Tree art

    South African born Attie Jonker has made his mark in the US, with his african inspired tree houses. Before coming to San Antonio in 2002, the South African native worked in Botswana in the photo safari industry. His first endeavours were in building playscapes and treehouses. In 2010, as treehouses took off, he established his business, which he calls Azzanarts.

His City Treehouse is set about 4.5 metres off the ground and was designed as a play structure for children, complete with a spiral slide and climbing wall. Built in 2005, it is one of Jonker's first treehouses, and it features his signature use of natural and reclaimed materials. It also showcases the geometric and figural carvings he uses to embellish the wood and add aesthetic value, reflecting his heritage.

His Hill Country creation was designed as a hideaway for bird watching or reading. The serene wooded site lacked a tree large enough to support the structure, so Jonker and his crew created a tree trunk from rebar and rocks - a unique feature of art too.

The DoSeum treehouse, designed and beautifully crafted from reclaimed wood, is a part of The DoSeum's major initiative to make The DoSeum accessible to, and enjoyable for, all children. All of their exhibits, including the newly opened treehouse, are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) certified. The treehouse is wheelchair accessible, with a winding ramp and steel base that allows for wheelchair access.

Through a publicist, Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters said Jonker's work shows craftsmanship and artistry: "His designs come right from his soul. In his skilled hands, every square inch of lumber is inscribed with his adventurous spirit and infectious enthusiasm. He is a true craftsman, artist and friend who lit me up with inspiration."

View more information on Azzanarts website, the Botswana-Inspired Hideaway video or the DoSeum Project.

Attie Jonker

Largest Photo Ever Taken

Even though our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy (closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way and otherwise known as M31) is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble Space Telescope (a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency) has managed to capture the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy. The image is made up of 411 Hubble images, has a staggering 1.5 billion pixels and needs more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.

This largest image ever taken, shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the Andromeda galaxy's pancake-shaped disc and stretches across over 40 000 light-years. Each of the white dots shown is a sun, much like the sun that powers all life on Earth.

This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies that dominate the universe's population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy.

Hubble traces densely packed stars extending from the innermost hub of the galaxy seen at the left. Moving out from this central galactic bulge, the panorama sweeps from the galaxy's central bulge across lanes of stars and dust to the sparser outer disk. Large groups of young blue stars indicate the locations of star clusters and star-forming regions. The stars bunch up in the blue ring-like feature toward the right side of the image. The dark silhouettes trace out complex dust structures. Underlying the entire galaxy is a smooth distribution of cooler red stars that trace Andromeda's evolution over billions of years.

The panorama is the product of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program. Images were obtained from viewing the galaxy in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble. Nasa's cropped view shows a 48,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy in its natural visible-light color, as photographed with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in red and blue filters.

Source: NASA

Largest Photo Ever Taken

Phosphorus' Role in plant growth

Normal plant growth cannot be achieved without phosphorus. It is a constituent of nucleic acids, phospholipids, the coenzymes DNA and NADP, and most importantly ATP. It activates coenzymes for amino acid production used in protein synthesis; it decomposes carbohydrates produced in photosynthesis; and it is involved in many other metabolic processes required for normal growth, such as photosynthesis, glycolysis, respiration, and fatty 2 acid synthesis. It enhances seed germination and early growth, stimulates blooming, enhances bud set, aids in seed formation, hastens maturity and provides winter hardiness.

Phosphorus Deficiency

Phosphorus deficient plants are characterised by stunted growth, dark green leaves with a leathery texture, and reddish purple leaf tips and margins. Deficiency symptoms may appear when soil phosphorus levels are adequate. When soil is cooler than 15 degrees C, less phosphorus is available for plant uptake, whether or not an adequate amount is present. Symptoms related to cool weather generally disappear as soil temperature increases.

Since phosphorus does not leach in mineral soils, any problems associated with surface water contamination can be attributed to soil erosion.

Phosphorus deficiency symptoms generally occur in soils with a low phosphorus content. An application of phosphate fertiliser based on rates recommended by a soil test will correct this problem. Phosphorus occurs in organic fertilisers (manures); inorganic blended fertilisers; and high phosphate materials such as mono-and diammonium phosphate (11-48-0 & 18-46-0), triple superphosphate (0-46-0), and liquid mixes such as 10-34-0.

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

Phosphorus deficiency

A blend of South African, French and Argentinian flavours

In the glamorously frenetic world of London hospitality, two extraordinarily different souls came together to cause a delicious, dynamic fusion of the most chic French flair, with a rustic South African approach to experimental food science and a passion for conjuring new combinations of world flavours - all underpinned by classic French styling and a commitment to authenticity.

With the soft sounds of jazz music and flickering candlelight luring one in at night, you can't help but be seduced by the elegant, all-white interior of the super stylish restaurant Manna Epicure in Kloof Street. The atmosphere is congenial and very relaxed. A part of the kitchen extends to an open-plan section in the dining area, which means that you can observe some of the action.

The menu is quite straightforward, divided into starters, 'comfort food', 'the braai' and 'sweet temptations'. There are quite a few retro nods to the Afrikaans food heritage.

The sweet section once again shows retro touches, with the ever-popular malva pudding present, as well as a banana split vanilla, pistachio and chocolate ice cream, flake almonds, whipped cream and chocolate sauce - which sounds so good it may just necessitate a visit of its own.

View Manna Epicure's website.

Manna Epicure

Hot News

New partner added

After working on mutual projects together with Revel Fox & Partners Architects and Planners, and Warren Petterson Planning, Living Matter has included them onto their preferred partners list. These partners have been approved as preferred partners for their business ethics and quality of work.

See our preferred partners for their contact details.

Featured Plant

Protea Cynaroides

Protea Cynaroides
(King Protea)

Family :


Description :

Shrub to 2m with large showy light pink flowers.

Flowering time :

Spring / Summer

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • Well drained soil

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

Design idea feature

Cutting a tree down and removing its remaining trunk and roots can be quite expensive, so many home owners choose to leave the tree stump in the garden.

Design idea feature

Turn the tree stump into an artistic feature and make it a functional part of the garden, in the form of a playhouse for your children.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie
Garlic chives

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
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • 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

    September's Teaser Answer :
    "Inside job"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82