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DID YOU KNOW:

Epsom Salts (Magnesium sulfate) can be used to fertilise your plants. This can improve flower quality and quantity, fruiting and encourages a bushier healthier plant. Heavy bloomers such as roses and fruiting plants like tomato’s, peppers and strawberries benefit from Epsom salts. It also improves the flavor of your fruit.

Recipe: Dissolve 1 Tablespoon into 4 liters water
Apply as a foliar spray, twice yearly.

Improve the flavor of your fruit.

Heavy bloomers like tomato’s benefit from Epsom salts.

DID YOU KNOW:

You can make a sugar spray to treat Red-spider mite, which is currently a problem in our hot weather. Mix 1 cup sugar in 5L hot water and allow to dissolve. When cooled spray affected plants with solution. Please note that home made and organic solutions need to be applied regularly in order to be effective. Apply once a week in dry weather and twice weekly in wet weather.

For More information on red Spider Mite read our blog ‘February Gardening tips’.

Red-spider mite

WEDNESDAY’S WAR ON WEED’S!!

Your common grass weed, dandelion can be problematic as it spreads like crazy. Instead of spraying it with what can be harmful herbicides rather remove it manually and use the plant for these two purposes:
1) The flower and leaves are edible and can be used in salads.
2) A plant tonic or fertiliser can be made to fertiliser your plants as dandelions are full of plant nutrition especially potassium. Make sure not to include the flowers to prevent spreading seeds.

Recipe: Place weeds in a large bucket that has a lid, add water, about 16 cups to 1kg of weeds (Adjust according to weed quantity). Seal bucket with lid and leave for 2-4 weeks, stirring once weekly (can smell quite bad due to fermenting process). When ready strain through sieve or pantyhose to catch solids.

To use tea dilute 1 part weed tea to 10 parts water, use as foliar spray or water into soil.

THROW BACK THURSDAY

Did you know that Tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland during the 1600’s. Tulips were so popular that they created the first economic bubble, known as Tulip Mania.

Follow us on Facebook for daily posts all about gardening!

The post Weekly Round Up – February Part 1 appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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February and March are our last two months of summer before the weather starts cooling down. Make the best of the hot weather by having a green and unique braai with family and friends, which will be sure to impress and leave life long memories. This blog will give you recipes and ideas for braai meals made with herbs as well as other edibles plants, and will also inform you of how to grow some of the mentioned herbs. I hope this blog will leave your mouth watering and your brain bursting with ideas and facts.

Mixed herb fresh from the garden

Sliced lemon in a vase with mint and lavender as table décor

Mixed herbs in jars as table décor

Snacks

Make your own Nasturtium Cream cheese dip. This can be served with chips, crackers, bruschetta and other snacks. Remember to grow your nasturtiums in containers as they can be very invasive.

Ingredients: 200-250g cream cheese. 2tsp. tender nasturtium leaves chopped. 2 tsp. nasturtium flowers chopped. 3 nasturtium flowers as decoration.

* Blend the cream cheese with the chopped leaves and chopped flowers. Place mixture attractively into a beautiful bowl and decorate with the flowers. This dip needs to be eaten as soon as possible, because it becomes bitter if left for too long.

Nasturtium cream cheese dip made with just the flowers. 

Mixed colour nasturtium flowers.

Drinks

Make a non-alcoholic punch, which I am sure your guests have not experienced before. This is a Rose Geranium punch.

Ingredients: 1.2L apple juice. 4 limes. 1 cup sugar. 6 leaves of rose geraniums.

* Boil the apple juice, sugar and geranium leaves for 5 minutes. Strain this and let it completely cool. Thinly slice and crush the limes, adding limes and juice to the mix. Serve in attractive punch glasses or other with ice. For alternatives, mint (different mints), pineapple sage and my ultimate favourite, Lemon verbena can be used instead of the rose geranium, or whichever combination you would like. You can either leave the herb leaves in the punch or drain the mix through a sieve before adding the limes.

Adding different herbs to your drinks is a great way to make your drinks more exciting and is extremely trendy.

* Add lemon basil to your strawberry daiquiri.

* Add rosemary to your gin and tonic, whiskey sours, and your citrus based drinks like a grapefruit or orange Mimosa.

* Add lemon verbena to your sangria as well as using it as an alternative or with mint in a Mojito. Make a fruity Mojito by adding strawberries or blueberries.

