DP Ferreira – Floral Artist extraordinaire.

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Diarise now: Our Miniature Gardens Expo

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 step-by-step online tutorial on how to build this cute Miniature Hobbit House by Pir Tucker. According to Garden Therapy, any well-done, realistic miniature of any-kind, compels us to look closer, and quickly enchants and delights because what is supposed to be full-size, is suddenly very small – and very real. It’s this “Hey, how can that be?!” moment that creates the surprise and generates the fun. Otherwise known as the squealies in the world of miniature gardening. (http://gardentherapy.ca/miniature-patio-garden/) Slow-growing plants work best, while dwarf species and small plants with fine foliage and tiny flowers keep your proportion believable. You can also incorporate...

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Scientists Just Solved The Strange Case of Pine Trees That Always Lean Towards The Equator

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Our Environment | 0 comments

Scientists Just Solved The Strange Case of Pine Trees That Always Lean Towards The Equator

Cook pines in Sri Lanka. Photo: eFesenko/Shutterstock But how do they do it? SIGNE DEAN 5 JUN 2017 You can find them in many places around the world – tall, lean conifers that can’t seem to grow straight. And now scientists have figured out that the direction these Cook pines (Araucaria columnaris) lean is always towards the equator, but they’re not quite sure why. Scientists have measured these trees across five continents and, for the first time, documented a species with a leaning pattern that appears to be hemisphere-dependent. Cook pines originally come from New Caledonia, a tropical archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The trees were first classified during Captain James Cook’s second mission to circumnavigate the globe. These stately pines are a popular choice for parks and gardens in many parts of the world. They can grow up to 60 metres tall (197 feet), and due to their short branches, they have a characteristic narrow appearance. But even more characteristic is a propensity for a drunken-looking slant. “When grown outside of its native range, this species has a pronounced lean so ubiquitous that it is often used as the identifying characteristic for the species,” the researchers write in their paper. Leaning pines on the campus of the University of California, US. Photo: Johns et al., Ecology (2017) It started out as an anecdotal observation – one of the researchers, botanist Matt Ritter from California Polytechnic State University, noticed that in California and Hawaii, the pines all seemed to be leaning south. But A. columnaris are also commonly grown in Australia, where one of them has even become an infamous leaning Christmas tree in the town of Lismore. And weirdly enough, colleagues told him that the tilt in the southern hemisphere is directed towards the north. To investigate this, Ritter and his team gathered measurements from 256 trees across 18 regions on five continents, including the species’ native range in New Caledonia. The researchers excluded any trees whose growth could be impacted by another object, such as a building or electricity pole. They recorded the height of each tree, trunk diameter, as well as the compass direction and extent of the lean, and to their surprise, Cook pines turned out to be more systematic in their leanings than anyone could have expected. “We uncovered a surprisingly consistent pattern of hemisphere-dependent directional leaning in A. columnaris,” the team reports. On average, the pines tilt by 8.05 degrees, leaning south in the northern hemisphere, and the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere. Less than 9 percent of the trees measured didn’t conform to this pattern. And latitude makes a difference, too – the further away the trees grew from the equator, the greater the slant. So instead of labelling them drunks, it could have something to do with sunlight. Many plants, including conifers like these pines, are known for their propensity to lean towards a light source when it’s not directly above the shoot – a characteristic known as phototropism. But there’s a different plant characteristic that helps trees stay upright – their ability to detect gravity at a molecular level, and therefore direct roots and shoots in the correct directions (towards and away from the ground, respectively). Even if a baby tree develops a tilt towards the sun, as...

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August Meeting: a visit to Ouland Royal.

Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

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 unpretentious. It turned out to be a winner and people continue to come back for more.” Part of Ouland Royale is an antique and décor shop, and Wilja continues to make couture lampshades and hats on order. “It feels like my life is not long enough for the things I still want to create. My creativity feeds my soul, it’s why I work. “I believe Ouland Royale appeals to people who love and appreciate beauty, quality and attention to detail – and who understand the energy of goodwill, romance and decadence here.” WORDS: Athane Scholtz / SOURCE: http://southmagazine.co.za/archives/2015/baroque-decadence/ Share this:Click...

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