Carpet of colour - made from flowers

    As if the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium - one of the world's most beautiful squares - was not spectacular enough, every two years the Belgians cover it with a carpet of flowers.

Officially, the first Floral Carpet was created in 1971 at Grand Place by landscape architect E. Stautemans. Stautemans, who had been experimenting with creating simple small carpets from begonias since the early 50's, quickly realised that floral carpets would be an excellent vehicle for the promotion of his beloved begonias and within a few years became an expert in the creation of floral carpets with sophisticated colours and in complicated designs.

Chosen above all for its qualities of robustness and resistance to bad weather and strong sunshine, begonias guarantee the freshness of the carpet in a rich display of colours - from vivid colours to delicate pastel shades, from partly coloured to white flowers.

The begonia flowers are packed tightly together one by one, 300 to every square meter of the ground (+/- 700000 flowers) and are assembled in a time frame of about 4 hours directly on the cobblestones of the square without any layer of soil. The blooms are kept fresh for four days in the hot August heat, aided by fountains hidden within the pattern of the carpet.

The multicoloured carpet forms a stunning centrepiece to the square, often including scenes from Belgian folklore and myth amongst its intricate designs. Fireworks and a sound-and-light show launch the display on the preceding night, while those who want a better view can pay a small fee to view it from the first floor of the town hall.

For more information on this brilliant display visit Brussels Flower Carpet Website

Brussel's Flower Carpet

Latest in South Africa - the solar brick light

Solar brick lights have just recently been made available to the South African market. Solar brick lights are the size of traditional bricks or cobblestones and therefore fit perfectly into an existing garden path, walkway, driveway or even deck.

The solar panel is integrated into the light fitting itself, so there is no need to have a separate solar energy collection and storage infrastructure set up. The lamps are made using high impact polycarbonate plastic that is rated to withstand a car's weight making the product versatile and robust enough for hard wearing, heavy impact surfaces like driveways.

  • Easy and safe installation, no trenches and cables needed.
  • Switches on automatically.
  • No pollution to the environment.
  • Five to seven years of using time available.
  • Working temperatures of -25 degrees C to 80 degrees C.

See RandBSolar's website for more information on their product range.

Solar brick light

Light Emitting Diodes (LED's)

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source. LED's are used as indicator lamps in many devices, and are increasingly used for lighting. Introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962, early LED's emitted low-intensity red light, but modern versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.

They are also used in applications as diverse as replacements for traditional light sources in aviation lighting, automotive lighting (particularly indicators) and in traffic signals. The compact size of LED's has allowed new text and video displays and sensors to be developed, while their high switching rates are useful in advanced communications technology. Infrared LEDs are also used in remote control units of many commercial products including televisions, DVD players, and other domestic appliances.

Advantages Description
Efficiency Produces more light per watt than incandescent bulbs
Switching On / off speed is fast and lights up to full power very quickly
Dimming Can be dimmed
Cool light Radiates very little heat
Slow failure Mostly fails by dimming over longer time frame, rather than abrupt burn-out
Lifetime Long useful life, estimated between 35000 and 50 000 hours
Shock resistance Has solid state components and are difficult to damage with external shock or pressure
Focus Light fittings can be designed to focus light
Low toxicity Does not contain any mercury
Economic sustainability Cost effective due to long lifespan
Environmentally friendly A buildings' carbon footprint can be reduced by up to 68% with LED's

Source : Wikipedia


Embraced in amazing rock creations

If there is any place that has interesting rock formations that are directly accessible from the main road, it is the sleepy town of Montagu, just 200km (2hours drive) from Cape Town along the R62 scenic route via Paarl, Worcester, Robertson and Ashton.

Set in a fertile valley, Montagu is well known for its hot mineral springs and its sweet variety of grapes used for Muscadel wines. This valley is embraced in beautiful mountains providing fantastic opportunities for walking, hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

A very popular camping place for outdoor lovers visiting this area is De Bos Guest Farm, located on the outskirts of the town. It caters mainly to a healthy subculture of hikers, rock climbers and backpackers, leaving the caravaners to enjoy their space next door at the Montagu caravan park. The farm house (in a classic Cape Dutch style setting) and vineyard vistas are pleasing to the eye and provides campers with an atmosphere that is young and sociable without being invasive.

De Bos offers a range of simple accommodation to suit varying tastes: neat whitewashed hiker bungalows with fireplaces; a flatlet next to the swimming pool; comfortable en-suite rooms with linen and the use of a communal kitchen, a backpackers barn and individual campsites for those preferring their own tents.

Routes for rock climbing and/or hiking paths are very nearby to the campsite and easily accessible from the main road. Some rock climbing routes are literally on the side of the road - no hectic mountain slope climbs before you even get to rock climb are an absolute bliss to the slow hiker.

Camp sites are sans electricity and cost R40 per person per night. Contact numbers for De Bos Guest Farm are (023) 614 2532 or 082 332 5453. For more information on this campsite visit De Bos Guest Farm's website

De Bos Guest Farm

Hot News

World Cup fever extends into gardens!

The 2010 World Cup has officially kicked off in Johannesburg this last weekend with the opening game between Bafana Bafana and Mexico ending in a draw 1-1.

Competitive fever and festivities are not confined to South Africa (being the host country), but worldwide, patriotism is flying high with flags, clothing and memorabilia.

Can you believe it?!

World Cup Fever World cup fever has even found its way into English gardens with the age old garden gnome sprouting the English team's flag on its hat and a real world cup stance!

Feel it.
It is here.


Metalasia Muricata

Metalasia Muricata
(White bristle bush / Blombos)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous rounded sturdy shrub (2-4 m) with tiny white flowers in a bunch

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Average water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Frost resistant
  • Sandy soils

Wine of the month

Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(Carbon Neutral)

Winery : Bartinney
Winemaker : Therese de Beer

Description :

The wine is gently structured with the acid providing balance and length typical of the Banghoek Valley.

Aroma : Ripe granadilla, green fig and grapefruit.

Palate : Rich and opulent, layered with ripe tropical fruit and underlining minerality.

Winemaking : The grapes were hand-picked in three stages and the free run juice fermented in stainless steel tanks. Only 6030 bottles were produced.

Food Pairing : Roasted asparagus, greek feta salad or grilled yellowtail served with parmesan mash potatoes.

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

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
May's Teaser Answer :
"Standing ovation"


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Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82