* Add Thai basil to any Asian inspired drinks, as well as Tarragon as it has a liquorish/anise flavour. Tarragon goes well with citrusy drinks because of this flavour.

* Add Coriander to tropical cocktails and drinks. Coriander and basil are great herbs for Margarita’s.

* Lavender can be added to all drinks with berries. Lavender is also great for champagne, and white wine and Rosé.

* Remember you can also add edible flowers to your cocktail as decoration. I love borage flowers.

Here are two unusual drinks recipes:

Rosemary and Vodka lemonade – In a pitcher combine 3 cups of soda water, ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup vodka, ½ cup sugar, ice and add 6 sprigs rosemary. Stir and allow lemonade to chill in fridge for about 10 minutes.

Dill & Cucumber cocktail – In as shaker muddle a pinch of dill, with cucumbers and a pinch of brown sugar. Add ice, 90ml tequila, 15ml lime juice and 15ml syrup. Shake, strain over ice in a lowball glass and top with a bit of dill for décor. This is only enough for one glass.

Rosemary gin and tonic

Blueberry Mojito

Strawberry and mint Mojito

Meaty ideas

Make your own braai rub, which will give your meat an unusual and delicious flavour.

* Combine bruised lavender buds, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and black pepper to make your meat rub. Rub this mixture into your meat and leave to soak up all the flavours overnight.

Lavender and Rosemary meat rub.

Make a crowd pleasing Caribbean jerk marinade for your meat (Chicken, pork traditionally and beef).

* Combine roughly chopped spring onions, garlic, chillies, thyme, juice of a lime, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar and all spice or a spice of your choice. Soak your meat in this marinade overnight, the night before your braai. Thyme is specifically used in this recipe as it is a meat tenderiser. Thyme also aids digestion by breaking down fatty foods.

Jerk marinade and some of the ingredients

Grilled Jamaican jerk chicken.

Beef with a herb butter melted on top.

Make a herb butter to melt on your steak or juicy chop, when serving.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter. 1/4 cup mixed herbs finely chopped (Basil, chives, dill, parsley, thyme and tarragon). 1tsp. coarse sea salt. 1tsp. ground black pepper.

* Mix all ingredients together until well blended and place on wax paper. Shape the butter into a cylindrical shape and then seal it. Refrigerate afterwards. This butter can be kept in the fridge for two weeks or can be frozen. Cut into discs of your liking to use, melted on top of your piece of meat. Please note that this herby butter can also be used for making braai bread.

If you are looking for a very unique and special braai experience, The Fire Pit Co manufactures an amazing range of fire pits which can be modified to be used as a braai. Please contact Simone via email on simone@thefirepitco.com or telephonically (073)1217564.

Visit their amazing website www.thefirepitco.com to view their range of fire pits, fire wood and other wonderful garden and indoor accessories.

Fire pit from The Fire Pit Co.

Salads, Veg & Starch

Make spicy herb butter for your chargrilled sweetcorn.

Ingredients: 125g butter. 1/4 cup each parsley and coriander. 1-2 chopped red/green chillies (seeds removed). 1 teaspoon garlic minced (fresh or ready made). Grated rind of one lemon. Pinch of paprika.

* Follow the same instructions as the herbal butter for meat seen above for making and serving this sweetcorn butter. Cut cylinder into disks and place onto hot sweetcorn cobs. If you really would like to be decadent, then add a bit of finely grated parmesan or pecorino cheese to melt over the cobs.

Homemade herb butter

Sweetcorn with herbs

When making your green salad be adventuress and add leaves of green (Zesty) and red sorrel (slightly bitter), tarragon (Slight anise flavour), wild rocket (peppery), Portulacaria afra (lemony) and also use your pesky garden weed, dandelion (young leaves). Use these in combination with different lettuce leaves in order for the salad to not be unappetising (too many strong flavours). Add and artistic touch by introducing some edible flowers like dianthus, nasturtium, marigolds, begonias, and impatience. Also look if any of your herbs are flowering, for example coriander, borage, rocket and chives, and add flowers to your salad. Also add some home grown or shop bought microgreens to your salad. Nowadays the retail nurseries sell packets of mixed microgreen seeds. Microgreens are easy to grow, and pack a lot of flavour as well as nutrition. Remember to also add finely chopped herbs of your choice for example basil, chives, parsley, dill, coriander or mint to add some zing to your salad.

