Autumn Gardening Tips - Hedges & TopiaryMarch is the perfect time to give your growing or established hedge or topiary feature that one last trim before winter. Cut back no more than one third of the woody branches at a time. If it is a shrub that needs its height, leave the growing tip or leader at the top. If a hedge or topiary needs shaping, leave the top alone until it has reached the desired height.
After the shrub has been pruned, sprinkle Bounceback onto the soil at the base of the hedge to lessen the shock of the pruning and to give it a good start or the growing season. If necessary, spray the whole hedge or topiary to prevent thrips or scale. Finish off by watering deeply and add fresh mulch to keep the soil moist and warm.
In Spring time (for a perfect shape) prune the hedge on two sides by cutting the branches back to the shoots that face outward to allow lots of new growth and density.
The Botany Project has a simple approach to sustainability and uses multiple ways to achieve its end. The Upcycle Flower Lamp is created by local potters as part of an employment program and is one part of a beautiful lamp that encourages consumers to recycle their used glass bottles and jars and use olive oil at home to create a simple, sustainable plant oil lamp.
Using an innovative casting technique, ceramic artist John Bauer encases knitted fabric in clay to create tactile and evocative ceramic pieces. Some of Bauer's pieces are knitted by people with mental disabilities, where the knitter cannot create a full circle. The resulting chunky seams add to the character and story of the finished product. Other work explores the translucency of porcelain, again evoking an encased fossil treasure with imprints of leaves and flowers within the material.
Consol, the biggest manufacturer of glass containers in South Africa, partnered with designers Ockert van Heerden and John Bexley to create a lamp housed in a one-litre Consol Classic preserve jar. LED lights are powered by sunlight, harnessed through a solar fitting on the lid. The familiar preserve jar provides a practical and attractive casing and provides an alternative light source literally from bottled sunshine. Solar-powered LED lights are powered by sunlight, which is harnessed through a solar panel fitted on the lid.
The Consol Solar Jar was a finalist in Design Indaba's Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) and received the Special Recognition Award at the 2011 Institute of Packaging SA Gold Pack Awards (although not strictly packaging, the judges decided that this clever use of a packaging material deserved an accolade).
The Design Indaba also unveiled 9 other most beautiful and beguiling designs made over the past year for its 2012 Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award.
One of the (MBOISA) finalists was Suzaan Heyns with her dress called 'True Colours' that reflects on the dichotomy of human nature and who we really are when no one is looking. The double-sided nature of humans is symbolised by the different materials in the dress. The fragile nude netting reflects our natural vulnerability and is juxtaposed with the repetitive pattern of hand-cut metallic leather scales representing the self-important parts of ourselves - our more cold-blooded, reptilian nature.
View Design Indaba's website for more information on the Most beautiful object 2012 finalists.
The rotor blade has been manufactured under the supervision of advisers from Aerodyne (which is the German engineering company specialising in the design of large-scale wind turbines from whom I-WEC obtained the turbine design under licence) using approximately 300 layers of four main materials; balsa wood, glass fibre, PVC and epoxy resin.
Next month will see if the blade can withstand the pressures of static load testing and resin frequency testing in which the blade will be flexed up to 8 m in the spacious Cape Town harbour.
It is anticipated that the first 2.5 MW turbine with three 50m rotor blades will be completed by the end of May and will be erected at the Saldanha steel plant. I-WEC will fully finance the turbine and will sell the power generated from the turbine to the steel plant. Further negotiations are in place to extend the wind farm to include an additional five turbines and to supply the energy to the steel plant in the second and third quarter of 2013.
Increased interest in I-WEC as the third renewable energy independent power producer is being shown as the bid round approaches, as the company would be able to assist in meeting the local content requirements with a state of the art product.
Source: Engineering News
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There are various walking / hiking routes up table mountain, but one of the most well-known (and certainly one of the oldest) is the Pipe Track going south from Kloof Nek to Slangolie Ravine. This track was constructed in 1887 to lay the pipeline from the proposed reservoirs on Table Mountain to Kloof Nek. Work began in the same year on Woodhead Tunnel to which the track leads and is a pleasant stroll along a well worn level track, offering wonderful views of the Atlantic Coastline, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles. The track literally follows the pipes, sometimes walking directly on top of the underground pipe and sometimes next to a raised portion of the pipe.
For those inclined towards more of a physical challenge and a hike up the sides of the mountain, then Kasteelpoort is definitely the choice of many. It is a straightforward 2.2km hike up the steep sides of this unique and interesting mountain leading to the Back Table and the reservoirs on the mountain. The start of the hike up Kasteelpoort can joined from the Pipe Track (starting from Kloof Nek) or from Theresa road in Upper Camps Bay, and the route back down can either be the same path, via one of the other kloof routes or (with an extra little walk) down with the cable cars.
One things is for sure - this route up is enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts - school kids on a Grade 7 (Standard 5) Beach to Beacon challenge, serious trail runners, young hikers and elderly hikers and of course one or two tourists - the full route is for the fit outdoor hiker, and for the not-so-fit or time-restricted hiker, half the route is just as rewarding.
The Pipe Track and Kasteelpoort is best done in the early hours of the morning as it is in full shade up until about 11am. The fynbos on the sides of the mountain is magnificent at any time of the year, but is spectacular in Spring when the pink watsonias are out on show.
Additions to this website will include opinions of new styles that are emerging, common design threads that are being picked up and used by landscapers & designers and/or new products brought into the market place.
This trending website will aid DIY enthusiasts in staying up to date with the latest trends and products, and will also assist the landscapers in keeping up to date with what is happening in the market place, and how general design trends can affect their industry.
Description :Indigenous spreading shrub to 2m with yellow flowers.
Flowering time :Autumn / Winter
View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.
Lyngrove Reserve Chardonnay 2010
Winemaker : Hannes Louw
Description :A well-known, popular wooded white wine blend of Semillon, Viognier and Chardonnay.
Aroma : Apricot and peaches on the nose.
Palate : Ripe citrus, tropical fruits and butterscotch flavours. Firm acidity combined with a full and rich mouth feel.
Winemaking : The three lots were vinified separately. The Semillon was only tank fermented with very little skin contact. The Chardonnay was partially tank and barrel fermented while the Viognier were only fermented in oak.
Food Pairing : Rich in flavour and texture, an every occasion wine. Enjoy on its own, excellent with cheeses or even with meat dishes.
Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:
View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.
We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...
February's Teaser Answer :
"Once upon a time"
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