from the clever and thoughtful display. The morning concluded with a sumptuous tea and eats (never fails to provide lubrication and fortification for the chatter that follows).  A huge thank you to both DP Ferreira for his inspiration and talent and Jenny Pott for the awesome setting.   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click...

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Diarise now: Our Miniature Gardens Expo

Diarise now: Our Miniature Gardens Expo

You can still garden despite the crippling drought by creating a miniature garden for our Exhibition, 2nd week of October.  Give an outlet to your creativity and squash the frustration of seeing your real garden withering away.  Our new venue is Metelerkamps courtyard.  This rustic venue lends itself beautifully for the display of these little container gardens. You can also shop until you drop  at Metelerkamps gorgeous shop, and there is a delightful bistro to quench the thirst and feed the tummy! As in the past, you have carte blance, whatever theme you choose is fine, just remember the containers must not be too big. For more info contact Esther 072 4661781, Kathy 0833208302, Denise 082 5746922. Found this website which may be of interest to you:  The Huge World of Miniature Gardens What gardening trend is hotter than vertical gardens, succulents, and edible landscapes? Miniature gardens! The great thing about miniature gardening is ultimately the combination of crafting and gardening, to create your very own fantasy landscape. Perhaps a little English cottage in a meadow, or a shady bench on the bank of a stream, or even a fairy treehouse? But we can’t all afford to spend weeks or months (let alone your pension fund) to create it on in full scale, so why not allow your inspiration to be satisfied by creating the exact landscape in miniature? You could even make a few for variety. The magic of miniatures plays an incredible trick on the brain. By keeping everything in your garden to a proportionate scale (especially recognisable features such as furniture, structures or paving), you begin to disregard the miniature elements and instead see the scene as a whole. Suddenly, you can imagine yourself right there… Whether you want to build a miniature empire in your garden bed or design a private garden with a pebble patio for an indoor centrepiece, miniature gardening allows you to create your own tiny, living world. Janit Calvo’s book, Gardening in Miniature  is a complete guide to creating lush, living, small-scale gardens. It has everything you need to pick up this new hobby, including scaled down garden designs, techniques for creating tiny hardscapes, miniature garden care and maintenance, tips on choosing containers, how to buy the right plants, and where to find life-like accessories. Inspiring step-by-step projects feature basic skills that can be recreated in any number of designs, like a tiny patio, a trellis, a pond, and a secret garden. Is it a miniature garden or is that a very VERY large bowl? You don’t need to use expensive tools or products either, everything you’ll need is cheap, or recycled and easy to find at the craft store. Journey into the huge world of growing small with this...

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August Meeting: a visit to Ouland Royal.

August Meeting: a visit to Ouland Royal.

Date & Time: 4th August 2017, 10am. Venue: Ouland Royale, Robberg Road (Plett Airport Road) Look out for our signs. VISITORS TO PAY FOR THEIR TEA/EATS, MEMBERS NO CHARGE TOPIC: A walk through the fynbos lead by Estelle from the Ouland Nursery, and Charles Reitz (Wilja’s brother), come and learn more about ericas, and other fynbos. Baroque decadence The baroque barn outside Plettenberg Bay is filled with the stuff dreams are made of. Weaver birds’ nests and baskets hang from beams, plants spill over the brim of an old bath tub, and pretty things dangle and twinkle everywhere. My senses are filled to the brim and we are still only on the stoep – a whole treasure chest of beautiful items await discovery inside. “Ouland Royale is meant to be a space where people can come and escape reality, a fantasy place where they can eat decadent food, and feel happy and safe,” says Wilja Reitz, the owner of the extraordinary venue and eatery that has people talking. Read more about Wilja here. A self-confessed workaholic passionate about women empowerment, Wilja is all about teaching and doing things for herself. “I thrive on proving to myself and others that I can achieve almost anything through self-belief and gratitude for my blessings in life. I try to encourage that in my staff too – there are very few things we cannot do if only we put our minds to it and believe in our inner strength.” In November 2013, Ouland Royale opened for business! Wilja named her venue after the farm, which her grandmother had dubbed Ouland (old land), and an Afrikaans song Royal Hotel by David Kramer. “I loved the song when I was a child and it fit well with the boere baroque Russian theme of the barn and the decadent royal feel of the decor.” The double volume ceiling and sliding doors that run almost the extent of the side walls create a light-filled space that is dramatically and decadently decorated. Long tables are set with silverware, crystal, candles and flowers. Tea and cake are served on antique and collectable crockery. Lounging spaces are created by cleverly placed couches, covered in dramatic and playful fabrics. Walls are adorned with gilded mirrors and antique portraits. Wilja’s lampshades add colour, drama and whimsy. Funky hats cover mannequins or hang over the corners of portraits and mirrors. “I’ve collected many beautiful pieces throughout the years and several of the ones in Ouland Royale come with lovely stories.” Initially intended as a wedding venue with simple cake and tea, the eatery became unexpectedly popular. “I taught myself to bake, which was also a childhood dream, and the food is really honest and...