Mixed greens including bloody sorrel

Make an exciting cheesy Ciabatta, using garlic, herbs and some local is lekker ingredients. Buy ready made fresh Ciabatta bread. Slice the bread like you would garlic bread. Enough to add ingredients in the slots, but do not cut straight through. In your butter add finely chopped herbs (Chives, parsley and thyme), garlic to your taste, mozzarella cheese and my local is lekker ingredients, biltong powder and very finely chopped peppadews. Not all the ingredients need to be used. It’s your choice as to how exciting you make it. Using a knife spread your special butter into the slots of the bread. Wrap in tinfoil and either bake or braai. I prefer baking it, as the bread can easily be burnt on the braai or not cooked through properly.

Herby Ciabatta. 

Local is lekker ingredient, biltong.

Desserts

Make your own Lavender, summer berry and flower salad as a refreshing dessert. To make the lavender sugar for this, remove the flower buds off two sprigs of washed lavender. Dry well using kitchen paper. Line a board with cling wrap and place the lavender buds on top. Place a sheet of wax paper on top and roll the lavender buds with a rolling pin. This brings out the oils and flavours. Mix the lavender with about 2 tbsp. of castor sugar. You will need to use about 500 grams of mixed berries (Gooseberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blackberries), which need to be sprinkled with the lavender sugar and must then rest for an hour or so after. Mix 150ml rosé wine (dry) with about 3 tbsp. of bought berry cordial and pour over salad. This would usually be served with a vanilla whipped cream. Sprinkle some..

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Mulching your garden

We are on the door step of what is usually the hottest month of the year, February. Be prepared and protect your plants by mulching your garden beds. Mulching retains water in your soil for a longer period of time, making it more accessible to plant roots. At the same time mulching is also a great way of keeping pests like snails out, and can also be attributed to lowering weed seed germination in an area. Some common mulching mediums are bark, peach and apricot pips, woodchips and coarse compost.

(From left to right: Bark nuggets, Coarse compost and woodchips)

Pruning

The effect of the hot weather combined with some unusual rain for this time of the year, is that of great plant growth. Remember that your plants (in particular shrubs), need regular light pruning to keep them healthy. Pruning harshly once in a while can be very detrimental to plants. Fertilising after pruning is always a great idea.

Bugs currently attacking your garden

One of your most common hot weather harmful bugs is Red Spider mite. These are small arachnoids which are most common during hot summer months and during dry conditions. If you have a severe infestation you will notice webbing over parts of the plant. If untreated, defoliation will take place, and even the eventual death of your beloved plant. Tips to prevent red spider mite:

*Keep your plants well-watered (Using harvested rain water)

*Poor air circulation leads to increased populations so make sure to space your plants out properly when planting.

*Mulching will also help as it keeps water in the soil.

I would avoid using heavy chemicals as these will kill off natural predators as well. Ask your local nursery for an organic insecticide to treat affected plants.

(Left: Red spider mite Right: Webbing which red spider mite causes and discoloration of leaves)

Give your summer grass a boost

Grass often takes a knock in the summer heat and could do with a little bit of help. It is difficult to fertilise at this time of the year because of the potential of burning your grass. The Contours maintenance team has found a fantastic product which works for them throughout the year. Fertilis is a product made from earthworm castings and is therefore organic (low burn potential). It is a soil conditioner, which provides some feeding as well as adding life (microbial activity) back to your soil. Fertilis is used at 250ml per square metre. Use this product on your lawn before rain is expected. Contact us or your local nursery to purchase this product. This is also a fantastic product to use in your veggie and herb gardens.

Keep your lawn water wise

Encourage deep roots and therefore a higher drought tolerance by cutting your grass at a higher level. Longer leaf blades also shade the roots, keeping them cooler as well as keeping water in the soil for a longer period. The normal recommendation is to increase the height of your lawn mower by 50% during dry periods, to avoid stressing the lawn out with short cuts.

Planting in your veggie garden (Western Cape)

  This is the last recommended month until spring, in which you can sow bush and runner beans, squashes, pumpkins and artichokes.  Also plant your batch of seed potatoes for an early winter harvest.

*Some tips for growing beans : Do not overwater during their growing period as this can result in the plant focusing on leafy growth, rather than flowering and setting pods. Also wet feet can lead root rot, and plants becoming lazy, which means you will experience bad crops. This would be such a pity as my experience with beans is that if you get it right you can have more beans then what you know what to do with.

