Mystique and authenticity

    Born Erica Wright in Dallas, Texas, she changed her name to Erykah Badu - kah being Kemetic (Egyptian) for a human's vital energy or "inner-self" and "ba-du" after her favorite jazz scat-sound. From an early age, Badu knew she wanted to bring people to their feet and her Neo Soul sound has been doing so for many years.

Badu's groundbreaking debut, 1997's Baduizm, was more than just an album, it was the introduction of a new lifestyle. The music evoked speake-easies, incense, head wraps, and boho coffee shop culture all in one easy breath. Propelled by the lead single "On & On", the album went multi-platinum, winning her two Grammy's for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album. Badu topped Rolling Stones Reader's poll for Best R&B Artist and Entertainment Weekly named her Best New Female Singer of 1997.

Her subsequent albums have all had similar results. For the once self-proclaimed "analogue girl", Badu is now pushing the limits of the digital world. In 2010, Badu announced New Amerykah Part Two: Return of The Ankh. Whereas Part One was social and political in tone, Part Two taps into the more romantic and emotional side of Badu.

Die-hard fans of Badu will love New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh and newcomers to Badu's world will be curiously intrigued by the mystique and authenticity of an artist who is totally comfortable in her own skin. Whether directing a music video or exposing her vulnerabilities in rhyme, Badu transcends image.

She will be performing at the 15th Jazz Festival on Friday 28 March and Saturday 29 March 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Visit Erykah Badu's Website.

Erykah Badu

Milans' Garden Skyscrapers near completion

At first glance it looked too fantastic to be real, but now the completion date for the world's first vertical forest is drawing near. Located in Milan, Bosco Verticale is Stefano Boeri Architects' answer to the question of how to make cities greener while supporting an ever denser urban population.

In two skyscrapers (110m and 75m high), with around 27 floors and 71 apartments each, this new concept for vertical gardening, hosts around 100 different species of trees and shrubs surrounding the external cladding. Dappled sunlight breaks through the leaves and into the apartments, softening the effect of the concrete jungle and creating a more pleasing, healthier environment to live in.

On flat land, each building has the capacity to hold, in amount of trees, shrubs and ground cover plants, an area equal to 10 000 m2 of forest. This includes 480 large and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, 11 000 groundcover plants and 5 000 shrubs. Greywater recycling will water the vegetation and integrated photovoltaic panels will provide power.

In terms of population, each tower supports the equivalent population of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 50 000 m2. The smallest apartment is 65 m2 and includes a small woodland terrace. The largest apartment is around 450 m2 with a terrace of around 80 m2.

Every plant has been chosen by botanists to thrive in it's particular orientation and microclimate within the structure. Moreover, a specialized maintenance company will keep the vertical forest in good health in the years to come.

Metropolitan reforestation could become a buzz word as future developments utilize this innovative concept to simultaneously increase biodiversity and provide inspirational city dwellings.

Source : Stefano Boeri Architects and The Skyscraper Centre

Vertical gardens

How to create your own fruit tree

The cheapest way to create a brand new fruit tree (peaches, nectarines and apricots) is to grow it from the seed of a delicious tasty juicy fruit that you have eaten.

The best seeds come from fully ripe fruit as the early maturing variety's seeds may not develop enough to sprout. Locally grown varieties are more likely to prosper in your garden compared to varieties grown a thousand miles away.

Let the pits dry on your kitchen counter for a few days. Drying allows the seed inside the shell to shrink slightly so it's easier to get out. The shell also becomes more brittle and easier to crack as it dries.

When the pits look and feel dry, crack them open to harvest the actual seeds, which look like almonds, a close botanical cousin. Hold the pits on their edge and tap them with a hammer, (works well for a few pits but can cause high casualties in terms of accidentally smashed seeds and fingers). A better way is to crack the pits with a vise, lodging both sides of the pit's long seams between the opposing jaws and cranking the vise closed slowly until the pit cracks. If you don't have a vise, try a nut cracker. Or you might get enough pit-cracking compression from another type of screw clamp, including the one that holds your food grinder, juicer or hand-cranked grain mill to your kitchen counter.

After you get the seeds out, put them in a closed container in your fridge or another place cool enough to store raw nuts, as many seeds need cold temperatures to germinate. This will also help them last longer.

The time for vegetables and flowers to sprout from seeds to transplants is generally measured in days or weeks, but with peaches and most other temperate-zone tree fruits, the pre-germination process adds two to three months to the timetable. Natural sprouting inhibitors present in the seeds must be deactivated by exposure to cool temperatures for a two- to three-month period. In nature, this chilling period occurs naturally as winter cold comes, fluctuates and invariably leads to spring.

Once the cooling process has passed, plant the seed and watch your fruit tree grow.


Protecting the most dangerous animals

Tucked away at the foot of the World famous Brandwacht Mountains in a peaceful rustic environment near Worcestor, is the Fairy Glen Game Reserve, an african big 5 game reserve surrounded by proteas and fynbos vegetation, that not only offers game drives and bush safari's but is also home to a African Khoisan Bushmen Rock Art heritage site dating back some 6000 years.

The animals that make up the big 5 list are lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros and were coined originally as such, by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot and the degree of danger involved in the hunt, rather than their size.

The status of the lion species and the African bush elephant are classified as vulnerable. The leopard and the white rhinoceros are classified as near threatened. The black rhinoceros is classified as critically endangered and while the African buffalo has its conservation status as least concern.

  • The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a very large herbivore having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. There are two distinct species of African elephant: African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana).
  • The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a large, thick-skinned herbivore having one or two upright horns on the nasal bridge. Rhinoceros may refer to either black or white rhinoceros.
  • The African or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large horned bovid. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles.
  • The lion (Panthera leo) is a large carnivorous feline of Africa and northwest India, having a short, tawny coat, a tufted tail, and, in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders and may attack without provocation.
  • The leopard (Panthera pardus) is a large, carnivorous feline having either tawny fur with dark rosette-like markings or black fur and has nocturnal and secretive behaviour.

Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve came about when 6 privately owned reserves surrounded by government conservancy joined and is one of the first Big 5 Game Reserves in the Western Cape. Game Reserves like Fairy Glen are formed to educate the public on the animals and their conservation, and to protect these endangered animals from hunting, poaching and potential extinction.

Within the Fairy Glen game reserve one can also find species like blue wildebeest, giraffes, eland, the endangered bontebok, zebras, lynx, oryx. Other smaller buck species including klipspringer, nyala, rhebok, steenbok and a big variety of African bird species like the endangered Black Eagle better known as the Aquila can also be spotted.

Contact them on +27 (0)21 424 9173 for more information.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve

Hot News

Lunar Calendar updated

Our 2014 lunar planting calendar has been updated on our website.

Moon Calendar

2014 kicked off

This year has kicked off with the start of landscape design projects in Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Llandudno and Angola.

New Newsletter feature

This newsletter also marks the start of our first landscape design feature, that will showcase monthly in our newsletters, an idea / design concept that tickles our fancy, and/or can be implemented in your garden.

Featured Plant

Brabejum Stellatifolium

Brabejum Stellatifolium
(Wild Almond)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous tree to 15m with white inflorescent flowers.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Lots of water
  • Evergreen
  • Some wind resistance
  • Frost tender
  • Enriched soil

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

Design idea feature

Design idea feature

Modern, colourful and decorative use of a cerise bougainvillea plant that is trained to grow up the inside of curved rebar arbors to flourish in a dash of colour.

These feature trees can be found in the Central Garden of The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA.

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
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Sweetcorn
  • 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

    November's Teaser Answer :
    "Double Trouble"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82