Wood, stone and crystal

    Working predominantly in sculpture and installation, Daniella Mooney manages to effortlessly combine the monumental with the ephemeral, the natural with the mystical. She uses materials including wood, stone and crystal in her work, emphasising mankind's relationship with these differing mediums, creating a reverence for the natural world.

The beauty of her works belies the complex ideas of mythology and narrative that she explores. Everything is considered - light, sound and space all play an integral part in her installations.

The process of shaping Daniella's materials into sculptures simultaneously serves as a means of forming her subjective understanding of being in the world; the two are intrinsically linked. Through her work, Mooney engages her responses to lived experiences, interactions and events, looking at how her interpretations of these are predetermined by imposed belief systems, mythic archetypes and personal histories.

Attempting to eschew these constraints, she is driven to intuitively pursue an intangible unknown through her poetic connections between nature, psychological perception and the metaphysical.

Ranging from delicate smaller works to large-scale sculpture and installation, Mooney's meticulously crafted works are never overwhelmed by the astute observations which they channel. She is dedicated to the expansion and mastery of her craft, and has a profound respect and reverence for the tools and materials used to shape her work, actively engaging with the histories of these objects.

For more information on Daniella Mooney visit her profile.

Daniella Mooney

Gravitational waves are now visible

Physicists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo) have announced the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.

The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror.

The phenomenon detected was the collision of two black holes. Using the world's most sophisticated detector, the scientists listened for 20 thousandths of a second as the two giant black holes, one 35 times the mass of the sun, the other slightly smaller, circled around each other.

At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.

The observation signals the opening of a new window on to the universe, as so far the universe has only been seen through light and therefore can only see part of what happens in the universe. Gravitational waves carry completely different information about phenomena in the universe, and so a new way of listening to a broadcasting channel has been opened which will discoveries of phenomena never seen before.

This observation is truly incredible science and marks three milestones for physics: the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first detection of a binary black hole, and the most convincing evidence to date that nature's black holes are the objects predicted by Einstein's theory.

The hope is that gravity wave astronomy could start to answer questions not just about the life of stars but their deaths as well: death by collision, death in a black hole, death in some rare stellar catastrophe so fierce that, for a few thousandths of a second, the blast is the brightest thing in the universe

Source: The Guardian.

Gravitational waves

Pickling olives

As you may have discovered, olives cannot be eaten straight from the tree, they need some preparation before they are palatable.

Pickled olives

Pickled olives are ready to eat after around 5 weeks in salted water. It is very important that at the beginning, you do not mix ripe (black) and unripe (green) olives. The quantities of ingredients used in this recipe are based on pickling 1.5kg of freshly harvested olives, so you may need to adjust the quantities depending on the size of your tree.
  • Make two cuts lengthways into each olive, through to the stone, using a sharp knife. Place the olives in sterilised jars until the jars are two-thirds full. Cover the olives with water then fill a small plastic bag with water, tie securely and sit the bag on top of the olives to keep them submerged.
  • Scum and impurities will soon appear on the surface of the water. Change the water in the jars every day and continue to do so for 6 days.
  • Once this is done, combine 1 litre of water and 75g of sea salt in a pan and gently warm until the salt has dissolved and allow to cool. Drain the cleansing water from the jars and pour in enough of the salted water to cover the olives. Add a layer of olive oil to the jars to make an airtight seal over the olives.
  • Leave for 5 weeks covered in a cool, dark spot. After this, they will be ready to eat but they can stay like this for around 6 months.

Marinated olives

Before marinating olives, it is necessary to pickle them to get rid of any impurities, so follow the above instructions first.

Drain 600g of the pickled olives, place in a clean jar and add one sliced garlic clove, 2 lemon wedges, a sprig of fresh dill and enough olive oil to cover the olives. These olives will be ready to eat after two weeks and will happily store for several months in a cool, dark place.

For more information view Big Plant Nursery.


Unpretentious. Always Delicious

Your first impression of this fine dining restaurant is one of homeliness. Set under two elegant old oak trees, in the main road of Paarl, is Noop, a beautiful heritage building that breathes warmth and hospitality. Like many others in Paarl on the country's longest Main Road, this landmark has been restored and retains its original character.

The current owners Ziaan Oosthuizen and Mariette van den Bergh were customers before they became owners, and have kept everything people love about it while also making it their own. It's still as popular with returning locals as it is with visiting tourists.

More than anything, that's because of the quality of the meals. Unpretentious. Often spontaneous. Always delicious.

When Zian was a child, the kitchen was a place where family and friends came together to share good times and make memories. It's still his favourite part of the house, and Zian still loves food - choosing, preparing and eating it. He's a chef through and through, and can't see himself doing anything else.

Born and raised in Paarl, he studied and then worked at Warwicks Chef School (where he and Mariette met). He spent four years in Hermanus as Head Chef at two popular restaurants, but wanted space to be more creative as a chef. He has that freedom at Noop.

Mariette's love of cooking comes from a family that has always shared the same passion. For her, food is very much about the conversation and interaction that accompany the taste and flavour, and there's very little that's more rewarding than to see people enjoying a meal she's made. She spends a lot of time in the kitchen trying new things and has a particular soft spot for desserts.

Mariette worked abroad before studying, then spent two years at a 5 star establishment in Hermanus. But she has been happiest at Noop, where she pays as much attention to her guests as she does to their food.

View Noop's website for more information.

Noop Restaurant

Hot News

March celebrations

March is Women's History Month, tying into International Women's Day being held on 8 March 2016.

Featured Plant

Tulbaghia Simmleri

Tulbaghia Simmleri
(Sweet Wild Garlic)

Family :


Description :

Aromatic small plant to 25cm with showy light pink-purple flowers.

Flowering time :

Spring - Autumnr

Conditions :

  • Light shade
  • Average water
  • Evergreen
  • Some frost resistance
  • Wind resistant
  • Well drained soil

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

Design idea feature

For a more modern garden, where shapes and geometry are paramount to the overall design, utilise specialised steel strips to edge off textured spaces eg pebble pathways from greened spaces.

Design idea feature

If edging is going to be utilised next to lawn ensure that the metal strips extend deep enough to prevent lawn roots from creeping under.

Design idea feature

Pinterest Visit our Pinterest profile for more ideas.

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 :
    "Scrambled Eggs"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82