Visual masterpieces on show

    Following a triumphant launch in 2013, the three day Cape Town Art Fair returns to the V&A Waterfront from Friday, 28 February to Sunday, 2 March 2014 to present the public with more visual masterpieces produced by prominent South African creatives.

This year's exhibition features first-time participation from institutional heavyweights Stevenson, Goodman and Everard Read as well as a line-up of 34 of South Africa's leading galleries. And if the previous event is anything to go by, the family-friendly contemporary art showcase will likely wow with its range of traditional works, like paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as modern photography, print and ceramics pieces from both established and up-and-coming artists.

Though, aside from just providing a long overdue platform for the South African contemporary scene, the Cape Town Art Fair also aims to make modern art attainable for the everyman and to encourage the average person to explore the breadth and depth of this thriving discipline.

Along the same lines, the ever-expanding Art Fair programme also includes book signings by Brett Murray, who is best known for his steel and mixed media sculptures and the controversial The Spear painting of Jacob Zuma, and Bitterkomix artists and co-founders Conrad Botes and Anton Kannemayer. The 2014 CTAF will also present a special project by invited artist Josh Ginsberg and guest curator, Ernestine White will show a body of work by invited artist, Lyndi Sales.

Visitors can also look forward to IMAX film screenings and lectures from critics, cultural commentators, artists and industry professionals; plus, the little ones will be kept entertained by an innovative children's art project.

Source: Art Times

Cape Town Art Fair

Bacteria is preserved in 1000 year old plaque

An international team of researchers have discovered a 'microbial Pompeii' preserved on the teeth of skeletons around 1 000 years old. The key to the discovery is the dental calculus (plaque) which preserves bacteria and microscopic particles of food on the surfaces of teeth, effectively creating a mineral tomb for microbiomes.

The research team discovered that the ancient human oral cavity carries numerous opportunistic pathogens and that periodontal disease is caused by the same bacteria today as in the past, despite major changes in human diet and hygiene.

The researchers discovered that the ancient human oral microbiome already contained the basic genetic machinery for antibiotic resistance more than eight centuries before the invention of the first therapeutic antibiotics in the 1940s. As well as health information, the scientists recovered dietary DNA from ancient dental calculus, allowing the identification of dietary components, such as vegetables, that leave few traces in the archaeological record.

They applied shotgun DNA sequencing to dental calculus for the first time and reconstructing the genome of a major periodontal pathogen, producing possibly the first genetic evidence of dietary biomolecules to be recovered from ancient dental calculus.

Analyzing this wealth of data required overcoming the formidable bioinformatics challenge of sorting and identifying millions of genetic sequences like puzzle pieces in order to reconstruct the complex biology of the ancient oral microbiome.

Source: Science Daily and the Nature Website

100 year old bacteria

Plant care for cymbidium orchids

Cymbidium orchids are by far the most popular orchids to be grown around the world. Reknown for their ease of care, hardiness, beauty and exotic mystique, they make a perfect gift or centre piece to any room.

Originally bred from wild orchids from the mountains of India and South East Asia they are well suited to our conditions as the climate is similar to that in their native environment.

Hybridised by man for over 100 years, the range of colour, size, growth and shape is now very different from the original species. Cymbidiums can vary from small miniatures that suit baskets to huge specimens over a meter across with colours varying from deep chocolates through to spectacular yellows, gold and all the shades of reds and browns, in addition to the traditional colours we are familiar with.

The flowers have incredible life spans with ages from 4 weeks for a single flower and even cut flower cymbidiums can last 2 to 3 weeks. The flowers can range from 1cm to over 15cm in size with up to 50 blooms to the raceme (spike). A grown orchid will produce flowers spikes every year and a plant 10 years old can produce from 10 to 20 flower spikes.

Some people are wary of growing orchids with the fear that cymbidiums are difficult to grow. But this is not true, they are simple and hardy herbaceous perennials and something as simple as moving the plant/s to a position of more light can encourage all the plants to come into bloom.

Some care tips:

  • Light: Morning sun or afternoon sun, with protection from the hot mid-day sun. A light-green leaf with just a hint of yellow indicates the maximum amount of sun the plant can take, and a dark-green leaf indicates not enough sun.
  • Temperature: Cymbidiums will tolerate considerable summer heat as long as they get cool, mild night temperatures. Cold weather for even a few hours a time or two, will not damage an acclimatised plant. But once the plant spikes or flowers, it should be protected from low temperatures. Regardless, plants should always be kept free of frost.
  • Water: Watering should be done frequently, sometimes twice per week during the summer months. Fertilize during 3 out of 4 of those irrigations. Always keep potting soil moist, but not wet or soggy. Decrease watering Cymbidium and increase air circulation during the dark periods.
  • Fertiliser: High-nitrogen fertilisers should be used from Spring to Summer, while low-nitrogen fertilisers should be used from Autumn to Winter. Use high nitrogen (30-10-10) fertiliser, but mix it only half-strength. Use a low fertiliser (6-6-30) diluted to half strength during Autumn. Keep in mind the specialised Cymbidium fertiliser is available in many garden stores.

Source: Pro Plants website

Cymbidium orchid

CTICC fun filled events

Get ready for a design intervention! Design Indaba, the creative fandango that's put Cape Town on the world map as a hotbed of innovation, takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Wednesday, 26 February to Sunday, 2 March 2014.

The sixth annual Cape Town Tattoo Convention is getting under the Mother City's skin from Friday, 28 February to Sunday, 1 March 2014 from its base at the Cape Town City Hall. The much-loved lifestyle expo brings some of the best local and international skin artists together in one place, and gives body art enthusiasts the chance to get a tat or two or just glean some insight from the pros.

Whether you're engaging with intellectuals at the conference and simulcast or browsing bespoke wares and local goods at the expo, you'll 100% find yourself inspired and motivated to make your mark on the city and beyond.

For more information visit Design Indaba website or Tattoo Convention

CTICC events

Hot News

New products!

We have added a whole lot of new pots, urns, and vases to our online product catalogue. Each of these items are of excellent quality and can be ordered for delivery through Living Matter.

Contact us for more information on the product or for appropriate colour swatches.

Featured Plant

Echeveria Runyonii

Echeveria Runyonii
(Topsy Turvy)

Family :


Description :

Exotic succulent to 30cm with showy orange flowers.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Some frost resistance
  • Well drained soil

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

Design idea feature

Design idea feature

Fire "pits" are becoming more popular in residential homes bringing warmth and ambiance to any outdoor living area.

The right insulated material and correct height for the fire pit can effectively extend the use of outdoor entertainment areas into colder months.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

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


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • 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

    January's Teaser Answer :
    "Warm Up"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82