The power of words

    Putting up wall letters as functional decorations is commonplace in schools and in baby's rooms as a child's imagination is captured by the natural world and learning becomes fun with wooden alphabet letters, naming plaques and wall art.

This traditional use of words has creatively extended into work places and homes and has found a space in local and international interior decorating styles. Letters engraved on a block of wood, painted onto the wall, vinyl cutouts, or full words cut out of wood or metal can be used as labels or as decorative accents in any room. Witty quotes, thought provoking statements, simple greetings, functional words or inspirational words can solicit a short grin, spark thoughts or simply warm someone's heart.

This warming decorative touch enhances a cosy home and is the perfect gift for teenagers, grandparents, engagement parties and weddings too. Brides and grooms are choosing words to decorate their wedding tables and reception areas or to give away as gifts. The most commonly used words are Mr & Mrs, Love, Laugh, Relax, but home decor items could include other inspirational words such as dream, inspire, imagine, create, believe or functional words such as keys, towels, wine, food.

Bokke and Blomme are local "word smiths" who can create any letter, word or phrase. They have the flexibility to customise and create these specifically for each individual client. Fonts, size, colour and of course, the word / phrase is totally customisable and are beautifully and neatly crafted with care. They have a stall at the Hout Bay market and at Kamers in Pretoria.

Visit their Facebook Page: Bokke and Blomme

Bokke and Blomme

Glow in the dark hardscaping materials

Polyfluorenes (a class of polymeric materials similar to other conjugated polymers) are currently being investigated due to their optical and electrical properties, for use inlight-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors and plastic solar cells. They are not a naturally occurring material, but are designed and synthesised for their applications. Modern chemistry has enabled adaptable synthesis and control over polyfluorenes that has facilitated their use in many organic electronic applications for their high photoluminescence quantum yields (polyfluorenes are the only class of conjugated polymers which can be tuned to emit light throughout the entire visible spectrum).

Photoluminescence is a process in which a substance absorbs photons (electromagnetic radiation) and then re-radiates photons by photoexcitation. This can be described as an excitation to a higher energy state and then a return to a lower energy state accompanied by the emission of a photon. The period between absorption and emission is typically extremely short, in the order of 10 nanoseconds, but under special circumstances, however, this period can be extended into minutes or hours.

Most luminescent compounds require organic chromophoric ligands, which absorb light and then pass the excitation energy to the metal ion, which is referred to as a ligand-to-metal charge-transfer process (LMCT). Coordination polymers are potentially the most versatile luminescent species due to their emission properties being coupled with guest exchange.

Luminescent supramolecular architectures have recently attracted much interest because of their potential applications in optoelectronic devices or as fluorescent sensors and probes. Coordination polymers are often more stable (thermo- and solvent-resistant) than purely organic species. For ligands that fluoresce without the presence of the metal linker (not due to LMCT), the intense photoluminescence emission of these materials tend to be magnitudes of order higher than that or the free ligand alone. These materials can be used for designing potential candidates for light emitting diode (LED) devices.

A new product that is taking the international commercial landscape architectural industry by storm is an eco-friendly pebble lighting solution that requires no electricity and no power. This is a polyfluorene based material that is mixed with synthetic resins to create small pebbles or aggregate "stones" that can be used in pathways, edging or driveways. When exposed to daylight or a light source the phosphorescent material becomes excited and will maintain an afterglow, initially very radiant, then slowly dissipating as dawn arrives.

It is a renewable light source that has no carbon emissions, it is not harmful and provides safety of passage when no light source is available - note that it is not a replacement for regular lighting but rather provides an ambient glow for all night enjoyment.

Source: Wikepedia

Luminescent aggregate

Foods to generate energy

A carbohydrate is an organic compound that consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The term carbohydrate is most common in biochemistry, where it is a synonym of saccharide.

The carbohydrates (saccharides) are divided into four chemical groupings: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. In general, the monosaccharides and disaccharides are commonly referred to as sugars.

While the scientific classification of carbohydrates is complex, the names of the monosaccharides and disaccharides very often end in the suffix -ose. For example, blood sugar is the monosaccharide glucose, table sugar is the disaccharide sucrose and milk sugar is the disaccharide lactose.

Carbohydrates perform numerous roles in living organisms. Monosaccharides are an important component of coenzymes (e.g. ATP, FAD, and NAD) and the backbone of the genetic molecule known as RNA. Polysaccharides serve for the storage of energy (e.g. starch and glycogen), and as structural components (e.g. cellulose in plants and chitin in arthropods). Saccharides and their derivatives include many other important biomolecules that play key roles in the immune system, fertilization, preventing pathogenesis, blood clotting and development.

