Autumn gardening tips for increased wildlife

    Top 10 tips for you and your kids to do during autumn to prepare for the winter and spring season. These tips will help you to create a safe space for the wildlife and insects to survive the winter in your garden.

    • Delay on cutting back of summer growth in hedges. This protects late nesting birds and encourages insects like ladybirds.
    • Leave some grass at the foot of hedges and shrubs to prevent frost damage to plant stems and roots over winter. It also creates wintering space for insects.
    • When tidying up in the garden, leave a few seed heads for birds to feed on.
    • Protect your herbaceous perennials from slugs and snails using barriers or natural controls.
    • Plan and create next year's containers of plants to attract nectar-loving insects, thus giving the plants a chance to establish before winter.
    • Add insect boxes and twig bundles to create homes where solitary bees and other beneficial bugs can survive the cold months.
    • Try to find a suitable spot to install a bat box. They will help control flying pests.
    • Leave some dead wood in your garden or create a log-pile to attract beneficial insects such as earwigs, which feed on dead plants and other insects such as aphids.
    • Put a birdbath, an old dish or even an upturned dustbin lid in your garden and keep it filled and clean - birds need access to clean water.
    • Make or purchase a seed stick / ball to feed garden birds. These snacks can give birds the protection and strength they need during winter.

Wildlife in Autumn

Artworks on local rock

Using knowledge of San beliefs, researchers at the Rock Art Research Institute have shown that rock art played a fundamental part in the religious lives of its painters. The art captured things from the other world, inhabited by spirit creatures, to which dancers could travel in animal form and where people of ecstasy could draw power and bring it back for healing, rain-making and capturing the game.

This research is rich in its diversity as it includes the rock arts of San and Pygmy hunter-gatherers, Khoi and Nilotic pastoralists, as well as of African farmers such as the Chewa and the Northern Sotho. The complex symbolism of African image-making is the source from which researchers try to gain an understanding of how people in Africa perceived and responded to social changes during the last ten thousand years and through the colonial process, and as a result produce a history of the continent.

The central religious rite of the San was the medicine or trance dance. In this dance shamans harnessed supernatural potency to enter the spirit world where they performed various important tasks that included healing the sick, controlling the weather, visiting far-off places and controlling the movements of game.

A number of common dance postures (bending forward at the waist (sometimes supported by dancing sticks), having the arms held out backwards, bleeding from the nose and the related hand-to-nose posture) and certain items associated with the dance (dance rattles and fly-whisks) are frequently depicted in the paintings. Researchers believe that much of the imagery goes beyond the dance itself, and depicts the experiences and actions of shamans in the spirit world.

The rock art paint used in these drawings is derived from natural pigments that are mostly mineral in origin:- red, brown and yellow pigments are made from ochres of various forms; white is derived from silica, china clay and gypsum; black usually comes from specularite or other manganese minerals and only very rarely from charcoal, while blood and egg albumin were sometimes used in the paint as organic binders.

The Rock art Research Institute have made available a booklet that covers the different rock art traditions found in southern Africa, information on the preservation and conservation of rock art and a section on the laws that protect rock art in South Africa. Download it (pdf)

For more information visit the Rock Art Research Institute website.

Rock art in the Cederberg Photos: i-shoot photography

Bamboo towels - green by nature

Historically bamboo textiles were used for structural elements (bustles and the ribs of corsets), but in recent years a range of technologies have been developed allowing bamboo fibre to be used in a wide range of textile and fashion applications. Modern bamboo textiles are either made from 100% bamboo thread or a blend of bamboo and cotton/organic cotton thread.

Traditionally, the manufacturing of bamboo thread involves using sodium hydroxide during the process, however an alternative manufacturing process is being used by the Swiss company, Litrax to process the bamboo into fibre more naturally. The woody part of the bamboo is crushed mechanically before a natural enzyme orientated washing process is used to break down the walls and extract the bamboo fibre. This resulting fibre is then spun into a thread that is strong, silky but very durable.

Characteristic Benefit
Naturally Organic Bamboo is grown without pesticides or fertilisers

Luxuriously soft Bamboo feels like silky cashmere.

Sustainable Bamboo is one of the world's fastest growing plants, growing densely and up to a metre in a day.

Eco-friendly Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees.

Absorbent Bamboo absorbs up to 60% more water than cotton making it an excellent choice for towels and bathrobes.

Breathable The porous nature of the fibre makes it breathable and extremely comfortable against the skin.

Thermo-regulating The fibre keeps the wearer warm in cool weather.

Hypoallergenic Bamboo's organic and natural properties make it non-irritating so perfect for extra sensitive skin.

Glodina, Woolworths and @Home currently all stock bamboo hand, bath towels and bath sheets.

For more interesting reading on bamboo textiles visit : Wikipedia

bamboo towels

A brave heart is required for this pass

A natural divide between the plains of the Great Karoo and the valleys of the Little Karoo, between Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn, is the breathtaking and heart-pumping Swartberg pass.

The steep 'donkey trail' (built by Thomas Bain and at least 200 convicts in 1888) over the Swartberg Mountain connecting Calitzdorp and Prince Albert with the valley below, was the only commercial link that the inland settlements had with civilisation.

The pass is a series of untarred steep zig-zags and sudden swingbacks that leave one breathless at both the scenery and the sheer dexterity of the masterpiece that is this pass. Just the entrance, on the Prince Albert side, through a narrow Cape sandstone kloof, is worth it for the incredible rock faces and the views.

Outdshoorn Pass to Die Hel

Hot News

Subscriber base still growing

Living Matters Newsletter has now been delivered monthly to mailboxes around the country for exactly a year.

The subscriber base has increased dramatically and each month new subscribers, clients and suppliers are subscribing to our newsletter for our natured related or landscape project news bits.

We want to thank you, our monthly subscriber, for your continued interest and forwarded referrals.

Rondebosch Landscape

Living Matter designed a tropical paradise for a client in Rondebosch in mid 2008.

Our lush upmarket design was implemented by one of our preferred partners (Paarman Landscapes) and project managed by ourselves in Dec 2008 - just in time for the Festive Season.

We recently (just over a year after implementation) took one of our professional photographer partners (ishoot photography) with us to capture the essence of this very successful landscape.

Rondebosch Landscape Project

View the fantastic results of this project in the case studies section of our website.


Senecio Tamoides

Tecoma Capensis
(Cape Honeysuckle)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous scandent shrub to 2m, can be used as hedge with red, yellow or orange flowers.

Flowering time :

Autumn / Winter

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost resistant
  • Wind resistant

Pool Mosaics

A replacement of your pool mosaics to the latest tiles available will transform the look of your pool for a reasonable cost.

Call one of our pool partners, MacDonald & Sons for a quote and a guaranteed professional installation.

Mac Donald & Sons

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
February's Teaser Answer :
"West Indies"


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Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82