Adding colour to your garden in January

Add seedling trays of annual/biannual Salvia, Celosia, Marigolds and Perennial Portulaca’s for some colour during this hot month. Also purchase and plant Salvia greggii, Hemerocallis (Daylilies) and Angelonia’s for some heat tolerant perennial colour. Interesting fact is that Daylily flowers are edible, but please make sure not to feast on any that have been sprayed with poisons.

(Salvia greggii – Autumn Sage)

Portulaca oleracea (perennial portulaca or purslane)

We hope this info helps you to keep your garden healthy during February, and gives you some inspiration for what planting to do on the cooler days.

The post Helpful tips for February in the garden: appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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Cape Contours | Landscape Solutions by Contours Landscapes - 4M ago

SALI – The South African Landscaping Institute, promoters of professionalism and quality in landscaping, have revealed their award winner for 2018. Contours Landscapes is proud to have won the following awards.
Meulplein Stellenbosch
SALI AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2018 – GOLD AWARDS

Trophy Award Winner – Deserving of a strong mention for their achievements in all aspects of landscaping over the past year

SPECIALISED LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION
New Court at Steenberg
SALI AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2018 – SILVER AWARDS

Trophy Award Winner – Deserving of a strong mention for their achievements in all aspects of landscaping over the past year

BEST LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION WITH DESIGN BY OTHERS
UCT New Lecture Theatre
SALI AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2018 – BRONZE AWARDS

Trophy Award Winner – Deserving of a strong mention for their achievements in all aspects of landscaping over the past year

LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION WITH DESIGN BY OTHERS
Valkenberg Hospital
SALI AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2018 – MERIT AWARDS

Trophy Award Winner – Deserving of a strong mention for their achievements in all aspects of landscaping over the past year

LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION WITH DESIGN BY OTHERS

The post SALI Awards 2018 appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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192 Kloof, Tree Delivery | Contours Landscapes - YouTube

Contours Landscapes is taking Arbour month to the next level with our recent installation of seven 2000L Ficus Rubignosa trees for a client in Clifton. At Contours Landscapes we never shy away from an interesting and exciting challenge and with the assistance of our hands on supplier Trees SA we were able to achieve greatness once again.

The team at Trees SA have put together a very nice article on their website discussing the use of living curtain’s and screens to enhance your privacy and views. Please view the video above which showcases the amazing work done on a project recently which highlights the tricky  implementation on this job.

And follow the link below to learn more about this challenging project via the Trees SA website.

The post Creating A Living Curtain | House Fullimut appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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Don’t be fooled! Faux is the new cool! The new possibilities for using synthetic or ‘fake’ plants for greening up your interior and outdoor living spaces are reaching new heights, quite literally! We have been hard at work, developing our growing range of artificial green walling options that more and more are hard to tell from real plants. We introduce you in this blog to some of our new products in our Faux Flora range and give you some tips of where best to consider using them.

Our previous blog on Artificial Plants can be found here and in it we introduced you to some of the many pros and water-saving benefits of going fake in certain landscape design situations. Since then our Faux Flora range, has been carefully developed and honed, by our in-house Landscaper and qualified Interior Designer, Sasha Schafer, to tackle the problems of the ongoing water crisis as well as bring greening into more difficult settings and spaces where real plants won’t thrive.  We now offer 4 distinct types of artificial greening solutions that have specific application requirements.

Reception backdrop at Pier Place in Cape Town, beautifully greens the modern architecture and adds a softer, quieter feeling to a busy office. Designed using our Standard Range with some loose 3D plants added for more textural interest

FAUX FLORA RANGES – Our Artificial Plants Standard Range

Our Standard Range offers solutions to flat surfaces, either vertical or horizontal, that require greening that is hedge-like or more uniform. The product comes flat on a plastic backing, and there are 3 different types you can choose from, depending on the look you need. The Buxus variety has a small leaf that is well suited to using for faux box hedging, but is limited to using mainly in a square or rectangular format. There is also the larger leafed Myrtle and Laurel which would be perfect for using against a fence as a fake hedge, which is UV resistant and never needs clipping or watering. We have used these products in a variety of settings, including as a dramatic backdrop to a reception area, as rectangular box hedging in bespoke timber planters at restaurants or as green partition screens for offices. The three types can be used together to create bespoke designs that have more than one texture very effectively.

