Positively inspiring artist

    A unique artist has taken the traders spotlight at the Hout Bay Market - Artist Ley Mboramwe. Ley is a visual artist and performer, who works in a multidisciplinary manner in contemporary art. His artworks talk about the reality that he has seen on his travels throughout different countries, and he draws his inspiration from happiness and amusing scenarios that surround him in everyday life.

Ley doesn't work straight away on canvas, but rather spends a lot of time sketching on paper until he finds the perfect result, and only then moves to creating the final artwork.

He works with a variety of mediums such as coffee, acrylic and oil paint to give his paintings depth, vibrance and life.

He brings positive energy and creative expression to his art and as a result, his paintings are beautiful. He combines his artworks with calligraphy in order to achieve his unique style, and uses a theme of respect of Human Rights and dignity in the majority of his works.

Ley describes the experience of painting as a dance without music and something that he feels, rather than just does.

View more information visit Ley's website, his Facebook Page or Hout Bay Market.

Attie Jonker

Plants communicate using an internet of fungi

Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth's astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological superhighway linking together the members of the plant kingdom in what researchers call the "wood wide web". This organic network operates much like our internet, allowing plants to communicate, bestow nutrition, or even harm one another.

The network is comprised of thin threads of fungus known as mycelium that grow outwards underground up to a few meters from its partnering plant, meaning that all of the plant life within a region is likely tapped into the network and connected to one another. The partnership of the roots of plants and the fungi is known as mycorrhiza and is beneficial for both parties involved; plants provide carbohydrates to the fungi and in exchange, the fungi aids in gathering water and providing nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen to its partnering plant.

This fungal network has been found to allow plants to aid one another in growth and flourishing. University of British Columbia graduate Suzanne Simard was the first to show that trees such as the Douglas fir and Paper birch were capable of transferring carbon to smaller trees that may not be receiving enough sunlight, allowing seedlings to grow in the shade of other trees. Simard believes that many of the world's seedlings would not be able to survive if it weren't for the lifeline this network provides.

A study conducted by Ren Sen Zeng of the South China Agricultural University found that this interconnectivity also allows for plants to warn one another of potential harm. In the study, the team grew potted pairs of tomato plants where some of the pairs were allowed to form mycorrhizae. When the fungal networks had formed, one plant of each pair was sprayed with Alternaria solani, a fungus that causes early blight disease in plant life. Air-tight plastic bags were used to assure there was no above ground interaction. After 65 hours, the team tried to infect the second plant of each pair and found that those with mycelia bonds were far less likely to contract the blight and had much lower levels of damage if they did contract it than those with no mycelia.

A similar study was done by University of Aberdeen graduate David Johnson and a team of colleagues that showed Broad Beans also utilized the fungal network to eavesdrop on one another for impending danger. As hungry aphids fed on the leaves of one of the broadbean plants, the plants connect via mycelia began to excrete their anti-aphid chemical defenses, while those that were not connected had no reaction.

Source: BBC

Plant Internet

Potassium's Role in plant growth

Potassium has many functions in plant growth. It :

  • is essential for photosynthesis,
  • activates enzymes to metabolise carbohydrates for the manufacture of amino acids and proteins,
  • facilitates cell division and growth by helping to move starches and sugars between plant parts,
  • adds stalk and stem stiffness,
  • increases disease resistance,
  • increases drought tolerance,
  • regulates opening and closing of stomates,
  • gives plumpness to grain and seed,
  • improves firmness, texture, size and color of fruit crops and
  • increases the oil content of oil crops

Although not an integral part of cell structure, potassium regulates many metabolic processes required for growth, fruit and seed development. Many vegetable and fruit crops are high in potassium, which is vital for animal and human nutrition. Indeed, the health and survival of man and beast is dependent on potassium.

The lowest amount of potassium is found in sandy soils where it is subject to leaching. The higher concentrations are found in the clay. High potassium is also found in areas where animal and poultry wastes have been applied.

Potassium Deficiency

Potassium-deficient plants exhibit chlorosis (loss of green color) along the leaf margins or tips starting with the bottom leaves and progressing up the plant. In severe cases, the whole plant turns yellow, and the lower leaves fall off.

As with other nutrients, lack of potassium causes stunted plants with small branches and little vigor. An application of potassium fertiliser will correct a deficiency.

Potassium can be obtained from fertilisers such as potassium nitrate (13-0-44), muriate of potash (0-0-60), potassium sulfate (0-0-50), or a mixture of potassium and magnesium sulfate (22% K2O).

For more information on Plant Nutrients read our prevous articles Plant Nutrients - part 1, Plant Nutrients - part 2, Nitrogen's role in plant growth and Phosphorus role in plant growth

Potassium deficiency

A historic venue for perfectly blended Asian food

An icon of Asian cuisine in Cape Town and winner of the Best Asian restaurant in South Africa in the Eat Out Restaurant Awards in November 2012 is the popular Restaurant Kitima in Hout Bay.

The old Cape Dutch building, originating from 1670 when it was a manor house on the first farm in Hout Bay, and having been a National Monument for more than 50 years, is called The Kronendal, and is a tasteful marriage of its untouched historic Dutch origin with Thai decor touches added. The building relives the history of the Cape via the Dutch East India Company, which connected Europe, the Cape, and Siam (now Thailand).

The restaurant is named after its owner Kitima Sukonpongpao, who arrived in Cape Town from Thailand ten years ago. She opened Kitima five years ago, specialising in Asian cuisine, including Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. Ten '5-star Thai chefs' run the kitchen. Thai cooking is characterised by its use of herbs and lemongrass, but its true recipe to success is its service, making it unique.

There are two generous bars, with lounge seating at one, and bar seating at the other, serving fresh 'Thai and Western cocktails', which are prepared by mixologists.

There are three rooms (Bangkok, Boat, Temple) and the VIP Room, in which the restaurant patrons sit, up to 160 in winter and about 220 in summer, when they can expand outside.

They even set a table with food and wine for Elsa in the entrance hall - Elsa having been the daughter of one of the first Dutch owners of the building, Sir Abraham Josias Cloete, who lived there with his family between 1835 - 1849. Elsa fell in love with a British soldier. Their union was not sanctioned by her parents, so he committed suicide at the oak tree outside the restaurant building. It is said that Elsa died of a broken heart. Since then her ghost has regularly been seen in the building on moonlit nights, and her existence felt inside the building. In accordance with Thai culture, the table laid for Elsa and her soldier is a blessing, and has been prepared in honour of the spirits. Since Kitima has opened and dedicated the table to her, there has been minimal activity and no more sightings of her ghost.

View Kitima's website.


Hot News

Order books closed

Winding down to the holiday season, all supplier order books / schedules have closed for the year.

Featured Plant

Plectranthus neochilus

Plectranthus Neochilus
(Spur Flower)

Family :


Description :

Groundcover to 60cm with purple flowers on stalks.

Flowering time :

Spring / Autumn

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Some frost resistance
  • Wind resistant
  • Well drained soil

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

Design idea feature

Lighting in an outdoor space does not need to extend to expensive light fittings. Unique lighting opportunities exist with any glass or perspex item.

Design idea feature

Upcycle Coke-a-cola or Consol glass bottles into a chandelier, or turn wine glasses upside down and light them up as a creative and interesting decor piece that serves its purpose as functional lighting too.

Design idea feature

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie
Variegated Thyme

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 :
    "Pretty Please"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82