Local Gardens

Text Mariola Jakutowicz Fouché Photographs Frank Ellis, supplied


It’s hard to believe that, a 100 years ago, the 36 hectares of rich, indigenous flora that form Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden were once on a derelict farm. This world-class showcase of southern African biomes, on the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, celebrates its centenary along with the Botanical Society of South Africa, in 2013. Special guided monthly walks, led by volunteer Botanical Society guides will take visitors through a fascinating history of the garden and its co-creators. Also in the pipeline is a series of bi-monthly strolls, themed on various topics. All walks will be free after entrance to the garden, and more information can be found on


If you’re planning to decorate a tree for the festive season, why not go indigenous and try a slow-growing yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelli, above)? Simply pot it, and put to good use again next season. Adorn with bright ribbon and home-made, recycled paper ornaments, or support local design by using accessories such as this one from TinTown (from R40).


Here’s a cool way to quench your thirst on the patio: Mobelli’s retro Smart bar table (above, R5 500) and stools (R1 250 each) are part of the new Hospitality outdoor furniture collection. The robust stainless-steel frames are rust- and fade-resistant and the range includes dining armchairs and side chairs.


Mavromac’s enthusiastically endorsed in-house brand Mavromac South has just launched a new range of UV- and weather-resistant outdoor fabrics. The Patio collection includes (from left) Patio Leaf in Aquamarine (R420/m), Geo Leo in Navy Blue (R383/m) and Ralph Stripe (R715/m).


Landscaper Sarchen Bassingthwaighte of Natural Gardening Principles maintains that, in order for plants to thrive, the soil needs a healthy complement of micronutrients – often depleted after years of applying harmful chemicals. Root Build (from R392/50g), reinoculates soil with beneficial micro-organisms. Soil Build (R89,90/8kg) is an organic mineral soil improver and fertiliser that resupplies nutrients and boosts plant health.

This article was originally featured in the December 2012 issue of House and Leisure.