Examples of walling and box hedging by Contours Landscape Studio that can be done with our Standard Range. Best suited to flat vertical or horizontal surfaces these products are UV coated and can be used to create a hedge effect where it is difficult to grow a real one. Bespoke planters can be designed to contain the hedging or it can applied to a wall very quickly and easily.

Exclusive Range

Our Exclusive Range offers greening solutions that are more 3D, that incorporate 4 to 5 different artificial plant species and have a far more realistic and textural feel, making them more versatile and great for use on a variety of different structures and walls and even on curved structures easily. There are three types we offer, that each are made up of different plant type species, giving each type a different look.

  • Valley Green – A tropical feeling with a combination of 3D lush plants, larger leafed ferny type plants and grasses and a white flowered leafy plant. A few loose plants can be added in easily to create more possibilities. Can be used on curved structures.

‘Valley Green’ used as the backdrop to an outdoor shower. A real living green wall had previously been installed here, but it did not thrive due to the drought and the clients replaced it with this beautiful green solution that will last for years

  • Forest Floor – A foresty feeling with ivy-like plants, large pops of ferny plants and smaller leafed fillers. Again a few loose plants can be added in easily to create a customised palette. Can be used on curved structures.

‘Forest Floor’ with pops of ferny plants amongst an ivy-like background looking great in these examples by Contours Landscape Studio. Helping to give a softer, green feel to an area that needs sun glare reduction and greening, where there is no space for real plants and where maintenance and irrigation would be difficult

  • Riverine – Our most customisable and most realistic option, this product is made using loose artificial plants, attached to a PVC coated wire mesh backing which is rigid. This type therefore needs to be only used on flat structures as it can’t be bent. Combinations of different loose artificial plants are used with about 80 plants packed in per m2, make these look very lush, extra unique, more 3D and very realistic with a large variety of plants and leaf colours and textural effects to choose from.

‘Riverine’ looking beautiful as a green and textured feature wall. Made up of a large variety of individual loose 3D plants, these walls can be designed with a great range of plant types, leaf colours and even flowers but are limited to flat applications.

LOOSE PLANTS

We also source a wide range of loose, larger artificial plants that are great for use in indoor settings like restaurants, shopping malls, in pots, large planters or even in the outside landscape where a few dramatic plants are needed where water and light are in short supply. Large Aloes, Agaves, Buxus balls, small topiary trees and more realistic looking shrubs and trees are available. These can be supplied with or without standard or bespoke pots that we design and make in house.

The possibilities are wide for the use of these fake plants which look almost real, which are perfect for use in restaurants, the home or business settings where irrigation is impossible but where the green and beauty of plants is needed.

Contact Sasha if you have ideas needing exploring with faux greening!

products@contoursgroup.co.za

(021) 300 3398

Images and info:

Contours Landscape Studio

The post Artificial Greening – Our Growing Range of Faux Flora appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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Our provincial dams are still very low despite the very welcome rains we have had in the Western Cape over the last few weeks. With dam levels across the country at only 56% , we are still a long way from full. With the last of the heavy rains coming in July and August, we need to take measures now to capture it when it comes. We look at some further ideas as well as ideas from nature for rainwater harvesting.

With much of the country still experiencing drought conditions, we must not get complacent about the upcoming long, hot summer. We are hoping still that August delivers its usual downpours and when they do, there are some ways to capture that rainwater to slow down its movement and ensure that our gardens and landscapes get as much benefit from it as possible.

Water Tanks & Rainwater Harvesting

Capturing water has never been so popular and easy. Everybody now understands the benefit of having a barrel or tank connected to your downpipes. But the more you can capture the better! A 304m2 roof gives you 2346.95L of water for every 2.54cm of rain that falls on it! Tanks are currently at lower prices than they were 6 months ago at the height of the drought, and now is  a great time to put in an extra one or two if you are generally filling yours after one heavy downpour.

Put in an extra tank or two now while the prices are lower in winter!

Slowing Water Down

Large areas of solid paving are not good for capturing rainwater. It speeds up fast along the non-permeable surface and usually washes in a torrent straight into your storm water gutters. From there it is usually tainted through evaporation and pollution before it flows back into the sea eventually. You can make your driveway or concrete patio areas better at capturing water in the soil below and slow it down, by replacing the solid cement grout with permeable grouts like white sand, lime or cutting grooves into it through to the soil below. Water that soaks through to the soil permeates into the water table and becomes available for trees and boreholes.