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Kirstenbosch wins Gold again and there is more ….

Kirstenbosch wins Gold again and there is more ….

  Cape Town – South Africa has won gold yet again at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London – but there is more. SA also won the coveted President’s Award, which goes to the President’s favourite exhibit at the show. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show opened in London on Tuesday 23 May, just a day after the world celebrated international Biodiversity Day, and we couldn’t be more proud. This is the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) 35th gold medal – out of a 42-year legacy of participating in what is arguably the world’s most famous flower show. Windows on Biodiverstiy With its theme Windows on Biodiversity, the circular exhibit has a stunning backdrop of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden – showcasing SA’s rich and varied voyage of discovery in natural beauty. SANBI says on display are plants that represent all ten of South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens: Free State, Hantam, Harold Porter, Karoo Desert, Kirstenbosch, Kwelera, Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria and Walter Sisulu. “Our designers Raymond Hudson and David Davidson were overjoyed when they found the awards at our #RHSChelsea Flower Show exhibit this morning!” SANBI says.   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Kirstenbosch Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show

Kirstenbosch Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show

The South African exhibit for the 2017 Chelsea flower show features flowers from all over the country and is celebrating its unique diversity of plant life! The South African exhibit was revealed on the 21st of April by the Sanbi-Kirstenbosch team. This year they plan to make use of flowers and plants from 10 different botanical gardens to show the diversity of the country’s plant life. The chosen theme for this year is ‘Windows of Biodiversity’. The exhibit will be a circular one with a backdrop of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. Each section will feature a different South African botanical garden. Kirstenbosch, Harold Porter in Betty’s Bay, Hantam in the Northern Cape, Walter Sisulu in Gauteng, Lowveld in Mpumalanga, Free State in Bloemfontein, Karoo Desert in the Karoo, Kwazulu-Natal, Pretoria in Gauteng and Kwelera in the Eastern Cape. “South Africa is home to nearly 10% of the world’s plants and contains three regions that have been declared global biodiversity hotspots, so it is fitting that we celebrate this heritage this year at Chelsea.” – Dr Tanya Abrahamse, SANBI CEO The exhibit will show the diversity of the nine biomes of South Africa, displaying them to over 150,000 people who are expected to visit the show. It was designed by the multi-award-winning team of graphic designer David Davidson and landscape designer Raymond Hudson. “We have been designers of the exhibit for the past 24 years, although this is the 42nd year South Africa is represented at the show. We try to include as much diversity and variety of plant life (as possible), representing all the botanical gardens in the country.” “We’ve done well (over the years) in winning 34 gold medals and the Huxley Trophy for the best exhibit. One of the exhibits was about climate change. We hope for another gold,” The Sanbi-Kirstenbosch has won 34 gold medals in the 41 years its taken part in the Chelsea Flower Show. They won gold in 2016 and are planning to work hard for the gold again this year. Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017 trends preview: look out for jelly bean colours, weeds and waste… It’s one of the high points of the horticultural calendar, so what’s in store at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show? Stephanie Mahon offers a sneak preview… CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH Stephanie Mahon 9 MAY 2017 • 1:56PM On May 23, you’ll be able to walk through the gates of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and be transported from Spain and Malta to China, Japan, ­Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. Many of this year’s gardens evoke exotic climes, while others look to the Yorkshire coast, the Norfolk marshes and Berkshire’s heathland. The themes of education, art and sustainability have also inspired the designers. We can probably expect planting styles to be diverse too, and nurseries that grow the bulk of the show garden plants say many designers are going for bright and cheery summer colours, ­including deep purple and burnt ­orange. These bold, unsubtle hues may startle the hortirati – will they work, or look like a bag of jelly beans? But at this stage, a bigger talking point is sponsorship – or lack of. There are only eight show gardens on Main Avenue this year, even fewer than the previous low of 13 in 2009 (known as the “Credit Crunch Chelsea”) and a big drop from 17 last year. High-profile names such as Laurent Perrier have not returned and others, such as L’Occitane and the Telegraph, are sitting out this year. Chelsea Flower Show approaches CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH The downturn could be a case of Brexit wobbles or just part of the natural cycle of Chelsea. But it was still a surprise when show sponsor M&G Investments announced it would not be renewing its contract with the RHS when it ends this year. The RHS would not comment on whether a new sponsor is in place for 2018 and beyond, but confirmed that an announcement will soon be made on the renewal of the BBC contract to broadcast the show. Show gardens James and Helen Basson, who have won gold two years running for evocations of the Provençal landscape, are hotly tipped to lead in this category. This year, for the M&G Garden, they have hopped over to Malta to represent a quarry with a range of ecologies and planting types, with a garden that may prove challenging to some visitors and perhaps even the judges. The couple see this as a chance to discuss how to rejuvenate abandoned industrial places. James Basson CREDIT: HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY “By taking an extreme, mineral, ‘hard’ man-made space and working with ­nature to make it beautiful, we hope to persuade people that all those ­urban spaces we don’t know...

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