Designer gardens on show

By Kay Montgomery Time of article published Aug 5, 2013

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Johannesburg - Eleven designer gardens and a recreation of South Africa’s 2013 Chelsea Flower Show exhibit are open to the public at the Garden World Spring Festival in Muldersdrift.

The show ends on September 1.

The highlight of the festival is a recreation of the South African exhibit, which recently won a 33rd Gold Medal at the 100th Chelsea Flower Show (May 21-25) in London. Sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry, Mogale City and Clover Mama Africa, this year’s garden exhibit celebrates 100 years of Kirstenbosch as a world famous national botanical garden.

Designed by David Davidson and Raymond Hudson, the garden is a circular, walk-through exhibit that features Kirstenbosch’s dell and cycad amphitheatre on one side, and the protea garden and mountain skyline on the other.

Various historic landmarks, still to be found in the gardens at Kirstenbosch, including Colonel Bird’s Bath, are to be found in the garden. The exhibit also includes representations of several centenarian species that were introduced during the first five years (1913-1917) of Kirstenbosch’s existence and are still in the gardens today.


Designer gardens

Under the umbrella theme, “Celebration”, the 11 designer gardens created by top landscapers will offer a host of planning ideas for your spring garden.

The overall winners and the team honoured with the title Best Garden on Show were Grant Gove and Claire Slabber, who received a platinum award for their collaboration with vegetable expert Jane Griffiths on the garden entitled, “A Delicious Cottage Garden”.

The winning garden highlighted how to create a fruitful food garden that sustains your family. Overflowing with fruit, vegetables and flowers, “the garden is a living ode to a time we once knew,” says Griffiths.

“Drawing on the ideals of the traditional cottage garden, all available space is filled and everything is recycled, re-used and re-invented. Slate walls, gravel and log paths, wooden fencing and rustic elements suggest a garden that has developed organically over decades”, says designer Gove.

Strawberries drip from an edible roof, while vegetables and herbs hang from vertical gardens and flourish among annuals. This delicious garden is a vibrant reminder that the beauty of nature can be celebrated on our own doorstep.

Two other platinum awards were presented to Sonita Young of Young Landscape Design Studio for her oriental-inspired feng-shui garden entitled “Elemental Chain”, and to Damon Johnson from Terra Firma for his garden, “Celebrations”. Johnson’s tropical garden features the ultimate in outdoor living with a splash pool spectacular waterfall.

Gold awards went to Werner Botha of Apple Landscape, Lana Marais and the Tshwane University of Technology, JJ van Rensburg and the team from Vukascapes, as well as Johan Coertze & Erika Frost of Blue Fig Landscaping.

Parents of schoolchildren also flock to the show each year to see the children’s and schools’ gardens. This year, there are also a number of little box gardens that create a world in miniature and spectacular floral art displays by the Gauteng Flora Union.

An indigenous educational exhibit has been mounted by the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden and Rand Water’s “Water Wise” exhibit will highlight how to zone your garden with one, two and three drop plants.

A programme of catered events runs through the spring festival:

August 9: Attend a talk on organic vegetable gardening by Jane Griffiths at 11am. R110.

August 10: A talk on healthy herbs by Lizette Jonker at 10am. R100.

August 17: Brunch with Charles Barnhoorn (bulbs), Leon Hefer (floral art) and Margaret and Sandy Roberts who talk herbs, bulbs and flowers at 10am. R120.

August 17: How to make bird feeders at a kids’ craft workshop with Lizette Jonker at 10am. R80.

August 24: “In Tune with Nature” is a spring music concert with Richard Cock and Tanya Visser at 11am. R100.

August 31: Lizette Jonker demonstrates how to use grasses, veggies and herbs as table arrangements at 10am. R70.

Visit the Garden World Spring Festival and see 11 designer gardens till Sunday September 1, 8am – 5pm. Garden World, Beyers Naudé Drive in Muldersdrift. Entrance to the Designer Gardens is R20 and children under 12 free. Booking for the talks, workshops and music is essential. Contact Magriet on 011 957 2545 or 083 997 6142. Visit



* No winter garden is complete without pansies and violas. Whether you prefer to grow old favourites or try some of the latest introductions, all will add colour to your winter and spring garden.

* Indoor plants can become dusty. Clean leaves with Wonder Wipes or use a damp sponge on smooth leaves, and a soft brush on hairy leaves. Fires and heaters tend to make the air dry and brown tips on leaves can be an indication of low humidity. Mist foliage to help increase humidity.

* When buds on fruit trees appear in early spring, apply fertiliser granules for fruit trees, 500g per year of the age of the tree, maximum 4kgs. Always extend the fertiliser to the drip line of the branches and water thoroughly. Also fertilise citrus trees, keeping granules away from the stem and extending to the drip line of the branches, then water thoroughly.

* Leave damaged and withered leaves on plants until all danger from frost is over. Even though these leaves may not look attractive, they help protect the crown of plants and any emerging new shoots from frost damage. - Saturday Star

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