A rain garden is a depression filled with wetland type plants for capturing and slowing water in the landscape

Garden Ponds

On a large property, whether residential or commercial, where you have a lot of non-permeable paving and rooftops, it can be a great idea to redirect the water runoff into a garden pond. Make sure the pond is waterproofed with a lining or clay packed for water retention. Grow waterlilies and various reeds to shade the water surface and slow evaporation. Keep it filled in summer with a borehole and you will encourage a great diversity of bird, insect and aquatic life that also needs water to survive in these dry times.

Swales

Shallow to mid-depth grassy swales, ground depressions and sloping ground areas all help to father direct, slow and hold surface water better, enabling collection, percolation and can reduce damage caused by flash flooding. Designed to manage pooling of water for up to 24 hours, they should be planted up with plants that don’t mind the occasional bogginess such as small reeds and wetland grass species. Water slows down as the gradient decreases in them, as it moves across lawn, through grasses and groundcovers, when it is intercepted by plant foliage, allowing it more time to sink into the soil below.  Collected pools of water will seep into the ground during dryer spells, keeping the surrounding plants and trees hydrated for longer.

Swales collect water and slow it down, allowing it to pool and seep into the surrounding ground over a 24 hour period, preventing flooding. These are two beautiful urban examples.

Berms

A berm is a mound of earth, with sloped sides usually up to 1m high, that is longer than it is wide. Often kidney shaped, they are used to mound up earth, to increase the height at which trees and shrubs can be planted for screening or as a noise barrier. They also work well to redirect water and slow it down across large areas of lawn. Ensure it is fully planted up with shrubs and groundcovers, to increase the penetration of rainwater into the soil.

A berm next to a swale stops water from flowing towards this house when it floods

Raised Planter Tank

A raised planter that doubles as a water tank can be a functional and attractive feature near the house. Make sure you call in a professional to design it as it will need a foundation and structural support below for carrying the weight of all the water. Bio-engineer it with planting zones or lilies and reeds and filtration zones of sand and gravel and a pump, and it could even double up as a small, natural splash pool.

Beautiful raised pond which doubles as a water storage tank from downpipes

The post Nature’s Solutions To Rainwater Harvesting appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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I recently spent a weekend in Langebaan (with my partner) to catch the start of the 2018 wild flower season.   Prior to me going on the trip I had decided that I would use the opportunity to take, what I hoped to be, spectacular kaleidoscope photos of the flowers we saw.  I would use the photos to compliment a blog I intended writing on the experience.

With a plethora of places in Langebaan on offer to stay, we chose to spend the weekend at Windtown hotel.

The weather was not cooperating with our flower viewing plans.  Flower spotting, which this trip was all about, did not live up to our expectations.  The success of a ‘wild-flower-show’ is determined by weather conditions.  Calm, warm, sunny days entice flowers to open, and make for a great flower viewing experience.  Much like humans, cold, windy, cloudy days tend to make the flowers wrap up and lay low!

Mother Nature dealt us a bad hand!  We were met with sunny, cold, windy days culminating in a muted display. Sadly, the blog was not going to happen without ‘trophy’ photos to accompany it!  ‘Pictures speak a thousand words’ but I could not get pictures! While we were there, we were forced to look at alternative activities to bide our time.

What to do?

Well Windtown Hotel came to our rescue!  With our flower viewing experience dashed, we found ourselves spending more time indoors than we had anticipated.

The hotel is centrally located.

We found the suites to be well appointed.   Each one was armed to the tooth against the cold weather with complimentary hot chocolate, tea and coffee, soft fluffy white linen and an air-conditioner/heater to really make things cosy.

Well-appointed rooms.  Neat as a pin!

The hotel is located close to shops but most importantly it is a 100m saunter to the Langebaan lagoon beach.  This meant early morning and late evening beach strolls to work up the appetite.  It is centred on a well laid-out courtyard with swimming pool, braai (BBQ) facilities and large ‘poofs’ for when you want to ‘chill’  Our suite (and most of the other suites) open up onto the courtyard.  Sadly, the weather was not conducive to making much use of the courtyard, but it was well protected from the howling wind.  I can only imagine that in summer, the courtyard must be a hive of activity!

The courtyard on which the rooms are centred.

Since we could not make much use of the courtyard (as it was too cold to swim in the pool and only the most hardened ‘braaier’ would have braved the cold to ‘slap a shrimp on the barbie’ ) we chose rather to spend our time testing out the menu at their restaurant, aptly named “Breeze”

I chose to dive into their Beef fillet accompanied with sweet potato fries. My partner opted for Chicken curry.  Both dishes were superb!  The service was fantastic with attentive staff and the setting relaxing.