When talking about food, the term carbohydrate often means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch (such as cereals, bread, and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams, and desserts). Some simple carbohydrates (e.g. fructose from fruit) are digested very slowly, while some complex carbohydrates (starches), especially if processed, raise blood sugar rapidly.

Monosaccharides are the major source of fuel for metabolism, being used both as an energy source (glucose being the most important in nature) and in biosynthesis. When monosaccharides are not immediately needed by many cells they are often converted to more space-efficient forms, often polysaccharides. In many animals, including humans, this storage form is glycogen, especially in liver and muscle cells.

Carbohydrates are a common source of energy in living organisms; however, no carbohydrate is an essential nutrient in humans as the body can obtain all its energy from protein and fats. The brain and neurons generally cannot burn fat for energy, but use glucose or ketones. Humans can synthesize some glucose from specific amino acids, from the glycerol backbone in triglycerides and in some cases from fatty acids.

Some data on different types of starches:

Starch source Energy Carbohydrates Fat Sugar Protein
Pasta 656 kj 32 g 0.7 g 4.4 g 5.0 g
Egg Noodles 1468 kj 75 g 0.9 g 1.8 g 10.5 g
Brown Rice 1240 kj 61 g 4.3 g 0.85 g 11.4 g
Couscous 1440 kj 70 g 2 g 1.9 g 12 g
Quinoa 1571 kj 68 g 52 g 0 g 18 g
Oats 1559 kj 52 g 8.7 g 2.4 g 12.9 g
Weetbix 1524 kj 63 g 5.8 g 8.1 g 9.7 g
Muesli 1900 kj 60.4 g 17.4 g 18.9 g 10.6 g

Source :Wikipedia


Glamping in a picturesque surrounding

The Elgin valley is the natural home for lovers of fresh food, cool-climate wines and beautiful country living. Ringed by mountains, its green rolling hills are a tapestry of orchards, vineyards and olive groves. The valley has been known for almost a century for its famous fresh produce - most notably apples and pears. But newcomers have, over the years, added great richness to the valley's creative heart and a fervent energy has been invested in creating a country lifestyle which visitors will fall in love with.

Within its history, its elegant wines have won a large clutch of coveted local and international awards and its deciduous fruits, acceptance at worldwide markets. There are two reasons for this: The purposeful drive and passion of its family-owned wineries and farms, gourmet restaurants and deli's, B&Bs, gardens, outdoor adventures and farm stalls that occupy this magical valley. And, two, the generosity of nature.

And what a way to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, than glamping (camping in glamourous style) in the luxury tents at Elgin Hills, suitably located among the picturesque wooded hills that border the Palmiet River. From the moment of arrival, the natural beauty of the estate, which has more than seven kilometres of river frontage, will instantly put the thought of work out of the mind.

Elgin Hills Tented Camp's luxury safari tents are built on a solid base and each has its own deck with comfortable chairs to lounge in. Set amongst indigenous trees the tents are a great source of relaxation, sleeping 2 people in a beautiful queen sized bed. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom equipped with a shower, basin and toilet and gas heaters can be added to the tents at an additional cost.

Hidden away in the comfort of your luxury tent beneath the crisp white linen sheets - relaxation sets in.

For more information visit the Elgin Hills Tented Camp website.

Elgin Hills Tented Camp

Hot News

Airport Industria kicks off!

Living Mater has just started the implementation of the landscaping of the entrances to Airport Industria. Keep an eye open for our work when driving to the airport.

Airport Industria

Featured Plant

Abelia Grandiflora

Abelia Grandiflora
(Glossy Abelia)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous shrub to 2 m with white trumpet flowers.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full Sun
  • Average water
  • Semi-deciduous
  • Wind resistant
  • Frost resistant
  • Any soil

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

Wine of the month

Wine of the month

The Chocolate Block 2011

Winery : Boekenhoutskloof
Winemaker : Marc Kent

Description :

An infamous red blend of Syrah (69%), Grenache Noir (14%), Cabernet Sauvignon (11%), Cinsaut (5%) and Viognier (1%).

Aroma : The nose shows an abundance of redcurrant, plums, crushed rock and an array of spices with the floral notes adding to its complexity.

Palate : Spicy oak with a rounded mid-palate that reveals layers of fruit with intense purity. Textured, composed and seamless in style.

Winemaking : Matured in large 600 litre 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels to retain unmistakable fruit and freshness. Barrel selection of wine is chosen after 18 months in barrel.

Food Pairing : Seared steak with red onion and beetroot confit.

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 Karen or visit her website.

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
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Tomatoes
  • 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

    October's Teaser Answer :
    "Undercover Agent"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82