Autumn Gardening Tips - Irrigation

    As the the season changes from summer to autumn, the mornings and early evenings start to become a little more crisp and chilly. This should be the indication that your irrigation computer settings should change for the appropriate weather conditions.

Adjust to water during late morning

  • Frost - If the plants are being watered during the evening, or early hours of the morning, the water in the soil could freeze during the evening, and the root systems of the plants will be affected by ice during the night and the leaves of the plants by frost in the early morning.

  • Absorption - Watering later during the day allows the water to soak into the soil without becoming frozen, reaching the roots of the plants effectively. The plants are then able to absorb the water and accompanying nutrients, and any extra water not absorbed by the roots is evaporated during the warmer parts of the day, to prevent ice and frost.

    Decrease the frequency of watering

  • Evaporation - Whether located in a winter rainfall area or summer rainfall area, the frequency of watering should be adjusted and decreased during autumn. The amount of evaporation of water from the soil decreases during cooler day temperatures and therefore the volume of water available in the soil increases. The best way to cut back on volumes and prevent any stress to a landscape is do so gradually.

  • Dormancy - As the temperatures become cooler, the plants focus less on generating new growth and their attention goes to preparing for winter dormancy. Therefore less water is required as dormancy phase approaches.

  • Shady areas - As the seasons change the arc of the sun also changes by up to 15 degrees, so this means that plants that were not in shade during summer, could potentially be in the shade during autumn. Change the settings for frequency to accommodate these new shady areas, as they will not require as much water as less evaporation is occuring.


    Trends at Decorex 2013

    This year's Decorex exhibition showcased some interesting decor concepts, but in comparison to the "green trend" that the past few years have followed, the focus in 2013 has been on taking trends from the past and merging them with current styles, and in this case, in living spaces and furniture.

    This latest trend of "new vintage" is popular amongst teenagers at the moment with their modernised vintage clothing and accessories, so it is interesting to see this fashion trend has influenced decor designers too, and can be seen in many of the exhibitors creations.

    Inspired by the flowing organic forms of Art Nouveau, Tom Faulkner's new dining table named after the city of Vienna, features an unusual shaped top, somewhere between a rectangle and an oval, with gently rounded corners. While his Puzzle coffee table, also paying homage to the Art Deco period, has been designed with elegant modern geometry.

    Well known stylist and interior designer, Tracy Lee Lynch was invited to interpret the theme of this year's Decorex in Cape Town - "Bliss". Her dramatic and beautiful entrance installation with the amazing tapestries by French artist Frederique Morrel as a backdrop, showcases the worldwide revival of cross-stitch as a design trend, with a sense of whimsical nostalgia.

    In other exhibitions inspirational words are the focal point at the edge of a coffee table, crocheted octagonals create a nice warm winter floor rug, or wire structures form interesting geometric side and coffee tables.

    Visit Decorex Website

    Decorex 2013

    Information at a glance

    Smartglasses are glasses that overlay digital information onto the wearer's view of the real world. Usage scenarios are limited only by software developers' imaginations. Google Glass already has apps for search, navigation, photo capture and sharing, to name a few.

    The see-through lens could display everything from text messages to maps to reminders. They may be capable of showing video chats, providing turn-by-turn directions, taking photos and recording notes - all through simple voice commands, according to a concept video produced by the company and released on YouTube.

    Commercial possibilities include enhanced vision systems for use in manufacturing, engineering, health care and other industries. A surgeon could have all of a patient's vital information literally in front of his eyes while operating, for example.

    Research firm Gartner says there are about a dozen companies with products fueled by advances in optics and microprocessors and the smartphone revolution, many of them ready for prime time. There could be as many as 10 million smartglasses sold worldwide by 2016, if software developers can come up with appealing applications that provide wearers with useful, non-obvious information about their surroundings.

    Source: Scientific American and CNN

    Smart Glasses

    64 micro and macro nutrients in one sip

    Our ancestors commonly received far greater amounts of micro-nutrients, relative to the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate found in the foods we consume today. Human biochemistry adapted to that ancient food supply with its greater nutrient density. (Nutrient density refers to the ratio of micro-nutrients - i.e. vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, etc. - to macro-nutrients - i.e. protein, fat and carbohydrates.)

    Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture verify a precipitous drop in nutrient density within our common food supply in just the last forty years. The loss of trace nutrients is significant enough that it is very rational to believe that dietary supplementation with a concentrated green food is optimal.

    Green food supplements, if properly formulated with nutrients in their natural state, can provide astounding nutrient density. They can, in effect, return our dietary intake of micro-nutrients to something more closely approximating the richness of our ancestral, Paleolithic diet.

    Green Vibrance is such a supplement, as it delivers a multitude of nutrients (64 in total) that can be used by each cell to support efficient cellular metabolism and maintain health. Reading their label of ingredients and nutrients listed on the bottle confirms that the a-z of vitamins and minerals are being consumed in each teaspoon of the supplement. It includes plant protein, vegetable and fruit extracts, enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids and probiotics.

    They also make a supplement specifically formulated for growing children - Junior Green Vibrance and for diebetics - Glycemic Vibrance.

    Source : Fresh Earth Food Store and Vibrant Health and why we eat green foods.

    Green Vibrance

    Privacy and spectacular views in the Karoo

    Situated in the heart of the Klein Karoo, 7 km from Oudtshoorn and 50 km from George Airport, is Chandelier Game Lodge and Ostrich Show Farm, 3500ha of unique Klein Karoo vegetation, offering an abundance of wildlife and magnificent scenery as your playground.

    Located in the Swartberg Mountains (listed as part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site) more than 200 bird species, predators and 23 hoofed game species can be spotted. The Klip River runs through Chandelier for 8km, and is the source of several waterfalls and crystal clear pools.

    Chandelier has a variety of accommodation - luxury tented chalets, log cabins, bush camp and a self catering cottage, where guests are woken every morning with the beauty of birdsong.

    The 8 luxury tented chalets (sleeping 2 per tent) offer a unique bush experience - the chalets are placed on wooden decks in the bush and great care has been taken to provide privacy and spectacular views. Each en-suite unit has a private observation deck from where guests can spot various game species on their way to the water hole.

    Each tent chalet is equipped with white linen and velvet, as well as corner or spa baths and air conditioning or fans. The stylish decor creates superb luxury, under the canopy of the acacia trees. The showers, with only the stars as a roof, are something to experience.

    The self catering Log Cabins (great for families) are set on wooden decks overlooking the majestic Swartberg mountains, with braai facilities, one can sit back and enjoy the sunset and birdsong in true Klein Karoo style. There are en-suite bedrooms, open plan kitchen/lounge, television, air conditioning, heaters, a fridge and a gas stove.

    And if you are all braai'ed out Chandelier has the Kings Mask Restaurant at your disposal. The restaurant, with an elegant African atmosphere, specializes in traditional South African cuisine, with the emphasis on tasty ostrich and venison dishes.

    Visit the Chandelier Game Lodge website for more information.

    Chandelier Game Lodge

  • Hot News

    AfrikaBurn - 1 to 6 May 2013

    AfrikaBurn Festival (based on America's Burning man festival) is the spectacular result of the creative expression of participants who will gather in the Tankwa Karoo to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance.

    Featured Plant

    Dodonaea Viscosa

    Dodonaea Viscosa var. pupurea
    (Sand olive)

    Family :


    Description :

    Indigenous tree to 5m with red-purple leaves.

    Flowering time :

    Autumn / Winter

    Conditions :

    • Full Sun
    • Little water
    • Evergreen
    • Wind resistant
    • Frost resistant
    • Any soil

    View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

    Wine of the month

    Wine of the month

    Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2012

    Winery : Kleine Zalze
    Winemaker : Johan Joubert

    Description :

    A barrel fermented dry white wine from Stellenbosch.

    Aroma : There are concentrated aromas of tropical, peach and litchi fruit with hints of botrytis and well balanced French oak.

    Palate : Ripe layers of tropical fruit, both combined with subtle wood give this wine a good length of fruit and creamy mouth feel, with an elegant acidity in the background.

    Winemaking : Grapes were harvested from low-yielding bush vines in the Helderberg with second half of fermentation taking place in barrels and then remaining in these French oak barrels for a further 7 months.

    Food Pairing : Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait with Homemade Apple Chutney and Toasted Brioche.

    If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email Karen or visit her website.

    Planting Guide

    Herb or Veggie

    Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Coriander
  • Chamomile
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    March's Teaser Answer :
    "Cross breed"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82