Article & Photographs: Leonie Twentyman Jones
Over the years gardeners have used different ways of embellishing their gardens. Water features like ponds or fountains have always been popular, as have decorated benches or seats, wrought iron or rustic arches for climbing roses, sweet peas and other colourful creepers, various garden follies and even mirrors. Decorative tiles have also been used very successfully.
Some of the older homes on Leisure Isle feature panels of decorative tiles. Some incorporate the name or number of the house, while others provide a feature on a verandah or in an alcove.
Lucy Wiles, well-known artist who lived on Leisure Isle with her artist husband Brian, for many years, was noted for her striking tile designs. These feature crabs, fish, seahorses and butterflies, as well as friezes of country figures – as can still be seen outside the Wiles Gallery.
During the 1980s and 1990s a Knysna artist, Tony Kay, created a number of tile panels for Leisure Isle homes. These often feature local birds, butterflies and other little creatures, as well as flowers and shrubs. Sadly many of these panels have been lost as houses change hands and are rebuilt. I have been photographing these delightful panels where possible before they disappear. Those who still have them will hopefully continue to enjoy and appreciate them.