Included in the accommodation costs was breakfast (Bed and Breakfast), which was also served by enthusiastic, attentive staff.  Everything that can be expected from a well-run hotel was available.

‘Breeze’ restaurant

Life is often too fast to pass a compliment.  I have committed myself to passing compliments when compliments are due. Competitively priced, neat and tidy rooms, friendly staff, great food.  World class! Thank you Windtown for an awesome weekend! Mother Nature handed me a ‘rain check’ to view the flowers in better weather conditions!

I will be back!

– Stephen Steyn

The post Langebaan – A Westcoast Trip to View The Flowers appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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I recently spent a weekend in Langebaan (with my partner) to catch the start of the 2018 wild flower season.   Prior to me going on the trip I had decided that I would use the opportunity to take, what I hoped to be, spectacular kaleidoscope photos of the flowers we saw.  I would use the photos to compliment a blog I intended writing on the experience.

With a plethora of places in Langebaan on offer to stay, we chose to spend the weekend at Windtown hotel.

The weather was not cooperating with our flower viewing plans.  Flower spotting, which this trip was all about, did not live up to our expectations.  The success of a ‘wild-flower-show’ is determined by weather conditions.  Calm, warm, sunny days entice flowers to open, and make for a great flower viewing experience.  Much like humans, cold, windy, cloudy days tend to make the flowers wrap up and lay low!

Mother Nature dealt us a bad hand!  We were met with sunny, cold, windy days culminating in a muted display. Sadly, the blog was not going to happen without ‘trophy’ photos to accompany it!  ‘Pictures speak a thousand words’ but I could not get pictures! While we were there, we were forced to look at alternative activities to bide our time.

What to do?

Well Windtown Hotel came to our rescue!  With our flower viewing experience dashed, we found ourselves spending more time indoors than we had anticipated.

The hotel is centrally located.

We found the suites to be well appointed.   Each one was armed to the tooth against the cold weather with complimentary hot chocolate, tea and coffee, soft fluffy white linen and an air-conditioner/heater to really make things cosy.

Well-appointed rooms.  Neat as a pin!

The hotel is located close to shops but most importantly it is a 100m saunter to the Langebaan lagoon beach.  This meant early morning and late evening beach strolls to work up the appetite.  It is centred on a well laid-out courtyard with swimming pool, braai (BBQ) facilities and large ‘poofs’ for when you want to ‘chill’  Our suite (and most of the other suites) open up onto the courtyard.  Sadly, the weather was not conducive to making much use of the courtyard, but it was well protected from the howling wind.  I can only imagine that in summer, the courtyard must be a hive of activity!

The courtyard on which the rooms are centred.

Since we could not make much use of the courtyard (as it was too cold to swim in the pool and only the most hardened ‘braaier’ would have braved the cold to ‘slap a shrimp on the barbie’ ) we chose rather to spend our time testing out the menu at their restaurant, aptly named “Breeze”

I chose to dive into their Beef fillet accompanied with sweet potato fries. My partner opted for Chicken curry.  Both dishes were superb!  The service was fantastic with attentive staff and the setting relaxing.

Included in the accommodation costs was breakfast (Bed and Breakfast), which was also served by enthusiastic, attentive staff.  Everything that can be expected from a well-run hotel was available.

‘Breeze’ restaurant

Life is often too fast to pass a compliment.  I have committed myself to passing compliments when compliments are due. Competitively priced, neat and tidy rooms, friendly staff, great food.  World class! Thank you Windtown for an awesome weekend! Mother Nature handed me a ‘rain check’ to view the flowers in better weather conditions!

I will be back!

– Stephen Steyn

The post Langebaan – A Westcoast Trip to View The Flowers appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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Kronendal Primary in Hout Bay contacted Contours Design Studio with the request to revamp their aftercare facility, the spec was to create an area for the children where they could ‘learn through  play” and practice the skills learnt in school.

Julia Budden the designer of this amazing project and mother of two boys jumped at the opportunity to create this play ground and with her extensive knowledge in both design and being a mom the results speak for themselves.

We absolutely loved the response on the opening of the playground – children can be so honest. Watch this video to see….

Contours Landscapes - Kronendal Primary School - YouTube

The post Kronendal Primary School appeared first on Contours Landscapes.

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