Party art

    The Mother City's Fanwalk will be awash in colour once again when the 2015 Cape Town Carnival takes to the streets on Saturday 14 March, 2015! The theme for the 2015 is ELEMENTAL - Celebrating Fire, Water, Air and Earth - the unstoppable forces that shape us and our environment.

The vibrant street party and colourful parade gallivanting all way down the Fan Walk, from the start of Somerset Road to Main Road Green Point, will introduce the audience to astounding giant floats, wacky puppets, vibrant choreographed dance routines featuring approximately 2500 dancers from carnival academies all over the Western Cape, impressive costumes and amazing speciality acts, each carefully built, decorated and choreographed to embody the ELEMENTAL theme.

The first annual Cape Town Carnival was held in Long Street, Cape Town amidst the electrifying festivities that characterised our hosting of the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament. Close on 11 000 people enjoyed this spectacle and, since then, spectator crowds at the Carnival event have swelled to over 50 000. The use of the Fan Walk, Green Point, has meant that the Carnival has had room to expand creatively and logistically, as well as provide more and more opportunities for creative expression, job creation, skills development, social cohesion and economic development.

Each year the Carnival seems to be bigger and better than the previous one, allowing creativity to find new expression in a medium that we as South Africans have not been too familiar with. Inspiration from over-the-top Mardi Gras can be seen in the extravagant designs and bright vibrant colours of clothing and floats alike.

Source: Cape Town Carnival website

Cape Town Carnival

Understanding medicinal cannabis

Cannabis is one of the oldest crops known to mankind, with records of its cultivation dating back thousands of years. Today, it is widely accepted that marijuana has two different species: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cross-breeding of the two types has led to a wide variety of hybrid strains with unique characteristics.

Plants that produce high levels of THC express genes that code for the enzyme THCA synthase. This enzyme converts CBG into THCA, which becomes THC when heated. These plants are typically considered indica. On the other hand, some plants express genes that code for the enzyme CBDA synthase. This enzyme converts CBG into CBDA, the precursor of CBD, instead. These plants are typically considered sativa. Based on this explanation, indica plants have high THC:CBD ratios and sativa plants have high CBD:THC ratios.

Indica (THC potent) would be more beneficial to those patients that require body relaxation - Indicas are most effective in treating muscle spasms and tremors (for example caused by multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease), chronic pain, arthritic and rheumatic stiffness and swelling, insomnia, anxiety and related conditions.

While Sativa (CBD potent) can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC it provides a cerebral, energetic effect which is experienced in the mind as well as in the body. These strains are most effective for the treatment of nausea (for example caused by chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS medications), appetite stimulation, migraine headaches, depression, chronic pain and similar symptoms. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn't get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria.

The effects of Sativa strains make them a better choice during the day, when wakefulness is desirable, whereas the relaxing effects of Indica varieties often make them more suitable for evening and night time use.

While scientific and clinical studies underscore CBD's potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrated neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers worldwide.

Visit THC, CBD, 15 facts about CBD, indica vs sativa, or differences between CBD and THC for more information.

Medicinal Cannibis

Merino 101

The merino is one of the world's most ancient breeds of sheep, and one of the toughest. Being very different to regular sheep that live in the lowlands, the merino live in the extremes of New Zealand's Southern Alps (regular sheep would freeze to death up there).

The merino's fleece is built for extremes - breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet exceptionally soft and lightweight. In summer, the merino's thin, light, super-breathable coat keeps it cool in temperatures that hit +35C, while in winter, it grows an extra layer of wool over its base coat as protection against temperatures that plummet to -20C.

Merino wool is common in high-end, performance athletic wear as nature and technology is fused to create merino layers for the outdoors, for performance sports, and for the city. Typically meant for use in yoga, running, hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, cycling, and in other types of outdoor aerobic exercise, these clothes command a premium over synthetic fabrics.

Several properties contribute to merino's popularity for exercise clothing, compared to wool in general and to other types of fabric:

  • Excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.
  • Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet, thus helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts (climbs) or weather events.
  • Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties.
  • It is one of the softest types of wool available, due to finer fibers and smaller scales.
  • It has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.

So if you are anticipating going to extreme cold weather locations, or are of athletic nature in our summer heat consider utilising merino products.

For more information on merino wool or to view the Icebreaker Merino clothing line, visit Icebreaker's website.

Icebreaker Merino

Snow and skiing, sun and swimming - all in one day

Anybody that has been overseas during winter knows that the weather can really put a damper on spirits, however this little town in the Valais valley of Switzerland, is so quaint in its architecture, that it adds to the whole experience of being outdoors in the snow.

Leukerbad originally was just a path with hot springs that travellers took to get over the Gemmi Pass. Traces from the Celts into the 4th century BC can be found, and the Romans' weakness for hot water, is confirmed by coins and other finds from the time of Vespasian (69 to 79AD) and Diocletian (284 to 305AD).

After the barbarian invasions in the 5th century, Burgundians came to the valley in the 9th century and later the Alemanni came over the Gemmi pass. Today what has emerged are two different highly Alemannic language tribes in the Valais. Nevertheless, up until the Renaissance, a Franco-Provencal dialect was spoken in Leukerbad, which itself appeared in the 13th century in the city chronicles under the name 'Boez' as a hamlet of Leuk-Stadt.

In 1449 the construction of a mule track from Leuk to Leukerbad was officially registered, meanwhile in 1478 the rights to the springs and baths were handed to the Prince-bishop of Sion and two noble families of Leuk and Lucerne. From then on the first inns developed and the original name of place changed to the German 'Baden' originating from the Latin 'Balnea (baths) leucensia'.

In 1896, the hotel and bath association founded the first hotel and spa hotel AG of Switzerland and in 1948 the first ski lift was constructed.

Today, the town of Leukerbad still caters to the needs of the traveller / tourist and skier / snowboarder with its thermal baths (especially when the weather is not conducive for skiing on the slopes). Come rain or sunshine, the thermal baths at the Leukerbad Therme are inviting and open until late hours of the evening, allowing visitors the pleasure of swimming in warm / hot water while the sun is shining and warm or when it is chilly and snowing. The absolute bliss of massaging bubbles and hot water on sore muscles and tender body parts from skiing or snowboarding just ends off a day in an unforgettable way.

For more information on the history of Leukerbad or the town itself visit Leukerbad, Switzerland's website.

Leukerbad, Switzerland

Hot News

2015 kicks off with a bang

Living Matter's 11th year kicks off with a good start - we have clients returning for our design expertise on their new properties, we pick up work in the beautiful area of Bonnievale, and continue on two properties in Greyton for one of our awesome repeat clients.

Featured Plant

Pelargonium betulinum

Pelargonium Betulinum
(Camphor-scented pelargonium)

Family :


Description :

Sub shrub up to 70cm with small white flowers with pink-purple stripes.

Flowering time :

Spring - Summer

Conditions :

  • Sun / Semi-Shade
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Some frost resistance
  • Wind resistant
  • Well drained enriched Soil

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

Design idea feature

Design idea feature

Make a statement with your trees, by planting them equi-distant apart, strip their straight stem to about shoulder height, and let the foliage branch out above this point. Plant a low, neat hedge line below to accent the tree trunks and to draw your eye along the line to a focal point.

Design idea feature

And then light up the row of trees with spot lights from below to provide the accent of the stems and the light green foliage in the evenings.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie
Pinto beans

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
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • 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

    December's Teaser Answer :
    "Up in arms"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82